Sort file:- Canterbury, November, 2019.

Page Updated Canterbury:- Friday, 15 November, 2019.


Earliest 1858-

British Oak

Latest 1931

1-2 Rosemary Lane / Stour Street


British Oak 1941

Above photo taken in 1941, ten years after the pub closed.

British Oah 1948

Above photo 1948, kindly supplied by Rory Kehoe. This 17th Century building was only dismantled down to the brick ground floor; the walls then becoming part of a car park perimeter.

Canterbury map 1874

Above 1874 map identification by Rory Kehoe.

British Oak 2017

Above photo, August 2017, kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe. This building was erected in the 1990s.


The "British Oak" was situated at numbers 1 and 2 Rosemary Lane and the corner of Stour Street. The pub unfortunately closed in 1931 but remained empty and boarded up for a good many years afterwards, eventually being demolished in 1950, but even then it took until 1962 for the ground floor and perimeter wall to be removed completely.

There was another "British Oak" in Military Road.


From the Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, 12 July 1884.


Before the Mayor (H. B. Wilson, Esq.), and J. G. Drury, Esq.

The licences of the following house was transferred: The "British Oak," Rosemary lane, from H. Colleson to F. Blanche.


From the Whitstable Times, 28 July, 1900.


Edward Baker and David Quinn were charged with stealing a gallon and a half of beer, value 2s., the property of Stephen George Bean.

Superintendent Farmery, in applying for a remand until the following day, said that at 5.30 on the previous day prosecutor, who worked at the Gas House, went to the "British Oak" and ordered some beer to take to the Works. He met the prisoner and had a few words with Baker, who made use of threatening language and deliberately walked off with the beer. Prosecutor said something and Baker assaulted him. Information was given to the police and P.C. Robinson went near the Martyrs' Memorial, where he found prisoners with the beer. With some difficulty he got them to the police station.

P.C. Robinson deposed that at 4.45 on the previous afternoon he was on duty in the High Street, when he received information of the theft and went in search of prisoners with P.C. Stone. He found them by the gasometer near the Martyrs' Field. He told Baker that he was going to take them into custody on the charge of stealing the beer.

Baker replied "You can take the beer, you won't take me."

Witness got hold of Baker and P.C. Stone held the other man. Prisoners then became very violent and after some difficulty they handcuffed them and took them to the police station. When witness first found them Baker had the two gallon bottle and Quinn the half gallon.

The prisoners were remanded until the following day.



BAKER Rachel 1858+ Melville's 1858

PARKER William James 1878+ Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

WATSON William 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882

COLLESON H to July/1884 Canterbury Journal

BLANCHE F July/1884+ Canterbury Journal

GEORGE Mrs 1888+

HYMERS Henry William 1891+ Post Office Directory 1891

SWAIN William 1913+ Post Office Directory 1913

SWAIN Edward William 1922+ Post Office Directory 1922


Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1878

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Canterbury JournalCanterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette


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