Sort file:- Greenwich, February, 2024.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 14 February, 2024.


Earliest 1700-

Man in the Moon

Closed 1960s

Old Woolwich Road (East StreetPigot's Directory 1832-34)(Bear Lane 1866)


Old Man in the Moon 1970

Above photo 1970, by this time the premises was a corner shop.

Man in the Moon

Above photo 2015.


Suggested that could have been called the "Bear Tavern" as early as the 1665.

It was built in 1834 and had closed before possibly in the 1960s, although it was discussed by the Compensation Authority June 1906, so may have closed as a licensed premises as early as that.

Now in residential use.

Addressed at 7 Bear Lane pre 1882. At Lower East Street in 1882;


From Church Records transcribed by Steven W.

"14 Feb 1701 burial of Katharine Hooke sister to George Symons at the "Man in the Moones" in East Lane."


From by Stephen Craven.

The Man in the Moon Murder.

Many moons ago we were discussing the Man in the Moon, a former pub on Old Woolwich Road now converted into flats.

Someone mentioned that there had been a murder there, but given I had no idea whether this was in Victorian times or more recently it was difficult to check it out. Not least that it’s pretty taboo – I mean – developers really don’t like to advertise unpleasant things that happened in a property’s previous existence when they’re trying to flog apartments. I confess that, like many things on this site, I let it go, and, frankly forgot about it, only remembering when I walked past.

Then I got an email from someone who moved into the nearby Ernest Dence Estate in the late 1970s. My emailer confirmed there was a murder there, albeit accidental. After the Man in the Moon stopped being a pub, it became a sweet shop.

“One evening the lady that owned the shop was robbed on the premises by a lad off the estate and he pushed her down the stairs which in turn killed her. He spent about 30 years in prison for his actions.”

So – there you have it. At some point when I get time I’ll go through all the microfiche newspapers for the period and find the whole story but for now I want to reflect on what seems to be a very hazardous profession – sweet shop proprietor on corners of the Old Woolwich Road.

While I was pondering this post, I remembered another query from years ago, where Karen tells the sad story of her great-grandparents, who also owned a sweet shop there. The business was, apparently, a disaster (not least, I imagine, because it was during the war when sugar was rationed) and tragedy struck, the family believes, when Karen’s great-grandfather fell and died trying to mend the roof after bomb damage.

To add insult to injury, the Naval College forced all the residents to sell their properties to them at ridiculously low prices so they could build something grand but the plans fell through and that particular sweet shop is now somewhere under the car park at the end of Eastbury Street.

So all you would-be entrepreneurs – whatever you do, if someone offers you the East Greenwich franchise of Mr Humbug on a suspiciously empty corner of Old Woolwich Road you have been warned. Do not touch it with even the longest stick of barley sugar…



TURK John 1823-34+ Pigot's Directory 1823Pigot's Directory 1832-34

STEWARD William 1840-52+

DURHAM Charles Jacob 1858-67+

STEEL William J T to Nov/1868

DURHAM Charles T Nov/1868+

DURHAM William 1871+ (age 27 in 1871Census)

STAPLEY Robert 1874+

WALLER Charles William 1882+


WHIFFIN C Mrs 1896+

AUSTIN George J 1901-05+


Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34



If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-