Friday, 20 July 2018

The George our first pub

Now I went looking for the site of the George on the High Street.

According to that excellent book, Eltham in the Making* it was there in 1605 and was our first pub.

Later in the same century it was joined by the Carpenter’s Arms the White Hart and the Castle.

The George shows up on the 1605 survey of Eltham while the Castles and Carpenters Arms are documented by some fascinating trade tokens which were issued by traders in the absence of low value coinage, a practice which extended into the 18th century.

The oldest dates from 1649 and bears the names of Nathaniel and Tasmin Mercer who were running the Castle, while another from 1667 were issued by Richard Greene of the Carpenters Arms, and as you might expect more have turned up over the years, including three which were unearthed when the old Castle pub was demolished, including one for William Crich of the Grocers’ Arms Deptford dated 1663.

Now the George was on the site of what is now nu 78 and perhaps with some more digging I might be able to discover when it stopped serving.

By the mid 19th century this stretch were private houses but at least I can stand beside the spot and ponder on what the George was like.

Picture; looking down the stretch towards where the George had once stood, the High Street in 1909, Eltham Lodge  from The story of Royal Eltham, R.R.C. Gregory, 1909 and published on
The story of Royal Eltham, by Roy Ayers,

* Eltham in the Making, Volume One Eltham Society, 1990

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