Pauline • Link
from L&M Companion
Riverside eating-house halfway between London Bridge and Deptford, c. 1660-c. 1800.
in Aqua Scripto • Link
Note in 1786: there be two halfway houses, one on the main drag on Bell Lane nr Black Boy Lane and the other near China Hall, a couple of furlongs from the Tems near the a dock off the Thames river.
Highlights from an article about the woman who had saved the Halfway House, now called the George:
The Halfway House stood in the fields beside the Queen’s Highway to Essex before there were any other buildings nearby, more than 700 years ago.
When Commercial Road was cut through by the East India Company in the early 19th century, the orientation of the building changed and a new stuccoed frontage was added declaring a new name, The George.
The Halfway House was mentioned by Geoffrey Chaucer in The Reeve’s Tale written in the 1380s when he lived above the gate at Aldgate, and by Samuel Pepys who recorded numerous visits during the 1660s.
A narrow yard called Aylward St. behind the pub, now used as a garden, is all that remains today of the old road which once brought all the trade to The Halfway House.
In the 18th century, the inn became famous for its adjoining botanic garden where exotic plants imported from every corner of the globe through the London Docks were cultivated. John Roque’s map of 1742 shows the garden extending as far as the Ratcliffe Highway.
As further evidence of the drawing power of the The Halfway House, the celebrated maritime painter Robert Dodd was commissioned to paint a canvas of “The Glorious Battle of the Fifth of June” for the dining room, a picture that now resides in the Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
When you have ascended through all the diverse spaces of The George to reach the attic, you almost expect to look from the dormer windows and see green fields with masts of ships on the river beyond, as you once could.
I was filled with wonder to learn just a few of the secrets of this ancient coaching inn that predates the East End have survived to adorn the East End today, and I know I shall return because there are so many more stories to be uncovered here.
For pictures and the rest of the story, see
I wonder if “The Glorious Battle of the Fifth of June”, is really a picture that now resides in the Maritime Museum in Greenwich which is called "Lord Howe's action, or the Glorious First of June", and it is magnificent.
No normal roadside Inn could afford such a commission -- which may account for why none of the websites I have scanned mention it hanging at The Halfway House.
Any other contenders?
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.