The Greenwich Pensioner name was given to the pub when it was built in 1827 and it is fast approaching it’s 200 year anniversary.

Now a Grade II listed building and part of the All Saints Conservation Area together with All Saints Church and many of the surrounding Victorian properties. Bow Lane (now Bazley Street) was heavily bombed during WW2 and the pub was the only building left untouched in the terrace.

Greenwich Pensioner Image

Much like The Chelsea Pensioners who were retired army veterans, often seen in years gone by sporting their distinctive scarlet coats, the original Greenwich Pensioners lived at the Royal Hospital for Seamen in Greenwich, now the Old Royal Naval College which has been described as ‘the poshest pensioners home that ever was’. The first pensioners arrived in 1705 and by the end of the century there were more than 2,000 living there.

Starting in 1766 Greenwich Pensioners famously held one-legged vs. one-armed cricket matches which were hugely popular amongst the gambling gentry from the mid 18th century onwards. The first match was won by the ‘one-armed’ pensioners and by the second match, the stake had reached 1000 guineas for this 2 day event. The 1796 match had to be stopped before the end of the first day because a crowd of would-be spectators tried to break in, causing the collapse of a building.

The last pensioner left in 1869, but the Greenwich Hospital remains to this day as a charitable organisation helping children of seafarers with education bursaries and providing sheltered housing for former Royal Navy servicemen.


Poplar 1867

Map from 1867 with the pub marked P.H. near the bottom of Bow Lane.

The Greenwich Pensioner Picture

Times have changed, but the front of the building is still true to the Victorian original.

The Greenwich Pensioner Picture

Charabang trips to Kent, hop picking, was a popular ‘busman’s holiday’ in the summer months, even up to the 1960s.