Sort file:- Ashford, October, 2019.

Page Updated Ashford:- Friday, 25 October, 2019.


Earliest 1768-

Royal Oak

Aug 1912

5 High Street


Royal Oak 1910

Above photo, 1910, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.


In 1869-70 the pub was part of a consortium who were advertising their goods of selling tea in response to grocers' selling beer and wine. (Click for further details.)

Not to be confused for the "Royal Oak" in Mersham. I believe this pub closed at the end of 1912 and was sold in 1914 to become Lee and Sons Furnishings.


From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, Wednesday, 7 September to Saturday, 10 September, 1768. Price 2d.


Thomas Purssord at the “Royal Oak,” Ashford, buys Hops as usual, and will always be at Home Thursday's and Saturday's.

Saturday 5, 1768.


From Kentish Gazette 27 February 1770.


Having determined to quit the said House at Lady-day (25 March) next ensuing, takes this Opportunity to return his best Thanks to his kind Customers for their many past favours; and to beg the Continuance of them to Mr. JOHN PILCHER, who will enter upon the said Inn at Lady Day next ensuing. And begs Leave further to inform them, that as he has for some time past, so he still continues, to carry on the Trade of a common Brewer and Maltster in ASHFORD. He hopes to have the Continuance of former Favours, which, with those of others in future, will be equally and gratefully acknowledged by;

Their greatly obliged, and very humble Servant, THOMAS PURSSORD. Ashford, Feb. 24, 1770. ..... He has several large and useful Cart and Saddle Horses to dispose of immediately.

Followed by this report:-

JOHN PILCHER, Begs leave to acquaint the Public, That he purposes entering upon the ROYAL-OAK INN, in ASHFORD, at Lady-day next ensuing, now in the Occupation of Mr. THOMAS PURSSORD, where he hopes for the kind Encouragement of the Publick in general, and of late Friends and Customers of Mr. PURSSORD in particular; all of whom may depend on being accommodated with the best of Liquors, with every other Article of Entertainment, and their Favours will ever be gratefully acknowledged.

By their most obedient humble Servant,#


Neat POST-CHAISES to be Lett, with the best Horses, and very careful Drivers.


From the Kentish Gazette, Friday 17 April, 1784.


Late Butler to John Lade, Esq; Humbly begs leave to acquaint his friends and the public at large, that he has taken the "Royal Oak Inn," in the town of Ashford, which he has fitted up in a general manner, with good beds, and every other Accommodation fit for Ladies and Gentlemen.

His utmost Endeavours will be to merit the kind Encouragement of his Friends and the Public, by the greatest Civility and Diligence in his Business, and by providing the very best provisions and Liquors for the Entertainment of Company.

Whose Favours will oblige their humble Servant.

Steven Tunbridge.

There is a large Yard and good Stable Room.

A good Ordinary every Saturday at One o'clock, likewise on every Stock Market Day.


From the Kentish Gazette, Friday 16 March, 1790.


Sarah Tunbridge (Widow of Stephen Tunbridge) begs leave to return her sincere thanks to the public for their past favours. And as she continues the above Inn, humbly solicits their future support, which she hopes to merit by her strict attention to their Accommodation and Entertainment, Post-chaise, neat wines, and choice liquors.

March 16, 1790.


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 22 April 1796.

To be Sold by Auction, by Richard Hammon, at the "Royal Oak Inn," in Ashford, in the county of Kent, on Wednesday the 4th day of May, between the hours of Three and Five o'clock in the afternoon, (by order of the Assignees of John Mascall, the younger, a bankrupt:-

A New-built Messuage, being a Public-house in full trade, called the "Half-Way House," with stables and suitable out-buildings, and two acres of land, more or less, thereto belonging, situate in the parish of Wye, and adjoining the turnpike road leading from Faversham to Ashford, now in the occupation of Thomas Austen.


Originally in the London Gazette, taken from Caledonian Mercury (Edingburgh, Scotland ), Thursday, May 15, 1817; Issue 14895.


C. Christian, "Royal Oak Inn," Ashford, Kent, Victualler.


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal, Friday 16 September 1814.

Capital Inn for Sale.

With immediate possession, the "Royal Oak Inn," in the town of Ashford. As an Inn, it is well known and much frequented. The house and premises are in good repair; so constructed and well fitted up with every requisite, as will enable the purchaser considerably to enlarge the present extensive business already attached to it.

The proprietor only quit in consequence of having engaged himself in another concern, and will accommodate his successor with all or any part of his stock, furniture and fixtures.

For particulars apply to Mr. Potts, upon the premises.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 18 June, 1864.


A meeting of the Trustees of the Hamstreet Turnpike Road was held at the “Royal Oak Inn,” Ashford, on Friday, when a scene of somewhat unusual occurrence took place. These tolls have for many years been held by Mr. Alfred Smith, of Canterbury, at about 400 per annum, by means which are well known to these initiated in these matters. On this occasion these means were thwarted by an unusual attendance of bidders, and the tolls soon ran up to after which the biddings continued at 1 each up to 550, two minutes and upwards being allowed to expire between each bidding, after which they jumped to 690. This showed that there was some dodge on the part of the bidders to keep the trustees so long as to compel them to adjourn without letting, but the third glass unexpectedly sunk at 656 to Mr. Husted, of Larkfield, which he and his opponent, Mr. Gooding, of the Borough Market, denied being the third glass, but the rough Market, domed being the third glass, but the chairman and trustees decided it was, and called on Mr. Hasted for 30, the fixed deposit. He, however, refused to pay, and probably law proceedings will be necessary to decide the matter. The conditions were not stringent enough for such bidders, and the usual deposit of 2 at the first bidding too small to deter such parties from pranks of this kind. The trustees declared 4 forfeited, and the gates must be advertised again or taken in hand.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 21 April 1900. Price 1d.


Talbot John Medley, landlord of the "Royal Oak Inn," at Ashford, was charged with permitting gaming on his licensed premises.

Mr. Drake appeared on his behalf, while Mr. Bracher prosecuted.

The evidence of P.C. Jones was to the effect that he heard tossing for whiskey and cigars going on in a room at the Hotel at one o'clock on the morning of March 14th, and, on being admitted, he found three commercial travellers and one resident of Ashford in a small room. The Ashfordian declared that he was staying the night as his wife was away from home. The fact of the tossing was not denied, but Mr. Drake minimised the seriousness of the offence and suggested that it was not as bad as playing cards, or pitch and toss, adding that the defendant, as a young hand at the business, really did not know what was done was illegal.

The Bench inflicted a penalty of 3 and 10s. costs but did not endorse the license.


From the Whitstable Times, 18 January, 1902.


The East Kent Coroner (Mr. R. M. Mercer) held an inquest at the “Royal Oak,” Ashford, on Monday, respecting the death of Florence Ann Kemp.

It appeared the deceased was the wife of Harry Frank Kemp, and died on the 12th January at 10.30. On the 16th May last she took some spirits of salts—her husband had it in the house for soldering. She had seen him use it. The deceased had suffered from a bad head-ache. Dr. Cave was called in, and treated the deceased. About a month afterwards she went in the hospital, and remained there nine weeks. She then came out and went to Dover and Sittingbourne for a change of air. The deceased told the doctor when she took the salts she was mad with pains in her head.

The jury returned a verdict that death was due to peritonitis following perforation of the bowel, in consequence of a dose of hydrochloric acid being taken in ignorance of the poisonous contents of the bottle.


From the Folkestone Express, Saturday, 17 August, 1911.



A meeting of the East Kent Licensing Compensation Authority was held at the Sessions House, Longport, Canterbury, on Wednesday, under the chairmanship of the Right Hon, Lord Harris. No objections were raised to the abandonment of the following licenses, the renewals of which were accordingly refused:- “Royal Oak Hotel,” Ashford (John Arnold Bacon.)


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 10 February 1912.


At the annual licensing sessions for the Ashford petty sessional division held on Tuesday Superintendent Jones submitted his report which showed that there had been a decrease of two ale-houses mid two sweet licences. Twenty-five persons had been proceeded against on charges of drunkenness, a decrease of nine persons (eight residents, and one non-resident), as compared with the last twelve months. The Chairman (Captain Down) said all the licences would be renewed with the exception of the "Royal Oak," Ashford, the "OId English Gentleman," Ashford, and the "White Horse," Egerton, on the grounds of redundancy.


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 09 May 1914.


Royal Oak Galleries 1914

A few months ago the famous old Posting House and historic "Royal Oak Hotel," Ashford, came into the market and was purchased by Messrs. Lee and Son; extensive alterations and decorations have been carries out (certain apartments of the hotel, which date back some 300 years, being retained) and the premises adapted for carrying on the extensive furnishing business established in the county by this firm, who have during the past 22 years, by efficient and economy, competed, as they have to do, with the large London houses, made well deserved progress.

Their motto "We lead," has been well maintained, and under the personal management of Mr. Herbert Lee, assisted by a capable and experienced staff in the many-sided business, they command the confidence of all classes as the efficient and economical "Furnishers for Cottage or Mansion." Their experience enables them to carry out decorative and artistic schemes for Furnishing in the styles of the later periods.

The artisan's house is also a great feature in their furnishing, and good medium class furniture, dependable in quantity, is supplied to suit the needs of those with a moderate income, who wish to spend 15 to 30. There is also a well stocked second-hand department, whist fortnightly auction sales of furniture, etc., are held in the firm's well known Wellesley Hall.

Within the commodious rooms of the new Galleries, Model Rooms for artisans will be arranged suggesting economical ideas for cottage furnishing. Antique reproductions will be arranged, perfect in quantity in the old rooms.

The premises are now open and the Exhibition is an exceptionally good one, and we are given to understand that Messrs Lee and Son are most anxious that the public generally shall feel free to walk in and out without feeling compelled to purchase. A room will be placed at the disposal of ladies for rest, interviews or correspondence, whilst gentlemen may have the use of a writing room and telephone.

This up-to-date enterprise should command the appreciation and support of the inhabitants of the County, and save the expense and inconvenience of those who have hither to felt compelled to furnish in London.

All goods will be plainly marked, and the Model Rooms will be priced complete.



PURSSORD Thomas 1768-Mar/1770

PILCHER John Mar/1770+

TUNBRIDGE Stephen Apr/1784+

TUNBRIDGE Sarah (widow) 1790+

CHRISTIAN C to May/1817

GIBSON Charles 1832-40+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34


ROSE Edwin 1861-70+ (age 45 in 1861Census)

BRIDGE Benjamin William 1874+

HAITER James 1881+ (also Chelsea Pensioner age 47 in 1881Census)

MEDLEY Talbot John 1900+

OWER Walker William 1901+ (age 45 in 1901Census)

BACON John Arnold 1911-Aug/1912 (age 25 in 1911Census)

APPS Elizabeth 1939+ (age 63 in 1939)


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



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