Sort file:- Canterbury, July, 2020.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 23 July, 2020.


Earliest 1865-

(Name from)

Royal Dragoon

Latest 1997

100 Military Road


Royal Dragoon 1941

Above photo 1941, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Royal Dragoon 1965

Above photograph by Edward Wilmot in 1965.

Royal Dragoon 1982

Above photograph, circa 1982, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Royal Dragon

Above photo June 2001 taken from

Royal Dragoon sign 1975Royal Dragoon sign 1991

Royal Dragoon sign left, 1975, sign right March 1991.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Royal Dragoon sign

Above card issued April 1955. Sign series 5 number 35


The Napoleonic Wars brought a heavy influx of soldiers to the south-east, and many new taverns were opened to cater for them. A way to attract a soldier was to name a pub after his rank or regiment, and thus we have the "Royal Dragoon", one of eight pubs in Military Road in the 1800s. The pub has the added attraction of a small graveyard in the beer garden which, one hopes, is no reflection on the quality of the beer served within.

Originally a Mackeson pub that changed to Whitbread, but later a Shepherd Neame house when they purchased the building with four others in 1972 but unfortunately closed it in 1997. It is said to have been at one time a grave-diggers cottage set close by a barracks for hussars, going back to the 1800s. The building is certainly set on the edge of a graveyard and their rear beer-garden is sited where tombstones used to rest but now removed. Permission had to be sought from the Church Commissioners for the removal of these headstone, but no remains were removed. So far the pub has been traced back to 1839 when George Kidman appeared in a licensing list and the name of the pub then was simply "Dragoon" without the royal attachment. The Royal was first seen in 1865.


From the Kentish Gazette, Friday 5 September, 1865.


On Thursday, at the City Police Court (before John Brent, Esq., Edward Holttum, Esq., and Alderman Philpott) James Stroud, landlord of the "Royal Dragoon" public house, Military Road, was fined 5s. and 6s. costs for having company drinking in his house at 20 minutes past 12 o'clock on the previous Sunday. The charge was proved by Superintendent Davies.


The building was listed was Grad II listed on 7th September 1973.

I have seen this pub named the Royal DRAGON at times, but that is a simple spelling mistake as being situated in the Military Road, it is definitely the "Royal Dragoon" and it's sign at one time depicted  a member of the Royal or First Dragoons, and was a familiar drinking place for many ex-army personnel stationed around the ex-cavalry barracks in the Sturry Road.

The Inns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot's,1988, mentions a document, date circa 1945 that gives the description of clientele at the pub as being "Labouring - some miners."

It is now named Royal Dragoon House and is a private residence.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 9 June 1900. Price 1d.


The Canterbury Coroner (Dr. T. S. Johnson) held an inquest at the "Royal Dragoon," Military Road, on Monday, touching the death of Thomas Holbrook.

Jane Elizabeth Holbrook, widow of the deceased, deposed that she lived at 1, Military Road. Her husband had been ill for about ten months, and had been an out-patient of the Kent and Canterbury Hospital for some time. He went out about 1.30 on the previous Tuesday. Witness also had to go out and when in the town she was told that her husband had just had a fall. Afterwards she met the deceased coming along leaning on the arm of another man. He then sat down on a wine box under the Corn Exchange. While there a woman from the "Butchers' Arms" asked him if he would have some brandy. He had some, but he brought it up again as soon as ha had drunk it. Witness told her husband that she would have to go home because of the children coming out of school, and she then left him. The deceased then want to the back of the "Butchers Arms." The deceased was conscious when she first saw him. He was afterwards brought home. Mr. Wacher saw him on Tuesday evening and prescribed for him, but he died at 10.45 on Friday night.

Margaret Hughes, wife of Joseph Hughes, labourer, living at 4, Military Road, stated that she had known deceased for about two years. On Friday evening sat up with the deceased at the request of his wife. Witness was with the deceased when he died. He had no complaint to make.

Sergt. Swain deposed that he saw the deceased sitting on a box under the Corn Exchange vomiting, and on instructions from the Chief Constable he removed him on the ambulance to his home, where he assisted the wife in putting him to bed.

Mr. Frank Wacher, surgeon, stated that he was called to see the deceased on Tuesday evening the 29th inst. and found him in great pain especially on the left side of his body. The deceased said he had had a fall. Hi had an aneurism on the left side and also had injuries to the muscles of his back. Witness attended him until Friday night. Death was due to the fall and to the aneurism from which he had been suffering.

The Jury returned a verdict of " Accidental Death."


From the Whitstable Times, 7 June, 1902.


Walter Leonard Ballard, landlord of the “Royal Dragoon,” was charged with selling liquor during prohibited hours.

Defendant pleaded not guilty.

Inspector Dunk gave evidence as to watching defendant's house on Sunday morning and seeing defendant's daughters take parcels out and leave them it houses near by. The parcels contained bottles of beer.

Defendant said the beer was ordered overnight.

George Bingham, carpenter, of Military Road, stated that he asked defendant's daughter on Sunday morning to bring him a pint of ale and she did so.

Defendant said he did not think he was doing wrong as he did not take any money for it.

The Magistrates fined defendant 20s. and costs.


From the Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 25 April, 1903.


(Mr. W. H. Netherclift in the chair.)

William Lewis Ballard, landlord of the "Royal Dragoon Inn," Military Road, was summoned for permitting gambling on his licensed premises.

Mr. P. Maylam appeared for defendant, who pleaded not guilty.

Richard Bowden, a cab driver, living at 2, Albion Street, stated that he recollected being in the "Royal Dragoon" on April 2nd, at about 10 p.m. he went into the bar and called fro a pint of beer. The landlord served him, and witness took his beer into the little room at the side. There were several other men in the room, and soon after he had got in the room a game of cards was proposed and the cards were handed down by someone. A game of cards called "twenty-fives" was played. The cards were shuffled. Browning, Hughes, James, and witness were playing. Browning and witness were partners, and they continued to play until closing time. They were playing to pass the time away and not for money or monies' worth. Drinks were called for during the evening four or five times. The landlord supplied the drinks and he was occasionally in the room and saw them playing cards. The landlord did not ask them any questions. The cards did not belong to the witness, but he had often seen them before. He paid for a quart which he had ordered, and he tended the landlord, two sixpences. he had seen the landlord recently, but they had not talked the matter over.

In answer to a question by Mr. R. M.; Mercer, witness said he had been in the house nearly every night since then. he usually spent his evenings there.

The Chairman:- You ordered some beer?

Witness:- Yes, sir.

The Chairman:- Several drinks were ordered, but no drinks were paid for by the losers of the game?

Witness said he asked his friends to drink, but no drinks were paid for by the losers.

Cross-examined by Mr. Maylam, witness said he paid the landlord a shilling. he paid 4d, for a quart of beer, and as he left he took a bottle of stout home; that was 2 1/2d. Then he had a glass of beer in the bar, that was another 1d., and he took 4 1/2d change. The landlord never allowed cards to be paid for money.

Cross-examined by Superintendent Farmery, witness could not say how many quarts of beer were had in the room. No money was paid for the beer whilst they were playing. The Chairman:- We distinctly understand that no drinks were paid for during the game?

Witness said that was so.

Sergeant Hollands stated that from instructions he received he watched the "Royal Dragoon Inn" from 9.30 to 11 p.m. on the 2nd inst. At about 9.55 he saw four men sitting down playing cards. They played a game of "twenty-fives." After each game an quart of beer was brought in by the landlord, who poured it out and gave each player a drink and had one himself. He then gave two other men a drink. After five games had been played two men who were partners, played by themselves. No beer was brought in during that game. The two men who had lost two games just before leaving gave the landlord something. The landlord put it in his pocket and gave one of the men something back. On the night of the 4th witness called upon the landlord and told him he would be reported. The landlord said they were not gambling; they were playing for amusement.

In reply to Superintendent Farmery, witness said the landlord was in the room nearly the whole of the time. He went out two or three times. The landlord was watching the game except when he went out to fetch the beer. Witness could not see if the men gave the defendant any money. They put there hands in their pockets and gave him something and the defendant gave one of them something back.

In reply to the Chairman witness said the two men who have lost games gave the landlord something.

Cross-examined by Mr. Maylam, witness said he watched the men from a window in the churchyard adjoining for one hour and a half. He could see them very plainly. He did not suppose the men knew he was watching. He saw no money on the table. He could not see whether they paid in the bar.

John Edward browning, living at 52, Old Ruttington Lane, stated that he was in the "Royal Dragoon Inn" on the 2nd inst. he went there between nine and ten o’clock. He had two or three glasses of drink at the bar and then went inside in the small room and commenced to play cards. He could not say how many games were played. They played a game of "twenty-fives," he knew the game very well. It was about ten o'clock when they commenced to play and they continued to play until about eleven o'clock. he and his partner won two games and the other two men won three. He ordered a quart of beer and he did not pay for it. Witness did not pay then because he had a weekly account. (Laughter.) There was more than one quart brought in to them. he saw no money paid at all.

In reply to Superintendent Farmery witness said the landlord brought the beer in.

The Chairman:- Have you ever played there and had beer as a result of playing?

Witness said he had not.

Henry James, electrician, stated that he visited the "Royal Dragoon Inn" on the 2nd inst. he had a drink and then went into the tap room. There were a lot of people in the room and one of them asked witness if he would make a game of "twenty-fives." Witness said he did not mind playing to pass half an hour away. He saw no drinks paid for in the room.

Joseph Hughes stated that he remembered being in the "Royal Dragoon" public house on the 2nd inst. he stayed in the public house until almost eleven o'clock. He played cards, but he was not sure how many games he and his partner won. Witness only called for one pot of beer, and he could not say how many pots there were brought in. If anyone said to him drink, he drank. (Laughter.) Witness ordered a quart of beer and paid for it in the bar as he was leaving. He played for the love of the game.

In reply to Mr. Maylam witness said the landlords had warned them on several occasions not to play for money.

Mr. R. M. Mercer:- What occasion has he had to warn you?

Witness said when he had asked the landlords to have a game of cards with him he had said he would for fun and not for money.

The Chairman at this stage said the magistrates were of the opinion that they should not call the evidence for the defence as they considered the case had not been proved and it would, therefore, be dismissed.



KIDMAN George 1839+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury

HIRST Joseph 1846+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury

WINGER Edward Winger 1858+ Melville's 1858

STROUD James 1861-68+ (age 38 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1862Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

CASTLE Henry 1874-91+ (age 49 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891 (From Upper Hardes)

HOGBIN J B to July/1894 Whitstable Times

IYFORD W T July 1894+ Whitstable Times

BALLARD William Lewis 1903-41+ Post Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891Post Office Directory 1903Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1922Post Office Directory 1930Post Office Directory 1938

SMITH A F (Pete) 1979-81+


Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

CensusCensus 1881

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Edward Wilmot CanterburyInns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot, 1988

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald


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