DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Sunday, 23 February, 2020.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1768-

Woolpack Inn

Open 2019+

The Street

Chilham

01227 730351

http://www.woolpackinnchilham.co.uk/

Woolpack Inn

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Woolpack Inn

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Woolpack Hotel

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Woolpack

Above photo, date unknown.

Woolpack Inn

Above postcard date unknown kindly sent by Doug Pratt.

Woolpack 1935

Above postcard, circa 1935, kindly supplied by Rory Kehoe.

Woolpack 1951

Above photo, 1951, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Woolpack 1969

Above photo, circa 1969, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Woolpack 2009

Above picture, taken from Google Map, 2009.

Woolpack Inn 2011

Photo by Oast House Archives 2011 from http://www.flickr.com.

Woolpack Inn sign 1934

Above sign 1934.

Woolpack sign 1991Wool pack sign 1992

Woolpack Inn sign left July 1991, sign right June 1992.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis www.innsignsociety.com

Woolpack sign 2010Woolpack sign 2011

Above sign left 2010, sign right 2011.

 

I have reference to this pub from the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle September 1768, when the paper advertised the sale of household furniture of Colonel Parr, at his House in Burgate Street, Canterbury. It was stated that catalogues could be obtained from this public house. See Notes of 1768.

 

Another earliest mention found from the Kentish Gazette July 1769, when catalogues for an auction held at the "Saracen's Head," Canterbury could be obtained from this establishment.

 

Kentish Gazette 22 September 1812.

S. CHAPPELL.

Begs leave to return his most sincere thanks to his Friends and the Public in general for the numerous favours he has experienced from them while at the "Flying-Horse," Canterbury, and informs them that he has removed from thence to "Woolpack Inn," Chilham, where he hopes that by continuing his exertions to render every accommodation, and by keeping good liquors, to have a continuance of those favours, which it will ever be his study and pride most gratefully to acknowledge and maintain.

Neat Wines, good Beds, Stabling, etc.

 

Kentish Gazette 05 April 1836.

DEATH. March 29th.

At the house of her neice, Charles-street, Soho-square, London, Mrs. Chappell, widow of Mr. Chappell, many years landlord of the "Flying Horse," Canterbury, and of the "Woolpack Inn," Chilham.

 

From Kentish Gazette 19 March 1850.

DEATH. DENCE.

March 10, aged 74, Mary, wife of Mr. W. Dence, formerly of the "Woolpack Inn, Chilham.

 

From the Faversham Times, Saturday 25 February 1939.

CHILHAM LICENSEE'S FAILURE.

HAD £10 OF HIS OWN WHEN HE TOOK THE "WOOLPACK."

NOW HAS A DEFICIENCY OF £1,280.

A man who took over the "Woolpack," Chilham, when he had a capital of his own of £10, and who finished up with a deficiency of £1,260, appeared for his public examination at Canterbury Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday.

He was Jack Richard Plimmer Goold, and his statement of affairs disclosed liabilities of £1,737 8s. 7d. and assets of £475, leaving a deficiency of £1,280 2s. 5d.

Under examination by the Official Receiver (Mr. F. C. Wells), debtor stated he had been at the "Woolpack" since December, 1932. He had £10 of his own when he started but had certain loans.

He first trained for the Navy, and became a ship's officer in the Mercantile Marine for a time. Later he went into the leather trade in London, starting as an ordinary worker and becoming works manager. Subsequently he was employed in the transport industry in the position of a manager. He had had no actual experience of the licensing trade when he took over the "Woolpack." The ingoing was between £700 or £800 and apart from £10 he raised most of the rest through a bank guarantee. Part of it had meant a charge for interest for some years.

When he started business he thought it would take three years to pull it round. He spent a lot more money than he expected to put the premises into a reasonable state of repair for the type of business he wanted. He again had to borrow.

Asked if he considered it wise to embark upon such expenditure having regard to his capital position, debtor said it was done with the knowledge of the people to whom he had borrowed the money. They were chiefly relatives.

For the first three or four years he had increasing sales. He did not have a profit and loss account prepared for the last two years, partly because he contemplated taking in a partner at the beginning of the year. He carried on the account only in a rough way. Last year the turnover did not continue to increase. The year before it was steady. There was practically no trade at the house when he went there.

Interest on borrowed capital had been a great handicap, and it would not be putting it too high to say that interest on borrowed money since he had been at the "Woolpack" had cost him £300, That he considered was the chief cause of his failure.

The balance sheet of 1933 showed a deficiency of £354 and by the end of 1936 that had increased to £561.

Asked for an explanation as to why he continued to trade for two years after this debtor said he always thought, and still did so, that if he had been able to clear off all loans which he was paying off under repayment schemes covering principle interest, he would have been able to make the business pay satisfactorily.

Questioned which was the bigger part of the business - the hotel side or the inn side - debtor said that the license side fluctuated rather badly. Some years it was up and other years it was down. The hotel showed the chief increase. He did not cater for charabanc trade - only for high-class trade.

The Official Receiver:- Have you said that the cause of failure are inexperience, lack of capital, interest or borrowed money, insufficient net profits and the illness of your wife?

Debtor:- I should hardly say inexperience. I do not think much can be said to be due to inexperience.

Did your wife's illness handicap you?

Yes, greatly for two years. I could hardly rely on any support from her. She used to conduct the hotel side of the business.

It is suggested you ran the place on two expensive lines. Was there not a great gap between gross and net profit?

Considering that it was a very old fashioned house without a modern work saving device in the place I do not think there was.

Did you work personally in the inn?

Yes, approximately 18 hours a day.

You suggest you ran it as economically as you could?

Yes.

You admit knowledge of insolvency from this account three or four years ago, because that showed a deficiency?

I admit that showed a deficiency but even until the morning of the filing of my petition I had hopes we should be able to carry on and get out of trouble.

Had you endeavoured to find a partner?

Yes.

And arrangements had gone forward for a limited company?

Yes.

And this failed at the last moment?

Yes, owing to the proposed partner failing to produce the money.

To other questions debtor said his mother had lent him altogether £295, but the arrangements were that as soon as everybody else had been paid off he should start repaying the family.

The public examination was closed.

 

Today this hostelry contains an inglenook fireplace and is said to be haunted by the Grey Lady. The building is said to be 600 years old and now offers functions such as weddings, birthdays, private parties etc. as well as accommodation with its 14 bedrooms and restaurant facilities.

 

From an email received 29 January, 2013.

Dear Sir,

My Great Aunt was a barmaid at The "Woolpack," Chilham at the time of the 1881 Census. Her name was (Ellen) Kate Daniels. Her brother, Albert John Daniels, was the licensed victualler of the "Lord Nelson," Waltham, noted in both the 1881 and 1891 Census's.

Regards,

Tony Daniels.

 

Further historical information, hopefully to follow.

 

From http://www.ghostpubs.com accessed 17 June 2015.

HAUNTED.

Haunted by a grey lady.

 

From the https://www.kentonline.co.uk By Secret Drinker, 3 January 2020.

Secret Drinker visits The Woolpack Inn at Chilham near Canterbury.

There might be a few older pubs out there but I canít believe thereís another in Kent which can trace its landlords back to the middle of the 15th century.

The Woolpack Inn has been welcoming visitors to Chilham, near Canterbury, for half a millennium and, judging by the quality of its offering and popularity, has every chance of doing so for another five centuries.

The Woolpack Inn is a large, impressive hotel and hostelry surrounded by a number of other buildings which house guest bedrooms.

Steeped in history, the place oozes tradition from the second you walk through the door to the moment you finally drag yourself away from the log burner in the fantastic fireplace.

You might reasonably expect stripped wooden floorboards, hops hung from beams, homemade chutney for sale on the bar and barmaids in neat black uniforms. But, unless the heart and soul of such historic pubs is right such things are mere window dressing.

Thereís nothing more traditional than the board proudly listing every custodian the place has ever had, but on the opposite wall was a large TV screen, set to silent, displaying the latest update on Trumpís impeachment.

So, does this hunking historic hostelry, currently part of the Shepherd Neame family, maintain the values created over the centuries?

I started with a pint of 4.5 per cent Howling Woolf. The latest offering from Kentís oldest brewer is a warm winter ale with a slightly red colour. It has been created in collaboration with a Finnish brewery and is easy drinking despite being full bodied and full of flavour.

There was also mulled wine on offer at £3.95 for a medium and £4.95 for a large glass, the Tattinger Brut Reserve was a good bit steeper at £8.50 a glass.

There is a large restaurant at the side, as you might expect in an impressive 14-bedroom hotel (only three of them are in the main building) and, although not busy, it looked inviting. However, having secured a fireside seat I was going nowhere so we ordered our food to be delivered to the bar.

There was a radio station playing gently in the background at the right level, just loud enough for me to first recognise a Blondie hit and then Goodbye Blackberry Way by The Move (the first song ever played on Radio 1) Ė now thereís history for you.

At the Woolpack, Chilham the fish finger sandwich was well presented on a trendy wooden board but it didnít come cheap.

Before the food arrived Lizzie the barmaid delivered a second drink and we got chatting. Sheís worked here for 10 years so the place has certainly impressed her and when she got married in September she used the green hops, now in the Woolpack bar, around the church. She was even happy to share the photos and informed me the price of hops has doubled recently from a tenner to £20. Apparently they have to go up green, the same day they are cut, or they dry out and are impossible to handle.

You could immediately tell she has a real love for this pub and if the staff are this happy then you know the boozer is getting most things right.

We went on to have a very interesting conversation about the number of Europeans who cancelled bookings because of Brexit, particularly the Germans and the Dutch, but as she was about to host a private party for a group of Government officials and planned to install a swear box for the dreaded ĎBí word I kept my thoughts to myself.

Tiled floor to ceiling, the toilets were spotless and immaculately maintained.

By now the food had arrived, which was excellent, and I canít recommend it highly enough, though you do pay for what you get and this sort of quality isnít cheap.

During lunch a hairy mutt by the name of Hagrid came bowling into the bar and I took an immediate shine to the bouncing, boisterous fellow. Heís bright too - his owner, who was in for a swift one (or two) before the dreaded school run, says heís learned the word pub and as soon as itís mentioned heís by the door. In fact, heís even brighter than this because when she spelt out Ďpí Ďuí Ďbí he knew exactly what she was saying.

There are plenty of good reasons to praise the Woolpack Inn and, for me, it retains and respects its proud history in exactly the right way. Itís a great pub in a typically chocolate box Kent village, but it certainly knows how to charge.

When allís said and done, regular Hagrid is a great judge of a Ďpí Ďuí Ďbí Ė if itís good enough for him, itís good enough for me.

 

LICENSEE LIST

Last pub licensee had CHAPPEL Solomon Sept/1812+

DENCE W Mr pre 1850

BEKEN Alfred 1858-62+ (age 35 in 1861Census) Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1862

Last pub licensee had MILLER William 1871-91+ (age 61 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891

FILL Arthur Charles 1913-22+ Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1922

SHEPHERD L M Mrs 1930+

GOOLD Jack Richard Plimmer Dec/1932-39

Last pub licensee had COPESTAKE Jerry to 1985 Next pub licensee had

http://pubshistory.com/WoolpackInn.shtml

https://www.whatpub.com/woolpack

 

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 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

 

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

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