Page Updated:- Sunday, 17 September, 2023.


Earliest 1830-

Red Lion Inn

Closed 1952

74 Honey Hill


Red Lion

Above photo, circa 1914, kindly sent by Gavin Beed, who says the gentleman in the doorway is Hugh Beed, and the small boy in the doorway, left, is his grandfather.

Red Lion 1930

Above photo, 1930, kindly sent by Emily Cornish.

Red Lion 2018

Above photo circa 2018.

Red Lion rear 2018

Above photo circa 2018.

Red Lion inside 2018

Above photo showing fireplace circa 2018. Although former owner Rachel Williams says her father bought the fireplace from an antique dealer in new Romney, so it's not part of the original building.

Red Lion plaque 1664

Above plaque dated 1664.

Red Lion stained glass window

Curren day window, circa 2018.


Closed in 1952, as did many ex-Fremlin's, T&W, Cobb's, Mackeson houses, after Whitbread commenced asset stripping. Pub still there as Red Lion House.

The building is said to date back to 1664 and was once the home of Oliver Postgate who created with Peter Firmin, programmes such as Bagpuss and the Clangers. He moved into the premises in 1962 after it had been closed for 10 years. He went on to sell the building to Rachel Williams and her parents, who says Oliver went on to live next door. Rachel went on to live with children there after her parents sadly died, but has since also sold the premises on.

The building gained a Grade II listing on 14 March 1980.


Red Lion, Blean - 1830.

This is a summary of an article Rory kehoeI found recently, in a 1992 edition of Bygone Kent.

Blean Brothers Hanged for Arson.

On Sunday 21st November, Willam (20) and Henry Packman (18) who lived in Blean, were seen to be larking around, in a field owned by William Wraight, with a friend called George Bishop. It transpired that the three men had already conspired and agreed to burn down a wood stack belonging to a Mr. Parren. They then proceeded to the "Red Lion" and in the company of some friends, stayed there till about 10 o'clock. On leaving the "Red Lion," they went with Bishop to his father's house in Hernhill, in order to collect his tinder box and match. Returning to Wraight's farm, they set fire to his barn and hid in a nearby wood. After 15 minutes, perhaps as a result of nervousness, they broke cover and started shouting "fire!" It was felt at the time, by some of the people who turned out to fight the fire, that it was rather suspicious that these three young men were already there. The next day all three were arrested and taken to Canterbury Gaol, where they concocted and agreed to stick to, an alibi. However, Bishop broke ranks and offered to turn King's evidence, in return for an amnesty.

At trial, the jury took only 10 minutes to find the Packmans guilty of arson and despite having certain nagging doubts, the judge condemned both brothers to death by hanging. His reservations were founded on the fact that Bishop, the instigator of the crime, was walking free, yet the Packmans were to hang. However, the judge considered that it would be an injustice to the public to show leniency, by giving way to any feelings of his own and decided to proceed with "an awful and painful duty."

The day of the brothers' execution was set for Christmas Eve: the sentences to be carried out on Penenden Heath, along with that of John Field (AKA Dyke) who had been convicted of an unrelated arson attack at Bearsted.

Just before being hanged, Henry Packman addressed the large crowd, asking them to "take warning of our fate."

He and William then shook hands and embraced. Friends of the brothers had come over from Blean with a horse and cart and on their lifeless bodies being released by the Sheriff's officers, William and Henry were taken back to their village, where they were interred.

John Field was buried at Bearsted, with a 16cwt stone placed on his grave, as a deterrent to body-snatchers.


Kentish Gazette, 29 April 1851.



Before W. Delmar, Esq., and a bench of Magistrates.

Stephen Hunt, landlord of the "Red Lion" Public House, in the parish of of Bean, appeared to answer an information preferred against him by Superintendent W. Walker, for having his house open for the sale of beer, &c., on Good Friday, before the hour of half past 12. The Superintendent visited the house as eleven a.m., and found four men with pots of beer before them. The Magistrates on this occasion fined defendant in the mitigated penalty of 20s., and costs 13s. 6d., stating at the same time, that should he again be brought before them, the full penalty would be inflicted , viz., 5.


Kentish Gazette, 15 July 1851.


Stephen Hunt, landlord of the "Red Lion" in the parish of Blean, was ordered to pay a fine of 30s. and 14s costs, for opening his house for the sale of liquor before half-past twelve a.m. Sunday, 6th July inst., on the complaint of Superintendent Walker.

The defendant had been fined for a similar offence since April last.
As he was leaving the Court, he applied a fowl epithet to the the constable, who pressed the case.

He was called back, and severely reprimanded by the Bench for his conduct.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 15 June, 1861.


Thomas Bish a waggoner, was charged at the St. Angustine’s Petty Sessions, on Saturday last, with having stolen a waggon whip, value 2s. 6d. the property of Richard Branchett, another waggoner, about six weeks since. It appeared that the prosecutor was lodging at the “Red Lion” public-house, in this parish, and kept his horse in the stable there, where he also deposited his whip. The prisoner called at the house with other men and horses, and was seen to go into the stable. After he had left, the whip was missed. He afterwards sold it to the landlord of the “Noah’s Ark” at Whitstable for some bread and cheese. The accused made a rambling statement as to how he became possessed of the whip.

It was given to him, he said, by a man named Ginger.

Fourteen days' hard labour.


Kentish Chronicle, Saturday 3 June 1865.

Public House Offence.

At the last St. Augustine's Petty Sessions on Saturday, James Wansell, landlord of the "Red Lion" public house, Blean was summoned for an offence against the tenor of his licence.

P.C. Hall stated that on Sunday named in the summons he went to the defendant's house at half past 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and found five men drinking their. The landlord said the men were travellers and that he drew the ale they were drinking before 3 o'clock. The whole of the men were the worst for liquor. One of them belong to Sheerness, but had lodged in a house in the neighbourhood on the previous night. Another of the men lived at Boughton and a third at Tyler Hill. Hall's statement was confirmed by P.C. Hoad, and the defendant was fined 5s. and 10s. expenses.


Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 29 February 1896,


On the 16th Feb,. at the "Red Lion," Blean, Henry, son of the late John Anderson.



C. CHARGES REGISTER, containing charges, incumbrances etc. adversely affecting the land and registered dealings therewith.

The date at the beginning of each entry is the date on which the entry was made on this edition of the register.

1. 12 December 1983. A conveyance dated 21 July 1952 and may between (1) Fremlins limited "Company) (2) William Deacon's Bank Limited (3) Hamlin Development Co, Ltd (Purchaser) contains the following covenants:-

"THE Purchaser for the benefit and protection of the property of the Company in the neighbourhood of the property hereby conveyed and every part thereof HEREBY COVENANTS with the Company so as to bind the property hereby conveyed into whosoever hands the same may come that the Purchaser and the persons deriving title under the Purchaser will at all times hereafter observed and perform form the restrictions set out in the First Schedule hereto.


No In Hotel Public House Tavern Off Licence or Club shall at any time be opened or carried on upon any part of the premises and no beer wine or spirits shall be sold thereon or in any building erected or to be erected thereon."


Exit the Red Lion. Halfway House Closes.

After over 300 years as a licensed house the "Red Lion" the Halfway House between Canterbury and Whitstable closed its doors on Tuesday after the East Kent Confirming Authority had confirmed the removal of the full licence to the "Rose Inn," Sturry. One side of the ancient hostelry had begun to subside and the cost of rebuilding was considered by the brewers, Fremlins Ltd., to be out of proportion to the benefits that would be derived.

The house is over 400 years old and was originally a farmhouse, with the lands all around going with it. Legend has it, that, in the days of Bloody Queen Mary's persecution, the Canterbury Cathedral dignitaries were wont to take refuge there and at the nearby Cloves Farm House when danger threatens.

In olden times, particularly before the building of the Whitstable-Canterbury railway, the house did a thriving trade as a halfway stop for waggoners and carters bringing goods to the city from the port of Whitstable. They certainly needed refreshment for the roads of those times was atrocious and there were frequent petitions for its repair.

There too, the drovers used to stop for the night as they took cattle and sheep to Canterbury Cattle Market, the stock being turned out in the field behind the house.

On Ancient Maps.

The premises are marked on ancient maps as the "Red Lyon" or the "Halfway House." In a "Kentish Gazette," of 1829, there is a report of proceedings against some Canterbury men charged with breaking the windows of the dwelling house of one Sandy of Bleani - the parish in which the house stands.

The report stated that the man had been to Whitstable to see a whale that have been washed up. "Returning home after soaking their clay all they were what they called merry at Whitstable and taking a refreshing glass at the "Halfway House" and another at the "Hare and Hounds," it brought them, to be very merry and not being satisfied with what they had taken already, they called at the prosecutors and several more houses for more heavy wet." The landlord not being a retailer of the article, nor comprehending the phrase, discharged the only heavy wet he had head upstairs upon their friends, which very soon routed them. After a few minutes deliberation however, they returned and threw several stones at the windows.

Rings for Horses.

Outside the "Red Lion" can still be seen the rings to which horses were tethered, while inside there was a fine example of an Adam fireplace.

Earlier in the century, the house was a favourite place of call for teas and refreshments by people who have been Blackberrying in the nearby Woods.

It is understood that the licensee, Mrs. Rosemary Griggs, will shortly be following her licence to the "Rose Inn" at Sturry.

And so is served another interesting link with licensing history.



HUNT Stephen 1841-51+ Next pub licensee had (also farmer age 41 in 1851Census)

COLLARD Mr 1858+Melville's 1858 (also farmer)

WANSTELL James 1865-71+ Census

BUBB Isaac 1874+Post Office Directory 1874

ANDERSON Henry 1881-91+ (age 43 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1882

PARKER Parker 1901+ (widower age 52 in 1901Census)

NICHOLLS Elizabeth A Mrs 1903+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

BEED Harry 1913-18+ Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1918

HAMBROOK Henry T 1922-30+ Post Office Directory 1922Post Office Directory 1930

BARNES W B 1938-44+ Post Office Directory 1938

GRIGGS Rosemary to 1952 Next pub licensee had


Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1918From the Post Office Directory 1918

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

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:-