Home Unusual Sights in London Hidden Places in London Wherryman's Seat

The Wherryman's Seat

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The Ferryman's Seat is set into the wall, near Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The last of the  wherrymens' seats, which used to line the banks of the Thames.Wherryman's Seat: the only original remaining seat where wherrymen would sit waiting or fares.

Until 1750, London Bridge was the only means of crossing the Thames in central London; so “wherrymen” ferried passengers back and forth. The boatmen waited on these rough stone benches until their vessels filled up with passengers looking to cross.  South of the river, in Southwark, was known as the 'Stews' and drinking, prostitution and theatre featured heavily.

Prior to the Thames becoming embanked, the area was muddy, with raw sewage and large swimming rats to contend with. However it was the unseen threats that posed the greatest risk. Plague was the greatest killer and it was usually rat-borne. Although only 6 people died in the Great Fire of London, nearly 15-20,000 died from plague in the city, during that preceding year (1665).

It's east of Shakespear's Globe, just before Southwark Bridge, on Bear Gardens and set into the wall with a plaque above it.



Bear Gardens, Bankside, SE1 9HA (approximate - it's set into the wall of this building).

Nearest Tube: Southwark.


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