Sort file:- Canterbury, December, 2019.

Page Updated Canterbury:- Tuesday, 31 December, 2019.


Earliest 1838-

Builders Arms

Latest 1930+

1 Cross Street / Orchard Place

St Dunstan


Builder's Arms 2013

Above photo kindly sent by Grahame Dowse, 14 February 2013.

Former Builder's Arms

Above picture from Google March 2009 shows number 1 Cross Street, the former "Builder's Arms". The beer delivery hatch can just been seen bottom right.

Builder's Arms map 1874

Above map 1874.


Only information I have to date regarding this establishment is that it was open from between 1840 and 1930, as is shown from the licensees list below.

However, information found showed that this end of Cross Street had many connections with the brewery trade in 1889. That year Charles Spicer, Brewer's servant lived at number 2, Mrs. S. Spicer lived at number 3 which was a general shop. James Newman, bottler, at number 4, and at number 5, George Spicer, Brewer's labourer. At number 13, W. Mannering, another brewer's servant and at number 17, William Martin, yet another brewer's servant. Lastly at number 19 was Edward Fullager, a drayman. Numbers 1 to 10 run on one side of the street and 11 to 30 on the other.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 7 April, 1860.


These Sessions look place on Wednesday in the Guildhall before J, Deedes, Esq., Recorder.

The grand jury, of which Mr. F. Bellingham of Saint George’s street was appointed foreman, having been empanelled, the Recorder addressed them with a few remarks on the two cases before them and dismissed them to their duties. True bills were found in each indictment.

The petty jury having been called over the first 12 who answered to their names were sworn, Mr. Wood of Sun-street, being appointed foreman.

John Hilton, William Smith, and John Wealand, three soldiers, were indicted for stealing one handkerchief and one pair of shoes, value 5s. 4d., the property of Robert Davison, at the parish of Saint Dunstan, on the 15th day of February, 1860.

The circumstances deposed to on their trial, were precisely the same as given when the prisoners' were committed, and all three prisoners had been seen in company together in the "Builder’s Arms," in Saint Dunstun's both before the robbery, and on the following morning. Still the evidence of the prosecutor who could swear to Smith only, induced the jury to acquit Hilton and Wealand.

Smith was sentenced to three years’ penal servitude.


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 "Builders' Arms," St. Dunstan's, from George S. Kennett to Edward Challen.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 26 January 1901. Price 1d.


An inquest was held by the City Coroner (Dr. T. S. Johnson) on Tuesday, at the “Builders' Arms,” Church Street, Canterbury, respecting the death of Charles Spicer, an employee of Messrs. Flint and Sons, brewers, St. Dunstan's, who slipped and fell, while walking down Ruttington Lane on the previous day. Mr. T. Russell watched the proceedings on behalf of Messrs. Flint and Sons.

George Spicer, labourer, stated that be was a son of the deceased, who had been in the employ of Messrs. Flint and Sons for the past forty-three years and three months. He lived at 5, Cross Street, St. Dunstan's. On Sunday, at about 12.30 deceased sent for witness as he had just got home after having had a fall while in Ruttington Lane. He said he was getting on the footpath when be slipped and fell on his stomach but he did not think he was hurt. About ten minutes afterwards the deceased was sick. Witness's sister then went for Mr. Greaslay, who came immediately and prescribed for deceased. As deceased was worse in the afternoon witness again went to Mr. Greasley, who came a second time. Witness stayed with deceased from that time until he died with the exception of while he was at work.

Elizabeth Partridge, a widow, living at 2, Crow Street, Northgate, stated that at 11.30 on Sunday morning she was in her front room when she saw deceased come down Ruttington Lane, slip and fall down. He got up before witness could go to his assistance. She asked him if he had hurt himself and he said he had shaken himself very much. She then asked him into her house to sit down and he stayed there sometime. He then left and thanked her for her kindness in allowing him to stay there.

Mr. J. Greesley, surgeon, Canterbury, stated that at 1.30 on the previous Sunday the deceased's daughter came to his house and asked him to go and see the deceased at once. On going to the house the deceased complained of having had a very heavy fall and of pain over his abdomen. He was very much collapsed. Witness advised the deceased should be put to bed. Ha prescribed for him and promised to see him again in the evening. He saw him again at eight o'clock in the evening. He was then in a very collapsed condition—in fact very critical. He saw him again between seven and eight o'clock the following morning. The deceased died, witness was told, at about ten o'clock. Death was caused by the injuries from the fall and shock.

The jury returned a verdict accordingly.


From the Whitstable Times, 11 October, 1902.



At a sitting of the Canterbury Magistrates on Friday an appeal by Mr. Hopkins against the rating of his licensed premises by the Assessment Committee of the Blean Union was heard.

Mr. W. C. Ryde, barrister instructed by Mr. J. E. Burch (clerk to the Blean Board of Guardians) appeared for the Assessment Committee, while the appellant was not legally represented.

The appeal was in respect of the “Builders Arms,” St. Dunstans Within, and was against the assessment of the premises at 48 gross and 40 15s. rateable.

Appellant stated that in his estimation 30 would be a fair figure and nothing more.

Mr. H. Mead Briggs, auctioneer and valuer, Canterbury, stated that he went over the premises, but made no notes. He thought the rating too high for so small a house.

Mr. Hyde contended that the assessment of appellant's home was the same as had been made in respect to houses of a similar character in the Blean Union and that was the only appeal that had been made. The assessment was arrived at in accordance with recent decisions and the law applicable to this class of property.

Expert witnesses were called on behalf of the Assessment Committee and included Mr. Charles F. Jones, of 30, Fleet Street, London, E.C., Mr. A. L. Ride, and Mr. H. T. Eve, of Bedford, rating valuers. Mr. Frank Amos, valuer, of Canterbury, who was also called by the respondents, said he considered the rating quite fair and was based on the recognised system.

The Magistrates (Messrs. J. Cox, G. J. Drury, J. Hunt, and T. Wacher) gave Judgment for the respondents with 5 5s. costs.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 15 July 1905.


William Jeffrey, 23, and Walter Kempster, 36, labourers, were found guilty, at the Kent Assizes on Monday, of burglariously breaking and entering the "Builders' Arms," Canterbury, on June 21st., and stealing two bottles of whiskey, a bottle of brandy, some cigarettes, and a number of cigars.

Mr. H. C. Dickens appeared for the prosecution.

Richard Hopkins, landlord of the "Builders' Arms," Canterbury, found, when he got up in the morning, that his premises had been entered, and on making a search, missed the property in question. Prisoners were arrested the same day by Police Constable Jury and at their lodgings and about their person were discovered portions of the stolen goods.

Jeffrey gave evidence o oath and stated that Kempster left him a for a short time, and when he returned witness asked him where he had been, Kempster replies: "Across the fields for something." Kempster and he afterwards went to their lodgings, where witness fell asleep. When he awoke he found a bottle of whiskey in front of him, and he had some of it.

Mr. Dickens:- Were you sober when you went to sleep?

Jeffrey:- No. I was drunk.

Mr. Dickens:- What woke you up?

The sun, I believe. (Laughter.)

You thought, whoever brought the whiskey there, it had been honestly come by?

I don't look at things in that light sir. (Laughter.)

Kempster stated that Jeffrey woke him up at the lodgings and asked him to have a drink of whiskey. He could not say how the whiskey got there. He did not recollect anything more until he found himself locked up.

Cross-examined:- It was a great surprise to him then ten packets of cigarettes and some cigars were taken from his pockets by the police.

It was stated that both prisoners were drunk when arrested.

Upon the jury finding the prisoners guilty, Jeffrey contested to a previous conviction.

Kempster was given a good character, Chief Constable Farmery, of Canterbury, stating that he was formerly in the 18th Hussars, and for a time in the military police. He was employed for two years at the Canterbury Gas Works, but for some time past he had been drinking rather heavily.

A detecting at the Brighton police proved several previous convictions against Jeffrey, who had also been confined in a reformatory for two years.

It was stated that there was a warrant out against Jeffrey at the present time for breaking into a house at Brighton on Sunday, 26th February, and stealing cigars.

His Lordship asked prisoner whether he wished him to take that case into consideration in passing sentence.

Jeffrey:- It is rather hard, sir.

His Lordship:- It is for your benefit. otherwise you may be re-arrested for this offence at Brighton and tried.

Jeffrey:- Very well, sir; you may take it into consideration.

The Court sentenced Jeffrey to 15 months' hard labour, and Kempster to three weeks' imprisonment.



WOODWARD Leonard 1838+ Stapletons Guide

CHITTENDEN Edward 1840+ Pigot's Directory 1840

VINCENT John 1847-51+ (age 35 in 1851Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847

FISHER William 1858+ Melville's 1858

BOUNDS Ann Miss 1861-62+ (age 33 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1862

BROWN John 1874+ Post Office Directory 1874

STEGGALL Charles 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882Kelly's 1882

KENNETT George S to July/1884 Canterbury Journal

CHALLEN Edward July/1884+ Canterbury Journal

JARVIS Edward 1889-91+ (age 29 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1891

HOPKINS Richard 1903-05+ Post Office Directory 1903

BEER Mary Jane 1913-22+ Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1922

HANKINS William Richard 1930+ Post Office Directory 1930


Stapletons GuideStapleton's Guide 1838

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

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Kelly's 1882From the Kelly's Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office 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


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:-