Sort file:- Woolwich, July, 2021.

Page Updated:- Monday, 19 July, 2021.


Earliest 1901

(Name from)

Village Blacksmith

Latest 2004

4-5 Hillreach (Hill Street)


Village Blacksmith 1930

Above photo 1930.

Village Blacksmith

Photos above and below taken from by Matt Martin in 29 December 2008.

Village Blacksmith 2014

Above photo, 15 October 2014.

Above sign 1979.

Village Blacksmith sign 1979

Above sign circa 1979.


This pub was built around the turn of the 1900s and replaced another pub called the "Soldier's Rest."

In the 1930s it was part of the Beasley's Brewery tied houses.

I am informed that this pub unfortunately closed about 2004.

CAMRA actually owned and ran this during the 1980s under the McDonnell's banner, and he went on to open his own brewery in 1983, first in the "Queen Victoria Tavern" in Woolwich, and in 1985 moved to the "Antigallican" in Charlton.


From Old Bailey Proceedings Online (,

 July 1893, trial of FREDERICK VANSTAN.

FREDERICK VANSTAN, Royal Offences - coining offences, 24th July 1893.

693. FREDERICK VANSTAN (A soldier), Unlawfully uttering counterfeit coin.

MR. WILKINSON Prosecuted.

ALICE SEAGER: I am the wife of Frederick Seager, who keeps the "Village Blacksmith" public-house, High Street, Woolwich—on June 21st the prisoner came in with a sergeant of the Borderers—I served him with some ale, and he gave me this Jubilee sixpence, gilt—I put it on a shelf alone and gave him the change—I looked at it again and put it to my teeth—I saw it was a gilt coin, and took it to my husband—I then went with a constable to the "King's Arms," found the prisoner there, and showed him the coin—he said he did not know what I meant, and then said, "Mistress, will you take the money back, as you will get me into serious trouble?"—I did not take it back—when he gave it me he took it from his right-hand pocket inside his jacket, which he unfastened—I did not see any other coin, but I heard a rattling.

Cross-examined by the prisoner:- I do not think you intended to defraud me, but I gave you in charge because then I had spoken to the policeman—I could not recall it.

RICHARD NORTON (Policeman):- On the night of June 21st I went with Mrs. Seager to the "King's Arms" and found the prisoner—I asked him what he meant by changing this coin for a half-sovereign—he said he took it in change at the "Queen's Arms" public-house half-an-hour previously—I asked him to turn his pockets out, and found 9s. 6d. in silver and 61/2d. in bronze in his trousers' pocket—on the way to the station he said, "It is a bad job, it will put ten years on me," and wanted the prosecutor to take the coin back, but he refused.

MARY ANN BEAVER:- I keep the "Queen's Arms," Woolwich, about twenty minutes' walk from High Street—on 21st June I was serving in the bar from 7 to 8. 30, and from 9 to 12. 30—I do not remember seeing the prisoner there at all, or changing a sovereign, but there was one changed, I do not know at what hour—my barmaid is not here.

WILLIAM JOHN WEBSTERL- I am Inspector of Coin to H. M. Mint—this is a Jubilee sixpence, gilt.

Prisoner's defence:- I got it in Woolwich in change for a sovereign, which my father gave me. I did not know it was bad.

Witnesses for the Defence.

MR. VANSTAN:- I am the prisoner's father—I gave him a sovereign on June 20th.

MR. JONES:- On 21st June, about nine o'clock, I saw the prisoner in the "Abercrombie Arms"—he asked for a strong cup, and they filled the glass three times—he paid for the drink, and I saw him with a half-sovereign and some shillings.

The prisoner received a good diameter.


Before Mr. Common Serjeant. lice Seager.


News from July 1979, CAMRA's London Drinker magazine.

"Blacksmith Opens - The company originally set up by CAMRA to own and operate a chain of pubs opened its second London pub last month. "The Village Blacksmith", in Hillreach, Woolwich, SE18, was a former Courage house which CAMRA Investments acquired last year. After extensive renovations and the building of an extension to the bar space, the pub re-opened on June 12 (1979).

The pub has a local atmosphere which we hope will not be lost to the trendy market which too often infests good real ale pubs in the capital. Although the prices are a bit on the high side, the beer is served in good condition. At the time of writing the brews on tap were Young's Special and Ordinary Bitters, Sheperd Neame Bitter, and Courage Directors' Bitter (of which there can be a desperate shortage in the area). Opening the pub CAMRAIL Executive Director Chris Hutt said that the company hoped to add a mild to the range of brews sold, and would be stocking the new beer from Simon's Tower Bridge Brewery when that came on stream in the next couple of months."

At some point CAMRA Investments shed all its pub ownership. The Village Blacksmith has been closed for some years but its upstairs accommodation is still in use.

The Village Blacksmith, 5 Hill Reach, Woolwich, SE18 4AJ



McKENZIE James to Aug/1892 Woolwich Gazette

SQUIRRELL Alfred John Aug/1892+ Woolwich Gazette

SEAGER Frederick 1893+

WALTERS William 1901+ (age 33 in 1901Census)

SAYER Frederick Charles 1906-11+

YOUNG H C Mrs 1919+


TUNBRIDGE Maud M Mrs 1938+

HENDER Walter E 1944+



Woolwich GazetteWoolwich Gazette


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