Photo of Three Mariners

Slaughden Three Mariners

also traded as as: Mariners Inn, Anchor

historical era: Victorian / Edwardian

closed 1918


grid reference TM 463 554

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Slaughden is part of the Aldeburgh parish

CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.

last updated 17/04/2015

A coastal pub on a narrow shingle spit just south of Aldeburgh town centre, which has since been lost to the sea. The Three Mariners was the last building left as the sea destroyed this once-prosperous town.

According to the 1912 Woodbridge licensing records, the Three Mariners' license was granted in 1790. Whether this is when it was first licensed or when it got a full (ie not just beer) license isn't known. No request for license renewal was lodged in 1918, giving us a good clue as to when it finally fell into the sea.

The pub originally faced a salt marsh on the bank of the Alde river with its back to the sea. The pub's sign (now in Aldeburgh Museum) was a whale's shoulder bone.

It appears on the 1837 OS map as just "the Mariners Inn".

Shown here on the 1882 OS map

on old OS map

A report in the Ipswich Journal*** on 06 Sep in 1879 contained a Reference to John Henry BARLEY, at the Three Mariners, Slaughden.

A report in the Ipswich Journal** in Jan 1895 states :

January 1895 would be memorable in East Anglia for the remarkable series of storms that visited our coast. It reported that at Slaughden, fences, sheds, boats and everything near the sea were smashed. The Three Mariners Inn, depicted many years ago by Crabbe, the poet, is a complete wreck. A gang of men were employed on the Thursday morning removing an immense quantity of shingle and sand that had half filled the house. The water had rushed into the house, and the furniture, books, etc., were left in confusion. The cradle, perambulator, which the children had only just vacated, were smashed, tables had their legs broken off, barrels of beer thrown about; the huge piles from the sea defences smashed through the windows, and lay on top of the furniture. The landlady was saved, with her children, in a boat.

A paperback book published in 1969, called "Inns of the Suffolk Coast" by Leonard P Thompson** contains the following description:

In Slaughden Story, the late Ald. C.H.H. Smith wrote "This building which directly faced the quay was the hallmark of Slaughden. An earlier inn, called the Anchor, stood on the same site, dating back to the early fifteenth century…It was a Manor property and did a considerable trade when the quay was busy. It was exclusively a seaman's pub. It was a low building, facing dock and quay with the road running by the front door. Main windows faced the ferry and only very small ones looked out towards the sea. A prominent flag pole with a large flag flying, stabling and warehouses northwards and houses stretching to the south, interspersed with clumsy self-built sheds. Seaward, a lawn, skittle alley and quoit bed…The bar was low ceilinged and beamed with brown oak. On these beams chalk marks and figures were often seen. They were messages to associates of meeting places at night where some deed was contemplated…raiding or smuggling. The floor was covered with sawdust. The inn held the ferry rights and conveyed passengers from bank to bank at a fixed charge".

(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)

(some old PO directory information courtesy of londonpublichouse.com)

(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)

(*** historic book information from Bob Mitchell)