Sort file:- Woolwich, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 1783-

King's Arms

Latest ????

1 Frances Street (Hill Street 1823Pigot's Directory 1823)


King's Arms

Above photo date unknown, by kind permission Chris Mansfield.

King's Arms 2015

Above photo, 2 December 2015.

King's Arms 2017

Above Google image September 2017.


Pigot's Directory of 1832 called this the "King's Arms Tavern and Royal Artillery Hotel", with the address of opposite the Artillery Barracks, it was listed under Inns.


I have just started to map out the pubs that exist or existed in Woolwich, but need local knowledge and photographs, old and current if you have any.

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

Thanks for your co-operation. Every email is answered and all information referenced to the supplier.

This page will be updated as soon as further information is found.


From the local papers of 1794.

2 Aug:- ... at the "Kings Arms" with Skinner the Bricklayer....NB ..gave Skinner and Bryant orders to do the work at the "Kings Arms."

4 Aug:- ... with Captain Humber at "Kings Arms".... NB … Mr Ely and Jaques stripped and laid open the "Kings Arms" House and damaged the plastering, without orders, and then left it.

23 Aug:- ... NB Mr Ely’s Lawyer came to me… and read a Bill of something unto me about Ely.

29 Aug:- .... at Stephen’s (Highlander) with Jaques, Jerry Whitehead, James Brett, James Gooding, George Highsted and others. ..... At Parish Meeting "Kings Arms." ... NB Mr Jaques began to paint the "Kings Arms" House…. and abused me in presence of James Gooding, Jerry Whitehead and James Brett at my son’s (the Highlander) in the afternoon when I showed him Mr Tong’s letter and my Estimate.

4 Sept:- ... received the writ copies Ely and James Jaques this morn.

He doesn't go into detail, but Stephen Rouse was a builder/carpenter and it seem he had been hired to do some repairs at the "Kings Arms," but there was some sort of disagreement resulting in legal action. He doesn't mention it again, so presumably it was all resolved.


Wendy James.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 19 October 1861.

Fatal Accident.

On Tuesday Mr. Serjeant Payne held inquiry, in St Thomas's Hospital, on the body of John Taylor, age 48 years, a livery stable keeper, of the "King's Arms," Woolwich.

Mr. William Cocking, grocer, of No. 7, Francis Street, Woolwich, said that, on the 9th of the present month, a few minutes after 8 o'clock, he was driving in a gig, and the deceased was sitting at his side. They had preceded about halfway along the road towards the "Royal Standard" at Woolwich, when, the night being dark, a collision took place between the gig, he and deceased were in a cart. The consequences were that deceased and witness were pitched out into the road. Witness, assisted deceased up, and he was seen by Dr. Finch, and afterwards admitted into the hospital, in which institution he died on the 12th. Neither the gig nor cart were overturned, but deceased and witness were thrown out about seven feet from the footpath, on the near side.


From ‘Kentish Independent’ 8 June 1895.


Can anyone help us discover the identity of a capable artist by the name of Robinson, who was much in evidence at Woolwich about the year 1784?

A very extensive and elaborate series of paintings executed by him on the walls of a room at the "King’s Arms Hotel" has just been brought to light by the Proprietor, Mr. Campbell, who, in order to repaper the room, had all the old papers, some six in number, stripped off.

The paint, when disclosed, was nearly black everywhere, but, by the advice of Mr. J. O. Cook, architect, Mr. Purnell, of Conduit Road, a well-known expert, was called in and undertook the work of restoration. He found that the pictures had been covered with seven coats of varnish, the whole of which he cleaned off – enough to fill a bushel basket – and the pictures, perfectly revived, are now resplendent in all their original glory.

They are painted in oil colours upon the plaster of the walls and cover them in every part. There are but two subjects, one being a view of the Bay of Naples and the other a Scotch pastoral subject, neither of which, of course, gives any clue to the authorship.

One of the paintings, however, bears the signature of “Robinson,” with a date which is either 1783 or 1785. In 1783, the first mess-room in the Royal Artillery Barracks (now the theatre), was being built, and there is reason to believe that some of the officers had their mess at the "King’s Arms Hotel." (“Records of Woolwich,” pp. 386-7) That being so, the inference would be that one of them was the artist. But there was not one of them named Robinson in 1783 or 1785. There was one on the retired list, but it would be a stretch of imagination to associate him with the work; and there was a Lieutenant Robison promoted to the rank of captain about the date in question, but if the signature is “Robinson,” Robison will not do.

The discovery, however, is interesting, even without the artist’s revelation, and the character of the work, though it may not rank as genius, is good enough to make us marvel that any one of the hosts of the "King’s Arms" could have had the heart to cover it with wall paper. Probably, however, it grew indistinct under the load of varnish, and nobody thought of restoration. There is no doubt that it had been hidden from mortal eye for at least sixty or eighty years.


Belfast Telegraph, Tuesday 16 September 1975.

Pub Bombingsd were Carefully Planned.

THE BOMB attacks on two Guildford pubs, and another at Woolwich, which, killed seven people and seriously injured 84 were carefully planned with advance information by an IRA raiding party, an Old Bailey jury was told to-day.

The prosecution was opening its case against three Irishmen and a teenage London girl accused of five murders, among 11 charges.

The trial, expected to last at least two months, opened amid some of the most massive security seen at the Central Criminal Court. including police marksmen posted on nearby rooftops.

Sir Michael Havers, QC, prosecuting, said the bombing at the "King's Arms," Woolwich, was carried out without any sort of advance warning and the Guildford explosions at the "Horse and Groom" and the "Seven Stars" were caused by "two timed bombs."

All four defendants were part of a "raiding party" on Guildford, said Sir Michael.

The raids were carefully planned with "photographic reconnaissance in advance." Intelligence about the use of particular public houses was also obtained in advance.

The accused, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, were Carole Richardson (17), of Earls Court Square, Earls Court, London; Paul Hill (29), of Barnsley Crescent, Belfast; Gerard Conlon (20), of Cypress Street, Belfast, and Patrick Armstrong (24), of Algernon Road, Maida Vale, London.

Armstrong and Hill alone are accused of murdering a sales clerk and a soldier at the Woolwich pub last November.

The five young people who died in the blast last October at the "Horse and Groom" public house, Guildford were two WRAC girls, two Scots Guards recruits and a civilian youth.

Sir Michael said a number of courting couples were in the "Horse and Groom" that night, including Armstrong and Carole Richardson. The pair were acting like a courting couple but were, in fact, hiding their bomb under one of the seats running round the pub alcove, he said.

The trial is before Mr. Justice Donaldson, former president of the scrapped Industrial Relations Court. Sir Michael Havers. QC, and the Treasury counsel, Mr. Michael Hill, are conducting the Crown's case.

There was an outburst in the dock from one of the accused moments after the four were taken into court and arraigned on 11 charges.

In the absence of the jury, Paul Hill refused to plead to any of the charges against him and repeated several times: "Your justice, stinks."

Mr. Leslie Boyd, the court's chief administrator who was reading the charges, paused and asked Hill: "What did you say?" Hill again said: "Your justice stinks."

Mr. Justice Donaldson, presiding at his first trial at the Old Bailey, told Mr. Boyd to carry on.

Hill, wearing an open-necked shirt and a long-sleeved black pullover, stood arms folded.

After the first two charges. Hill remained silent then asked to plead to the remainder.

Sir Michael Hayers. QC, leading for the Crown, said he was a little concerned about Hill's silence and referred the judge to court procedural rulings in which it was laid down that a jury would have to be specially empanelled to decide whether or not Hill's silence was due to malice or some other reason.

At this point there was a hurried discussion between Hill and his legal advisers and then defence counsel announced that he had just been instructed that Hill wished to plead "Not guilty" to all charges.

The trial jury was then empanelled.

The four were also charged with unlawfully and maliciously causing by explosive substance an explosion at the "Seven Stars" public house in Guildford on the same date, of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.

Armstrong alone was accused of conspiring with Paul Michael Hill, and others unknown between October 5 and November 8, 1974. to murder persons at or in the vicinity of the "King's Arms" public house, Woolwich; and that between October 5 and November 8. 1974, he unlawfully and maliciously assisted in a reconnaissance of the "King's Arms," Woolwich, with intent to cause explosions at the pub, likely to endanger life and cause serious injury to property.

Armstrong and Hill were further accused of murdering sales clerk Alan Horsley and soldier Richard Sloane Dunn who died in an explosion at the "King's Arms" on November 7.



JAMES Jb A 1823+ Pigot's Directory 1823

JAMES Jacon 1832-May/48 Pigot's Directory 1832-34

BLEST Alexander Melville May/1848-74

HARROD Edward 1881+ (proprietor age 40 in 1881Census)

BOWLES Harriet Mrs 1882+

CAMPBELL G H 1895-96+

WEBBIN Walter 1901-05+ (manager age 29 in 1901Census)

WORDSWORTH Alfred 1901-05+

WORDSWORTH Richard 1908+

MACKENZIE Gilbert 1911-19+

HERWIN William R 1921+

MORGAN Robert 1934-44+


Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

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



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