PortCities London

The Angel (1652 - present)
101 Bermondsey Wall East, SE16

Known for

The river frontage at Rotherhithe showing The Angel tavern.
View full size imageThe river frontage at Rotherhithe showing The Angel tavern. © NMM
There has been an inn and rest house for travellers on the site since the 15th century. It was kept by monks from Bermondsey Priory.

Christopher Jones, captain of the Mayflower, is said to have hired crew here and Captain Cook prepared for his voyage to Australia at the old inn.

When Samuel Pepys, the diarist and naval administrator, visited 'The Famous Angel', in the 17th century, he would have had a pleasant country walk from the City.

Port Connection

Its proximity to the river meant the clientele included dockers, sailors, pirates, smugglers and pressgangs.

During the 18th and 19th centuries London grew and its east-end river banks were developed as docks and wharves. Bermondsey's crowded waterfront became one of the worst slums in London, a haunt for thieves, pressgangs and smugglers.

Interesting Facts

Outside of The Angel public house.
View full size imageOutside of The Angel public house. © NMM
The Angel was built on stilts above the river marshes of the Thames

The superb river views (particularly of Tower Bridge) from the pub’s balcony attracted an artistic crowd including Whistler, Augustus John and William Wylie.
In the 1940 and 1950s, The Angel was visited by dignitaries and film stars including Laurel and Hardy.

Life Story

15th centuryThere was an inn and rest house for travellers on the site kept by monks from Bermondsey Priory
1652First documentary proof of an 'Angel' pub on the site
1660 - 1669Samuel Pepy's wrote his diaries and mentions his visits to 'The Famous Angel'
1668A token coin issued at Rotherhithe came from ‘The Salutation’ which could be another name for the 'Angel'
1682There was a mortgage deed: an agreement that John and Alice Jesson of Redriffe would raise a mortgage on the old moated manor house and adjoining 'Angel Tavern' for £500
1768Captain Cook set sail on 'The Endeavour', having planned his first voyage during his visits to the 'Angel' with fellow officers
1940-50sVisited by dignitaries and film stars including Laurel and Hardy