Now a quiet haven for artists, Eel Pie Island has a fascinating rock’n’roll history. In the 1920s the Eel Pie Island Hotel opened, and quickly became a popular venue for ballroom dances. In the 1950s it was transformed into a jazz venue, hosting greats like Acker Bilk and Chris Barber. At the same time the island was developing a reputation for being a playground for promiscuity, something which the Rolling Stones, The Who and Rod Stewart certainly played a part in the following decade.
The hotel was burnt down in 1971, and today the Eel Pie Island is home to to 26 artists‘ studios. The island is open to the public twice a year, when it’s possible to visit the studios, buy works of art and meet the artists.