The Gunmakers in Eyre St Hill, off Clerkenwell Rd, EC1 is one of London’s most charming small pubs, steeped in local history.

Named after the merchant, Henry Simon Eyre, the Eyre St Hill Valley was adopted by Italian immigrants in the 18th and 19th centuries. Working as picture frame makers, guilders and organ builders they created their own Little Italy.

Number 13, now The Gunmakers, was built in the early 19th century, part of a terrace of houses that included the headquarters of the Italian firm of Chiappa who made automatic street pianos and fairground organs. Chiappa is still there today.

The Gunmakers was not built as a public house, but became one in the second half of the nineteenth century. It is thought that the pub’s name is a reference to a riflemaker’s workshop that operated on the premises. However, this is an alternative theory: in 1881 Hiram Maxim moved to London from the USA and established a small factory in nearby Hatton garden. Maxim was best known for inventing the automatic machine gun.