Sort file:- Canterbury, March, 2019.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 09 March, 2019.


Earliest 1059-

Royal Fountain Hotel

Latest 1940

16 St. Margaret's Street


Royal Oak 1930's

Above postcard, date 1930's, kindly submitted by Mark Jennings.

Royal Fountain Hotel circa 1930

Above photo taken from the Historic Canterbury web site, before circa 1930.

Carriage outside Royal Fountain Hotel

Above postcard showing a carriage outside the hotel, date unknown.

Royal Fountain Hotel back 1920s

Above photo, circa 1920s, showing the back of the hotel, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Canterbury O S Map 1874

Above map 1874 identified by Rory Kehoe.



One of Kent's oldest inns was the "Royal Fountain Hotel", which was destroyed in a bombing raid on 1st June 1942. In 1299, legend tells us, the German Ambassador stayed at the inn en route to London to attend the wedding of Edward I and Queen Margaret, and found the amenities much to his liking. An even earlier tradition states that Earl Godwin's wife resided there in 1029. Dickens however certainly stayed there in 1861.


Another of the posting houses, this building was unfortunately destroyed by bombing in world war 2.

Originally the "Fountain Inn" the premises was renamed the "Fountain Hotel" in 1827 and by 1867 it had become the "Royal Fountain Hotel." See also the "Fountain Tap."

The license for this establishment was transferred to the "Abbot's Barton Hotel" after it was destroyed in 1942.


Royal Fountain Hotel ruins

Above photo showing the smoking ruins of the "Royal Fountain Hotel" shortly after the 1942 Luftwaffe raid on Canterbury.

Royal Fountain 1942

Above photo, 1942, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Rear of Royal Fountain Hotel

Photograph showing the rear of the hotel, date unknown.

From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 19 January, 1867. Price 1d.


At the rent audit of the Marquis of Conyngham, held at the “Royal Fountain Hotel,” Canterbury, on the 10th inst., the noble landlord presented each of his tenants who had suffered by the Cattle Plague with the amount of one half his loss.


From the Eastern Daily Mail and Straits Morning Advertiser, 10 May, 1907.


In his work entitled “Some Old English Inns” George T. Burrows says, “Nothing has been left on record to show that inns were, or were not, in existent in Early Britain.” Yet, since the Roman had inns, it is pretty safe to assume that they established them during their stay in Britain. “But with the coming of the English and the disorder brought in its train, it is quite reasonable to suppose that the houses which then exist – it is believed by some antiquarians that official posting-houses were dotted along the man roads every twenty miles or so apart – were rudely swept away and for some considerable time England was innless.” It is difficult to conceive of an innless England. The monasteries, doubtless, served the same purpose; any traveller was always readily received; if he could pay, so much the better; if not, he was allowed cheerfully to depart in the name of charity.


The author concludes that the oldest inn in England is “the Fountain” in Canterbury, where stayed the wife of Earl Goodwin when she went to meet her husband on his return from Denmark in 1029. This is a respectable antiquity indeed! It is also claimed for “The Fountain” that Archbishop Lanfranc stayed there during the rebuilding of his palace in 1070. “The story, also goes that the four knights who murdered Thomas a Becket made the house their meeting place. It has its place, too, in later history, in that it was a scene of gaiety and activity in the September of 1299, where the marriage of Edward I, to Margaret of France was solemnised at Canterbury Cathedral.




FARLEY John 1794-

MILES Mrs dec'd to 1801

MILES Mr 1802+

WRIGHT Samuel 1824-47+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Stapletons GuideBagshaw's Directory 1847

FINN William 1858-81+ Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1862Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Post Office Directory 1874

FINN Annie M 1881+ Census

WARD Horatio 1882-95+ Next pub licensee had Post Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891

SPARK Mrs A 1903+

LUND Amelia before 1932 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

LARGE F C 1922-34+


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

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

Stapletons GuideStapleton's Guide 1838

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

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


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Historic Canterbury web siteHistoric Canterbury web site

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express


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