Sort file:- Strood, April, 2023.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 29 April, 2023.


Earliest 1200s

Crispin and Crispianus

Closed 2010

8 London Road


Crispin and Crispinus drawing

Above drawing, date unknown.

Crispin and Crispianus 1920

Above photo, 1920s, taken from

Crispin and Crispianus magic lantern slide

Above image taken from a magic lantern slide, date unknown, kindly sent by Max Carter.

Crispin and Crispianus 1945

Above photo 1945.

Crispin and Crispinus 1956

Above photo, circa 1956, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Above photo 1978, taken from

Crispin and Crispinus 1992

Above photo, 1992.

Crispin and Crispianus 2009

Above photo, 2009.

Crispin and Crispianus sign 1920sCrispin and Crispianus sign 1970

Above sign left, 1920s, sign right 1970.

With thanks from Roger Pester

Crispin and Crispianus sign 1978Crispin and Crispianus sign 1990

Above sign left 1978, sign right, 1990.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


This was mentioned in a book called the "History of Strood" by Henry Smetham, published 1899, who says it was situated at the foot of Strood Hill on the north side, and that Charles Dickens had a partiality for the house, of which a full account can be found in Mr. Hughes' "Week Tramp in Dickensland."

Reputedly this 13th century building was once a meeting place for the Guild of Shoemaker's. Hence the name.

Crispin & Crispianus were two saints whose festival is celebrated on 25th October. They are said to be born in Rome, but fled to Gaul in the middle of the third century AD where they died as Martyrs in 287 AD. They maintained themselves whilst preaching by shoemakers, so they are now considered the patron saints of that occupation. It is said that St Crispin was so keen to help the poor that he stole leather to make shoes for them.

The pub of this name has stood on Watling Street in Strood for many centuries and was immortalized by the chapter on 'Tramps' in Charles Dickens' 'The Unconventional Traveller.'

The pub closed for renovation in 2010, but in March 2011 it was destroyed by fire.


From the Maidstone Gazette and East Kent Courier, 12 October, 1830.

An Eccentric Character died at Strood, a few days since, and was buried in the churchyard there. He had resided in the neighbourhood for many years, and during the last nine years lodged at the "Crispin and Crispianus," a public house at the foot of Strood Hill, following the occupation of a pedlar, associating with the working classes, and during the weekdays generally wearing a round frock. Report states that he has left considerable property, and that his real name was Charles Parrett Hangar, Baron Coleraine.


From 27 March, 2011, by Lynn Cox


Crispin and Crispianus May 2011

A road closed after a blaze gutted an iconic pub frequented by Charles Dickens has finally reopened.

London Road in Strood was cordoned off while structural engineers assessed the historic Century "Crispin and Crispianus."

Builders are hoping it can be saved after a massive fire.

The blaze ripped through the derelict building for several hours on Saturday night.

When the road was closed it caused traffic hold-ups and diversions amid fears the pub might have to be pulled down. It finally reopened on Tuesday afternoon.

It is thought the grade-II listed building is structurally unsafe. It is currently covered in scaffolding as more work is carried out.

Engineers from Medway Council visited the site on Sunday and had a full inspection on Monday to determine whether or not the pub can be spared the bulldozers.

About 50 fire-fighers tackled the blaze, which destroyed the roof of the timber building and most of the interior.

The London Road pub is on an 1836 map, but it is thought to have been built in the 17th century.

It was torched at about 9.30pm. It is not known exactly why the pub closed last year, but it has been boarded up since September.

Charles Dickens, is said to have often visited the Crispin on walks from his Higham home.

According to a biographer, the Victorian author would stop for a glass of ale - or a little cold brandy and water - and sit in the corner opposite the fireplace.

Crews from Medway, Strood, Rainham, Gillingham and Thames-side stations were among those who helped put out the fire.

Fire-fighters were at the scene until about 3am and a crew was still damping down small pockets of fire on Sunday morning.

One fire-fighter said: "When we arrived, the flames were licking through the roof.

"We had six appliances and more support vehicles as the pub is timber-framed. We had to stop the flames spreading to nearby buildings, which we did.

"We suspect the fire was suspicious and an investigation into its cause has been launched."

A Medway Police spokesman said: "No arrests have been made and we are still investigating the cause of the fire.

"The building may be unsafe as a result of the fire and a structural engineer was due to go out and assess it."


Crispin and Crispianus September 2013

Above photo, September 2013 showing the re-roofed building.

From the By Nicola Jordan,  19 November 2021.

B&B plan for Charles Dickens' Crispin and Crispianus pub in Strood.

At last there are great expectations for a pub once frequented by Charles Dickens as work gets under way to turn it into a B&B.

The Crispin and Crispianus in Strood, which was ravaged by a fire, was bought at auction for 92,000 in 2012.

But since then there appears to have been no progress into refurbishing the historic hostelry amid fears it would remain a boarded-up eyesore in the town centre for years to come.

However, the new owner, who does not want to be named, is currently working with a team to convert it into 14 en-suite guest rooms.

Born and bred in the town, he hopes to introduce a theme to honour the great novelist who used to drop in for a tipple on the way back to his home at Gad's Hill, Higham.

He said: "It is a big job and I can't say how long it will take. But we shall do it and breathe new life into the place.

"We have been working with conservationists to ensure the work is carried out properly."

The pub was said to be a favourite of the literary icon and provided inspiration for his colourful characters.

Dickens apparently sat in the corner drinking ale while people-watching in order to better understand the intricacies of human behaviour.

The 17th century boozer featured in his 1860 work The Uncommercial Traveller, where he described how travelling workers would stay there.

A blaze ripped through the derelict business in London Road in March 2011 destroying the timber frame and interior.

A joint investigation by Kent Fire and Rescue Service and police concluded it was arson.

Crispin and Crispinus fire 1991

Firefighters hose down the Crispin and Crispianus pub in Strood after the fire in March 2011. Picture by William Shuter.

The A2 was closed for days and traffic diverted around the site until the building was deemed safe.



COLLINS Stanley 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

COLLINS Ann 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

GRAY Thomas 1858-62+ (age 54 in 1861Census)

MASTERS Thomas Martin 1871-91+ (age 47 in 1891Census)

ELFORD George 1901-13+ (age 59 in 1911Census) Kelly's 1903

ELFORD Emma Mrs 1918-22+

SWEETMAN Sidney Herbert 1930-38+


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:-