Page Updated:- Wednesday, 19 January, 2022.


Earliest 1901-

Bridgewood Cottage

Latest June 1989

Maidstone Road

Blue Bell Hill

Bridgewood Cottage 1980

Above photo circa 1980. Taken by Gary Parkin.

Garage opposite Bridgewood Cottage 1980

Above photo showing the garage that stood opposite the pub circa 1980. Taken by Gary Parkin.

Bridgewood Cottage 1980

Above photo circa 1980. Taken by Gary Parkin.

Bridgewood Tavern licensee 1980

Above photo showing Ann Mingay, circa 1980. Taken by Gary Parkin.

Roy Gibbons

Licensee Roy Gibbons, 1980s-90s. Kindly sent by Tony Pope.

Bridgewood Cottage location 2009

Above photo, February 2009, showing the location of the pub.

Bridgewood Cottage site

Above image from Google, 2013, showing what is believed to be the site of the "Bridgewood Cottage." Just behind the sign by the tree.

Bridgewood Cottage site

Above photo showing the site of the now demolished pub.

bridgewood Cottage sign 1964

Above sign 1964.

Bridgewood Cottage sign 1980sBridgewood Cottage sign 1986

Above sign left, 1980s. Sign right, August 1986.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


I haven't found much information regarding this pub at present, but the following information has been put together from a discussion on a blog site on the pub.

... In the late 80s it was managed by an old couple who kept the place looking like their front room. They did a roaring trade when the roads were being improved and then it shut and was bulldozed soon afterwards, I guess 1989 or 1990..... Knew the pub well the garden wall is still there now Shep & Neame I think, used to have a long bench seat made from bus seats don't recall a fire there but possibly vandalism after closing..... I do remember the pub very well, it was one of the more eccentric ones in Chatham. In my recollection there were bus seats in the Public bar and coach seats in the Saloon. It was run by a woman, who, as I recall, had the place until it closed. As is usually the case, once the pub closed there was a convenient fire which rendered the property unsafe. How many pubs has that happened to?..... It was nicknamed 'The Busman's' because one of the seats in the bar appeared to have been taken straight out of an Maidstone and District bus (probably a 101 that went between Medway and Maidstone).

Gary Parkin goes on to say:- Most people only seem to remember the Bus Seats, and not the wonderful array of characters that used to frequent it, and as for not being very busy is total rubbish, on a Friday Night you could hardly move, and Tuesdays was Darts Night which always had a good turnout.

Most of the bus seats were ousted when the pub underwent a refurbishment in 1975 (if memory serves) there was just one old seat left, which was next to the Dart Board, No one ever sat in it, I can’t imagine why.

Further information found says that the pub closed in June or July 1989 and shortly afterward was damaged in a fire caused by squatters. The pub was finally demolished about 2000.


One time a Mason's tied house, but the brewery was bought out by Shepherd Neame in 1956 and the brewery was subsequently closed and has been demolished.


From the South Eastern Gazette 1883.

Sale of freehold residence, Orchard, Beerhouse, and Dwelling Houses.

Mr. Alfred T. Randall has received instructions from the trustees of the late Mr. Solomon Cordingley to sell by auction, at the "Mitre Hotel," Chatham, on Tuesday, May 22nd, 1883 at 6 for 7 o'clock, the following freehold property.

Lot 1 the desirable detached residence known as Bridge Wood House, Maidstone Road, about 3 1/2 miles from Chatham, containing 4 bedrooms, drawing and dining rooms, kitchen, pantry, scullery, wash house, conservatory, stable and coach house, out-buildings and offices, large and well stocked flower and kitchen gardens. Also orchard in rear, containing 2 acres 24 1/2 perches, of the annual value of 50, to be sold with possession.

Lot 2. A capital Beerhouse known as "Bridge Wood Cottage," Maidstone Road, containing two bedrooms, parlour, tap room, bar and kitchen, with stable and outbuildings in the rear. Let to Mr. D. Grant, respectable tenant, at a low rental of 20 per annum.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 15 April 1892.

By order of the Trustees of the late Solomon Cordingly Esq. Blue Bell Hill, Burham. Midway between Chatham and Maidstone.

Mr. W. E. R. Randall is favoured with instructions to sell by auction on Tuesday 19th April, 1892, at the "Mitre Hotel," Chatham, at 7 o'clock precisely, in one lot, 5 brick-built freehold cottages having a frontage to the main road, leaving from Chatham to Maidstone, (adjoining the "Bridgewood Beerhouse"), in the occupation of Messrs., Greenfield, Marshal, Broomfield and Tring, weekly tenants, producing 32 10s. per annum, together with a small piece of woodland adjoining.

The proprieties may be viewed by permission of the respective tenants.

Particulars and Conditions of Sale to be obtained by of the Solicitors, Messrs. Prall and Son, High Street, Rochester; at the place of sale; or of the auctioneer, 10, Railway Street, Chatham.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, 12 December 1901.

BURHAM. Licensing prosecution.

At the Malling Sessions on Monday, Robert H. Baker, of the "Bridge Wood Cottage" beer house, was summoned for selling liquor during prohibited hours, on Sunday, November 3rd, and Sunday, November 17th.

Mr Ellis defended.

Sergeant Thompson deposed that on November 17th he secreted himself, and watched the defendant's house from 10.30 till 11.30 a.m. He saw 43 people enter the house, all with one exception, coming from the direction of Chatham. At 11.30 the witness visited the house, and found 25 men drinking and smoking. Ten of them were in the bar with quart and pint pots containing beer before them. In the tap room they were 5 men with pots containing beer, while there were 10 men in the parlour with pots of beer before them.

Witness told a corporal to take the names of those present, and said that he would take proceedings against the defendant. Defendant asked if he had to shut the house on Sundays. Witness told him he ought to know what to do. Defendant let the men out of the house.

By Mr Ellis:- Chatham, and Rochester and Maidstone for more than three miles from the defendant's house. From where witness was hid he could not hear if the men represented themselves as bona fide travellers. Defendant did not ask if he was to close his house on Sundays to travellers. All that was done was done openly. None of those in the house lived in the locality, as far as he knew they might come from Rochester and Chatham.

Corporal Golding stated that while he took the names he asked six of the men if they were not present when he called on the premises Sunday and they said they were.

By Mr Ellis:- Each man gave an address more than three miles from my house. In answer to the bench, Mr. Ellis said that a person who went for a stroll, and had a glass of beer was a bona fide traveller, but if beer was the object of the walk, he was not the bona fide traveller. Suppose one of these men had not been a working man but an eminent author. He had one on his mind who would stroll out, and go to the "Leather Bottle."

The Clerk:- That was before 1872.

Defendant's wife stated that all the men said they were bona fide travellers.

The Bench were of opinion that a proportion of the men but not bona fide travellers, and that that was known to the defendant. As it was the first case against the defendant, a nominal fine of 1. 11s. costs, was imposed.

The case of November 3rd was not proceeded with, defendant paying the cost.


From an email received 14 April 2016.

I am 55 and my Aunty Lilly and Uncle Ken lived in Bridgewood during the 60's, I used to play with my Cousins in the Builders yard opposite the pub that was owned by Mr Lewis, he always used to shout get out my sand.

In the pub was a glass bell jar that contained chocolates and sweets, I used to go in as a 5 year old unaccompanied child and if I had a penny or two get something. Paul Arnold lived just a few doors down on the same side of the road as the pub.

Further up the road at the junction with Robin Hood lane there used to be a BP petrol station. The road was the main one over bluebell hill and the pub backed onto a roundabout that had slips onto the M2. I can remember in later years riding a chopper and nearly killing myself under a lorry against the back wall of the pub.

Her house was bought under a compulsory purchase order and they got well below market value for it.

Clive Percy.



GRANT D Mr 1883+

JARRATT Stephen 1891+

BARKING ???? 1967-70

GIBBONS Roy 1980s-90s


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