Sort file:- Brompton, February, 2019.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 24 February, 2019.


Earliest 1703-

Golden Lion

Latest 2003

18 High Street


Navy Arms 1916

Above photo, date 1916, from by Ben Levick.

Golden Lion 1954

Above photo 1954, from by Ben Levick.

Golden Lion

Photos taken circa 1978-79 from by Ben Levick.

Golden Lion 2010

Photos 6 June 2010 from by Ben Levick.

Golden Lion 2010

Above photo December 2010, from by Ben Levick.

Above photo 2011, from by Ben Levick. Who says:- "View looking north along Brompton High Street, towards the Royal Engineers' Barracks (the old gate can just be seen in the distance). This view clearly shows the "Navy Arms" (now long gone) and the "Golden Lion" (gone as a pub, but still there as a building). The tram tracks can be seen running along the High Street and down Westcourt Street.

Shops on west (left) side, left to right, George Buckley, bootmaker's shop (no.8), James Weatherley, oil and colour man's shop (no.10), "Navy Arms" public house (no.14), junction with Westcourt Street, "Golden Lion" public house and range of buildings to north and range of shops on east side. Street scene shows parked horse-drawn vehicles, pedestrians, carriageway, tram lines and shop awnings.

The picture can be dated to 1902 from the tram lines running down Westcourt Street. The tram service through Brompton only ran down Westcourt Street from June to about November 1902, the tram line being moved to Middle Street after a fatal accident at the bottom of Westcourt Street in October of that year.

Above photo 2011, from by Ben Levick. Who says:- "The "Navy Arms" and the building beyond it (Nos 14 & 16) are replaced by a more modern building, and the old buildings beyond the "Golden Lion" are all gone. There are no longer tram tracks and the gate into the barracks is gone."

Golden Lion 2011

Above sign 2011.


This is said to be one of Brompton's oldest pubs, it appears to have been founded in the about 1705.

William Palmer was the licensee in 1766-9. and after his death his widow took over. It was a commercial inn from which Palmer ran a transport service.

Until the growth of New Brompton in the mid-19th century the "Golden Lion" was very important to the festivities of Hogh Constable's Day, the day traditionally starting there with breakfast, and ending there with a Public Dinner.

Used by the Conservative Working Men's Club until they opened their own club opposite in 1925, and by the Ancient Order of Foresters' Robin Hood Court.

In the late 20th century many locals referred to it as "The Beast," it closed down c.2003


Brompton map 1866

Above map of 1866 showing the "Golden Lion," "Two Sawyers" and "Bricklayer's Arms."


Kentish Gazette - Saturday 29 June 1776.


On THURSDAY, the 4th Day of July, 1776, at the "Golden Lion," in Brompton, near Chatham, between the Hours of Four and Five o'Clock in the Afternoon precisely.

ALL those four Freehold Messuages or Tenements, with the several Yards and Gardens thereto belonging, with their Appurtenances, the one of them the "Green Dragon," and the others close adjoining; situate in Gillingham in the County of Kent; and now in the several Occupations William Newnham, John Simson, James Basset, and Bennet Davis, under several reserved Rents, amounting to 16l. 5s. a Year.

For further Particulars enquire of Mr. DIXON, or Mr. HICK, in Rochester.


From the Chatham and Rochester News, 12th July, 1902.




One of the most disastrous fires that has taken place at Old Brompton for years past occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning last, by which the "Two Sawyers Hotel" was totally destroyed by fire, while surrounding property had a very narrow escape of being involved.

The outbreak was discovered at about half-past two by the police, who lost no time in raising an alarm. The police were ably assisted by Corpl. Jones, R. E., Mr. Baldwin (newsagent), Mr. B. Burrell, and others in taking the information to Admiral-Superintendent Holland and to the Royal Engineer Barracks, while Mr. A. E. Farrow cycled to the Waterworks. There was a quick response from the barracks, Colonel M. H. Purcell, R.E. (Assistant Commandant), Lieut.-Colonel J. A. Ferrier, D.S.O., R.E. (Commanding the Training Battalion), Captain H. W. Weekes, and other officers, were present to direct the military. There was an alarming and regrettable delay in securing a source of water – more than an hour elapsed before the water was turned on, and by that time the hotel was a mass of flames. Rarely, indeed, has there been a local fire attended by such enormous flames and such intense heat.

While waiting for the water to be turned on the brigades were not idle, the Chatham and Gillingham Brigades, the Royal Engineers, several representatives of the Royal Marines, the Dockyard Police (in charge of their Superintendent), and the men of the Kent County Constabulary (in charge of Inspector Foreman), all working well, but their efforts were practically useless. Water had to be got from the Royal Engineer Barracks and from the reservoir at the top of Barrack-hill, but proved such a lingering and laborious process as to be of very little value. Twenty buckets of water, if procured at the discovery of the outbreak, would have readily extinguished the fire, but although a collection of the precious liquid was made in the High-street, the total secured did not amount to the quantity named.

When the water arrived the brigades devoted their whole energy to saving adjoining property, realising that it was hopeless to try and save the hotel, which was now a roaring mass of flame. Fortunately there was very little breeze, or the consequences must have been very serious. As it was, people in the High-street were quite prepared to see the fire spread much more than it did, and many of the residents in adjoining houses were preparing to save their valuables. The alarm was given sufficiently early for the adults to hurriedly dress, but the children had to be removed in their night clothes.

The "Two Sawyers" is completely gutted, only an engine house at the back of the premises remaining. The Gordon Coffee Palace, kept by Mr. Partridge, which adjoins the hotel, is almost a wreck, the bedroom furniture and bedding being suspended in mid-air, only being kept from collapse by the charred and rotten timber. On the other side the premises occupied by Messrs. Robins and Day, cycle agents, is much damaged by fire and water; the premises of Messrs. Sutton and Co., outfitters have been damaged by water, and the roof has also been damaged, while the roof of some outhouses of Mr. Pullen, grocer, is crushed in, where the firemen were at work. On the opposite side of the road unmistakable proof of the great heat is provided by the blistered paint and broken windows of the various business establishments. Mr. J. Brooke, grocer and provision merchant, is perhaps the greatest sufferer. The front of his premises is much scorched and blistered, the plate glass broken, and the stock in the window damaged. Mrs. Canning, hairdresser, also had the plate glass of her shop smashed. Mr. G. Burrell, of the "Red Lion," at the corner of Westcourt-street, also experienced considerable anxiety owing to the fact that a large amount of wood is included in the structure of his house. The windows here were broken and the woodwork much scorched. Mr. A. E. Farrow, chemist, also had his windows broken, and much damage was done to the whole business front. Indeed, when the fire was at its height, so intense was the height that is was thought that the whole of the houses on the opposite side – most of which are very old, and largely composed of wood – would be involved.

The whole of the plate glass of the various business establishments named broke at one time, with a terrible noise, following an explosion at the "Two Sawyers" – said by some to be an explosion of gas, and by others the explosion of a barrel of proof spirits.

Fortunately for the poor people living in the cottages in the court at the back of the "Two Sawyers" the fire did not extend in that direction. An aged couple, named Barrington, and a Mrs. Keefe and her family, who reside in the two cottages named Sawyer's Cottages, adjoining the hotel, had, however, to clear out all their belongings, and the dawn of Wednesday found the homeless families bivouacking at the top of Manor-street.

During the progress of the fire Brompton High-street was thronged with a dense crowd of many hundreds, even at the early hour of three a.m., and the whole town was a scene of commotion and excitement. The police, in charge of Inspector Foreman, worked exceedingly well in keeping the onlookers away from danger. There was a very strong force present, for in addition to the inspector there were present Inspector Hoare, Sergeants Townshend, Tilley, Reader, Police-constables Nash, Clout, Langridge, Masters, Hoare, H. Wood, Piddock, Atkins, and Moon.

In course of conversation with our representative Mr. S. R. Sutton, who was one of the first on the scene, remarked, I was aroused by hearing the smashing of glass, and on looking out of the window I saw that Police-sergeant Tilley was breaking one of the glass panels of the door of the "Two Sawyers." He told me to dress immediately. I did so, and on going into the street I saw Mr. Brooke and Mr. Burrell, who were raising an alarm of fire. I took a police whistle and went to the Royal Engineer gate and aroused the fire brigade. When I was first around the flame I saw in the saloon bar was not larger than a foot square. When the brigade came they fixed their hose and stood in readiness for over an hour, waiting for the water to come. By the time the water arrived the place was enveloped in flames.

The Gillingham Fire Brigade was in charge of Lieut. G. H. Peddle.

On Wednesday evening the Brigade was again called up at about nine o'clock, when it was discovered that a fire had broken out in the cellar of the premises of Messrs. Sutton and Co. Mr. and Mrs. Sutton had to remove their children for safety to Mr. Pye's, in Westcourt-street. The fire was got under again in about two hours. A large crowd assembled, and the tram traffic had to be temporarily suspended. The Brigade on Wednesday was in charge of Foreman H. W. Bines.

Owing to the fire, the trams were unable to run for several hours on Wednesday morning, the heat having damaged the apparatus at the corner of Westcourt-street.

The origin of the fire is shrouded in mystery, The damage, in each instance, is covered by insurance.

The "Two Sawyers" belongs to Mr. W. J. Palmer, of Sheerness, the leases being Messrs. Frederick Leney and Sons, Limited. The occupier, Mr. H. Gaunt, was on the point of relinquishing the tenancy.


This pub is one in the list of my "Project 2014."

As such I have found a picture of the pub, but to date have no other information. Local knowledge, further pictures, and licensee information would be appreciated.

I will be adding the historical information when I find or are sent it, but this project is a very big one, and I do not know when or where the information will come from.

All emails are answered.



PALMER William 1766-69

PALMER Mrs (wife) 1769+

PALMER Susannah 1828-32+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

KENNETT William Gilbert 1840+

DEATH William Richard 1855+

TAYLOR Henry 1858-61+ (age 30 in 1861Census)

WRAITH Charles Albert 1872+

TOWN Henry Town 1874-82 (also Job & Postmaster age 55 in 1881Census)

BURRELL George Alfred 1891-1913+ (also Hair Dresser at High Street age 26 in 1891Census)

BURRELL Mercy Mary Ann 1911-22  (also Hair Dresser & Draper at 3 High Street widow age 45 in 1911Census)

BOORMAN Arthur 1930-38+


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

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



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