Case Is Altered

Case Is Altered

This pub was editorially chosen for inclusion by Londonist.

A leading candidate for London's most peculiar pub name, The Case is Altered perches out in the semi-rural Eastcote conservation area. It's a lovely old Grade II listed pub from the 17th century, now in the hands of the McManus pub company. The name, we're told, is meaningless — a corruption of the colloquial Spanish 'case desaltar', meaning something like House of Jumping. We're not so sure. Several other pubs share the name — including a now-defunct venue in Willesden. Can they all have independently derived from a misquote?

If it is the house of jumping, we jumped for joy at the beautiful wooden interior — not so far removed from that of the Queen's Head in nearby Pinner. It's a family kind of place, with plenty of little ones running about while mummy and/or daddy tuck into their Sunday roast. The beer choice wasn't exceptional, but certainly good enough. We need to revisit and spend a long afternoon basking in the sizeable beer garden.


Address: Southill Lane Pinner HA5 2EU

Phone: 0208 866 0476



Monday: 11am-11pm

Tuesday: 11am-11pm

Wednesday: 11am-11pm

Thursday: 11am-11pm

Friday: 11am-11pm

Saturday: 11am-11pm

Sunday: 11am-11pm

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Somebody should have done a quick search for the phrase before guessing at the meaning of the pub name ;-)

Apart from being the title of a 17th century play by Ben Jonson, it was a proverbial saying at the same time, and appears to have originated with the 16th century lawyer Sir Edmund Plowden as a defence lawyer, on uncovering a single fact that destroyed the case for the prosecution.

This makes it something of an example of British ironic understatement, with a triumphal meaning - a sort of "Ha, caught you out!". So at the time the pub was built, it would have been an amusing name. Source for the foregoing is mainly Wikepedia, but as the relevant articles themselves quote plenty of sources, this would appear to be likely and verifiable.

Sadly, the current owners of the pub are proposing to change the name to something more ordinary: there's at least one online petition running to try to change their minds.