Sort file:- Dartford, August, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 25 August, 2021.


Earliest ????

(Name from)

Bull Hotel

Latest ????

(Name to)

1 High Street


Bull Inn 1895

Above engraving circa 1895, taken from the book "The Old Dover Road."

Bull painting 1900s

Above painting, circa 1900s, kindly sent by Pam Longridge.

Bull 1900

Above postcard, 1900, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Bull 1906

Above photo 1906, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Bull Hotel

Above postcard, date unknown.

Bull 1907

Above postcard, 1907, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. With an R. White's dray delivering cases of soft drinks. Robert and Mary White expanded their home-brewed bottled ginger beer business, from just one market barrow in the 1840s, to become the south east's leading soft drinks company by WW1.

Bull Hotel 1910

Above photo, 1910 from the Dartford Borough Museum.


Above photo, date unknown.

Bull cigarette card Bull cigarette card

Above showing the front and back from Lloyds' Bondman cigarette cards from the Old English Inns series.


See also "Royal Victoria and Bull Hotel." This obviously changed name after Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, and gained its royal appointment.


By kind permission of the rector and parochial church council of Holy Trinity, Dartford (P110/1/10)

Burial entry for Richard Trevithick, buried in Dartford churchyard on 26 April 1833.

Born at Illogan in Cornwall in 1771, Trevithick who stood at 6' 2" was nicknamed the Cornish giant. A tin miner with engineering talent, Trevithick developed various forms of steam locomotive in Britain and South America with varying degrees of success, dying at the "Bull Inn," Dartford in reduced circumstances on 22 April 1833.

The Engineering Magazine of 27 March 1868 noted Trevithick was the real inventor of the locomotive. He was the first to prove the sufficiency of the adhesion of the wheels on the rails for all purposes of traction on lines of ordinary gradient, the first to make the return flue boiler, the first to use the steam jet in the chimney, and the first to couple all the wheels of the engine.

Trevithick is commemorated by a plaque in the church.


Ipswich Journal, Saturday 28 June 1783.

On Thursday last as Mr. William Robertson, and his nephew, Mr. Cormick, were going home in the chariot to Clapham Common, at the second bridge past Kennington turnpike, at half past 9 o'clock, they were attacked by single highwayman, on a bay horse. Mr. Robertson dozing, and his nephew asleep, the former heard some sprson speak to the coachman, and feeling a horse prancing about with a genteel looking young man, imagined he wanted to speak with his nephew; he therefore let down the glass, asking who he wanted, was instantly presented with a pistol, "Sir, your money?" Mr. Robertson with great deliberation, told him to have patience, and he should; he gave him half a guinea and some silver, and his nephew likewise what he had; he then demanded the watches. Mr. Roberts said he never had one, and pulled up his waistcoat, and putting his hand upon his thigh to convince him. His nephew, and had a watch, had, during this time, put this aside, and putting his hand upon his pocket, to show he had none - Mr. Robertson thinking his nephew might have some notes upon him, and going home so early, did not think of putting them out of his pockets, he, upon the highwayman's changing his pistol into his left hand, and leaning to reach the watch, seized the highwayman, and pulled him off his horse, called to his coachman, who with great readiness sprung from the box, seized him fast, and carried him to the "Swan" at Stockwell, where, upon searching him, found two pistols loaded, with three square slugs, and a paper full of them, and powder in his pockets. No justice been to be found, Mr. Robertson sent for a Stockwell constable, and ordered his carriage (putting the constable and the highwayman in, together with himself,) to drive to the New Gaol in the Borough, where he lodged him. His name appears to be Gladwell, was late a waiter at the "Bull Inn," Dartford, Kent,. He was next day committed to take his trial at the assizes at Croydon.


Kentish Gazette, 16 March 1852.


An interesting ploughing match came off on Wednesday, in a field belonging to R. Wilkes, Esq., adjoining Dartford-brent, between two sporting landlords of Dartford, viz. Mr. John Smith, of the "Marquis of Granby Inn," and Mr. James Townsend, of the "Bull Inn tap," for half a sovereign aside and a supper to plough for the straightest furrow. The work was excellently performed. The umpires were unable to decide, when an old and experienced farmer, Mr. Lucas, a stranger to both parties, was passing, and was called in; his decision was that Mr. Smith's was the smoothest work, and Mr. Townsend's the straightest furrow; the latter was consequently declared the winner.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 21 May, 1864.


An inquest was held on Monday at the “Bull Hotel,” Dartford, before C. J. Carttar, Esq., coroner, on the body of a child named Sarah Elizabeth Heron, aged six years.

It appeared from the evidence of the mother and father of the child that some time before death the deceased had complained of being very unwell, and in great pain about the body and legs. The mother afterwards discovered that the deceased had been eating buttercups from a field close by, and sent for a powder from a chemist's, but as the deceased vomited a great deal and presented every appearance of having been poisoned, she hastened off for the parish surgeon, Mr. Martin, who did not make his appearance at the house till the child was dead. A post mortem examination had been made which clearly proved the deceased had been poisoned by eating buttercups, and the jury brought in a verdict to that effect, but thought that Mr. Martin was to blame for not having attended sooner upon the deceased.


Gravesend Reporter, North Kent and South Essex Advertiser, Saturday 11 September 1869.

Dicks, Chemical Fire Engine.

A trial of the patent portable self-acting chemical fire engine took place in the meadow at the rear of the "Bull Hotel" on Saturday afternoon. A number of stakes were driven in the ground, and tar barrels placed at the base. Upon these were pieces of wood, placed crossways, and the vacuum filled with shavings, the whole being plentifully besprinkled with inflammable liquid. This heap was soon fired, and in a few minutes was one sheet of flame. The engines, commonly known as "L'Extincteur," were then brought to play on the burning mass, which was almost immediately extinguished. Bowls of petroleum were then thrown upon a debris and caused the flames to again make headway, bit directly the machine was directed against it it was completely extinguished.

Bromley & District Times, Friday 10 March 1893.

Licensed Victuallers Association.

The annual meeting of the Dartford and West Kent Licensed Victuallers' Association was held at Mr. Lines, "Bull Inn," on Wednesday afternoon, the 1st inst.

The annual report was read, and the financial statement showed the balance in hand of 15.

Mr. Clayton of Erith, was re-elected chairman of the association; Mr. King of Sevenoaks, vice-chairman; Mr. Lines, treasurer, and Mr. J. C. Drew of Penge, retains his post as secretary.

Some discussion took place with reference to the Local Option Bill now before Parliament, but no definite resolution was come to it being thought advisable to wait and see what action the Trade of London should take in regard to the Bill.

It may be noted that Mr. Clayton has been chosen as a delegate to represent the Dartford and Sevenoaks Association in the National Trade Defence League, or Fund as it is called, and that Alderman Long (of Maidstone), and Mr. William Sampson have been elected to represent the trade of the Kent and neighbouring counties in the same league.


The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950) Monday 15 October 1900.


In nearly every town throughout the County of Kent may be found a hostelry brazing the sign of the Bull.

Dartford is not peculiar from the rest In this respect. But in order to distinguish it from the "Bull and George" in the same street the chief hotel in Dartford is entitled the "Royal Victoria and Bull."

Chief among its relics of a bygone day are a number of nearly square wooden four-post beds.

If these ancient couches could talk there is one in particular that could a tale en-fold.

Hereon slept more than one Queen Elizabeth. Under the same canopy also reclined soon after her accession to the throne Her Most Gracious Majesty Victoria R. and I.

Likewise, on the occasion of his last visit to England, Mr. Kruger, President of the late South African Republic, stretched himself in repose behind the same white bed-curtains. How he managed to stow his bulky frame comfortably in so relatively small a compass is not known.

Oom Paul was, however, thoroughly pleased with his visit, amusing himself by trying on a huge black leather hat shaped like a sou'-wester, many sizes too big for him, and generally assigned to Oliver Cromwell or some one of his Ironsides. At the same time the Boer ex-President explored a cleverly devised secret staircase, which had only recently been discovered, and wherein the skeleton of a long dead man had been found.

Oom Paul doubtless saw some of the other curiosities with which the old place abounds, but probably none that would appeal to him more strongly just now, when hard pressed for a safe and secret "way out."


See Dartford Map 1905.



POTTER Edward 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

BAKER Sarah 1841+ (age 65 in 1841Census) ("Bull Inn Tap")

TOWNSEND James 1852+ ("Bull Inn Tap")

BRAY William Thomas 1862-64+

LINES Mr 1893+

RUSSELL Sidney 1901+ (hotel manager age 67 in 1901Census)


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:-