About The Mayflower
Established in 1550, and the oldest pub in London to be set by the Thames, The Mayflower is just dripping in history.
History of The Mayflower
Set in the London homeport of Rotherhithe, the pub is located at the original mooring point of The Pilgrim Fathers’ Mayflower ship which, under the command of Captain Christopher Jones, set sail from the site in July 1620 to begin its epic journey to America.
In November the Mayflower anchored at Cape Cod where the settlers signed “The Mayflower Compact”, which set out the first framework of a government for the United States of America.
The Mayflower pub is said to have some of the ship’s original timbers incorporated into its structure.
The Mayflower today
Anyone visiting the pub who can claim direct descent from one of the Pilgrim fathers is welcome to sign the ‘Descendants Book’. Indeed, so strong is the Mayflower’s connections to the States that it is the only pub in the UK that is licensed to sell US postage stamps.
A visit today will offer amazing riverside views from its terrace whilst inside offers wooden pews, a cosy fire and a lively, authentic atmosphere. But beware – if you sit close to the edge of the Thames during high tide, you will get wet!
To deepen the historic experience, wander to St Mary’s Church directly across from The Mayflower and you can see the grave of Captain Christopher Jones himself.
Getting to The Mayflower
The Mayflower is situated on the banks of the River Thames, and is a 2-minute walk from Rotherhithe station on the Overground Line (turn left and left again towards the river), or a 10-minute walk from Canada Water Station via Swan Road.
It is situated directly opposite Sands Films and Picture Research Library, adjacent to The Brunel Museum and a 20-minute walk from local city farm.
Explore the great British tradition of popping in for a pint at the local and discover history along the way at these illustrious old boozers.
Whilst London is packed with historic landmarks, a trip to the local pub also serves as a surprisingly informative way of exploring the capital’s unique past. The oldest pubs in London offer a rather refreshing way to explore local history whilst enjoying another old custom – drinking a pint.
From fires to wars, body snatchers to pirates, these quaint taverns have seen a lot throughout the centuries. London literary legends such as Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Samuel Pepys often used the bohemian atmosphere and raucous behaviour of the local clientele as a source of creative inspiration for their writings. So step back in time with a visit to five of the best old boozers in London which all have a place in English history.