Sort file:- Herne, March, 2022.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 15 March, 2022.


Earliest 1845-

Rodney's Head

Closed Mar 2020

5 North Street

Herne Bay

Rodney's head 2015

Above photo 2015.

Rodneys Head sign 1991

Above sign, July 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


From the Kentish Gazette, 28 January 1845.


Edgecombe — Jan. 14, Mrs. Edgecombe, wife of Mr. Thomas Edgecombe, of the "Rodney’s Head Tavern," Herne Bay, aged 55.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 2 June, 1860.


At the St. Augustine's Petty Sessions on Saturday, before William Plummer, Esq., a navvy named James Sayer was charged with being drunk and disorderly, at Herne Bay, on the 15th May.

P C. Beattie deposed that on Tuesday week Mr. Herring called him to go to his house to turn a drunken man out, when he got there the man had left, but the defendant came out of the "Rodney” Public house rolling drunk, the defendant, who had been brought up before on the same charge and remanded, was discharged.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 11 May, 1867. Price 1d.


On Tuesday last the sixth anniversary supper of the Herne Bay Working Man's Mutual Investment and Loan Society took place at the Club House, the “Rodney Head Inn,” North-street, when about thirty of the members sat down to a most sumptuous repast, served up in first-class style by the host, Mr, S. Stonham. After supper, the order of the evening being harmony, Mr. T. Stonham was called to the chair, the vice-chair being taken by Mr. W. Gipson, jun. Some first-rate songs were sung by Mr. J. Shearing in his usual comic style, also some very amusing songs by Mr. William. Gipson and other members of the Club. The respected chairman of the Society, Mr. J. Stonham, sen., gave the toast of the evening, “Success to the Herne Bay Loan Society,” and the Secretary, Mr. J. T. Stonham, responded, speaking at some length on the working and prosperity or the Club since its formation. His statement gave general satisfaction to all-present. Some more songs then followed, and, a pleasant evening haying been spent, the company separated.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 8 June 1867. Price 1d.

The license of the “Rodney's Head,” Herne was transferred from Samuel Stonham to Thomas Pratt.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 23 March 1878.

Herne Bay. A publican in trouble.

Essex William Offen was summoned for keeping his licensed premises open during prohibited hours, at Herne Bay, on the 9th March. Mr. Till defended.

The defendant is the landlord of the "Rodney's Head" public-house, Herne Bay, and about 20 minutes past 11 o'clock on the night of the day named. P.S. Knowlden saw a man named Water Whiddett knock at the defendant's door. The defendant came to the door and asked who was their. Whiddett answered "Bandy. All right." The defendant then opened the door and Whiddett asked for half a pint of rum, and went into the house, the landlord fastening the door. About 2 or 3 minutes afterwards Offen opened the door, and the police sergeant then went into the house. He asked Whiddett what he had in his pocket and he replied "Nothing." The sergeant, however, took a bottle containing spirits out of his left hand trouser pocket. He told the landlord it was not right to have a customer in his house after closing hours, and he answered that the man had done odd jobs for him frequently, and that was why he served him; but denied that any money past. Knowlden intimated that he should report the matter, and the defendant said "I would sooner give 5 than that you should make a case of it."

Mr. Till, in defence, said the man was frequently engaged by the defendant to do various jobs for him, and he usually paid him in drink instead of him money. On the day in question Whiddett had done some work for his client, who, in payment, gave him the spirits found on him. He therefore contended Whiddett was a servant within the meaning of the Act. He called the defendant Whiddett in support of his this defence, but they were three or four discrepancies in the evidences.

The Bench were not satisfied that the man Whiddett was in the capacity of a servant to the defendant, and find Offen 10s. and 13s. costs.

Whiddett was then charged with being on the premises during prohibited hours, and was fined 2s and 3s costs.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, July 1879.


Essex William Offen, landlord of the "Rodney’s Head" public-house. at Herne Bay, was summoned for assaulting Charles George Palmer, also of Herne Bay.

Complainant stated that on the evening of Thursday evening week he was in the defendant’s house. Offen wanted him to pay some money he owed him, but witness told him he had not received his wages, and could not pay him. Defendant then began to grumble, and witness asked him how it was that he could not pay his debts at Ashford, whereupon defendant struck him a violent blow in the eye, blackening it.

Defendant stated to the magistrates that complainant provoked him by asking him why he did not pay his bills at Ashford, and he struck him in the eye.

Fined 2s. 6d. and 12s. 6d. costs.


From the Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, Wednesday 5 October 1881.


Essex William Offen, victualler, Herne Bay, Kent. (Rodney's Head.)


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 2 March 1907.


The Magistrates also objected to this house.

Mr. Mercer appeared on behalf of the owners, Messrs. Flint and Co., of Canterbury.

Superintendent Jacobs said this house was situated in North Street and was kept by Mr. Benjamin Vennell. The rent was 24 a year, the rates 12 15s., and the assessment 40. The tenant was an ex-policeman, and the house was well-conducted. The “Rose and Crown” was thirty yards away. Other houses in the vicinity were the “Prince of Wales” and the “Rose” in Mortimer Street. The trade of the “Rodney’s Head” was very fair.

Mr. Mercer—The house is in the custody of an ex-policeman. You have confidence in him, have you not?

Superintendent Jacobs—Yes, I was stationed with him when he joined the force.

You never make a fortune in your department, do you ?

Well, fortunes are few and far between.

Mr. Mercer said this man, a very reliable man, had 179 19d. at stake. He asked the witness if the house was wanted.

“I should say it was wanted in this particular neighbourhood," replied the superintendent.

It was stated that there was a good bottle and jug trade, and the average trade for the last three years was 186 barrels and 213 gallons of spirits.

In his address to the Bench, Mr. Mercer spoke to the high character of the tenant. Proceeding, he said Herne Bay was a summer town, one of the most attractive places in the north of Kent, and if these facilities were going to be taken away was the town going to be benefited? In the summer the population was increased from 15,000 to 20,000, and where could they find a quieter, better-behaved town. The houses did not tend to crime, nor were they offensive in any shape or form.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 15 February 1936.


Plans were approved with reference to alterations to the "Rodney’s Head," Herne Bay.


Benjamin Vennell, licensee from September 1904 was formerly a constable of the Kent County Police Force.

This pub was rebuilt in its present form in 1939 and in 1998 the name was abbreviated to "Rodney’s," for some reason. At its closure it was known as "Rodney's Sports Bar."


From the By Jack Dyson, 21 February 2022.

End of an era for Herne Bay pub the Rodney's Sports Bar.

A town centre pub dating back to the 1840s has been earmarked for flats – having remained closed since the start of the pandemic.

Owners of the Rodney’s Sports Bar in North Street, Herne Bay, are hoping to turn it into homes amid claims it is no longer viable to run as a boozer.

Manager Allan Woods stresses profits had been hit by the number of pubs in the area with Sky Sports, as most of its trade was through showing live football matches.

The 57-year-old says this prompted the owner to decide not to reopen the premises, and instead look to transform it into housing.

“We rely on volume trade, but every time the pandemic restrictions were lifted, we couldn’t have had more than 70 people, and we would never have made money like that,” Mr Woods explained.

“It wasn’t financially viable for us to reopen. It was impossible.

“A lot of pubs do food now, and there are very few drink-led ones. It’s hard to compete unless you repurpose it, and it’s too big to turn into a restaurant, and too small for other things.

Allan Woods 2019

Rodney's Sports Bar manager Allan Woods has run the Herne Bay site for the last 13 years.

“It’s a facility that’s definitely gone. A few people have said ‘are you not going to open?’ and I understand the sentiment, but it’s got to be financially viable.”

The site has been put forward for inclusion in Canterbury City Council’s next Local Plan, which will act as its house-building blueprint until 2040.

Mr Woods bought the Rodney’s in 2002, but sold it to its current owner, Tim Watters, six years later. Mr Woods managed the premises from 2009.

The sports bar had dozens of regulars and was at its busiest for football games, drawing as many as 350 punters for World Cup showings.

It closed when the country was first plunged into lockdown in March 2020 – but continued to sit empty when restrictions were relaxed.

Rodney's Sports Bar inside 2019

As many as 350 punters would pack into Rodney's Sports Bar in Herne Bay for England World Cup games. Picture: Jamie Ayles.

When asked if the pub will reopen, Mr Woods said: “From what I understand it’s not going to reopen.

“There are no options other than flats, and it’s not viable as a pub anymore.”

Mr Woods plans to turn his attentions to breeding German Shepherds, adding “serving people alcohol is the last thing on my mind now”.

Archives show the Rodney’s dates back to the 1800s, with the earliest clipping found for the pub in KentOnline's sister publication, the Kentish Gazette, is dated January 1845.

Mr Watters was approached for comment.


Closed due to covid I am informed that the building has been earmarked for flats.



EDGECOMBE Thomas to Jan/1845 dec'd age 55

FOLEY James 1847+

LESTER William 1855-58+

ROSSITER William 1861-62+ (age 52 in 1861Census)

STONHAM Samuel June/1867+ Whitstable Times

PRATT Thomas June/1867-74+ (age 50 in 1871Census)

Last pub licensee had OFFEN Essex William 1878-5/Oct/81 bankrupt (age 44 in 1881Census)

CARE John 1882+

PILCHER Alfred T 1891

PILCHER Edith A 1891+ (widow age 30 in 1891Census)

CORBIN James Oscar 1899-Sept/04 (age 53 in 1901Census) Whitstable TimesKelly's 1903

VENNELL Benjamin Sept/1904+ Whitstable Times

ROSSITER Edward G 1911-13+ (age 57 in 1911Census)

BUSH Alfred John 1922+

KINGMAN Emily Rose Mrs 1930+


WOODS Allan 2009-19


Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald


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:-