Nicholson's Pubs

Chequers, Oxford


Exotic animals and technological marvels

Dating back to 1279, our Grade II listed pub was once an exhibition hall for animals and inventors, and a base for money lenders. In the 1500s, the building was rebuilt by Alderman Richard Kent, transforming it from a moneylender’s tenement to a tavern. And, as they say, the rest is history.

In the mid-1700s, the pub was home to a semi-permanent zoo of fourteen exotic animals, including a camel, an opossum, and reportedly a shark. Today, the exhibits of strange animals discovered by 17th century explorers have gone, but features such as the stained glass windows and carvings above the bar remain as a reminder of the building’s rich history.

Rumour has it, the pub also has a secret tunnel that leads to another pub on the High Street. It is said to have acted as an escape route for Catholic priests illegally celebrating mass during the reign of King Henry VII…

Find us


The Chequers, 131 High Street,
Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4DH

Tel: 01865 727463

A unique city centre pub with a rich history


Much of the interior of our pub dates from the 1500s when an old tenement belonging to a moneylender was rebuilt as a tavern. The chequerboard was the symbol of the money-changer, having its origins in the checked cloth used by the Romans in their calculations ? hence Chancellor of the Exchequer. Our pub once exhibited strange animals discovered by 17th Century explorers and technological marvels of the age.

Find us

The Chequers,131 High Street,
Oxfordshire,OX1 4DH

Tel: 01865 727463

Opening Hours

  • Monday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Tuesday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Wednesday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Thursday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Friday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Saturday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Sunday 12:00 - 22:30

Upcoming Holidays

  • Christmas Eve 12:00 - 18:00
  • Christmas Day 12:00 - 17:00
  • Boxing Day 12:00 - 22:00
  • New Years Eve 12:00 - 01:00
  • New Years Day 12:00 - 22:30



As a British brand with a heritage of 150+ years, we pride ourselves on our position as purveyors of perfect pints and unbeatable pies, with tempting dishes on our British pub classic menus.

Imagine taking your seat for starters we know you’ll like… Pulled Duck Croquettes and Garlic Mushrooms on Sourdough, suited to every appetite.

And here’s something we can’t deny, we’re pretty famous for our hand-crafted specialty pies, including our brand-new Chicken and Truffled Oyster Mushroom Pie and our British Steak & Nicholson's Pale Ale Pie. Come out of the cold and try one for yourself, won’t you?

As well as our famous pies, we’ve got big twists on other classic pub food such as sausage and mash, mouth watering burgers and good old fish and chips. See our menu to discover them all.

Someone in your group got a sweet tooth? Here comes another British pub classic worth rushing to your nearest booth: our traditional new Bramley Apple & Blackberry Crumble. This is British pub food, done right.



Here at Oxford, we pride ourselves on serving an exquisite selection of perfectly-poured, ever-changing Cask Ales – including our very own Nicholson's Pale Ale, brewed by St Austell Brewery in Cornwall. You’ll also discover the wonders of our Gin Palace, featuring glorious gins from juniper-heavy and robust to sweet and fruity and every flavour profile in-between – all waiting at your local Nicholson’s in Oxford.