Page Updated:- Monday, 05 December, 2022.


Earliest ????

Black Lion

Open 2020+

Ash Road


01474 702134

Black Lion 1910

Above postcard circa 1910, kindly sent by Shaun Gardiner.

Above photo, 1914. Showing Charles English holding the front horse, and his brother Jack behind. Information from Derek Atkins, Canada. (Grand son).

Black Lion shop 1920

Above photo 1932, kindly sent by Shaun Gardiner.

Black Lion 1950

Above photo circa 1950. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Lion

Above postcard, date unknown.

Black Lion 1967

Above postcard, circa 1967, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Lion 2000

Above photo circa 2000.

Black Lion sign 1992

Above sign, September 1992.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Black Lion matchbox

Above matchbox, date unknown.


The premises was built between 1688 and 1698 by Edward Best and has been a pub since 1731 when Richard Glover (1680-1748) purchased, and opened the first licensed victualler in the village.

He with his father William were already publicans - they had leased a pub called the "Black Lion" in Fawkham in 1707, but at present I have no information regarding this one.

Francis sold the pub to Robert Monk in the 1790s who sold it on to Hussey Fleet from the Dartford Fleet Brewery family. In 1865 the brewery was put up for auction.

The freehold eventually came to the Dartford Brewery, which was closed down and demolished in the 1930s when it was taken over by Courage.

Licensee Charles English (1913-33) drove a horse and grocery van, and was named “the midnight grocer” because of the time of some of his deliveries!

A plan of the pub in 1914 shows the grocery shop at the southern end and a store room at the opposite end with a sitting room, tap room, private bar, scullery and kitchen in between.

As well as a pub, the "Black Lion" was for a long time the village shop.

The "Black Lion" used to have Hartley's oldest letter box, which was put in the front wall between 1882 and 1899. Sadly this was stolen in 2015.

This was a tied "

It is rumoured that Daniel Defoe lived in part of this inn and is reputed to have written "Robinson Crusoe" in the back room over the wash house. Henry Treadwell was one of several generations of his family to run the pub in addition to being a local farmer.


Larne Times - Saturday 08 July 1916.


At Gravesend Police Court, John English, of the "Black Lion" Public-house, Hartley, and Edwin Swift, of the "King of the Belgians" Public-house, Gravesend, were remanded, bail being refused, on the charge of being concerned in stealing 300 pairs of army boots.

A police sergeant said at the Black Lion; he found a case of thirty pairs of boots in an office, six cases, with 180 pairs, in one bedroom, and three cases, with 90 pairs, in an-other bedroom. English told witness he had a drink at Gravesend with another publican and the latter asked him whether he had room to take a few boxes. He replied "Yes" and the publican thereupon left him, and spoke to another man dressed in officer's uniform. The cases were brought to Hartley; in a military motor lorry, two soldiers assisting in the work. The police intimated that other arrests were probable in connection with the case.



GLOVER Richard 1731-1748

GLOVER Francis 1748-1797

TREADWELL John 1797-1836

TREADWELL William (also farmer) 1836-1852 (age 65 in 1841Census) Melville's 1858

TREADWELL Rhoda (daughter) 1852-1865

TREADWELL Henry 1864+

COOPER Henry 1864-1877 (Rhoda's nephew also shopkeeper) Post Office Directory 1874

WANSBURY George Charles 1877-1907 (age 45 in 1891Census) Kelly's 1903

WANSBURY Emily 1907-1913 (George's widow)

FIGG Frederick C 1918+ Post Office Directory 1918

ENGLISH John 1916+ ?

ENGLISH Charles 1913-1933 Post Office Directory 1922

COX Frank Lionel 1933-40 Post Office Directory 1938

KITTO Edward Arthur 1940-1954

CLARK George 1954-1955

HOLLAND Cyril P 1955-1964

ANTWISS Ronald Arthur 1964-1974

FRANKLAND John D 1997-2020+


Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1918From the Post Office Directory 1918

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938



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