This area which is a popular picnic site, and leisure centre for canoeists and fishermen, is often inundated by weekend visitors during the summer months. It has been the finishing point for the raft race from East Peckham, and in the early twentieth century, for swimming races from Stoneham Lock, and a meeting point for cycle rallies. It would have been a popular ‘watering hole’ during the days of barge traffic, although there would have been competition from the Waterman’s Arms then, adjacent to the locks, at the other end of Hampstead Canal.
For this last century The Anchor has enjoyed the combination of a public house with an adjoining hotel, which in its early days was termed a Temperance Hotel.
A list of publicans during the last two centuries are as follows: -
1829 Sarah Barden
1845 John Baldwin
1874 Elizabeth Streeter
1887 Alfred Webb
1890 Sidney Masters
1907 Sidney Freeman - public house
1907 John H Freeman – Temperance Hotel
1915 Harry Freeman – with Temperance Hotel
1924 Henry W Freeman – with Temperance Hotel
1938 Flossie Sarah Freeman (Mrs)
As shown by the following illustrations The Anchor is just across the river from Twyford Bridge and weir. It is ideally situated for the adjacent boat yards, and passing river traffic, but when the river floods it has come up the height of the weir and into the pub.
The print on the top left is understood to date from the early 18th century, whilst next to it the boating painting is by A T Nash, dated Sunday July 14th 1901.