Sort file:- Canterbury, September, 2020.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 20 September, 2020.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Rory Kehoe

Earliest 1858-

(Name from)

Freemason's Tavern

Latest 5 Apr 1965

14 Margaret's Street


Above photo showing the inside of the pub in 1942, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe who says the following:-

"I'm not sure if this next bit is strictly true but let's say it is! The pub had previously been the "Freemason's Inn" but the Baedeker raid put paid to the north side of the building, which included the accommodation and the undercroft, under which which carriages, cars etc. accessed the old stable yard. All this is 100% correct. With no accommodation, the "Freemason's Inn" could no longer accommodate bona fide travellers and was, therefore, downgraded to being a mere Tavern. Sounds fair to me! However, the "Fremason's Tavern" was still knocked about pretty badly and there was some delay in it re-opening. The regulars referred to their local as "Dirty Dick's" and some wag, rather poignantly, placed this sign by the beer pumps!

Freemason's Tavern and Marlow Theatre 1965

Above picture from 1965 shows a miner's May day rally outside the old "Marlow Theatre." To the left of that is the "Freemason's Tavern."

Canterbury O S Map 1874

Above map 1874 identified by Rory Kehoe.

Freemason's Tavern 2017

Above photo, August 2017, kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe.


Originally called the "Mermaid" the house had changed name by 1858.

In 1917 the premises was also referred to as the St. Margaret's Hall and the Y.M.C.A. branch held its meetings there.

14A St. Margaret's Street was owned by Gardner & Co, Ash Brewery, as their Brewery Office in 1889, and were advertising their Family Bitter Ale, 4 1/2 Gallons 4/3 & 6/3 For Cash on Delivery. Full price list on application at the stores. Canterbury, Dover, Hastings, Ashford, Ramsgate, Sittingbourne. In 1917 the manager was named as E. J. Martin

The pub closed on 5 April 1965 and the licence held in suspense following compulsory acquisition.


From the Dover Express, 17 March 1860.


March 8, at the "Freemason's Hotel," Canterbury, the wife of Mr. W. H. F. Moore of a son.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 2 June 1900. Price 1d.


Before Mr. J. Cox (in the chair), Mr. J. Hunt, and Mr. H. G. Sadler.


Mr. Lang, proprieties of the "Freemasons' Hotel," was summoned for on the 16th May allowing a stage play to take place in the Music Hall without getting the consent of the Town Council.
The defendant, who was represented by Mr. Scripps, pleaded not guilty.

Superintendent Farmery stated that on Wednesday, the 16th, he went to St. Margaret's Hall at about 9.30 p.m. The hall formed part of the licensed premises of the "Freemasons' Hotel," and there he saw a laughable sketch being played by Mr. Arthur Roberts and Company. The title of the sketch was "Stop, thief, or Desperation.” There were five persons, including Mr. Roberts, in the performance. There was no singing; it was all speaking. The play lasted about a quarter of an hour.

In cross-examination witness said he did not get the name of the play from Mr. Graham Falcon. Mr. Falcon was present, but he was not bringing these proceedings. Witness took them himself. He did not hear one of the company announce that as the hall was not licensed only selections would be given from the sketch.

Mr. Scripps called Mr. Victor Roi, who deposed that be was a theatrical provider. He made an arrangement with Mr. Roberts to come down and give an entertainment at St. Margaret's Hall. He engaged him as a concert party. When the bills were sent to witness a stage play was advertised, viz. a sketch called "A Race for a Thousand Pounds." Witness ordered the printing. On the evening of the 16th May witness told Mr. Roberts that the hall was not licensed for stage plays. Mr. Roberta replied " Very well, then we will give selections from the sketch.” It was not a stage play as given by Mr. Roberts. Witness wrote to Mr. Roberts when Mrs. Lang received the summons, and Mr. Roberts wired and referred witness to the author of the sketch in London, who had had it acted time after time in the London music halls, and no notice had ever been taken of it.

The Chairman and the magistrates considered a breach of the law had been committed. The defendant was liable to a fine of 20, but as this was the first time she had been before them, they would deal leniently with the case, and only impose a fine of 1 with costs.




USHER John 1858+ Melville's 1858

MOORE William H F 1860-62+ (age 32 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1862Historic Canterbury web site

BEKEN A 1868+ Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

SKINNER John 1874+ Post Office Directory 1874

GOLDSMITH Alfred W 1881+ (age 35 in 1881Census) Historic Canterbury web site

GILLETT F 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882

FEWSON H 1889-91+ Historic Canterbury web sitePost Office Directory 1891

HOOKER John W 1891+ (age 45 in 1891Census)

JEFFREY George William 1917+ Historic Canterbury web site

HOLLOWAY James 1940+

BAXTER W G 1949+


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

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Historic Canterbury web siteHistoric Canterbury web site

Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1868


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