The Mayflower | Attraction Guides | History Hit

The Mayflower

London, England, United Kingdom

Celeste Neill

28 Jun 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

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.

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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.
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