The Tabard Inn

The Canterbury pilgrims share a meal in Southwark. 
Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
© British Library Board, MS G 11586 page 20
Origin/Date: published by Caxton, Westminster || 1485?

In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, his pilgrims gather in the Tabard Inn, in Southwark. As an area just south of London Bridge the inns of Southwark would have been ideal gathering-places for pilgrims travelling as individuals or in groups to gather together in parties to make the trip to Canterbury, which could take around four days each way.

Chaucer, Geoffrey

(c.1342-1400) English author, poet, administrator, courtier and diplomat, who’s most famous work is The Canterbury Tales.

Bifil that in that seson on a day,

In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay,

Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage

To Caunterbury with ful devout corage,

At nyght were come into that hostelrye

Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye

Of sondry folk, by áventure y-falle

In felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they alle,

That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde.

The chambres and the stables weren wyde,

And wel we weren esed atte beste.

And shortly, whan the sonne was to reste,

So hadde I spoken with hem everychon,

That I was of hir felaweshipe anon,

And made forward erly for to ryse,

To take oure wey, ther as I yow devyse.

Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Prologue, ll. 19-34