The Peterboat is famed for its excellent fish dishes, charming fishing village surroundings, and welcoming atmosphere.
Thanks to our traditional values, we pride ourselves on our fantastic customer care and great service, making your visit to The Peterboat the best it can be! We’re home to many live music nights and love getting involved in local festivities, so be sure to check out our events to see what’s coming up here soon.
Hosting an event and need a place to hire? You can hire out a section of our bar/restaurant for all occasions, from leaving parties to birthdays, from wakes to weddings. Our catering options are ideal. We can provide individual menus or elaborate buffets, depending on your needs, and can even provide full entertainment by a DJ or a broad variety of live acts. Simply contact us for prices, availability, and further details
Pop in and visit us, we’re open all day 7 days a week.
Monday 10am – 11pm
Tuesday 10am – 11pm
Wednesday 10am – 11pm
Thursday 10am – 11pm
Friday 10am – 12am
Saturday 10am – 12am
Sunday 10pm – 10:30pm
The Peterboat is located on the High Street in Old Leigh, just a few minutes away from the Leigh Heritage Centre & Museum. The closest train station is Leigh-on-Sea, which is on the C2C line between Shoeburyness to London Fenchurch Street. From the station, it’s just a 9-minute walk along the High Street.
The venue’s quaint, charming building alone is indicative of a long history – a history that provides a fascinating contrast to The Peterboat of today.
Dating from before 1695, The old ‘Peterboat Inn’ in the High Street was in the possession of John Osborne. He was followed by his son in 1739 and by his grandson John in 1781.
Then, the 1830s saw the establishment of Fishermans Provident Societies, taking its name from the Kings Head where it was held. According to tradition, their meetings were boisterous but merry. One of the attractions of the friendly societies appears to be the wearing of regalia.
The ‘Leigh Comicals’ came into existence in about 1850 and had 150 members. This club met at the Peter Boat, and on the first Wednesday in July, a feast for the members was held, at a charge of 3/6 per person. Absent members were fined 5/. Old Leigh people still chuckle at the remembrance of Fredrick Cotgrove being fined a similar amount for throwing a hot potato at Tom Plumb during one of these feasts. The feast was followed by a ball for wives and sweethearts.
The boats used by the fisherman back in the mid-20th century were much smaller than those to which we are accustomed. The earliest type seems to have been the ‘peter boat’, originally a double ended boat, without gunwale or rim, but as strong and safe as a fisherman’s boat should be.
In later times the term came to be used, principally on the Thames and adjacent coasts, for a decked fishing boat of small size. The earliest known reference to a ‘peter boat’ occurs in petition to the Court of Admiralty in 1540 concerning an alleged robbery of fish at Lye:
"These been the injuryes and wrongs don and committed by one John Pope of Lye in the countie of Essex ageynst and to me Elys Sharp ffysherman of Stebynhythe (Stepney) in County of Middlesex."
"First where I the said Elys Sharp about Easter last past was a twelvemonth being in a certain petyr boat comyng towards the towne of Lye aforesaid to buy such vytales as I liked as I was nye to the lande syde there upon the land was the said John Pope whiche said unto me the said Elys Come a land. And I supposing he wold have bought some ffysh of me came at his bydding. And as sone as i was arryvyd to the shore the said John Pope toke hold of one of the owers and stept in my bote."
"And upon that he toke the tronke in his hands and hallyd it up to the land and there put forth all the fysh that was in the tronke into a basket and toke what plesyd hym of the same ffysh to the quantytie of a pek and gave me the rest that he had left which were but few and alle the smallest and worst. And gave me nor proffyred me one penny therfor and also as he was goying away with the said ffysh he said What knave I shall never ryd the country of you. That moche other wrongs and injuries that I and others hath been misused in times past whiche to long to rehers whereof I desyre your masterships to have redresse."
John Pope was the tenant of Leigh Hall and his defence was that the fish were taken in a creek in the Manor of Leigh and therefore belonged to William Stafford, who held the Manor in right of his wife.
In 1892, the old inn was tragically burnt down, although it revealed an unsuspected large underground room having a waterside entrance, and relics of its contraband use were brought to light. This store-room adjoined the Alley Dock from which a narrow path once led up-hill and across country, a branch running to Daws Heath. Daws Heath was a notorious rendezvous for highwaymen and it was believed that much brandy and tobacco was there by connivance of the Leigh fisherman.
Many changes have been made to the current building and its surroundings over the years, including an extension of the bar area. In fact, the bar area used to be in three rooms: a men’s bar, a public bar. and a family bar. The outside area was occupied by homes, until they were demolished in the early 20th century. Throughout the evolution of The Peterboat to the pub known and loved by locals and tourists alike today, its original seaside charm remains, truly cementing its significance in Leigh-on-Sea.
We look forward to welcoming you through our doors.