Sort file:- Chatham, December, 2018.

Page Updated:- Friday, 21 December, 2018.


Earliest 1768-

Mitre Hotel

Closed 1934

198 High Street


Mitre Inn and Clarence Hotel

Above drawing, date unknown.

Mitre Hotel

Above photo, date unknown.

Mitre Hotel 1927

Above photo 1927.

Mitre Inn and Clarence Hotel

Above photo, date unknown, by kind permission Roy Moore,


Classed as a tavern in 1793. The Licensing Records of 1872 stated the premises held a Full License and was owned by John Tribe of High Street, Chatham.

The Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre has referenced a set of documents, that I haven't seen yet, and is part of the Watts Charity MSS, 1579-1972.

Reference is made as follows:-


The "Mitre Tavern" and The "Clarence Hotel," High Street; and 3 messuages In Boundary Road (2 docs.)


Up to and including 1881 the address was given as number 286.

I have reference to this pub from the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle September 1768, when the paper advertised the sale of household furniture at Minster Abbey, on the Isle of Sheppey. It was stated that catalogues could be obtained from this public house. See Notes of 1768.

The Mitre had a splendid bowling green in the rear of its premises.

It is said that the Duke of Clarence (son of King George III) who later became King William IV (1830-37) stayed here on his visits to Chatham.


Information below taken from

The lease of the manor house and grounds held by Phineas Pett terminated in 1621, and the estate was divided up and sold for building purposes, the old manor house was demolished and a posting house erected on the old foundations, later known as the Mitre Hotel, at this time with breaking up of the Manor house grounds, what was the drive leading to the manor house became a though road and was the first time the high street could be followed all the way from Rochester to the foot of Chatham Hill and on to Canterbury.

Before the railway, the main coaching, posting house in Chatham was the "Mitre Inn and Clarence Hotel," where the coach called the Blue-eyed Maid, belonging to a Mr Simpson, left on a five hour journey to London.

The Mitre kept by Mr John Tribe, a High Constable of the Court Leet of Chatham in 1819.

Mr and Mrs Dickens were on visiting terms with the landlord of this fine old hostelry, and a young Charles Dickens, at evening parties held there, often sang songs of the sea whilst mounted on the dining table for a stage, at the Mitre Lord Nelson used to reside when on duty at Chatham a room he occupied being known as “Nelsons Cabin”.

1805, Lord Nelson, on his way to join the fleet, wishing to inspect the ships in the Dockyard stayed for the night at the Mitre Inn, contenting himself with a little cold boiled beef and then retired for the night, this was Nelsons last visits to these streets.

Nelsons Naval career began in Chatham in 1771 when, as a young boy, he joined HMS Raisonable as a Midshipsman.

In 1793, Nelson returned to the naval service after five years on half pay, when he was appointed Captain of the Agamemnon and joined the ship at Chatham.

Ten years later in 1805 he joined HMS Victory as Rear Admiral.

The Mitre Hotel, now Primark, (British Home Stores) was also visited by Samuel Peeps in 1667.

Originally just “The Mitre” it became “The Mitre and Clarence”, following a visit in 1827 by the Duke of Clarence, Later King William VI.

He came to inspect the dockyard in his capacity as Lord High Admiral and was quoted as saying of the Mitre it had beautiful gardens that he called “a surprise and delight to the stranger”.

The Chatham Bowling Club now in Parmerston Road was originally formed and run from the Mitre.

It was pulled down in 1934.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 1 May 1770.

To be sold by auction, by Mr. Francis Pyner, on Saturday the 19th day of May, 1770, at the "Mitre Inn," at Chatham, in Kent, between 3 and 5 in the afternoon, in separate lots.

Lot 1. A Valuable Leasehold Estate, situate opposite the "Mitre" aforesaid, in the occupation of Mr. Lock, Upholsterer, consisting of a substantial brick built house, and good old accustomed shop commodiously fitted up, and a Range of Warehouses; and also a Large Piece of Ground enclosed, adjoining the above, known by the Name of Fairfield, where Two Fairs are nearly kept. There are six long Ranges of Stalls in the same, with proper Stall Boards, Trestles, &c. and a Garden adjoining. There are upwards of 65 years unexpired, at the small ground rent of 42. The whole is esteemed worth, per Annum, 100.

Lot 2. One third part of one other leasehold Estate, consisting of Seven substantially built Messuages, in Fair Row and High Street; and also a Piece of Meadow Land behind the same; and likewise a Hop Ground in Listmas Lane, now let to several Tenants at, per Annum 69. 10s. There were 78 years and a half unexpired at Lady day last, ground Rent, per annum, 16.

Particulars, with conditions of sale, to be had at the "George and Bull" at Dartford; "White Hart" at Gravesend; "Angel" at Strood; "Crown" and "Kings Head," Rochester; "Golden Lion" at Brompton,; "Star" at Maidstone; "Green Dragon" at Rainham; "Bull" at Newington; "Rose" at Sittingbourne; "Ship" at Faversham; "King's Head," Canterbury; at the Place of Sale; and of the Broker, No. 37, Lombard Street, London.

N.B. To be viewed on Saturday, 12th of May, and till the sale, by applying to the several Tenants.


From the Kentish Gazette, Friday 19 October 1792.


James Elliott, duly sensible of many favours he has received from a generous public, takes this opportunity of returning his sincere thanks, and informs them he has taken, and now fitting up in an elegant and general manner, the "Three Kings Inn," Deal, where he hopes to meet with a continuation of that patronage his exertions may merit, being determined to spare no expense for the accommodation of those whose business or pleasure may call them to Deal.

A new suit of elegant Rooms will be immediately built facing the sea, which will command the most extensive and fine prospect on the sea coast.


From the Kentish Gazette, 14 January 1834. Price 7d.


Posting from Tribe's “Mitre Inn” and “Clarence Hotel,” Chatham, at One Shilling per Mile.



The pub closed in 1934 and was demolished in 1937 and a BHS was built on the site.



ELLIOT James to Oct/1792 Next pub licensee had Trade Directory 1793

TRIBE John 1828-38+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Wright's Topography 1838 (76 High Street)

RANDALL Robert 1958-62+

SCOVIER Auguste 1872-74+ Licensing Records 1872

LEWIS Joseph F 1881-91+ (age 43 in 1881Census)

WOOLLEY Mary A 1891+ Census

GILES Alice Mrs 1913+

COLWELL Alice Mrs 1930+


Trade Directory 1793Universal British Directory of Trade 1793

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

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

Wright's Topography 1838Wright's Topography 1838

Licensing Records 1872Licensing Records 1872



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