Sort file:- Erith, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 12 September, 2021.


Earliest 1828-

Cross Keys

Closed 2010

36 High Street


Cross Keys 1900

Above photo 1900, from Steve Thoroughgood.

Cross Keys 1974

Above photo 1974, showing the Playhouse in the middle and the "White Hart" on the right.

Cross Keys 1994

Above photo 1994.

Cross Keys 2006

Above photo 2006 by Dave Patten Creative Commons Licence.

Cros Keys 2007

Above photo 2007, by Steve Thoroughgood.

Cross Keys 2013

Above photo, 2013.


Kentish Mercury 21 December 1867.


At the above sessions the "Cross Keys," Erith, from Mr. Chas. Stone to Mr. Nelson Ambrose.


From the Thanet Advertiser, Saturday 15 August 1891.


The "Cross Keys Hotel," Erith, was completely destroyed by fire on Monday morning. The damage is estimated at about 1,000.


From the by Linda Piper, Tuesday 1 April 2008.

Four pubs named after failing underage tests.

A TOP policeman has voiced his disappointment four Bexley pubs sold alcohol to underage youngsters in a test purchasing exercise.

The failure comes after a determined effort by Bexley police and the council to stamp out underage drinking in the borough.

This has seen Bexley heralded as the most hard-line authority on licensing in the country.

Named and shamed, the pubs were identified as the "Cross Keys" in Erith High Street; the "Great Harry" in Parsonage Manorway, Belvedere; the "Forresters Arms" in Upper Wickham Lane, Welling, and the "Style and Winch" in Northend Road, Erith.

The pubs also allowed youngsters to gamble on pub premises.

Chief Inspector Steve Murrant is in overall charge of licensing in the borough.

Following the test purchase failures, he said: "After two years of trying to get the message across we will not tolerate irresponsible alcohol retailing in this borough, I am disappointed some licensees still put profit first."

The four pubs were targeted after police received information they were serving alcohol to underage youngsters.

Tests were carried out on March 20 when four young people were sent into the pubs to try and buy an alcoholic drink and play on the gaming machines.

Mr Murrant said he was encouraged people were worried enough to tell their neighbourhood policing teams of their concerns about the pubs.

The staff who sold the booze were each served with an 80 penalty notice and the authorities are now considering what further action to take.

Council leader Councillor Ian Clement said: "We are determined to drive home our commitment towards enforcing the responsible retailing of alcohol."

Bexley has reviewed 32 licences in the two years since the new Licensing Act came into force.

Of these, 14 have either had their licence revoked or the licence holder has surrendered it voluntarily.

And of the remainder, some have had their licences suspended for a period and all have had more stringent conditions applied.

People with concerns about underage drinking and anti-social behaviour can find contact numbers for their safer neighbourhoods teams at or call the community safety hotline free on 0800 389 5013.


I am informed that the license was revoked in 2010 and the pub subsequently closed. Planning was granted in 2015 for change of existing use to mixed use comprising of a food and drink premises with a multipurpose function hall and function room, offices and two bedrooms at third floor, provision of decking to rear and side.


From the 23rd August 2010.

Pub closed as travellers cause mayem in town centre.

Cross keys protest 2010

Regular protest at the closure by police of the Cross Keys pub.

POLICE swooped on a high street pub and closed it after reports of more than 100 travellers, their horses and children causing mayhem.

Around 30 police, including three vanloads of Territorial Support Group officers arrived at the Cross Keys pub in Erith High Street on Sunday night to disperse the crowd.

Nearby residents claimed horses were being taken into the pub, children as young as 10 were drinking alcohol and were riding up to a dozen bareback horses and pony-and-traps along the one-way section of the High Street against the traffic flow.

But licensee Derek McKenzie is angry at the closure, which was confirmed by Bexley magistrates on Monday, saying he had no control over what was happening out on the street.

Residents claim travellers have been massing at the pub on the last three Sundays, bringing their horses with them.

Bexley police inspector Colin Edge said on Sunday more than 100 travellers were crowded into the pub.

He said between 8pm and 9pm police had received nine calls mainly concerned about the danger caused by horses and the traps running up and down the High Street.

Inspector Edge said as he waited for extra officers to arrive, police watched live CCTV and saw five horses being taken into the pub.

He said there were also a large number of horses tethered in the street.

Inspector Edge said when police arrived they issued a closure notice to the pub and had dispersed the travellers within an hour without any trouble.

He said he found no evidence of under-age drinking.

Residents were angry it had taken police so long to react to the gatherings.

One resident said: “Don’t tell me the police weren’t aware.

“The travellers tried to get into the Running Horses three weeks ago, but the landlord closed it.”

He claimed: “They were trading horses inside the pub and there were horseboxes and a big van parked behind the post office.”

Mr McKenzie, 68, said his pub was being blamed for things beyond his control.

He said: “I cannot put up a sign saying ‘no travellers’.

“The closure notice talks about possible abuse of animals and of people riding up and down the street.

“I don’t have control over what is happening in the roadway or responsibility for dealing with animal cruelty.”

Mr Mckenzie added the notice only talked about “unconfirmed” under-age drinking.

He said: “The travellers were not causing any trouble inside the pub.

“When I was serving some of them, I could not refuse to serve others who were turning up.”

He admitted one horse was brought inside the pub, but said he told the owner to remove it immediately.

Mr McKenzie, who runs the pub with his partner, said: “We’ve been here 20 years and the police are trying to take our living, such as it is these days, away from us.”

He claimed he had not been told about the magistrates court hearing on Monday which confirmed the order, or he would have attended.

He said: “I thought we would be able to open again on Monday night. My partner is devastated.”

Regulars at the pub held their own protest on Monday, pinning notices to the front of the pub with messages reading “Give us back our pub now” and “Support our much loved landlord” and claiming the Cross Keys was the last proper pub left in the town.

The pub will now be shut for 28 days unless Mr Mckenzie makes a successful appeal.

Its licence will also be reviewed on Friday (August 27).



STONE John 1828-51+ (age 65 in 1851Census) Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

STONE Mary Rebecca 1858-Jan/64 Gravesend Reporter

STONE Charles Jan/1864-Dec/1867 (son age 15 in 1851Census) Gravesend Reporter

AMBROSE Nelson Dec/1867-82+ (age 51 in 1881Census)

HARVEY Kate Mrs 1891+ (widow age 33 in 1891Census)

SWAYNE Albert William 1901-03+ (age 35 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

DAVIS William 1911-13+ (age 28 in 1911Census)

SWAYNE William Henry 1922-30+

SHARP Charles T 1938+

ARCHER Lydia 1939+ (age 47 in 1939)

COOPER T Mr 1988-90

McKENZIE Derek 1990-2010


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

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Gravesend ReporterGravesend Reporter


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