There is a small island in the Thames, occupied by an old fisherman, who takes charge of the oziers that grow, and the swans that swim about there. The fisherman is as much monarch of his little island, as Buonaparte is of Elba; but he has one advantage which the Corsican islander has not- he has his empress to share the toils of dominion with him, and to lighten his cares. The emperor bobs for eels, and his old woman manufactures them into excellent Pye’s. Few parties of pleasure pass the island without touching it to refresh. We understand that this monarch derives a great portion of his revenue from the eel fisheries alone.
There was a bowling alley quoits court, and public house – originally the Ship and later the White cross – on Twickenham Ait by 1740. The popularity of the pies eventually led to the renaming of the island itself, and even in 1824, 6 years before the famous Eel pie hotel was built, John Evans referred to it as Eel Pie Island. Charles Dickens visited it & mentioned it in Nicholas Nickleby.
In the 1950s & 1960s the hotel became an important venue for jazz, rhythm & blues, & latterly rock, featuring performances by the Rolling Stones, the Who, and other groups till it closed in 1967.