Sort file:- Dartford, October, 2021.

Page Updated:- Monday, 18 October, 2021.


Earliest 1865-

Long Reach Tavern

June 1957

Long Reach


Long Reach 1900

Above photo, circa 1900, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Long Reach Tavern 1938

Above photo, 1938 showing licensee Jack Salmon.

Long Reach Tavern 1930s

Above photo circa 1930s.

Long Reach Tavern

Above photo, date unknown.

Long Reach Tavern bar

Above photo showing the bar, date unknown.


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

It was said that the "Long Reach Tavern" was Sartford's closest pub to the Thames. In 1939 there was a gathering of people assembled to see the passing of the RMS Mauretania.

Gathering 1939

Gathering outside the "Long Reach Tavern" 1939.

RMS Mauretania 1939

RMS Mauretania 1939.


The "Long Reach Tavern" closed in June 1957 and the building demolished after a fire broke out in the building when flood defences were built in the area.


Information from by Roger Button.

The Long Reach Tavern was a riverside inn on the River Thames at Dartford in Kent, it was noted for bare knuckle fighting back in the 19th century. It was badly damaged in the floods of 1953 and the decision to pull it down was made by Dartford Council, which was very sad. It was a delightful place to visit. In WW1 it was very close to a small aerodrome used by the Royal Flying Corps, so it had a fair amount of historical interest. It was mainly used by barges and tug boat crews, as having its own jetty was very amenable.

Tony Draper.


Kentish Independent, Saturday, 22 May 1847.

Petty Sessions.

James Bryce, landlord of the "White House'" Long Reach, Dartford, was charged with assaulting Charles Henry Simmons, hair-dresser, 49, Old Street Road, near Shoreditch, on the 27th of April. Also with assaulting William Prentice, 30, Pitfield Street, Hoxton on the same day.

(Not sure whether there is a mistake here, as I don't know of a "White House" I do know of a "White Horse," but do know James Bryce was licensee of the "Long Reach Tavern" in 1847.)

A gentleman from London, whose name we did not hear, conducted the case of complainants, and A Russell, Esq., that of defendant.

The case of C. H. Simmons was taken first, who being sworn, and the witnesses on each side desired to leave the court, deposed:- On Tuesday the 27th of April, I went with a party of friends to Gravesend by steamboat. We returned from Gravesend to defendant's house by land; we walked along the shore; remained there about two hours, and had some refreshment. When we were about returning to town, there was a waterman at the house who was engaged to take us to the steamboat. When we went down the causeway to the boat we found two boats, one on each side of the one we had engaged to prevent us going by it. A rope was thrown from the boat to us on shore that we might pull it nearer. When that was done some one tried to cut it with a clasp knife. I told him not to do so, for it was wrong. In a little time we got into the boat, there were eight of us. Bryce said, with an oath, we should not go from there safe, when a man who was standing in the stern of one of the boats harpooned our boat with the boat-hook, and made a hole in the side of it. Some of my friends then jumped into one of the boats at the side, because the water was coming fast into our boats. One of the men then struck me with the boat-hook on my elbow, which was followed by several blows, which is all I can remember till I came to myself, when I found my shoulder dislocated, and my clothes dripping wet and very muddy, and the boat-hook had been thrust into my leg.

By the Court:- Bruce was standing in the water, and pulled me over the side of the boat by my head and arms.

Complainant produced the clothes he had on at the time, which showed that great violence have been used, and that they had been saturated with water.

His solicitor putting a certificate from the surgeon of the hospital where the shoulder had been set, and a bill of costs, which was objected to by Mr. Russell, and not entertained by the Courts.

Cross-examined by Mr. Russell:- I am I hairdresser, I do not know the name of the steamer our party went to Gravesend in. We went from Blackwall. It was one of the regular Gravesend boats. I believe there was a prize fight that day. Upon being pressed by Mr. Russell, complainant said he knew there was a prize fight, and that it was at Long Reach on that day. We did not come down with that party, the boat we were going in was not waiting for them. We had not been at the fight. I did not hit anybody, I swear I did not.

George Thomas Faulkner, 43, Old Street Road, Shorditch, deposed:- I was one of the party that went to Gravesend by steamer, and returned to Long Reach by land. We remained there about two hours. I asked a waterman there if he would take us to the steamboat. he said he would take us, and if we could get enough to fill his boat, would charge three-pence each. After a littler while he said the steamer was coming, and went to get his boat ready, which was at the bottom of some path. Bryce said the boatman should not take us, and the boatman said he would. I was the first of our party and expostulated with Bryce about it. The boatman through a rope from the stern to us to pull the boat on shore. The steamer was just in sight while we're getting in. Bryce said you shan't go away safe. There was another man in one of the next boats with the boat hook, which he held in a threatening manner to us. One of Bryce's men took our waterman's oar away and threw into the river. The waterman got it again and pushed our boat off; and just as it was afloat, one of the men in the next boat began to splash us with water. Simmons then jumped into the boat and said to the man, "You scoundrel, why do you do so; why don't you let us go away quiet." Mr. Prentis then jumped up and went to pull Mr. Simmons away. I said one of them will be murdered. Bryce had hold of Prentis for the collar. I did not see him touch Simmons. I saw Simmons in the water.

By Mr. Russell:- Simmons was pulled into the water by one of the waterman. Bryce was outside, nearer to Prentis than to Simmons. I did not see Simmons fall, his shoulder was dislocated in the scuffle.
David Brown, 74, Lock's Field, licensed waterman deposed:- On the 27th of April I was having some refreshment outside the "Long Reach Tavern," Dartford, and some gentleman who were present asked me to take a party out to the steamboat. I engaged to do so, and went with my lad to get the boat ready. When we got down to the boat Bryce said, "You shan't take any passengers off here." I said, "I shall take them off," and another waterman said, "No you shan't." I said I had two to take off the other boat, which you took off, and you took off eight besides. By that we had some words. Bryce and the other man would not let me take the passengers. Bryce said it was his private property, and I should not. I told him there were only two private ferries on the river, the Isle of Dogs and Gravesend, which was hired by Mr. Creed. When we had laid the boat's head, the man who said he had hired the ferry prevented my boat coming on the ground; the other man jumped into my boat and cut one strand of my rope. I said Bryce can take half, and I will take half the passengers if he liked. He said no, I will have them all. The passengers got into my boat. Bryce said you shall not go off safe. Some one threw one of my all overboard. They then began to wet the passengers, and as I went forward to try to shove the boat off, Bryce, who was standing on the starboard side of my boat's bow with a boat-hook in his hand, threatened to shove it through my inside. He had water-boots on. Some one made a hole through my boat's side which made it leak, and the passengers got into one of the other boat's that were near, when they were thrown into the water by Bryce and three others, and trod upon. When they got out of the water they went up to the house. I saw a man struck on the arm with a boat-hook or oar.

Henry Rowl, barman, Old Street Road, deposed that he saw a waterman strike at Brown with the boat hook, and the Bryce pulled Simmons out of the boat on the arm and collar, and held him under the water. Thomas Woodrough, 5, Sandhurst Street, Bishopsgate:- I was at Long Reach with two friends, and Simmons's party asked us to go in the boat with them, we agreed. Bryce and some of his men laid hold of the boat with the boat-hook; one of them splashed Simmons when he jumped out of our boat into the one where the man was, and a scuffle ensued, in which they got overboard. Bryce got overboard first, and pulled Simmons after him into the water.

William Prentis deposed:- I was at the "Long Reach Tavern" on the 27th of April, and agreed with a waterman to take eight of us off to the steam-boat for 2s. When we got to the boat there was a scuffle between the waterman; Bryce said we should not go safe, he would drown us first. Simmons was in the boat next one to ours. There was some man holding a scull in a menacing manor; I said they will kill Simmons, and went into the boat where he was. I had not been there many seconds when I was pulled overboard by Bryce.

Mr. Russell, for the defence, said he would not occupy the time of the courts with any lengthened remarks, but would proceed by witnesses to contradict the evidence that had been adduced against Bryce. It was a lamentable fact that the quarrel had taken place at the time and place stated, and that Simmons had sustained a very serious and painful injury, but that it was done by Bryce he should disproved, by evidence that must be satisfactory to the court.

Peter Smith, landlord of the "Woolpack Tavern," Peter Street, Bishopsgate:- On the 27th of April I was at "Long Reach Tavern." I saw Simpson and Bryce there. There were three boats at the bottom of the causeway. I saw Simmons in all three, he went first into their own, then to Mr. Bryce's, and lastly to Mr. King's. I saw him fall on the shoulder in going from one to the other. When he got out I saw him strike Chandler, who was in the boat. I don't know which hand he hit him with. Simmons was followed by two or three of his party into King's boat, and they threw Bryce overboard. Bryce got into the boat to protect Chandler. Bryce hung on the side of the boat with one hand, and the other was in the water. I did not see him strike any one.

Robert Chandler, waterman, of Purfleet, deposed:-. About 4 o'clock in the afternoon of 27th April I was at the "Long Reach" with King. I saw Bryce and Simmons there. I saw Simmons in my boat, and in moving the sale there were some drops of water that went over him. The wind was very high, and I could not help it.

Edward Davies, waterman, Waterside, Dartford, deposed:- I was at "Long Reach" on the 27th of April. I saw Simmons getting into Chandler's boat and strike him a backhanded blow. Some others followed him. I did not see Bryce strike any one. As soon as Bryce got into the boat he got out of the boat he was out of her. They they pushed him out.

William Moss, shoemaker, Sharp's Alley, Dartford deposed:- I was at "Long Reach" on the 27th of April. I saw Simmons and Bryce there. I saw Simmons get from one boat to the other, and strike Chandler. Simmons fell down in one of the boats upon his shoulder. Prentis followed Simmons and said he would second him. I went into the boat and Prentice knocked me down. While I was down he hit me with a piece of wood and cut my forehead. (The Mark was visible.) He was upon me, and in getting him off I threw him overboard. There was not much water. It was water and mud.

Joseph Smith, shoemaker, Dartford, corroborated the evidence of Moss, and after a short consultation, the court dismissed the case.

Prentis v. Bryce. was then proceeded with , and amidst similar conflicting evidence, shared the fate of the former.

These cases occupied the Court a very long time, and appeared to excite considerable interest, the Court being full during the hearing. The quarrel arose out of a supposed right of Bryce to embark and disembark all passengers at the ferry.

The London party whom had been witness a prize fight in the marshes, took the part of a Greenwich waterman, and vice versa.


West Kent Guardian, Saturday 20 November 1847.

Petty Sessions.

James Bryce, landlord of the "Long Reach Tavern," Dartford, was charged with having his house open for the sale of beer, &c., during divine services on Sunday, October 31st.

Mr. Russell appeared for defendant.

The offence was proved by Henry Bourner, constable, and it being the second offence, defendant was convicted in the penalty of 7 and costs 8s. 6d.


From Leeds Mercury 11th August 1866.


On Monday morning took place another of those wretched exhibitions which, notwithstanding the disgraceful proceedings attendant on the last fight between the same men, still continue to have some charms for a certain class - though we are happy to assert it a small class - of the community. The company assembled was not by any means a pleasing one to view, the appearance of the men being remarkable for neither good looks, cleanliness, nor gorgeousness of apparel. At twenty-five minutes past five o'clock the boat started away down the Thames, bearing with her not less than 200 persons, about half-a-dozen of whom are "creme de creme", and apparently much more fit subjects for the drawing room than to be aiding in a prize-fight. Down stream we pass swiftly, and Greenwich is soon reached, then Woolwich, and, after numerous little games by light-fingered gentry aboard, we knock off steam in front of a solitary public-house, the sign-board of which states that it is "Long Reach Tavern."

The signal is here given for disembarking, and we are soon put ashore by boats whose owners were evidently not altogether unacquainted with the mission of the party. A man named Oliver speedily fixes the ring, and the novelty of the proceeding apparently caused great attraction. On inquiry we discovered that in this particular instance the "articles of war," as one broken-nosed fellow facetiously described the agreement to fight, stipulated that instead of the 24ft. square ring ordinarily used a 16ft. ring was to be fought in. This was Mace's special proviso. At eight o'clock Mace and Goss stepped into the ring together, amidst some cheering, and then, whilst the company assembled and took their places, proceeded to strip. A few minutes concluded this operation, and they rose and shook hands. Goss certainly appeared to great advantage. He was in good condition, his flesh brown and firm, his eye bright, and his bust and lower limbs all but perfection. Mace has great breadth of shoulder, and his head has a fine leonine appearance, but below the thighs he seemed very much shrunken, and not at all like the man who fought Toni King. Near half-past eight they stood up in pugilistic attitude, Mace being the first to strike out with his left hand on the chin, Goss returning the blow sharply under the left eye, amidst immense cheering from his partisans. They then met, and reached each other's ribs and body smartly, Goss hitting also under the mouth. There was a claim of "first blood" by the umpire of Goss, but the trace of blood was hardly visible, and the referee did not allow it. Mace led off again, and Goss was rather short in trying to return the blow. They then came to close quarters, and Goss slipped down. So ended round the first, after about five minutes of severe fighting, though it was apparently almost resultless. On again coming up they got near to each other at once and fell, Goss uppermost. After receiving the attentions of their seconds, the third bout was begun, but it was quickly decided, for Mace almost immediately threw his opponent and fell on him. One of what is known as the "events" of the fight was decided in the succeeding bout, for Mace struck his adversary a terrific right-handed blow over the left eye, from which blood spurted at once, the round terminating by both falling after Goss's blows had been beautifully stopped and he well punished. The following round was short, as after Mace had struck out they came together and fell, Goss undermost. In the sixth meeting Mace parried his adversary's blows in scientific style, and struck Goss over the face heavily several times; then they came in contact, and after a slight wrestle Mace threw his man and fell on his face, smearing the blood over his eyes and nose, so that they were almost hidden by it. From this point Mace had certainly the best of the fighting, and although Goss behaved with great endurance and bravery, it was clear that not only was his opponent superior in skill, as had been expected, but in strength also. In the fourteenth bout Mace struck a knock-down blow, heavy enough to have felled an ox, and after this Goss came up weak with loss of blood, and though he struck out manfully when near, his blows were wild, and his cooler antagonist parried them easily, and returned with crushing effect. At the close of the twenty-first round, and when half an hour and one minute had elapsed, Goss's second threw up the sponge in token of defeat, and Mace, after shaking hands with his adversary, kissed him on both cheeks, Goss bursting into tears of disappointment. So concluded the third fight between these men, and though we may in some measure admire their hardihood, their disgraceful exhibition must provoke the greatest disgust.


Kentish Gazette, 14 March, 1876.


William Lane, 22, soldier, was indicted for stealing a gun, the property of Walter Grant, at Dartford, on the 16th January. Mr. Deane prosecuted. The parties met at the "Long Reach Tavern," Dartford, and, the prosecutor having a gun with him, the prisoner borrowed it on two occasions to have a shoot. The first time, he returned the weapon immediately, but the second time he disappeared, and the next information the prosecutor received was that the gun had been pawned in London, and that the prisoner had sent the duplicate to the "Long Reach Tavern." The defence was that there was no fraudulent intention, but that the gun was pawned by prisoner while under the influence of drink. The jury returned a verdict of "guilty," and the prisoner admitted a conviction for house-breaking. The Court passed a sentence of two years' hard labour.


Gravesend Reporter, North Kent and South Essex Advertiser, Saturday, 16 November 1907.

No dog licence.

Richard Salmon, "Long Reach Tavern," Dartford, was summoned from keeping a dog without a licence. When the Inland Revenue officer called on October 7th, it was stated, defendant told him he had been ill for some time. A licence has since been taken out.

Finded 7s. 6d. and costs.


See Dartford Map 1905.



DOWN Charles 1841+ (age 40 in 1841Census)

BRYCE James 1847+

SIBLEY Samuel 1851-61+ (age 45 in 1861Census)

WEBB Frank 1871+ (age 32 in 1871Census)

SALMON Richard 1881-1913+ (also waterman) Kelly's 1903

SALMON Jack 1938+

HART Emily to June/1957 Next pub licensee had


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:-