Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest  1872+

Nine Elms Old Factory Canal Tavern Beer House

Latest 1901

Cliffe Fort



The following information has been taken from


The Nine Elms Old Factory Canal Tavern Beer House

According to the Register of Licenses granted in the North Division of Aylesford Lathe in the County of this establishment was owned jointly by Charles Eastland de Michele, Percy Oldfield Francis and Vitale Domenico de Michelle: although the original name of Francis & Co. was deleted from the register.

The licensee was named as Vitale Domenico de Michelle. However at no time did Vitale Domenico de Michelle ever consider himself to be a mere beer house keeper.

"Vitale Domenico de Michele born in London in 1848. Vitale had a bent for engineering and was apprenticed to Mssrs. Robert Stephenson and Co of Newcastle-on-Tyne. While there he invented a new form of reversing gear form locomotives and marine engines. The first of a number of inventions. In 1868 his father, Mr. Eastland de Michele, decided to invest heavily in the cement industry. His chosen investment was in the firm of Francis and Company based at Vauxhall in London and Cliffe in Kent.

Vitale took over the entire management of the cement works at Cliffe Creek and became a partner. He rebuilt and enlarged the works, and went on to invent improved wash-mills, hydraulic slurry pumps, and a new system of drying slurry employing waste heat from the kilns. He continued to expand his interests and from 1877 he was engaged in building wharves at Vauxhall and Greenhithe, water supply works to Higham, the stiffening of the swing portion of Rochester Bridge, drainage and embankment works at Strood, the erection of several cement factories and the construction of steel screw triple-expansion steam-tugs.

He was rich and successful, and lived at his residence of Higham Hall where he died on 21st March 1906" [bromptonboy, KHF] leaving 1,2137 17s 4d to his wife Beatrice Theodosia of Chalk (ne Lake) whom he married at Elham 1st quarter of 1882.

There are no further records of The Nine Elms Old Factory Canal Tavern Beer House being in existence after 1901 as a separate beer house although it is interesting to note that The Canal Tavern's address in the census returns is recorded as being Nine Elms Old Factory Canal Tavern Beer House, Cliffe Fort, Cliffe.


Project 2014 has been started to try and identify all the pubs that are and have ever been open in Kent. I have just added this pub to that list but your help is definitely needed regarding it's history.

As the information is found or sent to me, including photographs, it will be shown here.

Thanks for your co-operation.



VITALE DE MICHELLE Domenico 1872-93

FRANCIS William Holcombe 1894-1901


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