Bizarre pub tradition revived in Hornsey

Drinkers can revive a bizarre pub tradition to help children suffering from cerebral palsy.

Hornsey Round Table is inviting people to take part in its ‘swearing on the horns’ ceremony at the Bull pub in North Hill on Friday July 4.

The custom earned the village notoriety in the 18th and 19th centuries. Those taking part pay a ‘fine’ to a costumed judge and his clerk, which will be donated to the London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy.

They then take a pair of horns in their hands and swear an oath, which confers the freedom of Highgate on them.

John Martin, chairman of trustees at the centre, said: “Privileges include kissing the prettiest woman in the pub, or, if no pretty woman are to be found, you have to settle for less.

“If a freeman is in need of a rest in Highgate he can kick a pig out of a ditch and take its place.”

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