Sort file:- Crayford, March, 2022.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 09 March, 2022.


Earliest 1704

(Name from)

Bear and Ragged Staff Hotel

Open 2020+

2 London Road


01322 522906


Bear and Ragged Staff 1900

Above photo 1900, from Steve Thoroughgood.

Bear and Ragged Staff 1920

Above postcard, 1920.

Bear and Ragged Staff 1929

Above photo circa 1929.

Bear and Ragged Staff 1930s

Above photo, 1930s.

Bear and Ragged Staff

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Brian Brockie. Also showing the "Duke's Head," Tudor looking building up hill.

Bear and Ragged Staff

Above photo date unknown.

Bear and Ragged Staff 2006

Above photo 2006 by Dave Patten Creative Commons Licence.

Bear and Ragged Staff 2007

Above photo 2007, by Steve Thoroughgood.

Bear and Ragged Staff 2020

Above photo 2020, kindly sent by Philip Dymott.

Bear and Ragged Staff sign 1991Bear and Ragged Staff sign 1991

Above signs, August 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


 The "Bear & Ragged Staff" was part of the crests of the Earls of Warwick. Traditionally, one of their ancestors (a bear?), whose name was Morvidus, slew a giant with a young ash tree which he tore up by its roots.

Pigot's Directory of 1828 referred to the pub as the "Bear" only.

The earliest it has been recorded is 1704.

In 1869-70 the pub was part of a consortium who were advertising their goods of selling tea in response to grocers' selling beer and wine. (Click for further details.)

In the 1930s it was part of the Beasley's Brewery tied houses. An advert of the above period said the following:- This house, one of Messrs. Beasley's most modern, was completely rebuilt during 1924-25, and opened on 1st August, 1925. It is situated on the London-Dover Road, at Crayford Bridge, midway between Bexley Heath and Dartford.

As will be observed, it is built in the Tudor style, and the saloon bar and Billiard Room are very effective decorated to suit.

The beer-raising system is thoroughly hygienic, the beer passing through glass tubes from barrel to glass.

Luncheons are served from 12 to 2 p.m. daily. Splendid accommodation for Shop and Club Dinners. Billiard table by Burroughes and Watts. All Beasley's Beers in prime condition. Wines and Spirits of finest quality.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser 19 August 1867.


William Baker, of Bexley Heath, was charged with threatening to shoot Mrs. Emma Covington, landlady of the "Bear Inn," Crayford, on the 3rd August. Mr. Crewe was for the complainant. Bound down in one surety of 10, and himself in 20 to keep the peace for six months.


Maidstone and Kent Journal, 24 November, 1891.

Crayford National Conservative League.

The 6th annual concerts of the "Prince of Wales" Lodge of the National Conservative League took place on Wednesday evening at the assembly room of the "Bear and Staff" hotel under the presidency of Mr. E. Honey, managing director of the Swaziland Printworks.

The room was filled to its utmost capacity. Mr. R. C. Miller D.L., responded to the toast of the "Conservative Cause," and Mr. W. A. Gales, central agent to the party, to the toast of "The National Conservative League." Messrs. Peill (Master) and Kemp, secretary spoke for the "Prince of Wales" Lodge, the latter gentleman stating that the Lodge numbered upwards of 100 members, and they had a good balance in hand.


The What Pub web site says that the pub has also been known as the "Orange Kipper" and I have found reference to this being the case but only in 1995 after the locals created over the name changer.


From the Dover Road.

The Dover Road, The High Street.

Edward Hasted, writing in the eighteenth century, described the High Street as "a narrow ill built street". Nevertheless by the 1850's, in spite of some visitors' adverse criticism, the popularity of the High Street was at its height mainly due to the success of the textile and silk printers, Charles Swaisland, and David Evans. The population of Crayford had grown to around 3,000 with an influx of workers and their families from Macclesfield and Lancashire. Some were housed in a row of cottages called Manchester Row which stood on the high ground to the east of Grove Place. After working long hours in the factories the workers were looking for relaxation and refreshment in their free time. This was provided by a record number of pubs and beerhouses, ten of which were situated along the half mile long High Street. A number only survived for a few years and today only the following three remain. The "Crayford Arms," which opened in 1870, The "Dukes Head" which was first licensed 1771, the present building dating from 1926, and The "Bear and Ragged Staff," the oldest of them all and was first recorded in 1704. A pub called the "Half Moon" was recorded in a deed of 1684 as standing on the site and The "Bear and Ragged Staff" we see today was re-built in 1925 In 1995 the pub was taken over by the Magic Pub Group and renamed The "Orange Kipper." The change in the name raised strong protests from the Council, Heritage Groups and the public, forcing the new owners to reinstate the old name, and in November 1995 the old sign, rescued from a scrap yard, was restored to its old position on the pub.


From the By Pubspy, 13th September 2017.

Pubspy reviews the Bear and Ragged Staff pub in Crayford.

When did the world become obsessed with bunting again? Walking into the "Bear and Ragged Staff" in Crayford I felt as though I had walked into a street party for the Queen's jubilee, only instead of tea cakes and ecstatic children I was greeted with 'double up your burger' offers and fruit machines.

I was not immediately impressed with this Greene King pub, it has to be said.

Union Jack bunting was draped from high to low across this pub. I am as patriotic as the next man, but this was quite clearly leftover decorations that staff had not gotten around to dismantling.

There was worse to come when I looked over to the corner and saw a Christmas tree.

That's right, a bloody Christmas tree in the beginning of September. It gets said annually that Christmas gets earlier every year. But this, this was ridiculous.

I was reliably informed by staff that this particular display was to attract potential Christmas bookings. I have mixed feelings about this - by all means encourage business for your pub, but surely a poster would do?

Anyway, moving on to the pub itself. I was suitably impressed by the pints on offer.

Admittedly, a lot of them were lagers (Fosters, Amstel, San Miguel, Budweiser, to name but a few of the taps) but there were some guest ales that I was told change regularly.

And, aside from the pints, the spirit selection towered above the bar and showcased a very good range, which is not surprising for Greene King pubs as they often host rum and gin festivals and the like. So, top marks for drinks.

The atmosphere left a lot to the imagination. Hardly busy, despite a quiz taking place.

The three teams taking part made up more than half of the punters in there. No music was played, Sky Sports News was being shown on the telly as questions such as "What was the surname of the Michael J Fox character in Back to the Future?" echoed across the pub.

The bunting was starting to look like the most interesting thing about this boozer.

Posters advertised live music and DJs at the weekend, so perhaps for a more lively evening one should return with dancing shoes on.

The grub looked relatively standard for a chain which wasn't necessarily a bad reflection of the Bear, although I wasn't tempted to try anything. My San Miguel would do me fine.



SAXON James 1828-40+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34 (Bear)

MESSENGER Henry 1858+

TREADWELL Richard 1861-62+ (age 33 in 1861Census)

COVINGTON Emma Mrs 1867+

COVINGTON Charles Prince 1869-82+ (age 52 in 1871Census)

THACKER John 1891+ (age 45 in 1891Census)

WEAVER George Pyke 1896+

HARRIS Sydney C 1901-03+ (age 30 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

HOWELL William 1913+

AVEY George 1918-22+

DAVIS Sidney Charles 1930+

BEARD Frank 1938+


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

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

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:-