Tuesday, April 23, 2019

'The Angel'

London The Unfinished City
A view of The Unfinished City, from the riverside decking of the Angel pub.

It was a glorious Saturday morning as myself and two work colleagues, Gary and Steve, met up for a walk along the Thames Path, on a journey from Borough Market to Greenwich.

Gary and I ate a hearty breakfast, from the Boston Sausage stall in Borough Market, before heading across the road to The George Inn. I chose a pint of George Ale, while Gary had a lager, as we awaited the arrival of Steve.

Once the three amigos were ready, we made our way towards Tower Bridge and Shad Thames, where our stroll began in earnest.

Passing in front of Butler's Wharf, we continued along the Thames Path, until we reached The Angel public house, where we stopped for a refreshing drink. As the pub is located opposite the ruins of King Edward III's Moated Manor house, I decided that I should have a pint of Sovereign Ale, which was very refreshing.

We drank outside, on the pub's small decking that overlooks the River Thames, and took in the views.

Brief History

The Angel pub has stood on this site since the 1830s, although there was an Inn, called The Salutation, which stood near this site before that. The Angel sits in a prominent position, in front of the remains of the Moated Manor House of King Edward III.

Throughout the 17th & 18th centuries the pub was a haven for business, some of which may have been conducted by pirates, smugglers, press gangs, etc.. However, The Angel also had its fair share of 'celebrity' clientele, that included Samuel Pepys, 'Hanging' Judge George Jeffreys and Captain Cook.

In later years it was frequented by artists such as Augustus John and James A. M. Whistler. The most famous artist to visit The Angel was, undoubtedly, Joseph M. W. Turner. It is said that it was from this pub that he painted his favourite painting; 'The Fighting Temeraire'. If it wasn't painted here it was painted at nearby Cherry Tree Park.

The building, which has two floors and an attic, is Grade II Listed and is currently owned by the Samuel Smith's Brewery, which gave it a thorough renovation a few years back.

It is hard to imagine, now, that the pub was once sandwiched between many other buildings, all wanting their piece of Thames frontage.

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