Sort file:- Greenwich, May, 2022.

Page Updated:- Monday, 30 May, 2022.


Earliest 1600s

Peter Boat

Latest 1794+

Church Street / Garden Stairs


Garden Stairs drawing 1695

Above drawing circa 1695 showing "10" location of "Peter Boat Tavern" and "11" "Fubbs Yacht." The "Salutation" is the building to the left of "11". "Ship Tavern" to the left of that.

Garden Stairs.

This important landing place has been identified for us by the artist with a pencil sketch of the stairs and an inn sign added to the building on the west (10). The stairs had the "Peter Boat Tavern" on the east and the "Salutation" on the west. The stairs seem to have taken their name from the Skame or Skerne family who owned land in the town in the 16th century. This landing place was an important access to the town as it stood at the northern end of Greenwich, Church Street. It is clear from Samuel Travers’ Survey of 1695 and the parish rate books that the northern end of Church Street was originally ‘High Street’; the present name was only applied to the southern stretch near the parish church. Most visitors to the town would have arrived at either Garden Stairs or Ship Stairs further west.

This part of the drawings shows the riverfront from the stairs, between the two public houses, the buildings in Brewhouse Lane to the ancient Billingsgate Dock. When this dock was created is not known but a document of 1449 refers to it. This congested area of alleyways and streets was photographed by T.L. Brooker in c.1900 when Brewhouse Lane was dominated by Huntley’s Coal Wharf and "Fubb’s Yacht" pub (11). Running north/south from Brewhouse Lane was the grimly named ‘Dark Entry’, and, to the south Billingsgate Street. All have gone presenting us with panoramic views of the river in both directions - a feature that was not enjoyed at the opening of the 18th century and indeed not until the creation of Cutty Sark Gardens in 1953.


The "Peter Boat," was situated on the waterfront at the bottom of old Greenwich Church Street on either side of Garden Stairs.

It operated as what was known as "an ordinary" which was a public dinner, which one could attend on payment.

Along with the "Salutation" the "Peter Boat" can be traced back to the 17th-century. The "Peter Boat" was still operating in Greenwich Church Street from 1794 but the building shown in Rowlandson's painting shows had been replaced before the mid-19th century.

In 1863 its location was still given as Garden Stairs, which by this time had been rebuilt as a much larger flight in stone on the built-up river wall at the west end of Greenwich Pier, where they still exist today.




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