Sort file:- Whitstable, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 14 September, 2021.


Earliest 1867-

Railway Inn

Latest 1938+

1 Canterbury Road / Belmont Road / 1 Swan Terrace / 1 Upper High Street 1871Census


Railway Inn pre 1860

Above photo is possibly the oldest taken of Whitstable pre 1860. The white gate is where Belmont Road is today. The row of three houses, Hartsfield Terrace was demolished in 1860 for the wooden railway bridge built to take the new LCDR to Ramsgate. These houses were rebuilt and are still there in Swanfield Rd., behind the pub.

To the right of the white gate is the building that became part of the "Railway Inn." It is unknown whether it was functioning as an inn then.

The small building in the middle of the scene it the Tollgate as this was the Turnpike Road to Canterbury.

Raulway Inn 1904:

Above photo roughly the same view in 1904. The Tollgate has been removed and rebuilt where it stands today at the junction of Joy Lane. The building next to the bridge has been extended and is as we know it today.

Canterbury Road 2017

Above Google image showing the same location, June 2017. The pub, of course is to the right of the bus passing under the bridge.

Railway Inn 1914

Above photo, 1914, calling up Navy Reserves outside the "Railway Inn,"

Railway Inn

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Garth Wyver.

Railway Inn 2017

Above photo August 2017, taken and sent by Steve Glover.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 18 July, 1863.


On Monday afternoon, Mr. W. P. Callaway, deputy coroner, and a respectable jury, held an inquest, at the house of Mr. William Madams the “Railway Inn,” Whitstable, on the body of Edward Gostick (who had been staying with his brother, a grocer in the town) who was drowned on Sunday morning under circumstances which will be best gathered from a perusal of the evidence adduced.

Thomas Henry Lockwood, of Whitstable, carpenter, deposed:- I have known deceased about eight or nine weeks. Yesterday morning about a quarter past eight I was with him on the beach bathing; there were three of us; deceased’s brother was with us. We were bathing on the Herne Bay side of the street. The tide was then almost high. Deceased was the first to go into the water. He went about 80 yards out and stood still; the next I saw of him I believed him to have been out of his depth. I was then almost close to him and found myself out of depth. I then swam up to him; he made no remark about being out of his depth. About a minute afterwards he shouted, I was then close to him, and grasped him, I endeavoured to bring him ashore. The top tide was coming in and the underneath ashore. The top tide was corning in and the underneath was going out. We both went under the water. I found I could not bring him ashore, and I was in danger of being drowned, and I left him under the water. I then swam to shore. I went for a boat. I never saw him again. A coast-guard and another man would not let me have the bout, as I was naked. I then came to his brother, and on my return the const-guard men were in a boat, and they drew the body from the sea. The deceased was in the water about ten minutes before I knew he was out of his depth. The deceased could not swim, I have never bathed with him before. Before going into the water he said the place was very flat, and anyone could go out a long distance without being drowned, he rushed in the water very quickly.

By a juror:- His brother cannot swim and therefore could not render deceased any assistance.

James Searle, of Tankerton Station, commissioned boatman, deposed:- I was standing on the hill above Tankerton Tower, about a quarter or half-past eight yesterday morning, and saw the three men go down the beach, and saw them go into the water. They went into the water about forty yards to the east of the Street. At first they did not go out of their depth. As the deceased was on the Street up to his chin he went to the westward off the Street, and directly got out of his depth and sank, and I did not see him alive again. In two or three strides there is an increase of six feet of water. I was told he could not swim, and with others I went in a boat. About two hours and 50 minutes after he sank we found the body, I took him from the water with a boat-hook, which caught him under the left arm. He was quite dead when we found him. The coast-guard rendered all the assistance he could, and as soon as possible.

This being the whole of the evidence, the deputy coroner summed up, and the jury returned a verdict of “Accidentally drowned.”

Too much praise cannot be given to Mr. J. Peare, chief officer of the Coast Guard Station at Tankerton, and his crew for their indefatigable exertions to recover the body—but unfortunately nearly three hours had elapsed before they succeeded in their mission of humanity.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 12 March 1870.


At the Kent Lent Assize, on Wednesday, John Spratt, Frederick Page, Henry Thomas Kirkcaldy, 16, sea apprentice, and William Godden, 21, labourer, were indicted for a rape upon Mary Hockless, at Whitstable, on the 26th September, 1869.

Mr. E. T. Smith prosecuted and opened the case at some length, stating the facts which will be found in the following evidence:-

Mary Hockless said her husband resided at Whitstable and was named Thomas Hockless. On the 26th September she was at the "Railway Inn," where she had a glass of beer and some bread and cheese. She left there about twenty minutes to twelve, and when near the "Two Brewers" she met five or six young men, four of whom she saw in the dock. They set upon her and dragged her over the stile in the meadow. She screamed out. She knew Godden, Spratt, and Page before, but she did not know the other prisoner. They threw her down on the ground and stopped her mouth with their fists, and each of the prisoners committed a rape upon her. She was on the ground for about three-quarters of an hour, and after the prisoners had left she remained there for an hour or two as she was very ill afterwards. She said to Godden, who was the only one she recognised after the offence had been committed, "Oh dear, young Godden, are you here," when he laughed and exclaimed that witness knew him. She reached home about four o'clock in the morning and gave information to the police about twelve.

Cross-examined by Mr. Barrow, who defended Spratt and Page.— She was the worse for liquor when she left the "Railway Inn." It was on the road between the "Railway Inn" and the "Two Brewers" that the young men met her. She lived opposite the "Two Brewers," but that was not were she was assaulted. She had not till now said she knew the four prisoners. When before the magistrates she only said she knew Godden. When before the magistrates she said all six of the young men had connection with her and not four as stated on the depositions. She did not say a word to her husband about it when she got home.

Cross-examined by Godden.— She did not apply to him for protection nor did she say her husband had locked her out so she could not go home.

Cross-examined by Kirkcaldy.— She did not remember seeing the prisoners buying pears out of a cart, nor did she remember lying down drunk.

By the Judge.— She identified Godden by his clothes.

Re-examined by Mr. E. T. Smith.— When she said before the magistrates that one by one four had connection with her she was alluding to the four prisoners then present, but in reality six young men had connection with her.

Thomas Hockleas said he was a labourer living at Whitstable. On Sunday morning, the 27th of September, his wife came home between three and four o'clock in the morning, and he went down stairs and let her in. He did not take any notice as to whether she was distressed or in good spirits. Later in the morning he noticed her mouth was swollen and she was crying, and on his asking her what was the matter she said she had been assaulted by fire or six young men.

By Mr. Barrow.— Was not aware that his wife was given to liquor. Had never refused her admission to his house. P.C. Bates, to his knowledge, had not brought her home drunk forty or fifty times. Could not say he had never seen her drunk.

Mr. Ladams said he kept the "Railway Inn," and on Saturday night, the 26th September, he remembered Mrs. Hockless being at his house. He believed she came in about nine and left about a quarter-past eleven. When she came in she asked for a glass of beer, saying her husband had turned her out of doors. She was drunk that night, but not so bad as he had sometimes seen her. The distance between his house and the "Two Brewers" was something less than a quarter of a mile.

By Mr. Burrow.— Although her husband had never seen her drunk, he had many a time, and she had been in the habit of being carried home by boys.

A young man named Edmunds said he lived at Mr. Garraway's house, near the "Two Brewers." On the night of the 26th September he was awoke by the screams of a drunken woman. He looked out of the window and saw about half-a-dozen young men carrying a woman, whom they put over a stile. He thought he heard Spratt's voice, but could not swear to it. He did not think whose voice it was at the time, but he afterwards thought it was Spratt's. The woman kept calling for help. The screams subsided and he went to bed. Stephen Samson said he kept the "Two Brewers Inn" and knew Spratt and Page, who were at his house on the night of the 26th September. They left about twelve o'clock.

By Mr. Barrow.— There was a harvest supper at his house that night and about forty or fifty persons were there besides the prisoners who all left at twelve o'clock.

Mr. Mitchell, surgeon at Whitstable, examined the prosecutrix and found a number of marks about the lower parts of her body. On the thigh there were some slight bruises. On her chemise he found stains of dirt.

P.C. Tomlin said that on the 27th September he received some information from the prosecutrix, and apprehended Spratt on a charge of committing a rape upon her. He said he was not there, and had not seen the woman. He next apprehended Kirkcaldy, who said the woman was drunk, and they tried to get her home, but she went into the meadow. He next apprehended Page, and he said he saw some men lugging a woman about, and he thought Spratt was one, but as he was so drunk he could not say positively. He charged them all with Godden at the station collectively, when Godden said he did not commit the offence. Spratt afterwards mentioned the names of the prisoners and two others, and said they were all as bad as one another.

This was the case, and the learned counsel having addressed the jury for the prosecution and defence, his Lordship summed up and remarked upon the evidence of the prosecutrix, which he thought, considering her being in a state of intoxication at the time and her prevarications in her evidence, could hardly be relied upon.

The jury, after a few minutes consultation, returned a verdict of acquittal in the case of all the prisoners.

His Lordship said the Jury had found them not guilty. They were all young men and he cautioned them to let the peril in which they stood be a warning to them for the rest of their lives. Had they been convicted of that indictment they would have passed the remainder of their lives in penal servitude. He then discharged them.


The Canterbury Journal and Farmers Gazette. Saturday March 13, 1909.



Mr. H. M. Mercer appeared on behalf of Mr. Battiscombe to apply for the transfer of the "Railway Inn," Whitstable, from John Carden to Mrs. Elizabeth Grace Johnson (widow).

Mr. Carden raised some objection to the transfer and said he did not know why he had been given notice by the brewers (Messrs. Flint and Co.).

It was put to Mr. Carden that he had signed the notice agreeing to the transfer, and he said that he did not know what he was signing.

Mr. Ben Twymnn, who was the valuer in the case for Mr. Carden, said the notice was read to Mr. Carden. He supposed the brewers had sufficient reason for giving Mr. Carden notice, or they would not have done so. He was unable to give the reason. Mr. Carden had been in the house for eight or nine years. His tenancy, according to the notice, expired on the 5th.


Not to be confused with the "Railway Tavern" this was originally a Flints tied house, later to become Fremlins.

This was probably an Inn next to the tollgate and was extended and renamed when the London, Chatham and Dover Railway was built alongside. The Whitstable Station being temporarily nearby. As yet I do not know what the name was.

Further information from Christopher Richford says the following:- Being on the corner of Canterbury Road and what is now called Belmont Road the pub extended into Belmont Road. Belmont was formerly Swan Terrace/Swanfield leading to Church Road and was probably a marsh area for drainage of the higher ground south of the town.



MADAMS William 1861-63+ (also grocer age 42 in 1861Census) Kentish Chronicle

LONG George to May/1867 Whitstable Times

MADAMS William May/1867-71 (age 52 in 1871Census) Whitstable Times

BEST John 1874+

GILES Richard 1881-1901 (age 58 in 1901Census)

CARDEN John 1900-Mar/1909 (age 57 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

JOHNSON Elizabeth Grace 1911-13+ (widow age 50 in 1911Census)

REED Percy 1913-37 Kelly's 1924

MITCHELL Alfred 1938-39+ (age 33 in 1939)


Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald

Kentish ChronicleKentish Chronicle

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Kelly's 1924From the Kelly's Directory 1924



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