Sort file:- Folkestone, December, 2022.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 11 December, 2022.


Earliest 1833-

(Name from)

Pearson's Arms

Open 2022+

Horsebridge Road / 8 Sea Wall in 1871Census


01227 773133

Pearson's Arms 2019

Above photo 2019.

Pearson's Arms bar 2019

Above photo showing the bar 2019.

Pearson's Arms restaurant 2019

Above photo showing the restaurant, 2019.

Pearsons Arms 2022

Above photo 2022.

Pearsons Arms card 1951

Above aluminium card issued June 1951. Sign series 3 number 25.

Pearson's Arms sign 2017Pearson's Arms sign 2019

Above sign left, 2017, sign right, 2019.

Map showing Pearson Arms locations 1830

Above map showing the two locations of the pub. Green is original pub on Tower Parade in 1830, Green current location at Horsebridge Road from 1840 onwards.

Pearson's Arms 2019

Above photo taken and sent by Shaun Gardener, October 2019.

Pearson's Arms 2019

Above photo taken and sent by Shaun Gardener, October 2019.


The Pearson's Arms originally stood on Tower Parade in the 1830s. It moved to its location near Horsebridge Road in 1840s. The book "Whitstable and Herne Bay Pubs by Johnny Horner" refers to the "Pearsons Arms" in its current location as once being called the "Whitstable Arms."


From accessed 21 January 2021.


The first dwelling connected with the Copperas Works stood between where the Castle is now and the Bowling Green. The Manor of Tankerton was inherited by Elizabeth Radford of London, in 1773. She bought more land and works and in 1780 married a London businessman and Freeman of the Glovers Company, Charles Pearson. He bought several copperas works, but the industry was by now in decline. Pearson began demolishing the copperas works around 1790 and used the bricks to build an octagonal tower.

The black tar of the works can still be seen on the walls. The Pearson's home was known as The Manor House and little is known about its layout except that in 1798 the chimney to the tower was taken down and a staircase put in its place. Pearson frequently rode on horseback to his London business, taking ten hours to reach Fleet Street.

By 1820 they had five children and were living in Greenwich, but every summer they travelled by Thames Hoy to Kent. Pearson planned an extension at the Tower to accommodate his large family. The family spent the summer of 1821 at the enlarged home, bringing maids and bedding down by Hoy as they did not own a carriage. The local copperas industry was by now finished, larger deposits having been found in Yorkshire. Charles Pearson now embarked on a new venture "The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway" to link Canterbury traders with the Harbour. A company was formed with Pearson as one of the owners and main investor together with notable pioneers of the railway age, including George Stephenson. The railway was planned to end on land Pearson owned to the east of the harbour where he built a station, but there was opposition to this and the line finished at the harbour instead. Pearson, always eager not to miss an opportunity turned his station into a hotel. This became the first "Pearson's Arms". The building of the railway ran into delays and financial difficulties.

Charles Pearson died in 1828, two years before the railway opened. His son Charles Pearson Junior, born in 1786, inherited the estate and carried on using the house as a summer residence. He married Eliza, daughter of the wealthy Lord Delaware, in 1810. The Tower fell into neglect and he sold it to his cousin by marriage Wynn Ellis.


From the book Whitstable and Herne Bay Pubs by Johnny Horner.

Today's "Pearson's Arms" is a swish and ever so slightly upmarket gastropub, which has 'celebrity' chef Richard Phillips overseeing operations. Located close to the Horsebridge, just yards from the beach, its exterior of white weatherboarding is old Whitstable defined while the shabby chic of the interior very much reflects at least one side of the town today. However, this well-appointed old pub's long history can boast a few dark chapters down the years, with suicide, drunkenness and what a police report in the late nineteenth century described as 'loose women' all involved.

The "Pearson's Arms" originally stood on Tower Parade, where today you'll find the Wynn Ellis Almshouses. It was opened by Charles Pearson junior in the early 1830s. In 1828, he inherited a substantial estate after the death of his father, Charles senior, who had made his fortune from the copperas industry, which thrived for many years in Tankerton. Copperas was a local mineral that, once processed, was used in textile dyeing. What is today known as Whitstable Castle was built by Pearson senior as the family's grand Kent home. Pearson junior's original "Pearson's Arms" was a speculative project built in the hope that when the railway arrived in Whitstable the line would be driven to the nearby beach. Instead, Whitstable Harbour was constructed and the Tower Hill pub proved a failure."


The Suicide of George Cocks.

In the late 1840s, the "Pearson's Arms" was resurrected at its current location in what was previously the "Whitstable Arms," occupying a small cottage, parts of which can be seen to the rear. The pub was popular with the dredgermen who worked nearby - thirsty work dredging is - and was also a hang out for smugglers, who thrived in Whitstable. Canterbury brewer Ash and Co. owned the pub in the 1860s, but it seems to have acquired a bad reputation. Apparently, the landlord did not only like a drink himself, but he encouraged the aforementioned 'loose women' and for a time in 1864 the pub's license was withheld. The pub's darkest hour came in 1881, when landlord George Cocks was found head down in a water butt. Although attempts were made to revive him, he was already dead, and at an inquest held soon after, a verdict of suicide delivered by the East Kent coroner. It was later revealed that Cock's relationship with his wife was a troubled one. Apparently, Mrs Cocks was not averse to waving a knife in his general direction. He, it seems, was driven to take his own life. The Pearson family's coat of arms still adorns the pub sign. The motto in Latin reads Perduret probitas, which translates as 'Integrity endures'.


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal, Tuesday 26 May 1835.

Pearson's Arms, Whitstable. Thomas Barnes begs to inform his friends and the public, that the above hotel being required by the proprietor for another purpose, he has removed his licence to the residence of the late Mr. James Robertson (situated on the Wall leading from the Harbour) where he has fitted up apartments commanding a delightful sea view, and respectfully solicitors a continuance of those favours so liberally bestowed upon him last season, and for which he returns his sincere thanks.

Tea parties &c. accommodated, and every refreshment on moderate terms.

N. B. Bathing machines, and a commodious Billiard Room.

Stabling, &c. Whitstable, 7th May, 1835.


From the Kentish Gazette, 2 September 1845.



Lot 1.- A freehold public house, called the "Pearson's Arms," with yard, formerly used as a cold store, situated near the Quay, in the parish of Whitstable, occupied by Thomas Barnes. Also one freehold Cottage adjoining, in the occupation of James Sheaf.


From the Kentish Chronicle and General Advertiser, 7 September, 1861. Price 1 1/2d.


At St. Augustine's Petty Sessions, on Saturday last, two married women, Rosa Shoveller and Mary Fullager, were charged with unlawfully assaulting and beating Martha Rigden.

Mr. Delasaux appeared for the defendants.

The complainant deposed that on the previous Thursday, the 20th August, about five o’clock in the afternoon, she was walking along by the “Pearson’s Arms,” when Mrs. Shoveller came out of the shoemaker's shop, tore her hat off her head, slapped her face, pulled her hair, and then said, “Now go and lie again about me.” Just afterwards, Mrs. Fullager, who had been looking on, also went up to complainant, boxed her ears, and knocked her head against the side of the door. Fullager was ordered away, when the other defendant attacked complainant, and after knocking her against the wall, said, “Now I will leave you.” Mrs. Foyer then went for a policeman, and while she was gone the defendant Shoveller again struck complainant in the face. She produced the hat, which Mrs. Shoveller had torn in the manner it then appeared, she did not strike or say anything to defendants.

In cross examination by Mr. Delasaux, the complainant said that she did nothing to either of the defendant. She only said that Mrs. Shoveller was not fit to go with any young girl. She had also said Mrs. Shoveller had stated that she did not like her husband, and she should not mind giving him slow poison. She had also said that Mrs. Fullagar had tried to lead her (complainant) astray. She had said that Mrs. Shoveller was good for nothing, or she would not be walking in the streets with other men. She did not say anything about Mrs. Fullager until after she had struck her, but what she said about Mrs. Shoveller was said about a week previous to the assault.

Elizabeth Stammas proved seeing the two defendants go up to the complainant, strike her in the face, and pull her hat off her head.

Ellen Foyer confirmed the complainant’s evidence as to the attack made upon her by the defendants.

Mr Delasaux then addressed the bench for the defendants. He said it was expected that the assault would have been heard in two separate charges, and had it been so he world have called his clients as witnesses, but as it had been made one charge, their mouths were closed. He spoke of the improbability of the defendants attacking the complainant in the way she had stated, and then went on to observe that the complainant had made re-presentations to the defendants of a nature calculated to induce a breach of the peace. He did not deny that an assault had been committed, but maintained that aggravating circumstances had led to it.

The Bench ordered each of the defendants to pay a fine of 10s and 8s. 9d. costs, or 14 days’ imprisonment. A week was allowed for payment.


Kentish Chronicle, Saturday, 14th November 1863.

There was an application to transfer the licence of the "Pearson's Arms," Whitstable, from Thomas Ward, to John Caldwell, but P.C. Tucker informed the bench that Caldwell had been formally convicted at Maidstone, of offences against the Licensing Act. In proof of this statement he produced copies of the convictions. On the last occasion, in June, 1863, Caldwell was fined 3 and costs.

The Chairman said, under these circumstances the Bench could not grant the licence to Caldwell.

It having been mentioned to the Bench that Messrs. Ash were the owners of the house, the Clerk suggested that they should be apprised of the decision of the Bench.

Mr. Ash's Clerk shortly after entered the Court, and produce a written character which he had obtained from Mr. Mason, under whom Caldwell held a house at Maidstone. He suggested the Bench should let Caldwell have a licence on probation, as he had been in the house for two or three months, and there had been no complaints made against him.

P.C. Hoad said that the "Pearson's Arms" was one of the worst conducted houses in Whitstable. On the 5th inst the police were called to clear the house. Mr. Ash's Clerk considered that the 5th November was an exceptional day, and as Caldwell had promised to conduct the house better in future, the bench should grant him a licence.

The court, however, refused the application.


Kentish Chronicle, Saturday 9 January 1864.

Refusal to Licence a Public House.

Mr. Callaway, solicitor, applied to the magistrates, on behalf of Messrs. Ash, brewers, to renew the licence of the "Pearsons Arms" to landlord John Caldwell. He explained that at the time and application was made by Caldwell to have licence of the inn transferred to him, the magistrates refused to comply with the request, in consequence of he (Caldwell) having been convicted for offences against the Beerhouse Act at Maidstone, and permission only to sell up to that day (Saturday) was granted him. He (Mr. Caldwell) held in his hand a certificate signed by a good many respectable folk living in Whitstable, testifying to the credible manner in which Caldwell had kept his house. Bates, the police officer at Whitstable, was questioned as to how the house had been conducted, and he gave a very indifferent account concerning it, stating that the inn was kept open until early hours in the morning, and that recently he had had occasion to eject women of bad character from it.

The magistrates refused to renew the permission to sell to Caldwell.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 23 November 1867. Price 1d.


At the County Police Court, on Saturday last, James Food was charged with keeping a disorderly house, on the 5th November.

Sergeant Grower deposed that he was on duty at Whitstable on Tuesday, the 6th of November, and between 10 and 11 o'clock, he heard the reports of fireworks, which he thought were being let off in defendant's house, the “Pearson's Arms.” He went in the house, and found that it was full of smoke. Defendant was supplying the men inside with beer as fast as possible, and witness complained to him, and told him he should report him for keeping a disorderly house. Defendant answered that he could not prevent the men from making a noise. Witness then left the house, and went in again at about 12 o'clock, when the persons inside were still letting off fireworks, some of the men having blackened faces, while others were drunk. He succeeded in clearing the house at about half-past 12.

Defendant said he asked the police sergeant to clear the house the first time he came, but instead of doing so, he immediately left the house.

P.C. Fry was called and corroborated the statement of Sergeant Gower.

Defendant was fined 10s., and the costs, 10s.


The Canterbury and Vicinity Directory – Commercial - Oystertown. Saturday, 2 April 1881.

Driven to suicide.

On Monday afternoon the East Kent Coroner, T. T. Delasaux, Esq., held and inquest at the "Pearson's Arms Inn," Whitstable, on the body of George Cock, the landlord of the house, aged 39 years, who committed suicide on Sunday by drowning himself in a water-butt.

Florence Croft and stated that on Sunday afternoon, about 4:30, she went into the yard at the back of the deceased's house and saw his body in a water butt. His legs were hanging over the side of the tub. She obtained assistance and afterwards saw the deceased, who was dead. She had been staying in the house, during which time the deceased had been low and melancholy.

Thomas Bartlett, diver, stated that on Sunday afternoon he was called to the yard of the deceased house and they found him in a water-butt. His head was covered, and his legs were hanging out of the butt. Witness took him out, he was quite dead and cold, and had evidently been drowned. Witness was quite certain that deceased could not have accidentally fallen into the butt, and believed it to have been his own act. For the last three weeks he had observed that the deceased was low and melancholy, and he told witness he should drown himself, adding that his wife would drive him to commit the act. Witnesses heard frequent quarrelling between them, and on Sunday afternoon, about 1:15, he saw Mrs. Pearson strike at her husband with a knife, but the deceased kept off the blow by putting up his arm. His wife was continually quarrelling with him.

Edward curling, labourer, said he saw the deceased on Saturday morning about 7 o'clock, when he appeared very low spirited, and witness did not believe he knew what he was doing.

At this point the jury wish the enquiry adjourned in to allow of a post mortem examination to be made.

An adjournment was accordingly made until Tuesday afternoon, when Mr. J. W. Hayward, surgeon, gave the result of a post mortem he had made, which showed that death did not arise from poisoning or from any diseased organs. Witness was satisfied that death was caused by suffocation and drowning.

The jury then returned a verdict of suicide while in a state of temporary insanity, and they added that they could not help observing that they believe the act of suicide was caused by the violent conduct of the wife of the deceased.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 19 November 1910.


Of the "Blue Anchor," Seasalter.

Begs to Thank his many Friends (both old and new) for past patronage, and to inform them that he is taking over the "Pearson's Arms," Whitstable, on December 6th. Next, where he will be pleased to see them after 6 p.m.

Don't forget to drop in as there will always be a snack on hand. Tea and Coffee after 6 a.m., and as usual everything of the best. All proprietary brands will be stocked.

Ash and Co.'s Fine Ales A Speciality.


Beryl Waters 1935

Above photo of Miss Beryl Waters. Circa 1935.

From the By Lynn Cox, 11 December 2022.

Drunk chef Jayden Holman broke into Pearsons Arms and Cheadles Chemist in Whitstable.

A disgruntled chef claims he broke into his former employer’s pub because he was owed wages - before causing almost 10,000 of damage in a pharmacy raid.

Jayden Holman burgled the Pearson’s Arms in Whitstable, before ransacking Cheadles Chemist on the High Street, leaving a trail of destruction.

Holman, of no fixed address but from the Whitstable area, was drunk when he smashed his way into the pub in Horsebridge Road during the early hours of October 13.

The 20-year-old climbed up a drainpipe and broke windows to get inside, before stealing two bottles of booze from the bar and leaving fridges open, ruining the food inside.

A cup containing small change was also reported missing.

Holman told a probation officer he carried out the burglary because he was owed wages, although no evidence was presented to the court.

The officer said: “He had been working long hours and worked for the pub.

“He told me he was owed money and he’d been working up to 93 hours a week.

“He’d had a fallout with one of his employers and they owed him money. He had not been paid and that’s why he did the burglary - he had not been paid properly.

“He has a job ready at the "Monument" pub on his release.”

A few days after the pub break-in, Holman was arrested after trying to steal a bike from outside McDonald’s in St George’s St, Canterbury, using a hammer to free it from its locking chain.

Holman was later charged with the burglary at the pub, attempted theft of the bike and going equipped for theft in relation to the hammer.

However, while on bail in November, Holman broke into the Cheadles Chemist in Whitstable.

As he entered the building, he damaged computers and then rifled through the building looking for things to steal.

He left a fridge full of medication open and stole two boxes of breast cancer drugs from inside.

Police were called after alarms inside the building went off and Holman was found still inside in a drunken state.

He started to abuse officers and even shouted at a woman walking past.

Holman admitted both burglaries when he appeared at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court.

Magistrates were told he had also pleaded guilty to the other offences at an earlier hearing.

Julie Farbrace, prosecuting, told the court the damage to the pharmacy totalled 9,523, mainly because Holman had left a fridge full of medication open which had to be thrown away.

Ms Farbrace said: “The break in had a massive financial impact on the business and customers couldn’t get their meds and the nearby doctor’s surgery couldn’t issue prescriptions to the pharmacy.”

She told magistrates the pub also suffered a financial loss as damage cost 970 to repair. Food left in open fridges also had to be thrown away at a cost of 523.94.

The court heard both businesses were able to claim on their insurance for the damage, but the chemist had to pay 500 excess and the pub 1,000.

The bench was told Holman had no previous convictions apart from a caution he had been given earlier this year, and that he had carried out the spate of criminal activity while suffering mental health issues and binge drinking.

Magistrates jailed Holman for 12 months for both burglaries, but suspended the term for 12 months.

He must also complete a nine-month alcohol treatment requirement and 25 rehabilitation sessions with probation.

Holman was also ordered to pay 500 compensation to the chemist and 1,000 to the pub.

He was also fined 50 for going equipped for theft and 50 for the attempted theft of the bike.




BARNES Thomas 1835-45+ Pigot's Directory 1840

BEAL James 1847+

WHITNAL George 1851-58+ (age 57 in 1851Census)

HOOKER Henry to May/186 Kentish Chronicle (Pearsons Arms)

WARD Thomas May/1862+ Kentish Chronicle (Pearsons Arms)

CALDWELL John June-Nov/1863 (licensed refused) Kentish Chronicle

WEBSTER Benjamin 1871-74+ (age 58 in 1871Census)

WELLS to Nov/1880 Whitstable Times

COOPER Edmund Nov/1880+ Whitstable Times

COCKS George to Apr/1881 dec'd

COCKS Mary Ann Apr/1881+ (widow age 36 in 1881Census)

GARDENER Robert 1889-1903+ (age 68 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

Last pub licensee had DORRINGTON William Nov/1910-11+ (age 43 in 1911Census)

RIGDEN H W 1913+

RIGDEN Clementine to July/1913 Whitstable Times

OLIVE Stephen William July/1913-18+ Whitstable Times

REED Maud R Mrs 1922+

CHENEY G A 1924-30+ Kelly's 1924

WATERS Charles William 1934-39+ (age 58 in 1939)


Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald


Kentish ChronicleKentish Chronicle

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Kelly's 1924From the Kelly's Directory 1924


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



LINK to Even More Tales From The Tap Room