The curiously named Town of Ramsgate is a long narrow pub next to an alleyway known as Wapping Old Stairs. The stairs lead down to the riverside where fishermen from Ramsgate, Kent, sold their catch. The pub was formerly called the Red Cow, supposedly because a barmaid there had red hair.
Hemmed in by its neighbours, a former warehouse and an elegant merchant’s house, this charming little pub was once part of a lively and bustling port. Now mostly gentrified and respectable, the area has a dark and brutal past.
Men pressed ganged into serving on ships and convicts destined for transportation to the Colonies, were held in cellars at the pub. Execution Dock was situated nearby, the condemned were hanged then chained to posts in the river, the tide rising over them three times before their bodies were removed. The pub\’s seating area overlooking the river, has a mock gallows as a reminder.
It was on Wapping Old Stairs, in 1688, that Judge Jeffries (the Hanging Judge) was captured whilst trying to flee the country dressed as a sailor. One story claims the ship he was on, bound for Hamburg, moored at Wapping and Jeffries went ashore for a pint and was recognised. If this is true then what about the claims by the Prospect of Whitby? Jeffries didn\’t go to Execution Dock but was held in the Tower of London, where he died of natural causes.
Events: Monday – Quiz Night. Wednesday – Steak Night