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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
A once historic boxing location in South London
Location: 72 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8HA
Description: The Ring public house is all that remains of a historic boxing location in South London. Just across the road from this pub used to stand The Ring boxing arena until in 1942 when it was bombed during an air raid.
Former British lightweight champion Dick Burge started The Ring in 1910 after he was released from prison after being convicted for fraud.
It became a famous venue for boxing and wrestling that provided top-class boxing at prices the working class public could afford.
Before that The Ring arena was originally called The Surrey Chapel and dated from 1783. It was built for the brilliant church orator, Reverend Rowland Hill (1744-1833). The unusual octagonal design came from Hill's own specifications, 'for it prevented the devil hiding in any of the corners'.
It is reputed that the church congregations declined and it became used for cockfighting and was closed down when the authorities found out.
Together with his wife Bella, Dick eventually staged many boxing matches including well known fighters such as Len Johnson, Jack Drummond, Alf Mancini, Jack Hood and the legendary Ted 'Kid' Lewis.
The uniquely-shaped building was sadly destroyed in 1942, after receiving two direct hits from the German Luftwaffe.
The pub continues it's history with memorabilia covering the walls and upstairs is a gymnasium for local lads to try their hand in the ring.