Thomas A Becket closed!

The sign is a replica window from Canterbury

The Thomas A Becket pub in London’s Old Kent Road is closed.

Bailiffs have repossessed the ground floor space.

The pub reopened with a fanfare on St Valentine’s Day last year calling itself Rock Island Grill at the Thomas A Becket.

The ribbon was cut by Frank Bruno in recognition of the pub’s boxing heritage. A blue plaque records Henry Cooper training in an upstairs room.

The pub, listed as an ‘asset of community value’, was built in 1898 on the site of an earlier inn which was the first stop on the pilgrimage to St Thomas Becket’s shrine at Canterbury.

A handy stream running across the road was used for watering the horses. Geoffrey Chaucer, in The Canterbury Tales, describes his characters pausing here to hear the first tale.

Passports: Pilgrim passports were stamped at the pub until its closure in April. Now walkers should obtain a last ‘London’ stamp at The Royal Oak in Tabard Street. The next stamps are available at Blackheath Church and The Red Lion on Shooters Hill.

Thomas A Becket in London’s Old Kent Road
The historic sign above the Rock Island branding

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