Monday, 25 September 2017

Bucket List – part 6: Boat trip back from Greenwich to Westminister …



Not so much history for the return trip … we now will note some sites of interest … probably a fair number of taverns!, gruesome tellings, literary connections …


… if we’d walked further east from Greenwich we would have come to the Trafalgar Tavern built in 1837 on the site of an even older tavern.  Charles Dickens frequented the pub and set the wedding breakfast in Our Mutual Friend there.





Brunel standing against
the launching chains of
the SS Great Eastern



Dickens, along with a great many Londoners, watched in great excitement the launch of the Brunel’s SS Great Eastern from Burrell’s Wharf in the afternoon of 3 November 1857 … he vividly recorded the event: see link below: it’s worth reading for the descriptions!








Great Eastern before launch

The launch was on the opposite side of the river on our return trip towards Westminster … there’s a site called the Drunken Dock – with no obvious derivation of the name ‘Drunken Dock’ but possibly because it was a tidal lock … so drowned on the tide, as regular as clockwork …




Aerial view of the Isle of Dogs

We’re going round the easterly meander of the Thames leaving the Isle of Dogs behind … to Canary Wharf, formerly the West India Docks, now one of two business and financial centres in London – the other being the City itself.





Canary Wharf
The three docks had opened in 1802 but by 1980 had closed to commercial traffic – when the new development started … this area of eastern London is still being revitalised – the new Cross Rail route (Elizabeth Line tube) will be completed by 2019.




The Grapes - at low tide






The next major pub of interest we come to is “The Grapes” which has stood on the pebbled Limehouse Reach for nearly 500 years.  It has a lot of history – best checked out at the pub’s site.  Raleigh, Pepys, Dickens … now Sir Ian McKellen and the owner of The Evening Standard, Evgeny Lebedev …






… the last two mentioned have teamed up with The Felix Project, the food waste charity recently launched, … in this instance ‘to re-use your loaf and make beer’ …. they get more ‘waste’ bread than the Project can give away … so are using the surplus to make beer: sold at The Grapes, amongst other outlets …





Bread Banger - outlet for
the Felix Project


The history of beer and bread are inextricably linked … as evidenced in a 3,900 year-old Sumerian poem describing the production of beer from barley via bread.  So the wastage our modern world ‘allows’ us … utilises that bread waste into various modern ales.







Execution Dock
The Prospect of Whitby’s pub name … comes from the coal-carrying vessels from the north east coast of England – possibly established in 1520.


The tavern’s history is long … and has a dubious reputation being situated next to the former Wapping Execution Dock.  “Hanging” Judge Jeffreys lived nearby so he could watch … as according to legend, criminals would be tied up to posts at low tide and left to drown when the tide came in – actually three tides … just to make sure?!  Not nice - if you want to read more: it is here!




Opposite in Rotherhithe (south side) – the Mayflower lay at anchor before departing on her voyage to the ‘New World’ in July 1620.  


The Mayflower painted by William Halsall in 1882 -
in Plymouth Harbour


This voyage has become an iconic story in some of the earliest annals of American history … those 102 Pilgrims with crew established a rudimentary form of democracy after their landing in the New England winter.






The Tower of London and
Tower Bridge

We cruise upstream ever westwards past numerous docks, admiring Tower Bridge as we go underneath it, passing the imposing Tower of London – a fortress, a royal residence, an arsenal, more famously a prison … finally the keeper of the Crown Jewels and major tourist attraction.





The Museum ship: HMS Belfast – the last big gun cruiser from World War 11 … which escorted convoys as part of the Arctic Campaign … dwarfs our tour boat as we pass her by …


Billingsgate Open Air Fish Market
beginning of 1800s


Old Billingsgate – had been London’s main fish market for over 900 years … it is situated in the City.  The new fish market is now within the Canary Wharf development, but outside of the 'City'.





Top of the Monument
with viewing platform


Fishmongers’ Hall is the headquarters of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers (founded in 1272), one of the livery companies of the City of London.



Behind these two is “The Monument” designed by Christopher Wren, completed in 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London 1660.  The column stands 202 feet (62 m) high – the same distance as from the starting point of the fire in Pudding Lane.


The Shard:
Check photo out for how
the composite of this image
was put together and where
the shots were taken from



Southwark Cathedral – you have to see and spend time in – so I’ll leave that for another day … but completely swamping this part of London is The Shard (shard of glass). It is 1,016 feet (309.6 m) tall … the picture has all the details of how and where from it was taken – worth a read … if you’re interested in photographic technicalities …



Borough Market – a foodie heaven – is just south of Southwark Cathedral … well worth a snack, coffee, dining interlude …




Another tavern – Anchor Tavern – dates back to Tudor times and has associations with both William Shakespeare and Samuel Johnson.


Borough Market - foodie heaven!


On the opposite side of the river sits the Livery Hall of the Worshipful Company of Vintners established in 1364 – it has an interesting history … see link at end.





The 'wobbly bridge' connecting
South Bank to the north with a vista towards
St Paul's Cathedral


The Vintners face Shakespeare’s Globe on the south bank, along with the house where Christopher Wren, the architect, lived whilst St Paul’s was being built …



… the spread of theatres, taverns, bear-pits and brothels were common in Southwark, free from the restraints of the City regulators … which have a history all of their own.




Gloomy as you can see ... but the scaffolding
is just visible as it surrounds the
tower of Big Ben


We now have the Millennium Bridge (often known as the ‘wobbly bridge’) … which allows pedestrians to walk across the river – tying together the Globe, the Bankside Gallery and Tate Modern on the south bank, with a clear view across to St Paul’s Cathedral …


We have passed lots of bridges, other sites of historical interest, new developments that seem to abound in London and on its skyline – and finally one last mention “The London Eye” – the Ferris Wheel – the tallest in Europe – something else I have yet to do …


Big Ben and its environs
We have arrived safely at our terminus – the Westminster Pier … could get our land legs back … as we walk up to Westminster Bridge … admiring the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben – now starting to be shrouded in scaffolding – as major repairs are effected.


Big Ben is in dire need of some restoration … actually that’s wrong … the Great Bell as it is correctly known, though affectionately called Big Ben by us all … the tower needs repair and is officially, as of 2012, known as the Elizabeth Tower.


Big Ben's clock face - the hour hand
is 9 feet (2.7m) long, the minute
hand is 14 feet (4.3m) long


I guess as I’m talking about Big Ben … I’ll add a few notes – the clock bells will remain silent for four years (except at odd times – New Year’s Eve, and Remembrance Day).  Do you know the ring of the 13.7 tonne bell can be heard ten miles away … some distance: I wouldn’t like to work in its close proximity …





Lamp posts on
the Bridge

Previously the clock has been stopped, or slowed the passing of time by starlings perching on the minute hand in 1949; by an explosion in 1976; for maintenance in 2007 … but life will go on now as then and when the bells return to ring in 2021 Big Ben will return to normal.


'Revolving Torsion' kinetic
sculpture/fountain by Naum Gabo


We walked over Westminster Bridge, walked a little way down the southern embankment noting St Thomas’ Hospital, Florence Nightingale Museum, and in the Gardens overlooking Parliament was Mary Seacole’s Memorial Statue …





Judge Jeffreys - I've no wish for
you to summon him!





Well – we have now returned, I expect you’re tired of my ramblings … but sometimes better ‘too much’ than too little ... and anyway guess what – we needed a drink!!  Well wine for one and water for t’other (me) … and then our train home – when I could have a slightly stronger drink …




Thanks for being with me along this journey – I will add a couple of posts after our We are the World Blogfest this weekend …. when contributing bloggers spread Love and Peace … please join us – all welcome!  Details in this post.


Description of the building of the SS Great Eastern, and Dickens' 'write-up' on its launch ... the expectations of the crowds on the river banks, on little ships, in the water ... including development in this area of the land of promise - do read!

History of The Grapes public house

The Felix Project .... reducing food waste and food poverty ... 

The Weird Beard Brew bread bangers ... recycle bread into beer for charitable purposes .... 

Origins and Development of The Vintners' Company 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

53 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Definitely NOT tired of your ramblings. I thoroughly enjoy the links you so generously find and share too. The Felix Project particularly struck home today. We have something similar Oz Harvest which does wonderful (and sadly much needed) work.

Sue Bursztynski said...

A fascinating tour, Hilary! I've been in London, but only briefly, and I only saw some of the big name attractions - the Tower, the Changing of the Guard, the Beitish Museum and the National Gallery. And I went to the theatre, because it was my only chance to see the RSC and a couple of big musicals and one pantomime. But I can see there is far more than I could have managed in the time. The Melbourne CBD is nowhere near that big - get on a tram or train and you're in the suburbs in no time, though they do have their charms.

I've never heard of reusing bread to make beer - how wonderful! But food waste organisations, yes. We have Second Bite, for example, where I live. My school, which is disadvantaged, gets their products for the kids, many of whom are living in poverty.

Thanks for sharing - next visit to England I will have to stay longer in Lindon and see more.

https://suebursztynski.blogspot.com.au/2017/09/food-in-vorkosiverse.html

Vallypee said...

I wish I'd had you as my guide when I last did this trip! the Thames has such a wonderful and rich history, doesn't it, Hilary. Fabulous post!

Out on the prairie said...

The Eye is a attraction I might visit first,I have enjoyed other big ones.What an amazing post, I enjoyed it very well.It was fun to enjoy while I sit so far away.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I live in an area with a history that dates back to thr17th century. We are mere babes here. You are surrounded by so many wonderful places, with the voices still being heard.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The Shard really stands out, doesn't it?
Taking leftover bread and making beer. Smart idea.

Nilanjana Bose said...

I always learn new things at your blog. Was under legal age for taverns on my last visit to that area :-) Wealth of historical info in this post.

Loved the Mayflower painting, could look at it for the rest of the day. Thanks!

Pat Hatt said...

2019 is still a long way off for that to get done. I wouldn't want to be close to that bell at all. Sure would be fewer criminals today if they used the tide, harsh indeed though.

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

What a wonderful trip! I have a family member that lives in Isle of Dogs, and I've promised my Grandmother that I would one day ride that Ferris Wheel. How wonderful it is to be getting pre-acquainted for a future trip through your blog. We have no clue when we will get there, but one day...
Have a great week,
Andrea

Chatty Crone said...

I have been to England twice - YEARS AGO - I do not remember any of that. I agree your history dates back to so much longer than ours. I do know the Mayflower thou! Did you take these pics. I wish your were my tour guide - now that I am older and would learn more. sadnie

Joanne said...

my head swiveled a lot as I imagined being on your boat and seeing the sights. What joy! So much history, nifty buildings, imagining the famous people who walked or sat in this spot (and quaffed a few ales). You are an excellent tour guide and I appreciate your jaunts and side stories. I raise a glass, and look forward to more bucket list adventures

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC – thanks so much … and I’m so glad you take a look at the links – these were some interesting ones. I only picked up on the Felix Project recently when I went up to London town … but I think waste food is being put to better use now – recycling is done, given to charities, before the food is really past it …

@ Sue – well you saw a lot ... and honestly they’re the sights people most want to see … it’s a challenge to really get to grips with a city the size of London and its history. Melbourne too is quite large with over 4m people – but I guess has more room to expand into … Lots to see next time you’re here …

It’s interesting what entrepreneurs are coming up with – your Second Bite sounds amazing in its forethought to helping the local kids – through fresh food …

@ Val – thanks … so glad you enjoyed the post and the tidbits of information I was able to include … the Thames does have a hugely rich history …

@ Steve – I still have to do ‘our Eye’ … so envy you having done other big wheels. So glad the post amused you from your seat over the pond …

@ Arlene – that’s quite a lot of history – so much has changed since the 17th C – and yes voices from the ancient ruins are still being heard … we can read the landscape and our history – to some extent.

@ Alex – yes the Shard really does rise sharply up … some of the skyscrapers are eyesores … but I expect they’ll happily be accepted in future centuries. The bread into beer story is a great one isn’t it …

@ Nila – that’s good to know and thank you. There is still a limit to kids in pubs but with so many being restaurants it’s much more kid friendly. Yes there’s lots more history I could have lobbed in to this post …

… I too loved the Mayflower painting and needed to include it – albeit it is in the States: it did get back to the UK and is still here …

@ Pat – I know … but time rushes by and 2019 will be here before we’ve had time to think. Big Ben sounding must be an ear deafening noise … while criminals might think twice if Judge Jeffrey’s justice was still around.

@ Andrea – oh lucky family living on the Isle of Dogs … so I hope you can get over to see them and have that ride on the Ferris Wheel. Then you’ve some background info here … let’s hope it is soon – that visit to London.

@ Sandie – lots has changed, yet some manages to remain … history is all things. Yes our history is fairly long and we’re quite good at unravelling things. Some of the pics are mine but most out of Wiki …

@ Joanne – you certainly could not catch all the historical buildings and events … or as you mention have time to think about what might be happening, or what might have happened in the streets of London … but I’m delighted you’re enjoying these snippets of history … and thank you for the raising a glass – I’ll join you sometime later on this evening!

Cheers to you all – thanks so much and I’m so delighted you enjoy these posts – various … Hilary

Rhodesia said...

I really enjoyed this virtual cruise. Many of the buildings I know about and some I have seen but I have rarely visited London as I am not keen on cities. This was a much better way to do a tour and I always love how you manage to add the historic bits and pieces. Cheers Diane

M. Denise C. said...

Thanks for the wonderful excursion, Hilary! I enjoyed it thoroughly!

Linda said...

That was quite a journey. I do love interesting bridges. Not sure about one called a wobbly bridge, but then I did walk across the mile-high swinging bridge at Grandfather mountain some years ago.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

So much to see and hear about. Sounds like it was a long day of touring.

Janie Junebug said...

Our Mutual Friend is my favorite book by Dickens (not that I've read them all). I suspect that if one worked in close proximity to Big Ben that one would stop listening to it. I no longer notice my grandmother clock when it chimes. Of course, Big Ben is much louder--when he isn't quiet because of renovations--so maybe it's impossible to ignore him.

Love,
Janie

Liz A. said...

Quite the pub crawl.

Rhonda Albom said...

Wow! That's a lot of fascinating information - history and everyday life intertwined.

Kim Blades said...

A very interesting and well presented visual history tour Hilary. Thanks. Kim

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane – how interesting you don’t like cities – I now enjoy going up to see museums, exhibitions etc – but am not keen on crowds … so when I go to London – it’s always for something specific. But I’m delighted you’ve enjoyed this tour …

@ Denise – happy to know you enjoyed my excursion …

@ Linda – it’s quite a rush down the river … but so much has happened on the river banks over time.

@ Susan – thankfully the river cruises, cruises one down – one just needs to keep the neck ready to swivel to check out the sights!

@ Janie – that’s good I highlighted Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend. I agree the chimes would probably just be absorbed into day to day living … I lived near the town hall clock here – and rarely heard the bells or chimes …

@ Liz – definitely one could pub crawl …

@ Rhonda – there was a lot more – so I’m glad you found it an interesting read.

@ Kim – thanks so much … the photos do help us to visualise the areas …

Thanks everyone – lovely to have your comments and thoughts – London riverbanks are full of life … cheers Hilary

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Oh so nice, so many places I will not get to visit ever.

RO said...

You never ramble! I always appreciate the rich history and pictures that you share. I had no idea Big Ben could be heard 10 miles away. That's pretty impressive! Thanks so much for including us in your travels, and I look forward to the next post! Hugs...RO

Deborah Barker said...

Ah, never tire of your snippets of information Hilary - where do they come from? Do you remember it all, once written down? I am in awe if you do. This piece was particularly enjoyable since so much is so familiar to me but in my Hampshire home, all so far away now. Thank you and so glad you enjoyed your journey.

Jacqui Murray said...

What a trip! Hundreds of years of history on one river. We have the Missouri and the Mississippi but I fear it's just not the same.

Anabel Marsh said...

Great trip, with so much history. Interesting about the bread from beer initiative.

Chrys Fey said...

I like the looks of the wobbly bridge, but I'm afraid of heights and can't swim well, so I don't think I'd have the courage to walk across it. I have walked across small causeway bridges though here in Florida. Not so bad.

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Wowzers, lots of good stuff. But the thing that stands out to me is that the Hanging Judge should have been called the Drowning Judge. Bleck!

Mark Noce said...

Dickens, London, luv it! Now if only I could get some time off to go there:)

Marja said...

You are an amazing travel writer with all the history and background the places you go become alive and make me want to go there. I didn't know you could make beer from bread. London is a beautiful city and I would love to stand on that monument for the view and walk over that beautiful wobbly bridge and love markets and all the things London. it is not far from the netherlands so one day

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jo-Anne … I hope perhaps one day you can get over to see some of London …

@ RO – thanks so much; I’m glad the snippets give you the background, while the pictures bring some of it to life. I was interested that they could hear Big Ben so far off … and appreciate you looking forward to the next post …

@ Deborah – no I’m afraid I crib … utilise snippets from brochures etc and then add other things in bringing the post to life so it’s not a ‘running commentary’. I’m glad you could relate to many of the places along the river bank, even though you’re far away in Hampshire …

@ Jacqui – it is a relatively small journey – yet the years of history have added so much to London’s riverbanks – then along the main trackways and coach roads before the infill of housing … I expect the Missouri and the Mississippi would have been the same, but the time frame wasn’t right …

@ Anabel – yes lots going on in London … with new enterprises springing up … the use of waste food is a good one.

@ Chrys – the Wobbly Bridge is a great design and certainly easily takes us from one side of the river to the other. It doesn’t wobble that much – it was the first day when too many tried to go across and it definitely wobbled! It’s been stabilised since …

@ Holly – there was more … but this gave a lot of the flavour of the buildings, industries etc that could be found on the Thames’ banks. I like the idea of the change of name for the Hanging Judge – though he hung a lot of people too – the pirates were drowned … not at all nice.

@ Mark – well I hope you’ll get over one day …

@Marja – you’re right the Netherlands aren’t far away. There’s as much history there as there is here … but I’m delighted I’m bringing it all alive to you. The wobbly bridge awaits a walk across sometime … so much to do here …

Thanks so much to you all for visiting, commenting and being interested in reading … cheers Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

The Prospect of Whitby, Borough Market, Tate Modern etc etc - this reads like a catalogue of everything I like best about London. Brilliant!

Christine Rains said...

I do love traveling along with you. All these amazing sites. One day I'll get to London and I hope I'll have enough time to enjoy all the big and little sights.

Robert Bennett said...

I always love your posts. I get to learn so much about stuff I didn't intend to. Although this will be fun to pull out on my wife whenever we wander the area (Hopefully visiting sometime in the next few years).

troutbirder said...

So much history everywhere you turn! I absolutely love it...:)

Darla M Sands said...

Great photos. And I like the use of the excess bread. I've heard beer referred to as 'liquid bread', in fact. Be well!

Elsie Amata said...

The Grapes low tide picture speaks volumes. You can see how high the tide is going to get. Amazing!

Enjoy the rest of your week!
Elsie

Sherry Ellis said...

The Felix Project sounds interesting. I've heard of similar projects in Italy and the United States. Enjoyed reading about your tavern tour!

Deborah Weber said...

I so look forward to your posts Hilary to see where you're taking us next. I'm fascinated by The Shard - the juxtaposition of the ultra modern and the historical old interests me very much, although I imagine the building itself was controversial.

Love the Felix Project and the idea of bread beer - how fun! I'll happily toast your tours with a brew. :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith - thanks so much ... there are so many interesting areas actually on the banks of the Thames ... and so many wonderful places to visit ...

@ Christine - I do hope you'll be able to get to London to see some of our amazing city with its sights - large and small.

@ Robert - well I'm glad you want to stay around to learn ... that's encouraging - again I hope you can both get over to see London and some of its sights ...

@ Troutbirder - in London ... absolutely history pouring itself forth ...

@ Darla - nice to meet you. Yes beer helps armies march (I gather!) ... I'm glad they're using up all the bread and turning it to charitable profit though ...

@ Elsie - the tide does go in and out a lot - but I'd rather not think of a man hanging nearby - not a good thought ... but still I'll enjoy the rest of the week ...

@ Sherry - yes there are other similar projects to the Felix one - I think there's one in Belgium ... so glad you enjoyed the tour ...

@ Deborah - that's wonderful of you ... tomorrow we go to Cornwall for the "We are the World Blogfest" ... then back to Greenwich.

Yes the building of the Shard was controversial and still is I think .. but it incorporated the rebuilding/ upgrading of the London Bridge station ... while it adds another perspective to the city ...

Isn't the Felix Project a good idea ... and yes I really should try some of their ale - one day ..

Cheers to you all - thanks for visiting and enjoying my touring journeys ... Hilary

Melissa Sugar said...

Wow, Hilary, what a fascinating tour with so much history and so many famous amazing people. No, I never tire of your ramblings. I enjoy your enthusiastic posts. I Indulged in your pub crawl. I
toured the circuit and enjoyed my vicarious ride a long. I do imagine wanting a glass of wine about now or some ice cold water. After so many of even the most fancy ale, lagers or whatever's my belly's gonna be too full of beer, about to explode, I'm gonna be tired
of having to pee every five minutes, tired of being so bloated my jeans won't button and I'm gonna welcome a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio.
I enjoy your travels and all the stories. You show such vivid vacations that's it's like you've taken us along with you. I admire your stamina and energy. If we traveled together IRL, I don't think I could keep up. I'd be headed back to the hotel after the 4th or 5th pub for a little siesta to recharge my batteries for the evening events. If I ever do get to plan another trip ... I'm calling you. Lovely trip and I enjoyed reading about it

beste barki said...

Hello Hilary, I'm enjoying your Bucket List series a lot.

Karen Lange said...

Your "ramblings", as you put it, are insightful and historically rich. Not to mention that they're interesting, and we enjoy them. :) I may have to add some of these sights to my bucket list, if you don't mind me borrowing your ideas. Perhaps someday I can take your advice and a map and visit the same. Thanks for allowing us to join you on your travels. Have a good weekend!

A Cuban In London said...

Further east from Greenwich is where I'm planning to go this Saturday. Thanks for the heads-up. I have never read that book by Dickens. Time to pay a visit to my local library! :-)

Greetings from London.

Nick Wilford said...

There's something delightful about a leisurely river cruise, especially when you can take in so much history along the way. Thanks for having us along for the ride.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Melissa - good to see you and thanks for such a lovely comment .. thankfully we didn't try every pub or have lots of meals - otherwise I'd have been doing what you thought about. We were relatively constrained ... but my friend was in need of her drink ... so we indulged that need - holidays are holidays after all.

Normally my friend would be well ahead of me - but sadly she's not too well ... so we do what we can do ... and I don't drink or eat much during the day - so you'd be fairly sober with me! I do get tired wandering the streets though.

However I'm quite sure we'd have a great time together ... and I'd be delighted if you'd call me - so glad you enjoyed the trip back along the Thames.

@ Beste - thanks so much ... good to know you've been reading them.

@ Karen - my posts are long and I always 'worry're my 'ramblings' - yet I want to put things down, which will be there for posterity and me - so am delighted you enjoy the articles! You absolutely may borrow ideas and thoughts from the blog - also the map is there and freely available in London town.

@ ACIL - oh great if I've prodded you to read 'My Mutual Friend" - enjoy your time east of Greenwich tomorrow ... an area I must explore at some stage ... so much development going on - making it all so much easier to get to ...

@ Nick - surprisingly it was so rushed - well it felt rushed - so many historical things and new developments to take in ... one day I'll just take the cruise as a ride down the river.

Thanks so much to you all - delighted my ramblings aren't too excessive ... and I do hope many of you can get to London and take one of these cruises - cheers Hilary

Gattina said...

I found this very interesting, especially because the views are so fresh in my mind, I stood there just a week ago with an old friend who hadn't been in London since her studies more than 50 years ago and found it quite changed, especially the old part where now the Shard and all these awful modern buildings are.

mail4rosey said...

Such a wonderful tour. Makes me long to return. Not sure I'd walk the 'wobbly' bridge though. I'm not overly big on wobbles. ;) And the hanging to drown when the tides came in was def. cruel. As was the style in so many places back in the day. Thank goodness so many places now have more humanity. I love your pictures and your written tour!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gattina - it's good you were able to get over to London and so knew the views. I bet you enjoyed your trip with your friend ... there's a lot of change in London - but it's the way of the world.

@ Rosey - the wobbly bridge doesn't wobble much! That hanging by the turn of the tides 'feels' awful - I don't like thinking about it either! It was the times - our world has its moments ... but we're fortunate to be born where we were and live in the 20th/21st centuries. Delighted you enjoyed the images and my write up - thank you ..

Cheers to you both - Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh! Brilliant post, Hilary! I used one of these pubs in an older novel, but can't remember which one now. The story is set in the 1470s, so I was kind of fudging the distance between London at the time and where these pubs were, since it would have taken a while to travel from the city to the Isle of Dogs or Greenwich, back then!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz - yes certainly lots of stories could be woven in with the river and its tales and pubs. I wonder how long it did take to go from St Paul's out to the Isle of Dogs or Greenwich back in the 1470s .. interesting thought - cheers Hilary

DMS said...

Love learning so much here. Not sure the wobbly bridge would be for me. But- I would probably enjoy watching others cross it. The taverns and pubs sound like lots of fun. Amazing to think that The Grapes has been around for 500 years. Wow!

Thanks for sharing. :)
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jess - the wobbly bridge doesn't really wobble much - now they've stabilised it ... but it was the huge amount of footfall that set the wobble off - only happens on odd occasions- when 'watching space' is required: now it hardly moves. It's an excellent viewing place. So much of our history is long-lived ... but the Grapes has that 'special' quality as pubs tend to do ...tell stories and sell beer! Cheers Hilary