Sort file:- Rochester, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 1793-

Parr's Head

Demolished 1890

25 Parr's Head Lane


Parr's Head 1862

Above photo, 1862.

Parrs Head 1880

Above photo circa 1880.

Parrs Head 1890

Above photo, circa 1890, kindly sent by Roy Moore.

Rochester map 1866

Identified on the 1866 map as yellow at the top/right.

Parr's Head figure

Above photo showing the stone head.


This was named the "Old Parrs Head" in an 1847 directory, and was addressed as Yard, 13 High Street.

The 1841 census also lists a good number of people all with the same address as Parr's head Lane Common, so perhaps the premises was also a Common Lodging House.

It is said that until 1860 the "Old Parr's Head was the 'Club' for better class citizens.

The building was demolished in 1890 to make way for the South Eastern Railway extension.

The stone figurehead used to be housed on display in the Rochester Museum.

The pub was named after Thomas Parr, a Shropshire lad, who died in 1635 at the reputed age of 152. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.


From the Kentish Gazette, Friday 22 March, 1793.


"Old Par's head," City of Rochester.

At a meeting of this Club, on Saturday the 16th March, 1793, the following Resolutions were unanimously entered into:-

1st Resolution, that the sum of Ten Pounds be transferred by the Treasurer of this Society, out of their Fund to the Society Instituted at the "Crown and Anchor" in the Strand, who may die or be killed in his Majesty's service during the war.

2nd Resolved, that the same be inserted in the Kentish Gazette, Kentish Chronicle, and Maidstone Journal, and signed by the Chairman of this Meeting.

W. Gillman, Chairman.

Rochester, March 18, 1793.


From the Kentish Gazette, 11 March 1845.

Fire at Rochester and Loss of Life.

On Saturday morning last, about half-past eleven o'clock, a fire was discovered at a house situate in Saint Clement's-lane, in this city, commonly called Horse Wash-lane, by smoke issuing from the window of a chamber in the occupation of a waterman, named Edward Macpherson.

The house was occupied by three distinct families. In the lower part resided a family named Gratwich; and on being informed of a quantity of smoke pouring out of an up-stairs’ window, Gratwich went up stairs, and on entering the apartment he found a cradle blazing on the right of the fire-place, in which there was a small fire. With much presence of mind he threw a mat on to the cradle, which had the effect of smothering the flames. He then pulled out from the cradle a child which was dead, the head and shoulders of which were burnt nearly to a cinder. In the room was also another child, that was nearly suffocated.

The fire had taken hold of the wood work round the chimney place and was burning furiously. With assistance and a plentiful supply of water, it was extinguished.

There was standing in the room about two feet from the foot of the cradle, a bed used by the parents. It appears that the mother that morning had gone out on an errand, leaving her infant, three months old, named William John, in the cradle asleep, and her little girl, two years old, in the room. Before she left the room there were two napkins hanging on the fender; and to prevent any accident she removed them, and placed one on each side of it. The napkin nearest to the cradle, by some means, took fire and set light to the cradle. She left her girl sitting at the window.

Mrs. Macpherson was absent from her room about a quarter of an hour. Mr. James Lewis, the city coroner, held an inquest on the infant, at two o'clock on Monday, at the "Parr's Head" public-house, Parr's Head-lane.

The Jury, after hearing the evidence of John Gratwich, and the mother of the unfortunate child, returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."

Some of the Jury stated they had known the mother for years, and they always knew her to be a respectable, well-behaved, and sober woman. The poor woman, in giving her evidence, was much distressed in mind at the calamitous event.



JACKSON James 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29 (Old Parr's Head)

WELLER William 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34 (Old Par's Head)

LOTT William 1841+ (age 50 in 1841Census)

ROFFWAY Sarah 1847+

TENNANT William Henry 1855-1881+ (age 55 in 1881Census)


Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29



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