Picture of a Cockpit dating from 1759
The Cockpit Theatre - A Playhouse (Re-named the Phoenix Theatre)
As its name indicates, the Cockpit
started life as a venue for cock
fighting. It has a special place in
the history of London as it became
the very first theatre to be located
in Drury Lane.
The cockpit was originally built in 1609 for cockfighting. The blood sport venue was converted into a playhouse theatre in 1616 by Christopher Beeston.
In 1617, just a year later, there
was some rioting in London and the
newly converted theatre was burnt
down by the mob. The Cockpit theater
was rebuilt in 1618 and given the
name the Phoenix, as it rose from