Sort file:- Dartford, June, 2022.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 08 June, 2022.


Earliest 1770-

Bull and George

Closed 1972

46 High Street


Bull and George

Above photo, date unknown.

Bull and George 1961

Above postcard, circa 1961, kindly sent by Michael Norman.

Bull and George 1980

Above photo 1980.


I have reference from the Kent Gazette of 1793 to the premises being referred to as the "George and Bull" hotel.

In 1869-70 the pub was part of a consortium who were advertising their goods of selling tea in response to grocers' selling beer and wine. (Click for further details.)



This famous inn was demolished in January 1981 to make way for a new Boots store. In its heyday the "Bull and George" served as a coaching inn on the London-Dover road, accommodating travellers on their journeys to and from the coast. Probably the most famous person known to have stayed there was the noted novelist Jane Austen. She stayed there on several occasions and mentioned the "Bull and George" in letters to her family.

The Group obtained permission to keep a watch on the demolition of the building and the subsequent redevelopment. Evidence obtained during this work showed that the inn underwent some drastic changes during the first half of the 19th century. The western part of the building appears to have been sold off and is now (2006) the Halifax Building Society. The remaining frontage was demolished and rebuilt, and the entranceway into the courtyard at the back was also probably repositioned during this period of reconstruction. The date of this work may well have been c.1834, as evidenced by a chance discovery made by a workman whilst removing a portion of the footings at the front of the building. His pickaxe struck a glass jar, which on close examination contained a number of interesting objects. In the jar were five coins dated between 1826-34 which were enclosed in stamp office tickets issued during the reign of William IV (1830-37) and a trade card issued by Charles Messenger, the landlord at the time.

Bull and George foundation deposites 1981

The contents were then wrapped in a parchment document dated 1834 and built into the foundation. As the contents were waterlogged it has not been possible to read very much of the document other than the odd word, but it has been conserved by Kent the County Museums Service, and the County Archives Archives Office, and is now with the older finds in Dartford Borough Museum. Once the demolition was completed, access was allowed to investigate the underlying levels. Two finely built soak-aways, constructed from neatly squared chalk blocks, were discovered. The first was located underneath a wall situated on the west side of the wing at the back. Evidence of a wooden plank was found, which had been laid across the disused soak-away to take the weight of the wall above. No datable material was found in this soak-away other than part of a cartwheel. This was lying at the base of the fill and was probably used as a template or or guide to assist the builder in constructing the soak-away in circular form. The second soak-away was located just outside the north wall of the back wing. The fill was more interesting as a small amount of datable pottery, plus a piece of ‘Frobisher's Stone' was found. At the bottom, an early type of pewter spoon, used in late Medieval times was found. Along the eastern side adjacent to Freeman Hardy Willis, we located foundations formed of chalk and flint, and part of a finely constructed cellar.

These foundations were followed up to the shop's flank wall and were seen to pass through it in one place. They formed part of an adjoining property to the later Manor House of Charles which was demolished in the early part of the 19th century.

It was hoped that our excavations would have shown evidence of the course of the Roman road through Dartford. That unfortunately was not to be, although a number of Roman pottery sherds were found.

Bull and George and Manor House

Above print showing the Manor House and the "Bull and George" on the extreme left.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 1 May 1770.

To be sold by auction, by Mr. Francis Pyner, on Saturday the 19th day of May, 1770, at the "Mitre Inn," at Chatham, in Kent, between 3 and 5 in the afternoon, in separate lots.

Lot 1. A Valuable Leasehold Estate, situate opposite the "Mitre" aforesaid, in the occupation of Mr. Lock, Upholsterer, consisting of a substantial brick built house, and good old accustomed shop commodiously fitted up, and a Range of Warehouses; and also a Large Piece of Ground enclosed, adjoining the above, known by the Name of Fairfield, where Two Fairs are nearly kept. There are six long Ranges of Stalls in the same, with proper Stall Boards, Trestles, &c. and a Garden adjoining. There are upwards of 65 years unexpired, at the small ground rent of 42. The whole is esteemed worth, per Annum, 100.

Lot 2. One third part of one other leasehold Estate, consisting of Seven substantially built Messuages, in Fair Row and High Street; and also a Piece of Meadow Land behind the same; and likewise a Hop Ground in Listmas Lane, now let to several Tenants at, per Annum 69. 10s. There were 78 years and a half unexpired at Lady day last, ground Rent, per annum, 16.

Particulars, with conditions of sale, to be had at the "George and Bull" at Dartford; "White Hart" at Gravesend; "Angel" at Strood; "Crown" and "Kings Head," Rochester; "Golden Lion" at Brompton,; "Star" at Maidstone; "Green Dragon" at Rainham; "Bull" at Newington; "Rose" at Sittingbourne; "Ship" at Faversham; "King's Head," Canterbury; at the Place of Sale; and of the Broker, No. 37, Lombard Street, London.

N.B. To be viewed on Saturday, 12th of May, and till the sale, by applying to the several Tenants.


Stamford Mercury, Friday 16 September 1791.

Wednesday evening, about a quarter before 8 o'clock, a single highwayman, well-dressed and mounted, stopped a post-chaise on Dartford Brent, in Kent, from the passengers of which he took three guineas and some silver, and appeared at the time much agitated, as he dropped some part of it in the carriage. Immediately after another post-chaise coming up, in which were a gentleman and Lady, he commanded the driver to stop; the gentleman insisted upon the driver's going on, the highwayman fired a pistol at the driver, without effect; the gentleman still urged his going on, he fired another pistol towards the chaise; at this period a gentleman and his servant on horseback coming up, the highwayman was going off, but the gentleman in the chaise crying out, "Stop him," the servant pursued him a fe paces and fired a pistol at him, which killed his horse, and of course brought the highwayman to the ground, he was immediately secured by the parties attempted to be robbed, who carried him to the "Bull and George Inn," Dartford, where he remained in custody on Thursday for examination.


Kentish Gazette. Friday 24 May 1793.

George and Bull Inn, Dartford.

Samuel Notley, (many years waiter at the "Granby Inn," Dartford.)

Begs your leave respectfully to inform the Nobility, Gentry, and public in general, that he has, in junction with Mr. T. Parkhurst, of the same place, taken the above Inn of Messrs. Willett and Woodford.

Notley and Pankhurst assure those who may be pleased to honour them with their command, that they will, by the most assiduous and unremitting attention, constantly endeavour to deserve their patronage.

Notley and Co's post houses on the road are,

The "George and Ball," Dartford, Notley and Co.

"Crown," Rochester, Cornwall and Co.

"Rose," Sittingbourne, Simpson.

"Fountain," Canterbury, Miles.

"York House," Dover, Rutley and Co.

And "The Hotel," Bensons, Margate.

The Nobility and Gentry are respectfully informed, I travelling in the above line, they may be accommodated with the same Chaise as far as they please, without the inconvenience of moving their luggage.


From the Maidstone Gazette and West Kent Courier, 12 April, 1831.


On Monday afternoon last, the town of Dartford was thrown into considerable alarm, in consequence of smoke being seen to issue from the house of Mr. W. Bean, Shoemaker, near the "Bull and George Inn."

By great exertions the flames was subdued, and the damage was confined to the destruction of the room, in which the fire originated. The accident was caused by the negligence of the persons occupying the apartment; and who left the fire unguarded while they went for a walk into the country. Had the fire happened at night, the consequences might have be most disastrous.


South Eastern Gazette 13 November 1838.


Nov. 5. at Dartford, Mr. Thomas Wickham, many years employed at the "Bull and George Inn," aged 50 years, leaving 10 orphan children.


From the Kentish Gazette, 15 January 1839.


Jan. 2, at Dartford, after a short though severe illness, Mildred, wife of Mr. Charles Messenger of the "Bull and George Inn," leaving a husband and five children.


Kentish Independent, Saturday 22 November 1845.

Bull and George Inn, Dartford.

Mr. Stidolph has received instructions from the proprietor, Mr. C. Chrisp, to dispose off, by public auction, the whole of the valuable household furniture (a great portion of which is nearly new), all the useful fixtures throughout the extensive premises, a very valuable full sized slate top billiard table, by Thurston, excellent Cottage Pianoforte, in rosewood case, a small but well selected stock of Wines, in Port, Sherry, Calcavella, Lisbon, Tent, &c., table and bed linen, plate, china, glass and earthenware, a strong useful mare, 4-wheel chase, harness and out-doors effects, on Tuesday, December 2nd., 1815 and following day.

The above valuable effects comprise about seventeen feather beds, bolsters and pillows, mattresses, blankets, and counterpanes, four-post another bedsteads and furniture, some of which are nearly new, and the whole of the appendages belonging to the numerous sleeping departments in the establishment. The sitting rooms are furnished with every requisite of useful and modern furniture, and billiard room with a very superior slate top table (by Thurston), complete. The cellars with a small but well selected stock of wines, a small quantity of plate and plated good, excellent table and bed linen, and the whole of the valuable fixtures and outdoor effects, of this long known, respectable and well conducted establishment.

To be viewed the day previous the sale, and Catalogues had at the principal Inns, Gravesend, Rochester, Chatham, Maidstone, Wrotham, Farningham, Foot's Cray, Eltham, and Bexley; at the place of sale, and of the auctioneer, High Street, Dartford.

Sale to commence each day at 11 o'clock.


Hampshire Advertiser 04 November 1854

(Originally from "LAST NIGHT'S LONDON GAZETTE" Nov.3rd.)

BANKRUPTS. Including:-

William Andrew Meyer, licensed victualler, "Bull and George Inn," Dartford.


From the Gravesend Reporter, North Kent and South Essex Advertiser, Saturday 11 October, 1874.


At a meeting held at the “Bull and George,” Dartford, on Saturday last, for the purpose of forming a Trade Protection Association, as a defence against injustice and fanaticism, and to present a petition to Imperial Parliament against the present inconsistent law, it was unanimously resolved that a committee be formed for taking the necessary steps for the establishment of a Licenses Victuallers’ and beer-house Keepers’ Trade Protection Association for the district of Dartford and West Kent generally. Resolved that the resolutions passed at this meeting be communicated to the Dartford local papers, the South Eastern Gazette, Maidstone Telegraph, Gravesend and Dartford Reporter, and Morning Advertiser, requesting the insertion thereof in this week’s number. Also resolved that this meeting stand adjourned to Wednesday, November 4th at 3 p.m., and that the Chairman be authorised to invite all members of the trade, earnestly requesting them, as they value their own interests, to attend the said meeting of Nov. 4, 1874, and that the persons here present pledge themselves to use their utmost endeavours to forward the interests of the trade in general and to obtain members.

By order of the committee, William Knight, chairman.

“Bull and George,” Dartford.


See Dartford Map 1905.


The premises closed in 1972 and Boots bought the premises and retained the original frontage but this became unsafe and had to be removed and the building was demolished in 1982, a new Boots was later built on the site.



MILLER Mr pre 1794

NOTLEY Samuel 1793+

CULLEN Thomas 1824+

MOSS Robert 1826+ (listed as waiter)

MESSENGER Charles 1834-41+ (age 45 in 1841Census)

SCRIVENS Henry 1851+ (farm labourer age 57 in 1851Census)

MEYER William Andrew 1851-55+ (age 39 in 1851Census)

MARTIN Henry 1858-62+ (age 27 in 1861Census)

CONEY Sarah 1861+ (widow age 51 in 1861Census)

EDWARDS C 1869-70+

JOHNSON Sarah 1871+ (age 44 in 1871Census)

KNIGHT William 1874+

DEVITT Henry 1882+

BLOOMFIELD William 1891-03

MARTIN George 1903+ Kelly's 1903

GOLDUP Alan 1913-38+


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:-