Page Updated:- Monday, 03 June, 2024.


Earliest 1822-

Black Bull Inn

Closed 1995

Mill Lane


Black Bull 1908

Above postcard, circa 1908, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Bull 1920

Above photo, circa 1920, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Bull 1950s

Above photo circa 1950s. Photo by Robin Boon.

Black Bull

Above photo, date unknown.

Black Bill inside 1953

Above photo, 1953, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Bull inside 1953

Above photo, 1953, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Bull Inn 1962

Above photo circa 1962, by Stephen Harris.

Black Bull 1956

Above postcard, 1956 kindly sent by Peter Moynahan.

Black Bull 1983

Above photo 21 August 1983. Kindly sent by Chris Excell.

Black Bull

Above photo, date unknown by David Anstiss.

Black Bull 2016

Above photo, 2016.


The "Black Bull," was built in the reign of Charles II from, it is believed, old ships' timbers.

I am informed that the pub closed its doors around 1995 after being purchased by Shepherd Neame. Up to the time of closure, the pub had been run by two sisters.

David Birchall tells me that he can remember cricket being played on the field opposite the pub, around the 1950s.

Rory Kehoe says:- "In the 1970s/80s enjoying a pint this pub was like drinking in a time warp. It was run by two elderly sisters and visiting the pub was akin to stepping into their front room. All armchairs, chintz and friendly table service. I think the heavy lifting in the cellar was done for the ladies by some of the regulars."


From the Kentish Gazette, 16 December 1845.

NEW ROMNEY. Coroner's Inquests.

On Tuesday last an inquest was held at Newchurch, before Archibald Stoakes, Esq., on the body of Martha Jane Collyer, who was found dead in her bed on Sunday evening. From the evidence of the surgeon, it appeared that the deceased had long suffered from scrofula, and that her death proceeded from natural causes. The deceased's father stated that he led the deceased to her bed on Sunday evening at a quarter past six, she was very weak and low; about a quarter before eight he was called up by Sarah Cole, and found her quite dead.

Verdict — Natural Death.


On Saturday last, another inquest was held at the "Black Bull Inn," Newchurch, before the same coroner, on the body of Ann Whitehead, a child, also found dead in bed. From the evidence of the surgeon, the child died a natural death. The widow, Sophia Whitehead, and mother of the child, stated that it was a month old, and appeared very well when put to bed; about half-past seven one of the other children called out and said the baby was very cold, on which she immediately went up and found her quite dead. This was corroborated by Mary Hills, a neighbour who was called in.

Verdict — Natural Death.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette 9 April 1887.


On the 24th March, at the Beachlands, Hythe, Julia, the wife of J. T. Smith, late of the "Black Bull Inn," Newchurch, aged 30.


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald 4 February 1899.


The licence of the "Black Bull Inn," Newchurch, was transferred from Mr. Frederick J Milton to Mr. Walter Broad.


From Tuesday, 4 December 2012 By Paul Bailey.

Newchurch is a typical Romney Marsh village; and its local hostelry, the Black Bull, was the pub of ones dreams. Sited on a bend on the edge of the village, the Black Bull was best visited on a cold winter's night. With a biting easterly wind blowing across the flat and bleak marshland, the pub offered warmth and shelter from the elements. It was also a smashing unspoilt country pub in its own right, dating back to the reign of Queen Anne.

I first became acquainted with the Black Bull in my late teens, when I visited it with a school friend. During the summers of 1972 and 1973, we had made a point of exploring the pubs of Romney Marsh on our motorbikes. During those care-free times we would call in at a pub to enjoy a game of darts together with a glass or two of bitter, and the Black Bull became one of our regular stops.

Back then the pub was owned by Whitbread, but during the 1970's it was sold to Shepherd Neame. By then I was in my mid twenties, and had returned to live in Kent after four years away at university in Salford. Although it was a bit of a drive to the Black Bull, I would make a point of taking friends there to in order to introduce them to what I considered as one of the finest examples left of a traditional country inn.

The Black Bull had two rooms, leading off from a central corridor.

Black Bull inside

At the Black Bull, Newchurch, the old four-ale bar has Doulton spirit jars, bearing the Royal Arms, on the mantelpiece.

Black Bull bar area

In the serving bar, a sporting gun jostles with an oil stove and the old blue and white quart measures. here all beer is drawn from the wood.

To the left, was a plainly decorated room with a bare stone floor and simple furnishings. Further down the corridor, and leading off to the right, was the larger of the two rooms. It was here that the bar was situated, and behind the counter, on a back shelf, were kept several firkins of beer, each resplendent with its own brightly-coloured cask jacket. The room was carpeted, and furnished in the style of an old fashioned sitting room, with armchairs, settees and braided lamp shades. It was a wonderfully relaxed place in which to spend an evening, and reminded me of a similarly furnished pub (alas long since closed) called the "George," in the village of Wye, close to my childhood home.

Sometime in the late 1980's the Black Bull was "disposed of" by Shepherd Neame and I began to hear dark rumours that it had been knocked about. I never had the chance to discover this for myself, as my last visit there took place in 1985, when it was still owned by Sheps. I had just re-married, and my wife and I were spending our honeymoon in the picturesque town of Rye. During our stay we decided to call in at the Black Bull for lunch. Unfortunately, my new wife did not view the pub in its best light and was not impressed. It was evident during our visit that the saloon bar, in particular, was in need of a jolly good clean, and the pub in general certainly gave the impression of being very tired and run down.

I am not exactly certain when "last orders" were called at the Black Bull for the last time. The pub is listed in CAMRA’s Real Ale Drinker’s Guide to Kent Pubs, published in 1993, but by the time the 10th, and last countywide Kent guide was published in 1999, it had closed and become a private residence. A clue as to why it closed can be gleaned from the description in the 1993 guide: “Tucked away, this one-bar pub is pleasantly quiet”. Too quiet in fact! Shep’s were obviously unable to make a go of the pub. For a start there was no car park, with patrons having to leave their vehicles on the grass verge of a rather narrow and winding road. Newchurch itself is tiny with few chimney pots and almost certainly unable to provide sufficient trade to have kept the pub viable. The Black Bull therefore must remain as a pleasant memory of a simpler and bygone age. I feel privileged to have known it!



COLLYER Michael 1822+

OVENDEN Henry 1847-51+ (age 49 in 1851Census)

OVENDEN George 1858+

FANCETT John H 1861-71+ (age 44 in 1871Census)

SMITH John Thomas 1879-91+ (age 25 in 1881Census)

MILTON Frederick J to Feb/1899

BROAD Walter Feb/1899-1903+ Next pub licensee had (age 28 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

BROAD Edward 1913-34+


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:-