Sort file:- Herne, August, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 01 August, 2021.


Earliest 1792-

Upper Red Lion

Closed Mar 2011

20 Herne Street


Upper Red Lion 1904

Above photo, circa 1904, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Possibly showing Mr & Mrs Martin and family.

Upper Red Lion 1910

Above postcard 1910. The "Lower Red Lion" is situated almost next to it, further down the road.

Red Lions 1904

Above postcard, date 1904, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Upper Red Lion

Above postcard pre 1914.

Upper Red Lion 1960s

Above photo date circa 1960s kindly sent by Doug Pratt.

Upper Red Lion 2010

Above photo taken 2010.

Above photo showing the Upper Red Lion 2011.

Upper Red Lion sign 1991Upper Red Lion sign

Sign left, July 1991, sign right, before 2011.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


Kentish Gazette, 23 November, 1792.


Thursday, Mrs. Wood, wife of Mr. John Wood, of the "Upper Red Lion," Herne, age 39.


Bell's new Weekly Messenger, Sunday 7 July 1844.

Canterbury. Wilful murder of an infant at Herne.

On the 13th ult., an inquest was held before T. T. Delasaux, Esq., coroner, at the "Upper Red Lion," Hearn, on the body of a female child, which had been found in the privy attached to the residence of G. Goddard, Esq., at Hunters Forstal, in the said Parish.

The jury returned a verdict to the effect that Sarah Mackenzie (a single woman) had wilfully destroyed the child; and the coroner accordingly made out his warrant for her committal to the assizes for trial on a charge of "Wilful Murder." The inquiry since its first sitting, as well as the result, have excited great sensation in the neighbourhood. The accused is about 22 or 23 years of age, and did not appear much depressed in feeling during the examination.


From the Kentish Gazette, 28 April 1846.


Harnett:— April 23. at Herne, after a long and painful illness, Mr. William Francis Harnett, builder, aged 48, son of Mr. H. Harnett, formerly of the "Upper Red Lion Inn." He was a most affectionate husband and father, a sincere and upright man in his business, a most humane and obliging neighbour, and kind master, which has occasioned his death to be felt with a deep feeling of regret through the village.


Kentish Gazette, 30 December 1851.


Harnett:— Dec. 25, Mary Ann Harnett, wife of Thomas Harnett, of the "Red Lion Inn," Herne Street, aged 49 years.


From the Kentish Chronicle 8 October 1859. Price 1d.


The Herne Street cricket club held their last meeting for the season on Monday week, when a match was played between the single and married members of the club, in which the married carried off the laurels. After the match the players repaired to the "Upper Red Lion Inn," where an excellent dinner was served, and the evening passed in conviviality and good feeling.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 23 February, 1861.


On Tuesday last the West Blean Harriers met at Herne, and after a splendid run of two hours they killed the hare. The sportsmen then took luncheon at the “Upper Red Lion Inn,” after which a second hare was found and afforded much additional sport, to the gratification of a numerous party, and greatly to the credit of the huntsman.


Kentish Gazette 01 April 1862.



Edward Young, labourer, who stated that he belonged to Maidstone, was brought up, in custody, charged with having, on 28th March, at the "Red Lion" beer-shop, Herne, stolen a piece of plum pudding, value 4d., the property of John Wrake, labourer. - The prisoner, who pleaded "guilty," was sentenced to 14 days' incarceration in St. Augustine's gaol with hard labour.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 19 March 1870.


The annual Court Baron of the Manor of Reculver, in the upper half-hundred of the Lathe of St. Augustine, was held at the upper "Red Lion Inn," Herne, on Wednesday last, Stephen Plummer, Esq., officiating for His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord of the Manor. After the business of collecting the quit rents and electing the high constable for the ensuing year had been transacted, the party sat down to a very substantial dinner, provided by the host, Mr. George Adams, in his usual able manner, and which was done ample justice to by the guests, who were upwards of forty in number.


From www. 30 September 2011

The Upper Red Lion at Herne, Tesco, and Peter Vickery-Jones

September 30, 2011

What do the locals make of the tale of an old village pub, a greedy supermarket and a local Councillor? Disgusting, stupid, ignorant... and they're not talking about the pub or the supermarket.

Here's how the tale has been unfolding over the last couple of weeks in the HB Gazette. The pub closed in March 2011, and is up for sale at m. Tesco will take it off Punch Tavern's hands if they can get planning permission, although both sides are being tight-lipped about the deal. Ignoring the concerns of local businesses, Cllr Vickery-Jones wades in, spouting daftness.

It's worth noting at this point that Tesco are perfectly happy to throw their considerable weight around to get what they want. Canterbury City Council opposed their planning applications for an Express store in Herne Bay (for a number of good reasons) but Tesco just kept bludgeoning away, running up costs, and escalating it to the Secretary of State until CCC just gave up. As a result, we now have an accident black spot on the main road into Herne Bay, as shoppers swerve in to park on the pavement outside Tesco, and then lurch backwards into the flow of traffic to go home. Thanks, guys.

HBG Sept 22nd: Supermarket giant Tesco is believed to have expressed an interest in buying the empty Upper Red Lion pub.

It is understood the national chain wants to turn the pub into an Express store if negotiations and a planning application are successful. City council town co-ordinator Chris West was among those told about a possible deal this week. He said: "Apparently they're looking to buy the building and turn it into a new Express store. I don't know how true it is, but the person who told me is a pretty reliable source. They deal in property and said they'd caught wind of it. Obviously if it were true there would be concerns from local businesses, but Tesco would need to get planning permission anyway. It certainly sounds like it's something within their remit."

The pub closed in March and was put up for sale by owner Punch Taverns for offers of more than 250,000. It was listed as being suitable for "alternative uses". But Punch Taverns spokesman Leila Maia wouldn't be drawn on who it was in talks with. She said: "It is always our preference that our pubs continue to trade as pubs. However, we do review our estate regularly and may explore other options around the future of our less sustainable sites, or where they might better fulfil their potential for the local community under different ownership. We are looking at different options around the future of the Upper Red Lion, including marketing the pub for sale, and are talking to interested parties."

Tesco spokesman Carol Leslie was just as cagey, saying: "We are always on the look out for possible new sites all over the country and are often in negotiations for suitable schemes for Express stores. However, these often never materialise. Until an agreement is reached we would not comment on individual cases."

Herne councillor Peter Vickery-Jones had also heard Tesco was interested, but says it could face parking problems. He said: "It's an extraordinary move. I can't really believe they'd buy a plot of that nature, but who knows. Maybe they can buy the School Lane car park from the council and we can all enjoy some free parking. From the perspective of what a shop there would offer, it has to be good for the area. There isn't anywhere around there like it."

The pages fly off the wall calendar, and all of a sudden, it's a week later. Rather than only hearing from the supermarket, the landlord and the councillor, we now get to hear from some of the people who matter - the local residents...

HBG Sept 29th Letters

I read with amazement the rumours regarding the development of the Red Lion Pub in Herne ('Checking out rumours of pub becoming store', Herne Bay Gazette, September 22). My incredulity wasn't so much with the notion that Tesco would consider developing a pub in a beautiful village and totally destroying the area, but with the complete ignorance and stupidity of Herne councillor Peter Vickery-Jones. I quote: "From the perspective of what a shop there would offer, it has to be good for the area. There isn't anywhere around there like it."

Has he ever visited Herne? Does he have eyes? Has he not seen the shop that is right next to the site and serves the community so very well? Has he ever visited Herne Bay and seen the Tesco Express there? And has he ever considered why there isn't anywhere around there like it? Maybe because it is a beautiful village with character, not another Tesco town! I think he should consider resigning from his position as I'm not sure how he can represent Heme when he has obviously demonstrated his ignorance of the village!

Steve Owen, Aspen Road, Herne Common, Herne


I am a local shop owner who is worried and disgusted by plans for another Tesco Express store. There is already a Tesco Express store less than two miles away in Herne Bay. That was opened in the middle of two shops which are now suffering as a result. I am also confused about Punch Tavern's decision to consider selling the site to a supermarket. Pubs are always complaining about supermarkets selling alcohol at a loss and this leading to pubs to close down, which is a bit ironic.

I am also disgusted that a local Councillor is in favour of a Tesco Express, does he not realise what effect it would have on the area and local business, especially the shop next door and the pub opposite? He may be a councillor but he's out of touch with his local community. If the shop and post office next door is forced to close down, this would have a big impact on the elderly people who use them locally. It is not what the local businesses who have been serviced the local community there for many years deserve.

I think before Tesco is granted permission to open up another store, however, there should be a proper investigation on how it will affect the area. I think it has more disadvantages than advantages. They should also look at other similar projects and see what effects it had on those areas. I have tried to put my anger and worries into these few words but can't express my feelings enough.

Sedat Duymus, Hawe Farm Way, Broomfield, Herne Bay


Mr Kumanan, the local newsagent, clearly has a much better grasp of the implications of Tesco's plans than his local councillor does. Maybe they should swap jobs.

HBG Sept 29th: A village newsagent says his 80-year-old shop will be forced to close if Tesco moves in next door.

Thiruvalluvar Kumanan was speaking after the Gazette revealed last week that the supermarket giant is in talks to take over the empty Red Lion Pub in Herne. The dad-of-two has run Herne Village Stores next door for the last four years, but the shop has been there for at least 80. He said: "We won't stand a chance, but what can we do? We can't compete with someone as big as Tesco. They just do whatever they want, whenever they want and wherever they want. It's just not fair."

Mr Kumanan's wife Priya called Punch Taverns, owners of the Upper Red Lion, two weeks ago and says she was told they were negotiating with Tesco. The pub has been empty since March and has been up for sale for offers of more than 250,000. Mr Kumanan said: "If it happens it will be the end of us. You've only got to look at what effect they've had on smaller businesses elsewhere. They just muscle in and take all the trade. It makes me so angry.

I've got two children and a family to support and this will really affect our livelihood. It will even affect people in the area because they will have massive delivery lorries coming everyday and will be open until 10pm or 11pm every night. We close at 7.30pm. It wouldn't surprise me if they actually changed the road layout for Tesco as well - they seem to do everything else. I'd love to fight it, but I know whatever we say or do won't count."

Tesco has so far refused to confirm if it is interested in the site, with spokesman Carol Leslie saying last week: "We are always on the lookout for possible new sites all over the country and are often in negotiations for suitable schemes for Express stores. However, these often never materialise. Until an agreement is reached we would not comment on individual cases."


From, Friday 13 April, 2012.

PROTESTERS who defeated Tesco in the battle for the "Upper Red Lion" pub in Herne are now trying to buy the site.

They have lodged a bid with the building's owners Punch Taverns.

The Herne Against Tesco (HAT) group now wants to take over the empty pub which the supermarket chain wanted to turn into a Tesco Express store.

But parish council chairman Tony Day, who was also heavily involved in the campaign, said: "We are being kept in the dark. Punch Taverns had a deadline for bids on Wednesday, April 4. We managed to put one in before they closed.

"But we were rushed. We want to form a limited company with 500 villagers each pledging 1,000 which should give us enough to buy and renovate the pub for the community.

"All stakeholders could have 30 per cent returned through income tax as an enterprise investment scheme."

"I am not overly optimistic at this point. We don't even know if Punch had any other bids. Punch may even end up putting it up for auction.

"We just have to wait now."

Herne and Broomfield Parish Council clerk Monica Blyth said the council had no plans to sell its recently acquired community hall and use the pub instead.

She added: "We are absolutely not interested in trying to get it for the council.

"I can't see how it would make a very good community centre, anyway.

"We have bought somewhere to use as a community centre and we are going to use it as a community centre. It is the HAT committee which is looking at the pub. It is up to them what they do."

Punch Taverns spokesman Jenni Fryer said the company was still taking bids. She added: "As far we are concerned it is still on the market and we would urge anyone who wants to try to buy the pub to get in contact as soon as possible."


From 26 April, 2012. By Joe Walker

Mystery over 250k buyer for pub.

The empty "Upper Red Lion" is set to be sold to a mystery buyer within two weeks, the Gazette can reveal.

A cash bid of more than 250,000 has been accepted by owner Punch Taverns and a deal is nearing completion.

But Fleurets, the firm marketing the building, says the buyer has given no indication of what it plans to do with the pub in Canterbury Road, Herne.

Estate agent Donna Frostick said: “It's progressing through solicitors and at the right pace. Exchange is due within the next two or three weeks.

“There were nine bids on the property and a lot of interest, all for different uses.

“Nothing has been indicated as to what [the prospective buyers] plan to do with it. It really depends on what happens when it's bought. It's a cash-buyer, which makes a massive difference.

“It means they can buy it and sit on it before they decide what to do.

“If it does fall through, everybody who bid will be informed, but it's very unlikely.”

The uncertainty over the pub's future follows a successful six-month battle by villagers to stop Tesco opening a store on the site.

HAT chairman Frank Holden, Herne Against Tesco (Hat), a group set up to fight the store proposal, put in a 250,000 bid to buy the pub earlier this month, but has yet to source funding.

Mrs Frostick said: “The client considered all of the bids put forward, but you can't sell a property to someone without proof of the funding being in place.

“I understand with the consortium that proof wasn't there.”

Hat chairman Frank Holden, who led a public meeting at Herne Church on Tuesday, says the group will be prepared to make an offer if the deal falls through.

It is hoped villagers could buy shares in the property at 1,000 each, with the building used as a community venue or ongoing business.

He said: “Anything could happen – something could come out of the woodwork and it could break down.

“If that happens we have to be in a position to put in a serious bid. I'd rather people said we were wasting our time than say we weren't prepared if that situation arose.

“I just hope the buyer is not a large conglomerate, because they've been known to buy properties and leave them sitting there before they decide what to do. We'd just be left with a boarded-up eyesore.

“Hopefully they'll say this is what we're planning to do and work with the community, because the building is right in the heart of the village.”



I believe this pub closed in March 2011, but do not know whether it has reopened again.

Looks like it has. At least the sign is still outside.


Upper Red Lion 2017

Above photo, August 2017, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Upper Red Lion 2017

Above photo, August 2017, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.


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.



WOOD John 1792+

HARNETT Henry 1828-39+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

HARNETT James 1840-58+ (also Postmaster age 50 in 1851Census)

ADAMS George 1861-62+ (age 54 in 1861Census)

HARNETT James Brice 1874+

KING Thomas 1881-88+ (age 39 in 1881Census)

TAYLOR Harry E 1891-1901+ Census

MARTIN John Edward 1903-Jan/16 (age 44 in 1911Census) Kelly's 1903Whitstable Times

CHEVERTON Annie Gertrude Jan/1916-17+ Whitstable Times

COTTEW James Robert 1922+

DENNIS M Mrs 1930-34+

PLEASS George James 1938+

PLEASS George Edward 1956+


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

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

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald


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