Sun in the Sands

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Sun in the Sands
Sun in the Sands inn - - 634795.jpg
The pub in 2007
Sun in the Sands is located in Greater London
Sun in the Sands
Location within London
General information
Type Public house
Location Blackheath, London, England
Coordinates 51°28′30″N 0°1′30″E / 51.47500°N 0.02500°E / 51.47500; 0.02500Coordinates: 51°28′30″N 0°1′30″E / 51.47500°N 0.02500°E / 51.47500; 0.02500
Construction started 1745 (1745)

The Sun in the Sands is a public house between Blackheath and Shooter's Hill in London. The pub gives its name to the adjacent road junction, where the A2 between central London and Kent meets the A102, which provides access to the Blackwall Tunnel. Several Transport for London (TfL) bus routes pass close to the junction.[1]

There has been a meeting point at this location since the Middle Ages. It was allegedly a stopping point of King Henry VIII when riding from Greenwich to Shooter's Hill with his Queen and several Lords.[2] The present pub dates from around 1745[3][4] and its name comes from the sight of the setting sun amidst dust, kicked up by sheep herded by drovers from Kent travelling towards London.[5] It was originally an isolated inn on heathland, frequented by highwaymen known as "the Trojans", who regularly engaged in pickpocketing.[6] William Hazlitt was known to visit the inn.[2]

The junction was built in stages, due to various 20th century projects to bypass the old Roman Road between Blackheath and Dartford. The A2 to the south was constructed as part of the "Shooters Hill By-Pass"[7] which took most of the 1920s to complete.[8] The modern roundabout interchange dates from the late 1960s.[9]

As well as the road junction, the pub has also given its name to the nearby Sunfields Methodist Church[10] and to the adjacent Sun Lane, a former caravan repair site which now hosts a garage.[11]

In August 1995,[4] Greenwich Borough Council announced that the area to the east of the junction, including the pub, would become part of a Conservation Area,[12] defined as an area "of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance."[4]


  1. ^ "Buses from Blackheath (Sun-in-the-Sands)" (PDF). Transport for London. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Blanchard, Edward Litt L (1860). Bradshaw's guide through London and its environs. Corrected and revised. Oxford University. p. 189. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Sun In The Sands". Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Sun in the Sands character appraisal". Royal borough of Greenwich. October 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Rothwell, David (2006). Dictionary of Pub Names. Wordsworth Editions. p. 378. ISBN 9781840222661. 
  6. ^ The London and Paris Observer: Or Chronicle of Literature, Science, and the Fine Arts, Volume 13. Galignani. 1837. p. 589. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Neal, Arthur (29 May 1922). "Arterial Roads". Hansard. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Morrison, Herbert (2 December 1930). "Shooter's Hill By-Pass". Hansard. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  9. ^ Hamling, William (23 July 1969). "Motorways (Eltham)". Hansard. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "History of Sunfields Church". Sunfields Methodist Church. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Watts, Derek (2008). Country Boy: A Biography of Albert Lee. McFarland. p. 10. ISBN 9780786482955. 
  12. ^ "3.28 Map 28 - Sun in the Sands Conservation Area". Royal borough of Greenwich. October 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 

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