Sort file:- Gillingham, August, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 01 August, 2021.


Earliest 1861-

Admiralty Tavern

Latest 1970s

1 Pier Road / Approach Road


Admiralty Tavern 1973

Above photo 1973, from by Ben Levick.


I also have reference to another "Admiralty Tavern" with an address of Trafalgar Street which is about 1 mile away.

This probably supplied naval workers coming ashore from the liberty boats on the Admiralty pier.

In 1881 the Chit-Chat club was inaugurated here.


Following information from Ben Levick

The "Admiralty Tavern" stood at the corner of Pier Road and Pier Approach Road. Pier Road was widened and moved a short distance north of its original line at this point. The pub would have originally stood on this grass bank, about where the trees are now.

Site of Admiralty Tavern 2011

The Admiralty Tavern opened some time before 1861 and was placed to catch the trade of naval personnel coming ashore from liberty boats on Admiralty pier, hence the name. In 1881 the Chit-Chat Club was inaugurated here.

I believe the pub closed in the 1970s and was demolished in about 1981.


Chatham News 29 October 1870.


In the County Court of Kent, holden at Rochester.

William Cane, of the "Admiralty Tavern," Gillingham, in the County of Kent, licensed Victualler and Dealer in Shell Fish, was adjudged a Bankrupt on the Twenty-Fourth day of October, 1870.

The first meeting of creditors will be held at the Courthouse, Eastgate, Rochester, on the Tenth day of November, 1870, at Eleven o'clock in the Forenoon.

Until the appointment of a Trustee, all Persons having in their possession any of the Effects of the Bankrupt must deliver them, and all Debts due to the Bankrupt must be paid to the Registrar. Creditors must forward their proofs of Debts to the Registrar.

G. Brindley Acworth, Registrar.


Chatham News, Saturday 13 June 1891.

Sad death by drowning.

Yesterday, Mr. W. J. Harris, coroner, held an inquest at the "Admiralty Tavern," Gillingham, as to the death of Charles Hodgson, age 24, an Ordnance artificer, who was accidentally drowned on the previous day under the distressing circumstances detailed in evidence below.

Mr. N. Cooper was Foreman of the jury.

Thomas Saunders, Master Gunner, in charge of Hoo and Darnet Fort, stated that he left the fort in company with the deceased about 6 on Wednesday afternoon to proceed to Hoo Fort in a flat bottom punt, about 16 foot long and 3 1/2 foot wide, belonging to Mr. Cuckow, of Gillingham. They picked the punt up, as they were left behind by the service-boat that should have carried them across, and wishing to get to Hoo Fort in good time, and thinking the punt perfectly safe, they pushed off from the slip. The tide was running very strong at the time, which caused them to ship a little water, and the deceased began to get frightened and jumped overboard, intending to swim, but the act caused the boat to capsize, and the witness also had to swim for his life. The deceased, who was a good swimmer, was well ahead. Witness did not see him alive after that. He was swimming with the tide, but could not say whether the deceased was or not. The boat leaked a little, but was perfectly safe, and he did not think it would have capsized if the deceased had kept still. They were from 80 to 100 yards from the shore, and well within sight of the men at the fort when the accident occurred. An effort was made by two men at the fort to help them, but it was useless. It was entirely their own voluntary act to take the boat, but they were in a hurry to get to the fort. He did not see how far he (himself) swam, but was picked up about 400 yards from the scene of the accident. The deceased body was recovered by the boat crew, and brought to Gillingham, after being about an hour in the water. They try to resuscitate him, but it was too late, for life was already extinct.

The Foreman:- Had the boat been used after it was lost by its owner?

Witness:- No, not to my knowledge.

A juryman thought it seemed strange that only one boat was kept for the two forts, and said that if the Hoo Fort had had a boat the deceased would have been saved.

Edward Seagars, coxswain of the Royal Artillery boat, plying between the two forts, was next called, and said his duty was the carry rations, letters, and passengers to and fro. At about 6:20 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday) he was proceeding to Darnet Fort to convey the last witness to Hoo Fort, when he heard cries from the men at the fort to be quick, as the master gunner was upset in a small punt. He then gave orders for his men to do their best, and they picked Saunders up at about 500 yards from the Upper Mussell buoy in Long Reach. He seemed pretty well exhausted. Witness then turned around to come back, when he saw something dark floating on the water, and on rowing to it he discovered it was the deceased's head, so he took the body into the boat and brought it to the pier, where they endeavoured to resuscitate life, according to the instructions, but the effort was of no avail. The two men would have had to wait more than an hour before witness could take them, but rather than wait they trusted themselves to the punt, which was a very old one.

James McGeorge, a gunner in the Royal Artillery, stationed at Hoo Fort, corroborated the statements of the last witness in every detail.

Emma Kilkoran, a single woman, residing at No. 2, Green-Street, Middle-Street, Old Brompton, gave evidence of identification. The deceased was an ordnance artificer, 24 years of age.

The jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally drowned," but expressed an opinion that there ought to be a boat kept in reserve for each fort in case of accident, as one boat for the two forts was not sufficient.


Ind Coope & Co Ltd purchased the pub from Budden & Biggs Brewery Ltd by conveyance and assignment dated 23 March 1931. The pub held a full license.



CANE William to Oct/1870

PASSBY George 1891+ (age 29 in 1891Census)

HOSSLEN Alexander 1901-18+ (age 33 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

HOSSLEN Charlotte Mrs 1922+

BALDOCK Leslie Jack Baden 1930+

WOODS Henry Edward 1938+



Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


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