Sort file:- Canterbury, July, 2020.

Page Updated:- Friday, 31 July, 2020.


Earliest 1808-

Ordnance Arms

Latest 1867+

Military Road/Ruttington Lane

(Barracks 1824 & 28) (Northgate Street 1832)



Kentish Gazette 06 October 1809.


On Tuesday last Mr. Dixon, slater, to Mrs. Ash, widow, landlady of the "Ordnance Arms," public-house, both of Canterbury.


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 03 December 1816.


Dec. 2, Mr. William Groombridge Gillman, landlord of the "Ordnance Arms" public-house, Northgate, Canterbury.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 13 July 1867. Price 1d.


On Friday night, or early on Saturday morning, a fire broke out in a faggot stack at the rear of the “Ordnance Arms,” in Military Road—which before it was extinguished, unhappily destroyed nine dwelling-houses. The flames were first seen by one of the tenants of an adjoining house near the faggot stack, and he having given the alarm to the constable on duty, intelligence was at once conveyed to the Police Station. The flames quickly extended to the range of houses in the Military Road, belonging to Messrs. Harman. Mutton, and others. The Police Engine was first on the spot, followed immediately by the Kent Fire Engine, the Volunteer Fire Brigade with the County Fire Engine, and the Phoenix. Great delay was experienced from want of water which, when procured, by means of pumps and buckets, only partially supplied the engines. The Kent, Phoenix, Police, and Barrack engines, took up position in the Military Road facing the burning houses, and the County Fire Engine was drawn up in the rear, the firemen turning their attention to preventing the flames from extending further—it being found impossible to save those buildings already on fire. In this effort, the County on one side, and the Kent on the other, were successful, while the other engines did good service in seconding them. The houses near which the fire broke out were very old and dry; and when they caught light, it was found impossible to extinguish the flames. For a few minutes there was a rush of water and then the supply stopped—in fact there was not as much water available as would have kept one engine constantly available as would have kept one engine constantly working, far less six. The firemen did all that men could do to stop the progress of the flames, but without water they were powerless. About half-past one o'clock the flames were at the highest, and the sight then was fearfully grand. The flames seemed to light up the old Cathedral to the very summit; and the stones on the vane towers could be distinctly seen at a long distance off. The night fortunately was still—otherwise the amount of damage which would have been done, would have been incalculable. Spectators on Harbledown Hill state that the fire appeared to leap up at one time as high as the Cathedral spires—bringing out that fine building in bold relief, and with the surrounding houses, presenting the appearance of a grand transformation scene on a gigantic scale. The reflection was distinctly, visible at Herne Bay, Whitstable, and the surrounding neighbourhood. By half-past two o'clock all danger was over, and the engines continued to play on the burning debris till past four o'clock. Mr. W. G. Pidduck, inspector to the County Fire Office, reports the damage as follows:—“Four cottages and baker's shop, belonging to Mr. Herman, totally destroyed, partially insured in the Manchester; one cottage, Mr. Mutton owner, insured in the Royal Exchange; “Ordnance Arms,” owner Mr. Pettitt, insured in the Law Fire; thatched cottage in the rear, owner Mr. Druce, not insured; large faggot stack and quantity of bavins, belonging to Sayer, uninsured; two cottages much damaged, owner Mr. Lavender, not insured; “Leopard's Head” and cottage adjoining, damage to windows and doors broken open, the landlord's furniture, much damaged, from the reckless manner in which it was removed—indeed, this remark applies to several of the poor tenants whose goods were unceremoniously damaged by hasty removal, and, who, being uninsured, are great sufferers. The necessity for a Salvage Corps must have forcibly presented itself to many who were present. Added to this the insufficient supply of water will rarely to some steps being taken to remedy these serious drawbacks to the efficiency of our means for preventing the destruction of property from fire.” The total damage is estimated at about 3,000. About 200 of the military were called out to assist at the fire; and, although they have on previous occasions rendered valuable aid, it is reported to us that on the occasion referred to many of the men busied themselves in matters foreign to that which they were called out of barracks. We only hope, however, that this is not the case.

See follow up story at "Leopard's Head."


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 14 September 1867. Price 1d.


New licenses were granted to the following houses:— "Ordnance Arms," Ruttington-Iane.



ASH Mrs (widow) 1809+

GILLMAN William Groombridge to Dec/1916 dec'd

CLEMENTS John 1824-32+ Pigot's Directory 1824Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

PETTITT Mr to 1867


Pigot's Directory 1824From the Pigot's Directory 1824

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

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


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