Sort file:- Margate, October, 2021.

Page Updated:- Friday, 15 October, 2021.


Earliest 1828-


Closed 15 Jan 2020

42 Fort Hill (East Cliff Pigot's Directory 1828-29)


01843 280609

Britannia sign 1986Britannia sign 2012

Above sign left, October 1986, sign right 2012.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


The "Britannia" is a hexagonal shaped building situated next to the police station today and has a wonderful view over the harbour and one time Jetty, and may add to the claim that this was a hunting lodge belonging to the Cobb's Brewing and Banking family. In the 19th Century was next door to Cobb's Brewery who held the freehold here from at least 1820 to October 1968 when they were bought out by Whitbread, who took just three years to demolish the brewery.

In the early 1900's minstrels would entertain on the forecourt in front of the pub, which is now its car park.

Minstrels performing in 1900

Above photo, circa 1900.


It is said that there are a huge amount of tunnels under the area and the cellar of the "Britannia" also has a tunnel entrance reputed to be used by smugglers leading to the nearby Margate Caves. These tunnels were used as an entrance to the Fort air raid shelters during the two World Wars.

The pub was also used by the rescued heroes landing in Margate after being brought home from Dunkirk 1940.

A projectile smashed through the bedroom window and embedded itself 4 inches in the wall after one of the unsuccessful attempt to blow up the rotting iron remains of the storm damaged jetty.

One time Cobbs tied house. Cobbs were founded in 1673, but Whitbread took them over early 1968 and closed the brewery later that year.

Chris Richford tells me the following:- This pub is next door to Margate police station. In 1968 the remains of the Cobbs brewery buildings were still standing. The original police station was in Margate old town. The new police station had opened in 1966 on the site of the brewery. Mr Cobb, while chairman of the Kent Police Authority had apparently gifted the site to Kent County Council. As they had intended to acquire the old TA centre/fire brigade/ambulance station at Westwood to have one station for the whole of Thanet, the gift kept Broadstairs and Ramsgate stations going for at least another 40 years.

In the 1980s, a skeleton was found under the floorboards inside the pub and used to be displayed, covered by a glass plate, in the main bar.

The pub today (2011) the pub is one of East Kent's Premier Live Music Venues.

The pub was disrupted in August 2019 due to unruly travellers in the location. (View here.)


From the by Kathy Bailes, 3 January, 2020.

Margate landlord announces the closure of The Britannia pub.

Britannia 2019

The Britannia pub in Margate will close its doors for good on January 15, says landlord Paul Rollins, due to pressures including ‘crippling’ business rates.

Paul and wife Edna have run the Fort Hill boozer for almost five years and hit the headlines with their 1 Sunday roast dinners last year. The venue has also put on a host of live music nights and other events over the years,

But Paul, 66, says running the “pub is not viable.”

Paul & Edna Hutson 2019

Paul and Edna have been at the helm of the pub for almost five years Photo John Hutson.

In September Paul, who is the President of the Licensed Victuallers Association Thanet Branch, revealed during a meeting that he was paying a huge 22,000 a year in business rates.

The British Beer and Pub Association says: “Business rates are a major cost to pubs, who pay a disproportionate amount compared to other sectors.

“In April 2017 there was a revaluation of rates across the UK, with many pubs seeing further significant increases. We believe major reform is required and until that point additional relief should be given specifically for pubs.”

The Britannia has also made the decision to keep the doors closed today (January 3) as a precaution due to a Traveller encampment currently at the Lido car park in Cliftonville. Last August Bank Holiday the pub had to shut when trouble flared with a group staying at the same site.



HUBBARD John 1826-32+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

WORMALL William James 1839-41+ (age 56 in 1841Census)

PEAL Robert (Richard) Dunk 1847-67+ (age 55 in 1861Census) Williams Directory 1849

GRANT Alfred Henry 1871-91+ (age 48 in 1881Census)

BROWN Seymour W 1901-03+ (age 39 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

MOUNT George William 1911-13+ (age 30 in 1911Census)

STRANGE Joseph W 1922-30+

CARTER George 1938+


Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


Williams Directory 1849From Isle of Thanet Williams Directory 1849


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