Tower Bridge to Rotherhithe
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Rotherhithe comes from the Anglo Saxon – Rederheia “Landing Place for cattle” and will be the final destination on our walk which starts at Tower Bridge.
Named after “St John at Thames” knights of st John who used to own the area or shad fish which was available in The Thames
At he end of the 19th Century it was the biggest warehouse complex in London.
Tea coffee spices and dried fruit would be wheeled along the iron gangways and it was known as “The lader of London”. It is also where John Cleese hung out of a window in A Fish Called Wanda.
Dr Who and Oliver! were also filmed here.
St Saviour’s Dock
In the 18th century docks were so busy that cargoes remained on ships for weeks attracting pirates and if they got caught they would be hanged at this dock
The river at this inlet was called Neckinger after devil’s Neckerchief which was cockney for the noose used for hanging pirates.
This is also where Bill Sykes falls to his death at Jacbs Island in Oliver Twist and Fagin lives with his pickpockets.
Cherry Garden Pier
Cherry Garden Pier is where boats sounded their horns for Tower Bridge to open.
Samuel Pepys bought cherries for his wife here too and The Fighting Temeraire by Turner was painted from here of a barge being taken to the breakers yard which is discussed by James Bond and Q in Skyfall.
Outside the Angel Pub is the remains of a big manor belonging to Edward iii
The Angel Pub was built by monks of Bermondsey Abbey and has
trap Doors and piles over the river useful for smugglers.
Captain Cook and Pepys drank here and Judge Jeffrys watched executions at execution dock from here.
See all about Judge Jeffrys in my Wapping video “Riverside Walk London.”
St Mary’s Rotherhithe Church
Christopher Jones – Mayflower Captain is buried here (unmarked grave)
The Mayflower was the ship that carried Pilgrim Fathers to the New World from here in 1620.
Mayflower rotted beside the Pub and it used to be called the Ship Tavern.
They probably used the ships timbers to rebuild the pub at The Mayflower
It is also the only pub licenced to sell both English and American stamps.
Brunel Engine House
Brunel Engine House housed the machine which pumped out the water from the first underwater thoroughfare in the world. Now a museum tells story of the tunnel.
In 1843 it was constructed by Marc Brunel who showed everyone how to do it after seeing a worm in debtor’s prison – he invented a special shield for digging.
He was French and his wife Sophia escaped the French Revolution after fall of Ropesbierre and was supposed to be executed but escaped. He also disrespected Ropesbierre and was lucky to escape.
He is buried in Kensal Green and his technique is still used today.
The Thames Tunnel was supposed to take traffic but there wasn’t the money to pay for the proper entrances so it was a foot tunnel.
Like everywhere it became popular with thieves and it was sold to the railway.
You can still see the original arches in Rotherhithe Tube station.
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If you enjoyed this London Riverside walk take a look at some of my other films! Contact me for a private walk.
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