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Mayflower & the Ships of Rotherhithe

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Once upon a time in Rotherhithe ...

400 years ago the Pilgrims sailed from here. 200 years ago Brunel started here. The river coils around, protects - hides - this secret village in central London. An East India Company town. Gulliver started here. Dickens started and ended here;

'The strangest, the most extraordinary, of hidden London, unknown to the great mass of its inhabitants.'

Sands Films studio, built from shipwreck, is the home of Little Dorrit. The old mortuary is where Our Mutual Friend begins. St Mary's Church has masts for pillars and chairs carved from ships. King Edward's Palace is where Chaucer was first Poet's Laureate. A Pirate's gibbet and a Watch House guard the bodies in the churchyard. Inside the gates is a memorial to Christopher Jones, Captain of the Mayflower and another to Prince Lee Boo, hero from the Spice Islands. Then, down the steps and into the secret chamber, is a memorial to Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the oldest structure in the oldest Underground in the world.

Meeting Point: Rotherhithe Station, Victoria Embankment, WC2N 6NS

End Point: Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF

Accessibility: Underground chamber accessible only to viewing platform. Roof garden has short flight of stairs.