Page Updated:- Sunday, 13 November, 2022.


Earliest 1870-

Royal Oak

Open 2020+

140 Blean Common


01227 760149

Royal Oak 2013

Above photo 2013 by Malc McDonald Creative Commons Licence.

Royal Oak sign 1986Royal Oak sign 2013

Above sign left, July 1986. Sign right, 2013.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


The building we see today is obviously not the original, as that was reported to have been totally destroyed by a fire in 1871.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 4 June 1870.


An accident of a very singular character occurred on the Canterbury road last Tuesday. The horses and van belonging to Mr. Lennox, carrier between Whitstable and Canterbury, were stopping at the "Royal Oak," Blean Common, when the mail cart came along, and from some cause the horse backed the part into the van. The horses attached to the latter turned suddenly round, crossed over the road, jumped a ditch into a field, and ran as far as the wood at the opposite side of the field, when one of the horses fell down, by which means further progress was stopped. There were several passengers in the van, but fortunately all of them, as well as the horses and van, escaped without injury. The labourers and people about rendered assistance in helping the passengers out of the van and getting up the fallen horse, which having been done all proceeded on their journey in safety.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 09 December 1871.


On Friday evening last a fire broke out at the "Royal Oak" public-house, Blean. As the firemen of the different offices at Canterbury were engaged upon a fire that took place there about the same time and as there was also a want of water at the place no engines were sent, and the building was entirely destroyed by the flames. The premises were insured in the Kent, and the stock in the County fire offices.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 28 January 1882.


January 25th, at the "Royal Oak Inn," Blean. Mr. Robert Eyers, late of the "Red Lion Inn," Bridge, aged 36 years; much respected.


From District Registry Office 1889.

Be it known that at the date hereunder written Letters of Administration of the personal Estate of Sarah Ann Fox wife of Richard Fox late of the "Royal Oak" in Blean in the county of Kent deceased, who died on the 21st day of December 1888, at the "Royal Oak" aforesaid intestate, and had at the time of her death a fixed place of abode at the "Royal Oak Inn" aforesaid within the District of the East Division of the County of Kent were granted by Her Majesty's High Court of Justice at the District Registry attached to the Probate Division thereof at Canterbury to the said Richard Fox of the "Royal Oak Inn" aforesaid Licenced Victualler the lawful husband of the said intestate, he having been first sworn well and faithfully to administer the same.

Dated the 7th day of February 1889.

Gross value of personal Estate 246 0s 11d.

Extracted by the administration.


From the Whitstable Times, 4 August 1900.


Thomas Browning, landlord of the "Royal Oak," Blean was summonsed for keeping open during prohibited hours on the 22nd July.

Mr. Rutley Mowll appeared for defendant who pleaded guilty.

Sergt. Hubbard deposed that on the 22nd instant he watched defendant house from 9.40 to 10.20 a.m. He saw five men enter the back door. He followed the last two and when he got inside he found a man named Nicholls. He noticed five pint pots which had recently contained beer.

Mr. Mowll admitted that Nicholls was served with beer, but asked the Bench to remember the hot weather on the date in question. Defendant had been a licensed victualler for upwards of 18 years and had never been before the Bench before.

Superintendent Jacobs said that he had received complaints about the house.

The Bench fined defendant 1 and costs 9. 6d., but did not endorse the license.


From the By Gerry Warren, 26 June 2018.

Landmark legal victory could save farmland at Blean from development.

Canterbury City Council has won an important High Court legal battle which could save a green field site from development.

The authority originally rejected a scheme for 85 homes on farmland behind the Royal Oak at Blean, which is not designated for housing in the Local Plan.

Royal Oak housiong plan 2018

The controversial housing development at Blean.

Much to the relief of villagers, the council turned it down on a number of grounds, including that it was a sporadic form of development outside the village and was detrimental to the character and appearance of surrounding rural environment in general.

But developer Gladman Developments appealed and the application was subsequently granted by a planning inspector.

Now, following a two-day hearing in the High Court, a judge has backed the council’s case that the inspector made an “error in law” in interpretating the planning policies and has ordered the application be re-determined at a new hearing with a different inspector.

The judge also ruled that the council’s expenses of more than 19,000 should be paid by the Secretary of State.

The council’s Head of Planning, Simon Thomas, said: "It’s highly unusual for us to take the government to court in this way, but there were important issues at stake here.

"Our Local Plan has very clear policies on where we will allow development and on the protection of our precious countryside. The Inspector misinterpreted these and reached a decision that we felt we had no option but to challenge on behalf of local residents.

"It is not the end for this specific planning application, though, as the Planning Inspectorate is now required to reconsider the appeal.”


From an email received 12 November 2022.

I have been tracing my GGGrandparents Richard Fox and Sarah Ann Nutter. In 1881 he was a farm labourer at Westwood, St Peter with his wife Sarah and two sons. In 1891 he was a widower with his two sons and a farmer at Mill Lane, Preston next Wingham. Sarah was from Chislet and father was farm worker. A slight mystery if this is the correct Sarah how she ended up in the pub trade for some time before her death.

Thanks very much.

Linda Dennis.



GOLDSACK James 1871+ (age 33 in 1871Census)

EYERS Robert 1881+ (age 35 in 1881Census)

FOX Richard 1888

PALMER Charles 1992+

GOBSON Harry W 1891+

BROWNING Thomas 1900+

HOBBS William1901-03+ Next pub licensee had Kelly's 1903

NYE William 1911-13+ (also police pensioner age 50 in 1911Census)

ANDREWS John 1918-22+

GILCHRIST Robert 1913+

BUTLER Hugh Reginald 1938+

Last pub licensee had EDWARDS Ron and Margaret 1973+



Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


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