Earliest 1768-

Old Coach and Horses

Open 2014+

Church Hill


01227 766609

Old Coach and Horses 1916

Above postcard, 1916, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Old Coach and Horses

Above photo showing the "Old Coach and Horses"

Old Coach and Horses sign 1991

Above sign July 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


My earliest finding of this pub was in 1768, as shown from the passage below, and at the time was simply called the "Coach and Horses." I do not know at present when the "Old" was added to the name, or indeed whether this is a new building. The name certainly didn't have the word "Old" attached in 1901.


From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, Wednesday, 16 October, to Saturday, 22 October, 1768. Price 2d.

To be sold to the highest Bidder, on Saturday the Fifth of November next, at Mr. Gibbons's the “Coach and Horses” at Harbledown near Canterbury, beginning at two o'Clock in the Afternoon.

A strong Timber'd Smock Windmill, built with Oak, fit for the Flour Trade, with two pairs of Stones, and a Boiling-Mill; or it may be turned to Seed Work, or any Thing of that Kind.

For further Particulars enquire at the Place where it now stands, or of Mr. Richard Goodchild, at Harbledown near Canterbury.


Kentish Gazette 09 October 1787.


On Saturday afternoon about five o'clock, as Mr. Curling, master of the "Three Horse Shoes," public-house, at Hernehill, was returning home in his cart from this city, just beyond the milestone on the Harbledown road, the horse took fright and ran away, and he endeavouring to catch hold of the reins, fell from the cart, and the wheel went over his body, by which he was so much bruised that he was carried to the "Coach and Horses" at Harbledown, where, in less than two hours, he expired in great agonies.


From the Kentish Chronicle, Saturday, 17 September, 1859. Price 1½d.



(Before W. Delmar, Esq. Capt Clarke, H. Kingsford, Esq., and H. Dennie, Esq.)

Three navvies, named Bishop, Holmes, and Smith were summoned to answer a charge of using violent and threatening language. Smith did not appear.

Mr. J. Gambrill:- The defendants Bishop and Holmes, with a men named Smith, came into my house, the “Coach and Horses,” Harbledown on September 3rd. I required Smith to spit in the spittoon instead of all over the room, and then they abused me, using very bad language. They threatened to bury me in the cutting, and empty dung upon me; also to settle my hash.

Mr. Gambrill called a witness, who corroborated his statement.

The Bench bound over the defendants to keep the peace, each in his own recognizance of £5 for three weeks, and to pay the costs.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 10 May, 1862.


These favourite resorts of the Canterbury citizens on summer evening have commenced their meetings. And in each case seem to augur well for successful seasons. The most ancient of them, the “Beverley,” held its first meeting at the “Beverley Arms,” St. Stephen's, on Monday evening, the 28th of April. The St. Thomas Hill Club, held at the “City of Canterbury Tavern,” opened the campaign on May-day. The “Castle Inn” Club commenced its meetings in the beautiful orchard of the “Castle Inn,” on Monday evening last, the 5th inst.; and the next evening (Tuesday) a good muster of the members of the “Harbledown Club” assembled on the tap-green of the “Coach and Horses Inn,” which with the pretty gardens attached, have been got into very nice order by the new landlord, Mr. R. Eldridge.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 10 March 1900. Price 1d.


The East Kent Coroner (R. M. Mercer, Esq.), held an inquest at the “Coach and Horses,” Harbledown, on Tuesday, on the body of Sarah Ann Wraight, aged 87. It appeared that deceased, who lived in an almshouse at Harbledown, was standing on a chair, endeavouring to poll down a blind on February 5th, when she over-balanced and fell, fracturing her thigh. Mr. Greasley was sent for and attended deceased until her death on March 5th. Her death was the result of fracture of the thigh, senile debility, and shock.

The jury returned a verdict accordingly.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 14 April 1900. Price 1d.


The East Kent Coroner (R. M. Mercer.Esq.) held an inquest on Saturdays at the "Coach and Horses," Harbledown, on the body of Benjamin Gomme, aged 86.

Charles John Gomme, school-master, Harbledown, stated that deceased was his father. He had been a carpenter but had done no work for 30 years. About a fortnight ago he was knocking up some old boxes for firewood, and witness learned that he hurt his forefinger of the left hand. He made no remark about it, and witness' attention was only drawn to it on the next day. Early on Tuesday, about 3.50, witness heard a noise and got out of bed and went to deceased's room, but on trying to get in he found there was something blocking the door. Witness called to his little boys who were sleeping in the same room and they lifted deceased's head. Witness then went in and found deceased supported by the boys on the floor. Witness thought he must have fallen off his bed.

Mr. H. O. Preston, surgeon, Canterbury, deposed that on the 3rd last, he found deceased in a high fever suffering from erysipelas of left arm and shoulder. He died on the 6th inst. from wound on forefinger of left hand and erysipelas.

The jury returned a verdict accordingly.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 16 February 1901. Price 1d.


John Coackworth, landlord of the “Coach and Horses,” Harbledown, was summoned for having eight unstamped measures in his possession.

Defendant pleaded guilty and said he bought the measures under the impression that they ware stamped.
John Wellfare, inspector of Weights and Measures, deposed that he found the jugs on defendant's bar on the day named. He asked defendant where he got them from, and he said he bought them in Canterbury from a dealer in earthenware, and he was told they ware stamped. There was however, no stamp upon them. Defendant had some jugs of a similar kind in his bar which were stamped. He (the Inspector) believed that defendant was misled by the dealer he bought them from, as he had heard of similar eases.

The bench imposed a fine of 20s. and costs 10s. and ordered the jugs to be forfeited.


From the Whitstable Times, 27 September, 1902.


George Royal was charged, on remand, with damaging a gas bracket, the property of John Coachworth, at the “Coach and Horses,” Harbledown, to the extent of 15s.

Mr. Scripps prosecuted.

Defendant, who was represented by Mr. Briggs, pleaded not guilty.

Complainant repeated the evidence he gave at a previous bearing that after refusing to serve defendant and another man with drink he heard a noise and the two men ran out of the house. Complainant found the gas bracket broken down.

Sir. Briggs submitted that as there were several men in the room at the time the complainant could not see who committed the damage, and he asked the Magistrates to dismiss the case.

The Bench gave defendant the benefit of the doubt and dismissed the case.


I am informed that the licensee around the mid to late 1980s was a dead ringer for Postman Pat, and that's what the locals referred to him as.



GIBBONS Mr 1768+ Kentish Gazette

PAGE Mary 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

PILCHER Thomas 1838-55+ (widower age 49 in 1851Census) Stapletons GuidePost Office Directory 1855

GAMBRILL Joseph 1858-61+ (age 34 in 1861Census) Melville's 1858

ELDRIDGE Richard 1862/Nov/63 Post Office Directory 1862Kentish Chronicle

WRIGHT G R Nov/1863+ Kentish Chronicle

HARDY Edwin 1881-82+ (Also Grocer & Druggist age 40 in 1881Census)Post Office Directory 1882

COACHWORTH John 1891-02+ (age 59 in 1901Census)

DAWES Frederick 1913+ Post Office Directory 1913


???? Anita 2017+ (also running the "Kentish Cricketer" Canterbury)


Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette

Kentish ChronicleKentish Chronicle

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

Stapletons GuideStapleton's Guide 1838


Post Office Directory 1855From the Post Office Directory 1855

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913


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