Site Unseen: The Cutty Sark Tavern

Every month CabbieBlog hopes to show you a little gem of a building that you might have passed without noticing, in the past they have ranged from a modernist car park; a penguin pool; to a Hanoverian gatehouse.

Recently I was driving through Greenwich and noticed that there was a short road alongside the Thames that hadn’t been re-developed by constructing executive apartments alongside the water’s edge.

[B]allast Quay a short street with a long history dates only remaining building of substance is The Cutty Sark public house. Dating from about 1807-1809, there is no doubt that there was a pub on the land long before, which over the years was known as the Green Man and then from 1810 the Union Tavern.

Industrialisation came about in the 17th century and prior to that the site was Dog Kennel Meadow. The Cutty Sark has a latte 18th-century look about it and may have been substantially altered about 180 years ago.

As Union Tavern, then on Union Place it was a mark of the patriotic fervour encouraged by the Legislative Union of England and Ireland in 1801. When the Union Tavern took the name Cutty Sark when that great tea clipper came to Greenwich first in 1951, and then found a permanent home in Greenwich in 1954.



Its position on Greenwich Reach on the river’s broad loop gives an almost unique panoramic view. A walk east along the Thames Walk and you encounter much of what remains of the Thames’ industrial past.

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