From a Rotherhithe quayside, near a pub called the Shippe, the Mayflower set sail for America. It was the spring of 1620, on board were a group of Protestants fleeing religious persecution. Captain Christopher Jones couldn’t have known that his passengers were to become the most famous Americans ever, the Pilgrim Fathers. The Mayflower and its crew returned to Rotherhithe in 1621. Jones died a year later and was buried at St. Mary’s Churchyard, a stones throw from the pub. His grave is now unmarked but a plaque records his fateful journey. A century later the Shippe was rebuilt and renamed the Spread Eagle and Crown. In 1957 the pub was restored. In recognition of its historic connection with America, it was renamed the Mayflower.
It is licensed to sell both US and British postage stamps, having been a post office for the river. The pub has its own jetty, where drinkers can sit in on warmer days. Inside this is an exceptionally cosy and attractive pub, its black wood panelling, large oak beams, brick fireplace and display of nautical items, all add to the atmosphere. Built-in settles form ‘U’ shaped snugs. Each has pearls of wisdom painted on it in gold, such as “A warm hearth and fine wine, soothes the soul and passes the time”. Cheers!