Sort file:- Gillingham, May, 2022.

Page Updated:- Monday, 16 May, 2022.


Earliest 1860-

Globe and Laurel

Closed 1973

105 Britton Street


Globe and Laurel 1927

Above photo circa 1927, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Globe and Laurel 2011

Above photo date 2011, from by Ben Levick.


Information from by Ben Levick

The "Globe and Laurel" takes its name from the Royal Marines Crest, not surprising considering the nearby Royal Marines Barracks and Chatham Dockyard. It had been in existence since at least 1860 and closed in 1973.

The "Globe and Laurel" is a perfect example of the many thousands of beer-houses that once dotted the country. Under the 1830 Beer Act, any householder who paid rates could apply, with a one-off payment of two guineas, to sell beer or cider in his home (usually the front parlour) and even brew his own on his premises. The permission did not extend to the sale of spirits and fortified wines and any beer house discovered selling those items was closed down and the owner heavily fined. Beer houses were not permitted to open on Sundays. The beer was usually served in jugs or dispensed directly from tapped wooden barrels lying on a table in the corner of the room. Often profits were so high the owners were able to buy the house next door to live in, turning every room in their former home into bars and lounges for customers.

Within eight years of the Act there were about 46,000 Beer-houses opened across the country, far outnumbering the combined total of long-established taverns, public houses, inns and hotels. Because it was so easy to obtain permission and the profits could be huge compared to the low cost of gaining permission, the number of beer houses was continuing to rise and in some towns nearly every other house in a street could be a beer house. Finally in 1869 the growth had to be checked by magisterial control and new licensing laws were introduced. Only then was the ease by which permission could be obtained reduced and the licensing laws which operate today formulated.

Although the new licensing laws prevented any new beer houses from being created, those already in existence were allowed to continue and many did not fully die out until nearly the end of the 19th century. A very small number remained into the 21st century. The vast majority of the old beer houses applied for the new licences and became full public houses, or closed down as time went by. These usually small establishments can still be identified in many towns, seemingly oddly located in the middle of otherwise terraced housing part way up a street, unlike purpose-built pubs that are usually found on corners or road junctions. Many of today's real ale micro-brewers in the UK started as home based Beer House brewers under the 1830 Act.


The 1851 census has the address as 7 Wellington Place.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 02 April 1938.


Much regret has been occasioned in the Medway Towns this week at the news of the death, which took place in Lenham Sanatorium, on Sunday, of Mr. Horace L Rowden, the licensee of the "Globe and Laurel," Britton Street, Gillingham. He was only 37 years of age, but had been in failing health for some time and was removed to the sanatorium a fortnight before last Christmas.

Mr. Rowden - "Horrie " to his friends - hailed from Whitstable, and was in the eye of Kent football in the years following the Great War, in the balmy days of Chatham Football Club, when it was functioning in the old Southern League.

Later, he played for Gillingham in the Third Division, also in the centre-half position. He was a great asset to both Clubs, both from the point of view of playing ability and personality, and was a warm favourite with the football "fans" of the Medway district.

Mr. Rowden married Miss Reaks, the daughter of Mr. A. J. Reaks, a former landlord of the "Globe and Laurel," a George Beer and Rigden house, and on Mr. Reaks' retirement from business, took over the license. In addition to the widow, a little daughter, Joan, is bereaved.


Dundee Evening Telegraph 28 March 1950.


Mrs. Potter, wife of the landlord of the "Globe and Laurel" public-house, Gillingham, who was known to old-time music-hall audiences as Queenie May, is to sing again.

She will appear at a benefit concert which friends are putting on for her next month at Gravesend, where for 26 years she held the licence of the "Iron Gate Inn."

Now 57, Queenie began her stage career at the age of Seven. She sang at clubs and concerts in London.

Then one day a kindly Scottish gentleman, who had seen her perform, took her to see a manager friend in his brougham.

She got a contract. Her benefactor was the late Sir Harry Lauder.

Queenie was on the stage until 1914 and appeared with all the great names - Marie Lloyd, Kate Carney, the White-Eyed Kaffir, and Herbert Campbell. She used to sing character songs such as "I'm waiting for the old-age pension."

Now she is brushing up some of the old favourites for the concert.



CHALKLEN George 1851+ (also Baker age 26 in 1881Census)

PEARSON John 1881+ (widower age 49 in 1881Census)

PEARSON John Duncan 1913+

ADAMS Albert 1918+

REAKS Arthur James 1922+

ROWDEN/BOWDEN  Horace L to Apr/1938

Last pub licensee had POTTER Mr 1950+


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