Blue Anchor Alley, TW9

Place Name

The Blue Anchor public house stood on the corner of Kew Road and Lower Mortlake Road since at least 1781 but an inn features some years before on the Rocque map of London of 1741 – 1745. Before 1895 the lane, which skirted the boundary wall of Pagoda House (later Selwyn Court), had two names the west side being St John’s Place, after St John the Divine Church built between 1831 and 1836; and to the east, Avoca Villas. There are several theories as to why pubs were named the Blue Anchor. The two most common is literal after a maritime connection, a ship’s anchor, and many coastal pubs and those by rivers are anchor on these grounds, possibly from the distinctive blue marl (mud) which coated anchors tin certain waters or after they turned blue-green with verdigris if the anchors were left in the mud for too long (so possibly a reference to a retired seaman). The second is a biblical reference from the Letter to the Hebrews “we have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul – a hope”. The pub closed in 2006.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *