Sort file:- Bromley, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest Sept 1869

Chatterton Arms

Open 2019+

41 Chatterton Road (Walpole Road)

Bromley Common

020 8460 4604

Chatterton Arms outing 1914

Above photo circa 1914, kindly sent by Ron Colvin, who says his grand-father is seated 4th from the right, bottom row.

Chatterton Arms 1930s

Above photo 1930s.

Chatterton Arms 2016

Above Google image, June 2016.


Traced back to 1895 when a full license was refused, but obviously a lot older than that.

In the 1930s it was part of the Beasley's Brewery tied houses.


From The History of Chatterton Village. Accessed May 2019.

Around 1869 a builder in the area was applying for a licence to set up a rival beer-house to the "Hit or Miss". In September 1869, Joseph Brown had his own licence approved at the Petty Sessions in Locksbottom. His address at this point (and in the 1871 census) was given as Pope Road, but this was probably the property on the corner of Pope and Chatterton (where Life Photography was most recently located and is soon to be a funeral service). This was where the Chatterton Arms was located throughout the 1870s.

Some accounts have suggested that the "Hit or Miss" was the original name of the "Chatterton Arms" and that they were the same pub. This seems highly unlikely given that Carter had his licence revoked a year after Brown had been granted his. Moreover, Brown’s application had been granted this. Moreover, Brown's application had been opposed (in vain) by the "Hit or Miss." It is a lot more likely that they were rivals for a while until Carter's establishment was shut down. They might even have been neighbours: in the 1870 Strong’s directory, Brown’s address is listed next to Carter’s "Hit or Miss," suggesting they were next door to each other.


The above poster, advertising “J. Brown’s Celebrated Ale & Stout - Best Porter - In your own jug” was discovered in August 2017 during the renovation of 67 Chatterton Road. This was the original location of Joseph Brown’s beer-house - later to become the "Chatterton Arms" - between c.1869 and c.1882. The property is also fitted with a cellar, which may have been used by Brown for brewing his beer. I am grateful to Nigel Burke for showing me around the cellar and also for discovering and sharing this poster.

In its early years, there would not have been much to the Chatterton Arms, if indeed it was anything more than a residence at which beer could be consumed, and Brown traded as a grocer too, as well as having seemingly kept up his work as a builder. The ‘Chatterton Arms’ name first appears in the 1876 Strong’s directory. With the extension of Chatterton Road in the late 1870s, Brown took the opportunity to relocate the Chatterton Arms to new land at the corner of Walpole Road, where the pub stands today.

This seems to have been a shrewd move, establishing a purpose-built pub right in the middle of the newly-extended road, at the heart of a growing area with evident demand for a drinking establishment. The new pub cost 2,000 (in the region of 100,000 in today’s prices) to build and seems to have taken longer than much of the other development in the road around this time, the Browns moving in only in about 1883. In its new, much grander building the pub was renamed the "Chatterton Hotel" - although the new name lasted only until 1890, when it reverted to the "Chatterton Arms."

The "Chatterton Arms" appears to have done a roaring trade at the heart of this growing population of largely working class families with a preponderence of builders, labourers and gardeners. It is worth noting too that there was plenty of competition for pub trade - within about 10 minutes’ walk in various directions were situated the "Crown Inn," the "Five Bells," the "Bricklayers’ Arms" and the "Chequers." There were also various attempts in the 1870s to sell a corner plot at the junction of Chatterton and Pope Road for the erection of a ‘tavern’, although this does not seem to have found any takers, so perhaps it was felt that the "Chatterton Arms" had the market covered.

In 1886, Brown died and his widow, Mary Ann Brown, took over as landlady. Mrs Brown made strenuous efforts over the years ahead to extend the initial beer licence so that she could serve wines and spirits too, but was repeatedly refused by the Bromley Bench. The Maidstone Journal of 7 October, 1890, records one such application being considered at the Bromley Licensing Sessions.

According to the newspaper report of the hearing, her lawyer, Mr Gregory, ‘thought the Bench would say that the time had now arrived when this house should have a full licence. He was quite sure that if the Bench would appoint a committee to view the house, they would say it was one which was eminently fitted to have a full licence. The house, which was built at a cost of 2,000, stood back from the Bromley high road. The applicant had held the licence for 20 years, and it was surrounded by no less than 314 houses, the majority of the occupants of which had signed the memorial in favour of the licence... The applicant was constantly being asked for spirits.’

This was not the first time the application had been made, and Mr Gregory argued that a new road had been built since the last. But the Bench was unmoved and seemed to think that provision in the area was sufficient already; the next nearest pub, the "Crown," was only 543 yards away. Not until 1906 was Mrs Brown granted a wine and spirit licence - at least 16 years after first applying.


From the Maidstone and Kentish Journal, 3 October, 1895.


Mr Gregory applied for the fifth time for a full licence for the "Chatterton Arms," Chatterton Road, Bromley Common, but was refused.



BROWN Joseph Sept/1869-86 dec'd

BROWN Mary Ann 1886-1901+ (widow age 49 in 1891Census)

MURPHY B Mrs 1930s




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