A brief history
A brief history
There has been a public house on the site of The Gun for over 250 years. The surrounding area was home to the dockside iron foundries which produced the guns for the Royal Naval fleets in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The pub dates back to the early 18th century but it took its current name from the cannon which was fired to celebrate the opening of the West India Import Docks in 1802.
In the late 18th century, Lord Horatio Nelson acquired a property just up the road (still known as Nelson’s House) and he regularly visited the docks to inspect the guns up until his glorious death at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Lord Nelson would frequent The Gun and regularly meet Lady Emma Hamilton in an upstairs room (now called The River Room) for their secret assignations.
The Gun also has a long association with smugglers landing contraband on the site and distributing it via a hidden tunnel. To this day there is still a spy-hole in the secret circular staircase to watch out for “The Revenue Men”.
As the docks on the Isle of Docks flourished so did the pub, becoming the local for dockers, stevedores and boatmen.
The Gun today
In 2001, a terrible fire destroyed much of the interior of the old building and the pub remained closed for 3 years. Then, current owners and brothers Tom and Ed Martin acquired the premises and spent about 9 months painstakingly restoring the magnificent Grade II listed building in close consultation with English Heritage.
Tom and Ed re-opened the doors in 2004 and have owned and operated The Gun since then to significant critical acclaim.
The Gun now has a 40 cover dining room in the main bar, a back bar with two snugs, two private dining rooms and a fabulous riverside terrace that seats 40. There is also a large outdoor terrace to the right of The Gun which is open for events and private summer parties from May-September.