Polly at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese – London, England - Atlas Obscura
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Polly at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

The taxidermied remains of a once-great parrot. 

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It’s a great gloomy pub dating from the mid-17th century with a long roster of past literary regulars (e.g., Twain, Dickens, Conan Doyle). Agatha Christie sets one of her murder mysteries, “The Million Dollar Bond Robbery,”, with the character Hercule Poirot dining here. The pub had an African Grey parrot in the late 19th century who lived in the taproom.

Polly was known to be a very picky parrot who would be rude to visitors that he (yes, he) didn’t like. He was known for his foul temper and more vicious tongue. The parrot’s antics made him a bit of a local celebrity.

His death came at the end of World War I in 1918, when he died of exhaustion, imitating the sound of popping champagne corks over 400 times.

His death was mourned all over London, and his obituary was published in over 200 newspapers. After his death, Polly was stuffed and continues to reside in the taproom more than half a century after his demise.

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