Sort file:- Swanscombe, August, 2021.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 17 August, 2021.


Earliest 1735-

Blue Anchor

Demolished 2013

Swanscombe Street


Blue Anchor 1905

Above image circa 1905. Information from 'Swanscombe, in old picture postcards' by Christoph Bull:- Around 1905 Swanscombe had at least 25 pubs that are recorded - that excludes Greenhithe. Most public houses were 'beer houses' offering a basic service with no spirits allowed for sale. The "Blue Anchor" and the "George and Dragon" were the two premier establishments with full licenses and able to offer stabling for horses and rooms for guests. The name "Blue Anchor" is supposed to come from an ancient legend whereby a chain appeared from the sky one Sunday morning with an anchor at the end, which had lodged itself behind a gravestone in the churchyard. A man in sailor's costume descended the chain and in attempting to free the anchor drowned - even though he was on dry land. The chain was cut leaving him in Swanscombe. A local version of this story was that he was abandoned by the unseen vessel in the clouds, but survived to be the first landlord of the "Blue Anchor." The anchor was seized by the locals, melted down and made into the hinges on the north door of St. Peter and St. Paul's church. This wonderful building, with astonishing lack of taste, was demolished and replaced with a new pub on the same site (but set further back from the road) in March 1965.

Blue Anchor 1930s

Above photo, circa 1930-40s, kindly sent by Mike Shipton.

Blue Anchor circa 1960

Above photo circa 1960. This photograph was taken at a time of transition - Style & Winch were taken over by Courage Brewery in 1958 and both companies are still displayed. The pub was built circa 1735 in what was the original village of Swanscombe, long before the days of Galley Hill's growth in the Victorian era. Like all pubs, the "Blue Anchor" hosted many local organisations such as the Royal Ancient Order of Buffalos, which was a friendly society for working class people to pay small amounts of money weekly and to use in case of illness or other crises. Swanscombe United Football Club also used the premises for their headquarters. The Hazel Family were landlords from the 1890s until the early 1980s. This view shows a small entrance on the right, which led into a yard and then onto a huge 158-foot-long garden with three outside toilets. A stable was situated to the right of the above entrance (just out of the photograph) and a skittle alley was also part of the back building complex.

Blue Anchor 2010

Above photo, by Bob Kirkwood, May 2010.

Blue Anchor sign 1985

Above sign, May 1985.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


The original pub can be dated back to 1735 but was rebuilt in 1965 and demolished in 2013 to help meet the urgent need for more houses in Swanscombe!

This was a tied "Fleet Brewery" pub in 1865 when the brewery was put up for auction.

The latter day building was demolished in 2013.


The Reporter, 31st July 2012.

Swanscombe pub The Blue Anchor to be demolished.

The demolition of a pub in Swanscombe that dates back several hundred years has been given the go ahead.

Dartford council approved an application on Thursday 19 to replace the "Blue Anchor" with eight terraced houses and one detached house. Planning permission was first given in 2009 but the developers applied to extend the time for the development to commence. The application received many objections including from the town council, which lamented the loss of a historic building and asked that if approval was given, that a plaque be built on the site.

Town clerk Graham Blew said: “We are very disappointed that the planning authority has chosen to grant this permission as it is a part of Swanscombe’s heritage.”

No date has been set for the demolition but a spokesman for the developers said it would be “several months away”.


Blue Abchor site 2013

Above photo showing location, 2013.



CONFORD John 1832-40+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

HARPER William 1858+

HARPER George 1861-May/63 dec'd (age 45 in 1861Census)

WILTSHIRE William Mae 1881+ (age 37 in 1881Census)

ALDRED Charles S 1891+ (age 35 in 1891Census)

HAZEL Robert 1901-03+ (age 59 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

HAZEL William 1913-38+


Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903



If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-