Getting to us

Getting to us

Rotherhithe Railway Station

Where to find us

Rotherhithe Railway Station, Brunel Road. London. SE16 4LF

By River with Uber Boat by Thames Clippers

Closest Pier: London Bridge City Pier

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By Train
Rotherhithe Overground | Canada Water Underground
By Bus
381; C10;
By Car
Brunel Road
1a) RIVER ; Rotherhithe is a lost village. Rother is the Saxon word for cattle, and hithe means harbour. Here was all islands, reed beds, sandbanks and marshes. Driving cattle to market, rest and fatten them here on rich, green and verdant pasture. The river was much wider in those days, and flowed slowly. This is a crossing point: drive them across to market. And not just a crossing point for the river - Mayflower, the Pilgrims’ ship, left here 400 years ago to cross oceans.
1b) RIVER
2) SANDS FILMS The film studio in Grice’s Warehouse is made of broken ships, and so are many of the buildings in Rotherhithe. Sands Films produced ‘Little Dorrit’ with a star studded cast including Derek Jacobi, Alec Guinness, Max Wall, Patricia Hayes, Cyril Cusack, Miriam Margolyes, Eleanor Bron, Max Wall. In the picture research library you can see ship’s beams and ‘hanging knees’. The phrase ‘Weak at the knees’ is about ship's knees, not human knees. Fresh cut timber is for building ships only. Timber for a house must be salvaged from broken ships.
3) Sands Films Studio Interior
3) ST MARY'S CHURCH; There has been a church on this site for over a thousand years. John James, a pupil of Christopher Wren, designed the present church 1716, but the riverside site was prone to flood. The church was repaired and rebuilt by local people. Rotherhithe is an old East India Company town, a sailor's town, and this is a sailor’s church. Men of the sea were born here, married here and died here. They built ships here, but they also broke ships up. They built the church of broken ships. The pillars supporting the roof are ship's masts, with a little plaster and a lick of paint to make them look like proper architecture. The altar table and two bishop chairs are carved from wood from the Fighting Temeraire. The barrel roof is built like an upside down boat. A blue plaque on the church tower commemorates the sailing of the Mayflower from here 1620.
4) CHRISTOPHER JONES STATUE; Crossing oceans. Christopher Jones, captain of the Mayflower, was a Rotherhithe man. He sailed from here 400 years ago and landed 102 planters and adventurers in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the first permanent settlement in North America. He stands on a suitably ship shaped plinth and is buried here, in the church where he worshipped.
5) SCHOOL HOUSE; Endowed by Peter Hill and Robert Bell, two ships captains with the East India Company. The first free school in London, with a modest bequest for the education of the sons and later the daughters of sailors.
6) WATCH HOUSE ‘Twelve o’clock and all’s well!’ The Watch would call out the hours through the night. The first staffed police station in the country - now a delicatessen, but there are cells beneath. They were not guarding people and they were not guarding property, they were guarding bodies in the churchyard. The unscrupulous would dig up graves and sell the body to the teaching hospitals. They were not called grave robbers, they were called resurrectionists, because they were - of course - raising the dead.
7) HOPE SUFFERANCE WHARF; London was the busiest port in the world, and the Thames the busiest river. Three thousand tall masted ships in the river everyday.Ten thousand little boats. Business grew fast and new wharves were built and people were permitted to use Hope Wharf ‘under sufferance’ until the paperwork and registration was complete.
8) KING EDWARD III SUMMER PALACE AND THE ANGEL PUB When the temperature rose in the city, the plague deaths rose and the king and his court would move to Rotherhithe. The King Edward was an expert falconer, and here amongst the marshes was ample prey for sport. Here in the moated palace, Chaucer first read Canterbury Tales. Later Richard II ventured from here by boat to speak to Watt Tyler and the rebels. There were two courtyards: footings in the northern remain, the southern was made of timber. Close by Cherry Gardens Pier, where Turner painted ‘The Fighting Temeraire’. And The Angel pub where Captain James Cook planned his first voyage. Here Samuel Pepys stopped on his way to the victualling yards. Here Hanging Judge Jeffreys enjoyed a plate of oysters and a jug of porter after a busy day sentencing pirates. He could watch them hang across the river on the foreshore.
9) PRINCE LEE BOO When the East India Company’s ship Antelope was wrecked in the South Pacific, off the young Prince’s island, he organised a rescue. He became great friends with Captain Henry Wilson and the crew, and accompanied them back to Rotherhithe, where he lived and went to school. He is buried in the churchyard: 'Stop reader Stop! Let nature shed a tear. A Prince of Mine Lee Boo lies buried here.
10) MAYFLOWER PUB Here from the jetty, the Pilgrims’ ship left for America. Upstairs is a book where Mayflower descendants may sign and drink a toast with the local brew, Mayflower Scurvy. And so may others of course.
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Experience the walk from home with these photos and descriptions below

1a) RIVER ; Rotherhithe is a lost village. Rother is the Saxon word for cattle, and hithe means harbour. Here was all islands, reed beds, sandbanks and marshes. Driving cattle to market, rest and fatten them here on rich, green and verdant pasture. The river was much wider in those days, and flowed slowly. This is a crossing point: drive them across to market. And not just a crossing point for the river - Mayflower, the Pilgrims’ ship, left here 400 years ago to cross oceans.
1b) RIVER
2) SANDS FILMS The film studio in Grice’s Warehouse is made of broken ships, and so are many of the buildings in Rotherhithe. Sands Films produced ‘Little Dorrit’ with a star studded cast including Derek Jacobi, Alec Guinness, Max Wall, Patricia Hayes, Cyril Cusack, Miriam Margolyes, Eleanor Bron, Max Wall. In the picture research library you can see ship’s beams and ‘hanging knees’. The phrase ‘Weak at the knees’ is about ship's knees, not human knees. Fresh cut timber is for building ships only. Timber for a house must be salvaged from broken ships.
3) Sands Films Studio Interior
3) ST MARY'S CHURCH; There has been a church on this site for over a thousand years. John James, a pupil of Christopher Wren, designed the present church 1716, but the riverside site was prone to flood. The church was repaired and rebuilt by local people. Rotherhithe is an old East India Company town, a sailor's town, and this is a sailor’s church. Men of the sea were born here, married here and died here. They built ships here, but they also broke ships up. They built the church of broken ships. The pillars supporting the roof are ship's masts, with a little plaster and a lick of paint to make them look like proper architecture. The altar table and two bishop chairs are carved from wood from the Fighting Temeraire. The barrel roof is built like an upside down boat. A blue plaque on the church tower commemorates the sailing of the Mayflower from here 1620.
4) CHRISTOPHER JONES STATUE; Crossing oceans. Christopher Jones, captain of the Mayflower, was a Rotherhithe man. He sailed from here 400 years ago and landed 102 planters and adventurers in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the first permanent settlement in North America. He stands on a suitably ship shaped plinth and is buried here, in the church where he worshipped.
5) SCHOOL HOUSE; Endowed by Peter Hill and Robert Bell, two ships captains with the East India Company. The first free school in London, with a modest bequest for the education of the sons and later the daughters of sailors.
6) WATCH HOUSE ‘Twelve o’clock and all’s well!’ The Watch would call out the hours through the night. The first staffed police station in the country - now a delicatessen, but there are cells beneath. They were not guarding people and they were not guarding property, they were guarding bodies in the churchyard. The unscrupulous would dig up graves and sell the body to the teaching hospitals. They were not called grave robbers, they were called resurrectionists, because they were - of course - raising the dead.
7) HOPE SUFFERANCE WHARF; London was the busiest port in the world, and the Thames the busiest river. Three thousand tall masted ships in the river everyday.Ten thousand little boats. Business grew fast and new wharves were built and people were permitted to use Hope Wharf ‘under sufferance’ until the paperwork and registration was complete.
8) KING EDWARD III SUMMER PALACE AND THE ANGEL PUB When the temperature rose in the city, the plague deaths rose and the king and his court would move to Rotherhithe. The King Edward was an expert falconer, and here amongst the marshes was ample prey for sport. Here in the moated palace, Chaucer first read Canterbury Tales. Later Richard II ventured from here by boat to speak to Watt Tyler and the rebels. There were two courtyards: footings in the northern remain, the southern was made of timber. Close by Cherry Gardens Pier, where Turner painted ‘The Fighting Temeraire’. And The Angel pub where Captain James Cook planned his first voyage. Here Samuel Pepys stopped on his way to the victualling yards. Here Hanging Judge Jeffreys enjoyed a plate of oysters and a jug of porter after a busy day sentencing pirates. He could watch them hang across the river on the foreshore.
9) PRINCE LEE BOO When the East India Company’s ship Antelope was wrecked in the South Pacific, off the young Prince’s island, he organised a rescue. He became great friends with Captain Henry Wilson and the crew, and accompanied them back to Rotherhithe, where he lived and went to school. He is buried in the churchyard: 'Stop reader Stop! Let nature shed a tear. A Prince of Mine Lee Boo lies buried here.
10) MAYFLOWER PUB Here from the jetty, the Pilgrims’ ship left for America. Upstairs is a book where Mayflower descendants may sign and drink a toast with the local brew, Mayflower Scurvy. And so may others of course.

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