Guide to East London

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The Town of Ramsgate

62 Wapping High Street, Wapping, E1
Tel: (0) 171 488 2685
Tube: Wapping

Walking down this cobbled High Street with your back to Tower Bridge, imagine the old warehouses, so stuffed full of such goods as spice, fruit, nuts, oils, wine, hops and tea that the dockworkers and sailors would be able to locate themselves by night or in fog by the smell of produce.

The Town of Ramsgate is a narrow, panelled riverside pub, located close to the spot where captured pirates were hanged and left in the Thames until three tides covered them.

The pub was named after the boats from Ramsgate which brought fish to London and moored nearby. Ramsgate Harbour of 1850 is featured on the pub sign.

Formerly known at the Red Cow after, supposedly, after a red-haired barmaid! Its present name originates from the fishermen from Ramsgate in Kent, who used to land their catch at Wapping Old Stairs nearby. Ramsgate Harbour of 1850 is featured on the pub sign.

In 1688 Judge Jeffreys was captured in this pub, supposedly dressed as a woman, as he attempted to escape to Hamburg on a collier. He was recognised by a scrivener, who had appeared before him, and had to be rescued from a lynch mob by soldiers who took him to the Tower of London where he later died. In the cellars of the pub are the dungeons where convicts were chained before deportation to Australia.

Judge Jeffreys acquired infamy in 1685 at the 'bloody assizes' in Winchester when he sentenced 320 people to the gallows and hundreds to be transported or sold into slavery after the Duke of Monmouth failed in his uprising against the catholic King James II.

Not so far from this pub in Reardon Street you'll see a plaque marking where Captain Bligh, of the Bounty and mutiny once



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