The Dickens Inn History | Where Victorian London Meets the Thames!
The Dickens Inn on St Katherine’s Way in London has a long and interesting history which funnily enough, has nothing directly to do with Charles Dickens himself.
Why? Because whilst the famous 19th Century novelist did frequent the area regularly, when he was at the height of his fame the building that now houses The Dickens Inn would’ve been a warehouse and not the pub it is today.
Charles Dickens certainly wrote about the area with many of his books citing this particular part of London, along with many other similar working-class areas of Victorian London.
Originally thought to have been either a tea warehouse (or perhaps a brewery warehouse) from the late 1700’s, The Dickens Inn has survived the threat of being demolished a number of times over the years.
This wonderfully preserved wooden structure was one of only a handful of buildings to survive in the area from the Blitz of World War 2 and was again saved from developers in an area regeneration program in the 1960’s.
I Never Knew That About The Thames
The building itself actually had to be moved to its current position in order to evade the wrecking ball, and now stands around 70 metres east of its original location. When the move occurred the building was intentionally and carefully reconstructed to resemble a traditional three storied 18th-Century styled Inn. The hope from the council at the time was that the pub would attract tourism to the area around Marble Dock and surrounding areas.
And so it was that this newly styled, but history rich building, was re-opened as the pub we now know as The Dickens Inn in 1976. The establishment was actually opened officially by Cedric Charles Dickens when he was quoted as saying “My Great Grandfather would’ve loved this Inn”.
Many famous people have visited The Dickens Inn over the years with one pundit going so far as to describe the venue as “The most atmospheric spot in the whole of London”.
The Dickens Inn History | Forging its Own Modern Path!
Gorgeous redwood adores the outer weatherboarding and can also be found in the massive internal beams of the interior.
Once the building’s public spaces would’ve been simple sawdust strewn floors and candle lighting that would seriously be more suited to a Dickens novel. Now, however, it’s the flowers that decorate the pubs frontage that make this venue memorable to those who visit the premises. The proximity to the docks and to the Thames has ensured that The Dickens Inn is now probably the most popular pub on the River Thames.
Oozing with history and mystery this London Pub has several balconies, two beer gardens and multiple rooms from which to survey the area and enjoy your tipple of choice. The antique furniture, Victorian-era inspired light fittings and warm decor sees this central London Pub as a firm favourite with locals and tourists alike.
There are a number of different function rooms available for hire within the establishment catering for weddings, parties, business meetings and more!
Even though The Dickens Inn has a number of big screens for when sporting fever takes over the city, they are not always on, so it doesn’t get that “sporty” bar feeling which is great news for those pub traditionalists out there.
The bar itself on the lower floor offers a number of real ales as well as a great selection of lager, cider, craft beer and more. The wine list is more than adequate for the food on offer which consists of real hearty pub grub such as burgers, fish & chips, pizzas and similar.
In the winter the pub feels homely, cosy, and warm and in the summer the extensive outdoor seating is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon with friends in what feels like a wonderfully historical setting.
The Londons Pubs team have visited The Dickens Inn a number of times and unless they change the entire vibe and feel of the venue we’ll certainly be returning again soon.
All in All, the setting, the history, the management and the location of this pub in the shadow of Tower Bridge, make The Dickens Inn one of our top picks for Pubs on River Thames.
If you’d like to now more about The Dickens Inn History then why not put on your walking boots and check out the pub for yourself!
The Dickens Inn Location and Map
How Do I get to The Dickens Inn?
If you are on foot and walking to the Dickens Inn please use our curated MAP above – just click on the purple star location of the pub and on the left side of the map there will appear an arrow to press and Google will tell you how to get there via Google Maps.
Travelling by Tube: The closest rail stations are Tower Hill on the District and Circle lines.
Travelling by Overground Train: Fenchurch Street Station is the closest with London Bridge Station just over on the South side of the Thames.
Travelling by Bus: Plenty of Transport for London buses pass by Tower Bridge which is very close so just alight there are walk.
Once you alight from any of the rail stations or jump off the bus nearby just use the Google Maps Directions to get your walking route to the Dickens Inn.
We really hope you enjoyed this narrative on the Dickens Inn History and we hope Aptly this articles quote comes from Charles Dickens himself from a Pickwick Papers excerpt:
“The beer has reminded me that I forgot”
We really hope you enjoyed this post on The Dickens Inn History – do let us know in the comments section, especially if you have something to add!
If you find yourself in central London exploring this wonderful capital and are after some other pubs to visit as alternatives or perhaps, as well as, then maybe consider checking out the Sherlock Holmes Pub London and The Porterhouse in Covent Garden
The Charles Dickens Collection