Street View: 29 (see header for detail elevation)
Address: 64 Red Lion Street
Who does not know Robinson’s Barley Water? But did you know that it started out as Robinson’s Patent Barley Groats? According to the OED, groats are “hulled, or hulled and crushed grain of various kinds, chiefly oats, but also wheat, barley, and maize”. You were supposed to dissolve them in water or milk and it was considered excellent nourishment for mothers, babies and invalids. The lemon variety we now drink was already mentioned in the advertisement in the Tallis Street View booklet: “the addition of lemon juce [sic] and sweetened, forms a most grateful beverage”.
Tallis describes Red Lion Street as a considerable thoroughfare composed for the most part of shops. At number 64, on the corner of Eagle Street “is situated the Shop, Warehouses, and Extensive Manufactury of Messrs. Robinson and Bellville, celebrated as the proprietors of the `Patent Barley and groats;’ their premises forms the most striking object of the street, and has been chosen for our Vignette.” The text above the shop tells us that Robinson and Bellville were tea dealers and grocers. According to the website of the Robinson firm, barley water/groats was a product they sold since 1823, but the drink really took off when they began supplying the Wimbledon tennis championships.
The building no longer exists as a quick look at Google Street View shows, but Robinson’s itself does, see www.robinsonsdrinks.com.
|<– 65 Red Lion Street||62&63 Red Lion Street –>|