Sort file:- Canterbury, March, 2023.

Page Updated Canterbury:- Thursday, 02 March, 2023.

Earliest 1830

Bridge House Tavern

Latest 1963

(Name to)

31 Old Dover Road


From an Email received on 11 October, 2012.

Greetings from Charleston, South Carolina here on the southeast coast of America!

I've attached a photo of an interesting sign that I've seen, but I can't find any information online about it. It measures 31 inches by 45 inches and weighs about 40 pounds. I have to opportunity to buy it but am cautious until I can find out any information.

Can you tell just by looking at it if it is an original sign? It does look old to me. Might you know the timeframe that it's from?

I'd be very appreciative of any information you can provide.


John Lewis

Bridge House Fremlins signBridge House Fremlins sign

That wasn't the only email I received regarding the same signs, I received this one as well.



Good afternoon from the US!

I am the proud owner of what I believe is an English Pub sign promoting Fremlin's Ale and the "Bridge House". I acquired the sign a number of years ago from an antique dealer in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The sign is approximately 45" high, 31" wide and weighs approximately 40 pounds (US). It is a two sided sign.

The "best side" is in what I consider to be in relatively good shape. There is definitely some peeling of the paint but not in areas that really obscure the print or colors on the sign. The "poorer side" has significant paint damage. However, since I have been displaying the sign on a wall, the damage was of no real concern to me.

I happened upon your web site while I was attempting to learn more about Fremlin's Ale. I am sending you photos of the sign in hopes of learning more about Fremlin's (your web site has already been a great deal of help!) and on the off chance that you might be familiar with the "Bridge House" although I assume that is probably a fairly common pub name. If you have an estimate of the signs age that too would be appreciated.

Any information you are able to provide would be of great interest to me. Additionally, any estimate of the signs value would be helpful since I have not ruled out placing the sign up for sale.

With warmest regards,

Robert Neely

Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA.



I also have reference to another "Bridge House" addressed at St. Stephen's in 1863. This could well refer to the same one I have aklso found address as in Fordwich.

At the end of the 18th century a dwelling house with outbuildings and 3 acres of pasture was built on this site and belonged to a saddler called John Martyn.

The pub itself can be traced to 1830 when Simon Forstell gained a license to sell ale.

1862 saw Thomas Young make alterations to the house and he gained a full license and also the name of "Bridge House Tavern."

The pub was sold to Gardener's brewery of Ash in 1882, the annual rent at this time was 19 guineas.

The pub was almost totally destroyed when a fire caught hold in 1963, but after renovation it re-opened as the "Phoenix" shortly after. In 1968 Whitbread/Fremlins took over the Gardener brewery.

The Inns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot's,1988, mentions a document, date circa 1945 that gives the description of clientele at the pub as being "Artisans and labouring."


From the Kentish Chronicle, 7 March, 1863.


On Monday, T. Barton, landlord of the “Brewer’s Delight” was fined 1s. and expenses for having company drinking in his house at a quarter before 12 o'clock a.m. on Sunday. There were five persons in the house, three of whom were from Faversham, and the other two belonging to the city.

Mr. Hogwood, landlord of the “Old City of Canterbury” public house was also fined 1s. and costs for having two people drinking in his house at five minutes before 12 o'clock on Sunday morning. Both offences were proved by Superintendent Davies; who also reported that, during his tour of inspection, on Sunday morning, he found people drinking in three other houses—the “Bridge Inn”, the “Beehive” and the “Nag's Head,” but as the landlords of those houses were not present the cases were not gone into.

The Mayor remarked that if the Superintendent had warned some of the offending landlords to attend, he ought to have warned all, as those who had not been warned would be put to the expense of summonses.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 28 March, 1863.


On Saturday evening Mr Delasaux, coroner, held an inquest, at the “Bridge House Tavern,” Old Dover Road, on the body of Mary Ann Allen, aged 40, an inmate of the Workhouse, who was found dead in bed on Friday morning. It Appeared that, having been ailing, the deceased was placed in the Infirmary about a fortnight ago. A woman who slept in the same room said that the deceased appeared to be in about her usual state of health on Thursday evening, and on the following morning about 7 o'clock, she was found dead.

Mr. Callaway, surgeon, who had intended the deceased during her illness, deposed that, in his opinion, death resulted from disease of the heart, and the jury returned a verdict accordingly.



FORSTELL Simon 1830+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury

YOUNG Thomas 1862-67+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury

YOUNG Charlotte 1871-82 dec'd (widow age 65 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1874Edward Wilmot Canterbury

DILNOT James 1882-91 Post Office Directory 1891Edward Wilmot Canterbury

KNIGHT Charles F 1891+ (age 27 in 1891Census)

LEE Charles (between these years)

FARRELL Robert Henry 1903+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

Last pub licensee had SADLER George Edward 1911+ (age 60 in 1911Census)

WYVER Harry John 1913+ Post Office Directory 1913

WYVER Mrs Nellie 1922-38+ Post Office Directory 1922Post Office Directory 1930Post Office Directory 1938


Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Edward Wilmot CanterburyInns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot, 1988


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