The Prospect of Whitby is the oldest riverside pub in London, originally established in London’s East End in 1520. In the heart of London’s docks, it became a favourite haunt for smugglers, thieves and pirates, including the infamous Captain Kidd, earning it a reputation as the “Devil’s Tavern.” “Hanging Judge Jeffries” was also a regular patron during the 17th century. It is said that he would enjoy lunch on the balcony while watching hangings taking place at nearby Execution Dock! A gibbet and hangman’s noose stand directly outside the pub in memory of this macabre customer. Other notable patrons have included Samuel Pepys, Charles Dickens, and artists Turner, Whistler and Gustav Dore.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Prospect was a trendy East London venue for young people, who enjoyed live music on the ground floor, while the first-floor restaurant was popular with celebrities of the day, including Rod Steiger, Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman, Joan Barry, Richard Burton and Kirk Douglas. Even royalty enjoyed the Prospect; its gallery of famous patrons includes Princess Margaret, Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly.
The pub today retains the original flagstone floor from 1520, ships’ masts and barrels built into the structure, and what is believed to be the longest pewter-topped bar still surviving. Check out the numerous historical pictures showing the pub and its surroundings.
The Prospect provides a warm London pub atmosphere with stunning Docklands views over the Thames. Traditional pub food is available all day, every day, and an à la carte restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday.