DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated Aylesford:- Wednesday, 20 April, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

1971 &

28 June 2021

Little Gem

Open 2021+

19 High Street

Aylesford

01622 715066

https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleGemAylesford/

https://whatpub.com/little-gem

Little Gem 1971

Above photo 1971.

Above photo 2010 by Nigel Chadwick Creative Commons Licence.

Little Gem 2012

Above showing the "Little gem" for sale, 2012.

Little Gem plaque

"Little Gem" sign, stating built circa 1106, restored 1958. Kindly sent by Tricia Francis.

Little Gem inside

Above photo showing the inside, date unknown.

Little Gem plans

Above image showing the building plans.

Little Gem 2014

Above photo 2014, kindly taken and supplied by Kathryn Lucas.

Little Gem 2015

Above photo, 17 January, 2015, kindly supplied by Tricia Francis

Little Gem painting 2012

Painting, date 2012 by Eddie Tucker.

 

I am informed that the building was home to a caf during the 1960s and before that a private residence, but was operating as a public house in 1971.

Said to be the smallest pub in Kent. The premises consisted of main room and bar on ground floor and split level upper room with view over the ground floor. Lots of exposed original wood beams and white washed walls. It gained a Grade 2 listing on 25 August 1959.

Unfortunately closed in 2010, the premises was advertised for sale in October 2014 at a guide price of 230,000.

 

From an email received 29 June 2015.

We moved to Aylesford in 1966 and the "Little Gem" was then a tea room, which we visited on several occasions.

It changed its status to a pub possibly in the early 1970's

Closed now for years it is gradually rotting away.

As a listed building surely someone has the authority to get action quickly to rescue this ancient building.

Regards Peter and Betty Royall.

 

From and email received, 31 July 2018.

Hi, just to let you know that the "Little Gem" was sold at auction on 12 June 2018 and the new owner has a license application in with TMBC to restore the pub to its former glory. We have a new page on Facebook, Saving the Little Gem which has attracted over 500 supporters in its first week.

Fingers crossed for the Gem!

Best wishes,

Heather Worrall.

 

From the https://www.kentonline.co.uk 14 September 2018.

Little Gem in Aylesford saved from development.

A village pub which sat closed for the last eight years is set to reopen after being earmarked for residential development.

Those who campaigned to save the Little Gem in Aylesford High Street have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as the premises has once again been granted a licence to operate as a pub.

The decision by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, made on Friday, September 7, comes two years after a successful application to change the 12th Century property's use so it could be sold as housing.

Little Gem 2017

Back then, over 4,500 people signed a petition to stop the change as part of a year long planning saga which ended with Cllr Mike Parry-Waller, chairman of the area three planning committee, saying he thought the building would never open as a pub again.

Once believed to be the smallest pub in the county, the much loved tavern was bought for 150,000 at auction by John Griffiths in June - reigniting pub-goers' hopes that the Little Gem might re-open.

Saving the Little Gem, a Facebook page with over 800 followers set up to monitor developments and refurbishments at the pub, posted a message of joy after the licence was granted.

"John Griffiths shall henceforth be known as St John of Aylesford. We won!" it said.

Little gem campaigners 2018

From left, David Barber, Heather Worrall, Jane Biggs - who were all against the development of the Little Gem.

However, amongst the excitement about a future relaunch is a strong feeling of concern from some villagers.

The application, while successful, received a number of objections from nearby residents worried about noise and drinking and smoking outside.

Councillor for Aylesford North and Walderslade Michael Base was among those who wrote to the council but was satisfied after the hearing.

Michael Base

Michael Base is 'delighted' at the decision.

"I am delighted that the premises licence was granted for the Little Gem to begin operating again as a public house. I have high expectations that it will become an asset to Aylesford village as a whole, especially as a focus on real-ales is an anticipated feature," he said.

"I had clear and public concerns regarding the initial application, as did Aylesford Parish Council and others. However by the time of the formal hearing most of the concerns raised had already been addressed through a renewed proposal from the owners of the Little Gem; for which I am grateful."

 

I have heard that the Goachers brewery bought the premises in mid 2019 and are refurbishing it for hopefully a reopening in 2020. Official rescheduled opening day was destined for April 17th 2021.

Covid actually put pay to that opening date but I am glad to say that it opened again on 28 June 2021.

 

Above photo, 2021, kindly Taken by Chris Excell.

Little gem inside 2021

Above photo showing view from mezzanine floor 2021, kindly taken by Chris Excell.

Litte Gem fireplace 2021

Above photo 21 October 2021, by Tim Hamilton.

 

LICENSEE LIST

Last pub licensee had AUBREY Ollie June/2021+

http://www.closedpubs.co.uk/littlegem.html

 

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

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