Dating back to roughly the year 1520,the name "Devils Tavern" was afforded it by it's dubious reputation (it was officially named the Pelican), and it was known as a meeting place for sailors (privateers), cut-throats, smugglers and footpads(thieves/pickpockets).
The pub offers stunning views of London's leafy south, and the Thames, which were sketched by both Turner and Whistler. It is also noteworthy that Charles Dickens and Samuel Peyps were known to have visited the pub.
In the 17th century the pub became the favourite of "Hanging" Judge Jeffreys - the scourge of the Monmouth rebellion - a gallows still remains on the outside of the pub facing the river.
According to legend criminals would also be tied to posts on the riverside (which the back of the pub looks out on to) at low tide, and were left there to die a watery death when the tide came in.
Being such an old pub with such a chequered history it almost goes without saying that there may be supernatural goings on.
The most famous is the rumour of that the pub is haunted by a ghost of a man who had been a sailor, possibly a Pirate killed in a brawl in the 1500s named Splinters Threepwood.
The appearances are characterized by an unusually high wind, blowing in from the Thames,the apparition is usually preceded by a scent of old tobacco and stale rum which lingers in the air, seeming to blow in from the river the sounds of seagulls outside die down to an almost deadly silence and the temperature drops. A salty looking man rather the worse for wear, dressed in the fashions of a bygone era, and bearing the marks of one who had been in something of a struggle then meanders into the pub and takes a place usually on the upper floor in a corner, the salty odour clings to the air, and for the brief period in which the apparition remains in the pub a distinctive presence is felt.