Sort file:- Sheerness, October, 2023.

Page Updated:- Monday, 30 October, 2023.


Earliest ????

Napier Tavern

Open 2020+

1 Alma Road / 5 Napier Terrave in 1871Census


01795 661353

Napier 2008

Above photo kindly taken and sent by Trevor Edwards, 12 January 2008.

Napier Tavern 2013

Above image from Google maps 2013.

Above photo from 2014.

Napier sign 1992

Above sign, August 1992.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


Following sent from Christine Fagg. 27 August 2017.


This tavern known by the name and sign of the Napier was built in the 23rd year of George III in 1783. The original structure of the building has at different intervals undergone alteration, particularly during the reign of William IV, in 1834, and again during the latter years of Victoria.

When first built the property was a dwelling house owned by Joshua Keys, a ship agent of Marine Town, who resided here with his wife Naomi and five children. However by 1794, only the widow Keys is recorded here with four children. She sold the property in 1798 to Thomas Harris, a lodging house keeper of Marine Town and for the next fifteen years to follow the house is recorded under his name as a lodging house of Marine Town.

Thomas Harris died in 1813 and left the property to his son Isaac, a master rigger of the Dockyard, Marine Town. He sold it in 1815 to Thomas Bilbe, a naval and commercial provisions merchant of Marine Town. He resided here and conducted his business of selling provisions from the house until 1834, selling in that year to Joseph Childs, a grocer and beer retailer of Marine Town, who upon purchasing the property applied for and was granted a licence to sell ales from the premises which at this date bore no title other than a registered beer house of Marine Town and Childs was keeper of that house.

However at a subsequent hearing in December 1834, he registered the house under the title of the "Napier Ale House" in honour of the 8th Baron Napier, Admiral William John Napier, who as a captain had served under Nelson throughout the campaign against France and on one occasion had lodged at Marine Town before accepting a posting to Corsican. After promotion to Admiral he spent the latter part of his life governing foreign ports and eventually died in China in 1834.

Joseph Childs kept the house until 1851 selling in that year to Daniel Cook, a wholesale and retail wine and spirit merchant. In 1852 he applied for and was granted a full licence for the house, upon the event of which the "Napier" became a registered tavern. By 1860 Cook was supplying ships of the navy with wines and spirits, for in that year he is recorded as wholesale and retail wine and spirit merchant and naval victualler. At the same time that he kept this house, his brother James was a naval engineer of Mile town.

Cook kept the "Napier" until 1873 selling in that year to Edwin Goldsbrough tavern keeper who for many years had kept a tavern called the "Goat" in Mile Town. Goldsbroughs' wife Mary was a slopsmaker and seller, which was a person who made and sold sailors clothes, a trade she conducted from this house throughout her stay here. The address of the "Napier" at this date was recorded as the Broadway.

In 1879 Goldsbrough sold the "Napier" to the Shepherd Neame Brewery of Faversham, They installed one Edward White into the house as a tenant at an annual rent of 23 pounds. He kept the house until his death in 1890, whereafter his widow Janet Sarah took over the tenancy by widows consent and kept it until 1896, handing over in that year to Thomas Robert Arscott. He kept the "Napier" until his death in 1902, whereafter his widow Laura Elizabeth took over. In 1911 she remarried and became Laura Elizabeth King. She kept the house until 1926 when she was succeeded by Charles Edward Snook and he in 1934 by Ernest Fairburn. He remained until his death in 1946 and was succeeded by his wife Agnes who stayed until 1955, when she handed over to Thomas Edward Archer. He remained here until 1981 when he was succeeded by Colliss Mason.

In 1986 Patrick James Hugh Murphy took tenancy of the "Napier" and remained until 1996 when tenancy was handed over to the present keepers Christine and Peter Fagg.


The above pub was up for sale for 250,000 in 2014, and had been sold by April. Well presented free-house situated on the corner with Marine Parade. Main bar with feature fireplace and panelled servery, 38 cover dining area with oak panelled walls, further servery, commercial kitchen, basement cellarage, trade patios to both sides of pub and a smokers shelter with heat and light. Four bedroom accommodation. All in excellent order throughout.


Sheerness Guardian 26 February 1859.


Before James 'Espinasse, Esq. Tuesday, Feb. 22nd.

Jude v. Thornton.

Plaintiff is the landlord of the "Napier Tavern" and sued the defendant (a filter in the yard) for the amount of 6s. the balance of a bill of larger growth for ale and beer. Defendant did not appear and an order was made for immediate payment.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser 05 September 1864.


On Tuesday morning Master J. S. Samson, a lad between 16 and 17 years of age, and the only son of Mr. James Samson, minister of the Congregational Chapel, Alma Road, Sheerness, and another lad named Basset Jones, about the same age, went to a place called Cheyney rock for the purpose of bathing. Having undressed themselves, Samson threw his stick into the sea for his dog, which accompanied them, to fetch. The dog brought it to the shore, and the youth threw it again. This time the dog refused to fetch it, and as the stick was floating away the deceased, who could swim a little, plunged in to get it himself. Having caught it, he placed it in his mouth, and was returning again to the shore, when he suddenly stopped and called out "Help!" His companion was on the shore, but was unable to swim, and there were no other persons near. The lad made one or two faint efforts, and then sank about 40 feet from the shore. It appeared from the evidence at the Coroner's Inquest, held at the "Napier Tavern" on Wednesday afternoon, that a strong breeze was blowing from the land at the time, and it is probable that deceased had miscalculated his strength, and, having exhausted himself was unable to regain the shore. The body was recovered about an hour and a half afterwards, when the tide had gone. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally drowned."



HARRIS Thomas 1798-1813 dec'd (lodging house keeper)

HARRIS Isaac (son) 1813-15

BILBE Thomas 1815-34

CHILDS Joseph 1834-51 (given name "Napier")

JUDE Thomas 1858-62+ Next pub licensee had (age 56 in 1861Census)

COOK J 1867+

COOK D 1871+ (age 50 in 1871Census)

Last pub licensee had GOLDSBOROUGH Edwin 1873-79

WHITE William 1879-90 dec'd

WHITE Janet Sarah "Isabel" (widow) 1890-96 (age 49 in 1891Census)

ARSCOTT Thomas Robert Arthur dec'd 1896-1902

FORSS Maria 1901+ (manageress age 22 in 1901Census)

ARSCOTT Laura Elizabeth Mrs 1902-11 Kelly's 1903

KING Laura Elizabeth (remarried) 1911-26

SNOOK Charles Edward 1926-34

FAIRBURN Ernest 1934-46 dec'd

ARCHER Thomas Edward 1946-55

MASON Colliss 1955-81

MURPHY Patrick James Hugh 1981-96

FAGG Christine and Peter 1996-Dec/2002

DARE Clive & Gill Apr/2002-04+



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:-