The Prospect of Whitby


The Prospect of Whitby public house.
View full size imageThe Prospect of Whitby. © NMM

This is one of the oldest taverns in London. It dates from about 1520.

In the 17th century it had a reputation as a meeting place for smugglers and villains, and became known as the Devil's Tavern. During this period, one of its more infamous patrons was Judge Jeffreys, the notorious 'Hanging Judge'.

Interior of the Prospect of Whitby.
View full size imageInterior of the Prospect of Whitby, 2003. © NMM

During the 18th century a fire destroyed much of the Devil's Tavern and it was rebuilt and renamed the Prospect of Whitby, after a collier that was moored nearby.

Prospect of Whitby c. 1890.
View full size imageProspect of Whitby at Wapping, c. 1890. © NMM

Cock-fighting was once a regular entertainment and a bare-knuckle boxing room for sailors was also available.

This photograph, taken around 1890, shows the pub when it served the maritime community of Wapping. The tavern was accessible directly from the river.


 Find out more:
Fact file The Prospect of Whitby
Games Match historical pictures of pubs with modern day photographs