Sort file:- Chatham, October, 2021.

Page Updated:- Monday, 18 October, 2021.


Earliest 1874-

Royal Exchange

Latest 1984-

55 High Street


Royal Exchange

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Royal Exchange 1984

Above photo 1984. I believe the premises was being demolished at the time.

Royal Exchange 1970s rear

Photo taken from it is stated the building in the centre is the rear of the Royal Exchange in the early 1970s, after the Empire was demolished and before Anchorage House was built.


This pub is one in the list of my "Project 2014," and the research is still in its early stages.

As such I haven't found a picture of the pub, and 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.


Kentish Gazette, 14 March 1876.


Edward Hayes, 23, mariner, and James Gooding, 35, labourer, were indicted for stealing 7s., belonging to Samuel Rigden, at Chatham, on the 15th January.

Mr. Hamilton prosecuted.

The prosecutor met the prisoners at the "Royal Exchange" beerhouse at Chatham, and treated them to some beer. In the course of conversation, some one in the room asked him for some tobacco, and he told them he had none. Hayes replied "Surely you have some," and Rigden then said he had not, and they might feel in his pockets. Hayes accepted the offer and immediately put his hand into his (prosecutor's) pocket and took out a canvas bag containing the money in question. Rigden said "if you take that you will rob me," and immediately received a bow in the face. Hayes refused to give the money up, and prosecutor consequently went after a policeman. During his absence, Hayes was seen to pass what appeared to be a canvas bag to Gooding, who then left the house. When the prisoners were apprehended, no money was found in their possession.

Hayes denied that he took any money out of the pocket, while Gooding declared that he never saw anything of it.

The jury convicted Hayes of stealing and Gooding of unlawfully receiving the money. Gooding admitted that in 1863 he was convicted of manslaughter, but nothing was known against the other prisoner, who was sentenced to three months' hard labour. Gooding was ordered to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for two months.


From an email received 24 August 2015.

I spent many a happy summer holiday staying with my grandparents at the "Royal Exchange" in Chatham from late 1950's to mid 1960's.

The landlady was Ethel Barker, my Grandmother.

I can still remember hearing the juke box music from the bar as we slept above.

Bill was the catering manager of the Empire theatre next door. This building also had a cinema below the theatre. Their son Peter Barker is slightly older than me and together we spent our summers in Chatham. Peter still lives in Cliftonville.

It was always a busy pub. With the decline of the commercial port and the closure of both the dockyard and the army barracks my grandparents retired to Cliftonville but retained the tenancy of the pub with different managers.

Bill was once invited to the mess hall at the barracks and on his return commented that they had more of of his pub furniture there than he had in the pub. Such was the relationship between the pub and the service personnel.

Behind the bar there was a naval cap band for every ship that visited Chatham.

Under the bar were trays of watches, bill was forever selling beer on the promise of payment against a watch.

They were fantastic people. Bill was from Wigan and Ethel from Doncaster.

The "Royal Exchange" was a lively and very happy place to be.

Best regards,

Phill Needham.



HUGHES John 1874+ Post Office Directory 1874


TOPLEY William 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882

KYBETT Henry J 1891+ (age 56 in 1891Census)

KYBETT Margaret J Mrs 1901-03 (widow age 64 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

KYBETT H J Mrs 1903-13+ Post Office Directory 1903Post Office Directory 1913

SLANEY Ernest Robert 1922-30+

L'AMIE William T 1938+

BARKER Ethel late 1950s-mid/60s

BARKER Billy 1974ish


Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office DirectoryFrom the Post Office Directory


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


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