Sort file:- Erith, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton, Jim Packer & Mike Payne

Earliest 1832-


Closed Apr 1991

2 South Road



Above photo, date unknown.

Britannia 1980

Above photo 1980.

Britannia sign 1980

Above sign 1980.


Mentioned in the census of 1901.

Jim Packer author of the "Lost Pubs of Bexley" says that the pub closed in April 1991 and was later demolished and the area replaced by housing. The pub sign and other bits and pieces were rescued and are now housed in the Bexley Museum.


Information from Mike Payne.

The Britannia, South Road, Erith.

The "Britannia" started life as a beerhouse and, in common with most of its type, did not form the sole income for the proprietor.

The earliest reference I have found is in the 1861 Census where the occupant is a William Groombridge (34) whose occupation is given as market gardener. However in the 1862 Kelly's Directory he is listed as a beer retailer.

There is a newspaper reference to Henry Hawkins being the landlord in 1864 when he gave evidence in a court case.

Next there is reference to a John Warner being refused a licence for the premises in 1865 but he must have been successful eventually as he is listed as a beer retailer in the 1867 Kelly's Directory.

In the 1871 Census we find Charles Miles (23) living in the premises with his young family. His occupation is given as agricultural labourer. Later that year we find him applying successfully for a licence stating that the previous tenant had refused to apply for a renewal in 1870 for some reason.

There is a reference to the premises being put up for sale in 1875.

In the 1881 Census the premises are only listed as 1 South Road and the occupant is an Edmund Smith (49), a blacksmith. However, in the Kelly's Directory of 1882 he is listed as a beer retailer and, in another court case of 1884, he gave evidence as the landlord of The Britannia.

In 1886 it was on the market again as the following advert shows. Note that the name South Road was a recent creation - before that it was regarded as part of Crayford Road.

Edmund Smith remained as the tenant and he is still there in the 1891 Census listed as a blacksmith and beer retailer. He died on 25 January 1892.

The next identifiable landlord is Frederick Nash who had crossed the river to Erith from Essex. He appears in the 1901 and 1911 Censuses and was still listed as landlord in the 1922 Kelly's Directory. The tenancy was taken over by his youngest son Charles and Frederick himself died in 1926.

In the 1939 Registration we still find Charles Nash in charge - he is now 51 and widowed. Living with him were his two maiden older sisters Selina and Louisa. All three last appear on the Electoral Register for 1947.

By 1949 the pub has been taken over by George and Vera Smallwood, followed by John and Gladys Stead in 1955. According to the phone books they were followed by R N Pope in 1972, and
P J Day in 1977.


Gravesend Reporter, North Kent and South Essex Advertiser, Saturday 23 September 1865.

Petty Sessions, Sept. 16th.

Mr. Gibson applied for Mr. John Warner, of the "Britannia," Erith. Mr. Russell opposed.

All the above applications were refused.


Kentish Mercury, 19 November 1886.

Messrs. Hards and Jenkinson will sell by Auction, at the Mart, Tokenhouse Yard, Bank of England.

On Tuesday, 30th November, at 1 o'clock for 2, the well-known and old established beer house known as the "Britannia," Crayford Road, Erith, an excellent position in the well frequented Main Road.

The house contains bar, bar parlour, tap room, kitchen, and three bedrooms; smithy and stable.

Let on repairing lease for 21 years at a rent of 33 per annum.

Also a small plot of building land adjoining, and abutting on the North Kent Railway. The whole held for a long term at a ground rent.

May be viewed by permission of the tenant. Particulars and conditions of sale may be obtained of Mrs. Ellis, Munday and Bartrum, Solicitors, 19, St. Swithin's Lane, E.C. and of the Auctioneers, 6, Moorgate Street. E.C.



GROOMBRIDGE William 1861-62+ (also market gardener of beer shop age 34 in 1861Census)

HAWKINS Henry 1864+

WARNER John 1865-67+

MILES Charles 1871+ (also market gardener age 23 in 1871Census)

SMITH Edward 1881-25/Jan/92 dec'd (also blacksmith in 1881Census)

NASH Frederick 1901-26 dec'd (age 50 in 1901Census)

NASH Charles James (son) 1930-47+ widow age 51 in 1939)

SMALLWOOD George & Vera 1949+

STEAD John & Gladys 1955+

POPE R N (Joe) 1961-77

DAY P J 1977+




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