A historic pub in the centre of Oxford that has served students, scholars and literary greats for over 450 years is to shut down, a cultural casualty of the COVID pandemic. The Lamb and Flag, once frequented by the likes of “Lord of the Rings” author JRR Tolkien and his friend C.S. Lewis, who wrote “The Chronicles of Narnia”, has suffered a disastrous loss of revenues since the start of the pandemic. The pub first opened in 1566 and was moved to its present location on St Giles, a broad thoroughfare in the city centre, in 1613. It is owned by St John’s College, one of 45 colleges and private halls that make up the University of Oxford. “The Lamb and Flag, like many other businesses in the hospitality industry, has been hard hit by the pandemic,” said Steve Elston, deputy bursar of St John’s, in a statement announcing the pub would close on January 31.