Rotherhithe Street – London, England - Atlas Obscura

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Rotherhithe Street

The arching stretch of London's longest street holds many reminders of the area's maritime past. 

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London is famed for its iconic streets and alleys. From Baker Street, and Fleet Street, to ‘Of’ Alley and Pudding Lane, the city’s streets tell its deep, winding, and curious history. Amongst London’s passageways, paths, and parades however there must be one that outstretches the others, and the title of London’s longest street goes to Rotherhithe Street.

Coming in at almost 1.5 miles in total length, this arching street curves with the bending of the River Thames and includes cobblestoned shoulder-width alleyways at one end before transforming into a modern and residential road by the other. While it may not seem so long compared, even to other British boulevards, this unbroken path is a rarity amongst the warren that is London’s ancient thoroughfares.

Along the 2.4-kilometer street, you will find many reminders of the area’s past as a dockyard, including Nelson Dock, converted warehouses and storehouses, and the Mayflower Pub. It was in Rotherhithe that the Mayflower first set off on its journey to America, and it was also in Rotherhithe that it was scrapped for timber at the end of its life. According to local legend, part of the Mayflower Pub was built from the ship’s remains, and only a stone’s throw away lies the remains of its captain, Christopher Jones, who is buried in St Mary’s Church.

Also buried at St Mary’s Church on Rotherhithe Street is Prince Lee Boo, the Palauan prince who, on visiting London in 1784, became the first person from the Pacific Islands to visit Britain.

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March 20, 2023

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