The Turk's Head - the heart of Wapping.
Originally situated in Wapping High Street, the Turk's Head was infamous for being the inn where condemned pirates were given their last quart of ale on their journey from Newgate Prison to Execution Dock.
A pub has been here since at least 1896. Between 1803 and 1956 the waters of Wapping Basin lapped up against Tench Street. Now filled in, the former basin is the site of the John Orwell Sports Centre.
During WW2 the Turk's was run by the formidable Mog Murphy, who kept it open all hours for the local community to receive news of their loved ones. A plaque on the side of the building commemorates this.
The pub remained open until the 1950's, when it became a storage depot for the Parks Department before a fire reduced it to a shell.
In the 1980's a group of local women, led by Maureen Davies, campaigned to save the building. Known as 'The Wild Women of Wapping' they not only raised funds to restore the building but also ensured that it would remain a benefit to the community. Today, the income from the lease supports charitable causes in Wapping.
The Turk's sits on the corner of Green Street and Tench Street, which was previously called Bird Street, and a plaque on the building commemorates the erection of a building on this site in 1706. A smaller plaque below commemorates further rebuilding in 1776 and 1927.
The Turk's Head continues to be at the heart of Wapping. Since October 2019 the current owners have undertaken a program of sensitive restoration and redecoration. The outside patio is now a verdant covered seating area and further tables are dotted amongst the foliage of Wapping Park. Ingredients for the menu are sourced as locally as possible, including fresh produce from neighbouring St Patrick's Church, and there is an emphasis on preparing everything from scratch. There is a full bar, and beer and ale are still available on tap.
The Turk's is open daily and we look forward to welcoming you.