Page Updated:- Tuesday, 18 July, 2023.


Earliest 1838-


Open 2023+

Dungeness Road


01797 321959

Britannia 1930s

Above photo, circa 1930s.

Britannia delivery 1930s

Delivery, showing Josher Jones on a special dray that allowed Style and Winch to get across the pebble beach in the 1930s.

Britannia beer delivery 1930s

Above photo circa 1930s.

Dungeness transport

Last Days of the Dungeness Express.

This unusual cart with the giant wheels is now breaking up rapidly after nearly 50 years service on the Kent coast.

At one time the cart used to transport fish from the boats arriving at Dungeness, and of recent years it has taken stores to houses and the inn beyond the limit of the road. The road has now been lengthened, but the "Britannia Inn" still uses the express, and in this picture a load of beer is seen being taken across the shingles.

When the cart is abandoned a steel sleigh will be used.


From Barclay, Perkin's Anchor Magazine. Volume XX, No.4, October 1947. Sent by Rory Kehoe.


The square mile of pebbles which forms Dungeness Point is responsible for the unusual cart illustrated. Style & Winch deliver to the edge of the shingle, where the "Beach Transport" takes over. This cart with the giant wheels is on its last "legs" for after nearly 50 years' service it is breaking up rapidly and a new cart cannot be made.

Over the shingle at Dungeness, Kent, this cart first transported the fish from the boats and later, brought stores to these southern "Denge" inhabitants. Now, the road has been made up to all but the furthest dwellings and they still use this transport and "backstays" for their feet.

One of the only two inns has to use this transport still, the "Britannia" and our illustration shows a load coming in: their weekly load.

Horace Gasson, the carter, who has been doing this job for thirty years, is seen standing by the wheel of his cart.

Today the cart is falling to pieces and it is only a matter of weeks now before Horace will have to scrap it and take over a new steel sleigh.

Britannia 1948

The other illustration shows Mr and Mrs L A Colwill and daughter celebrating with Horace Gasson outside the "Britannia," Dungeness.

The Colwills have only been licensees for a year.

The photo captions read...

Dungeness Express Transport. Horace Casson and His Cart.

Britannia Inn

Above photo, date 20 May, 2007, by John Law.

Britannia Inn 2010

Above photo 2010 by Oast House Archives Creative Commons Licence.

Britannia Inn 2017

Above photo, November 2017, by Doogie Moon.

Britannia sign 1971Britannia sign 1990

Above sign left, 1971, kindly sent by Erik de Klein, sign right 1990.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Britannia sign 2010Britannia sign 2017

Above sign left 2010, sign right 2017 by Doogie Moon.

Britannia 2014

Above photo 2014.


I am informed that although I have traced the pub back to 1862, for a brief period in the middle of the 1990s it went under the name of the "Smugglers." I have also seen this addressed as Romney Marsh, Lydd.

I do know that the original "Britannia" was a little nearer the sea than the current one. It was rebuilt during the 1930s. An elderly relative told me that many years ago it had been a tiny hut with extra rooms added and then had a complete rebuild." Please refer to the maps below.

This one has been a Shepherd Neame pub from 2003.

Further information from Gaynor Crayden, who is William Lawrence's Great-great-great-Granddaughter, shows that William was living at the "Britannia" as early as 1842 as recorded on his daughter's birth certificate, and she says he was probably there in 1838; he died in 1896.

Gaynor goes on to say:- "The family story is that William was a merchant seaman/fisherman who was born at Dungeness, the son of Julius Lawrence a fisherman.

In about 1837 William settled on Dungeness beach as a fisherman who did a nice trade in smuggled goods.

In 1838 he married Frances Jenkins Morphett, a young lady from Wittersham with a small inheritance and they used this to expand his hut on the beach and turn it into the "Britannia Inn."

They had a large family and when Fanny Lawrence was born in 1842 her birth certificate clearly states she was born at the "Britannia Inn."

William carried on all three careers... Fisherman, innkeeper and smuggler until he died in 1896. His residence at that point was the "Britannia Inn." His first wife had died a long time before and he married Eliza Prebble and had another daughter by her.

Most of William's children moved away. His daughters married customs officers/coastguards and lighthouse men and were relocated with this husbands. Fanny Lawrence married Thomas Symes and moved to Littlehampton in Sussex where the family still live today.



Britannia map 1945

Above map taken during Operation Pluto, circa 1940, showing the "Britannia Inn" by the train loop intersection.

Britannia Google map 2018

Similar map from Google 2018, shows the "Britannia" to be bottom right and the other location identified as Sunny Side.


I will be adding the historical information when I find or are sent it, but this project is a very big one, and I do not know when or where the information will come from.

All emails are answered.


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 1 September 1928.

French Steamer Sunk. Collision with German Barque. Crew of 21 Jump to Safety.

The French trading steamer, "Daphne," was sunk about 20 miles of Dungeness in the early hours of Saturday after a collision with the German four-master barque, "Passat."

The cause of the collision is a mystery, since it is stated that at the time of the impact the atmosphere was clear and there was visibility over a considerable distance.

The crew of the French vessel, numbering 21 had a remarkable escape from death.

The "Daphne" was struck amidships and almost at once began to sink beneath the bow of the barque. There was no time to launch the lifeboats.

Very quickly the steamer sank, amidst a swirl of water and the loud hissing of steam from the boilers.

The "Passat" at once turned for the shore with her bows badly damaged and water pouring into her hold.

The rescue crew were landed at Dungeness at 11 a.m.

Mr. G. Bates, of the "Pilot Inn," Dungeness, brought the crew from the barque to the shore by motorboat.

They were little the worst for their exciting experience.

The "Daphne" was a vessel of 1,467 tons, carrying a general cargo which went down with her. She was on a journey from Caen to Ghent. Her port of register of was Caen.

Most of the French crew were able to jump onto the deck of the sailing vessel as the ships rode interlocked, but those who took to the water were picked up by the sailing vessel. All hands were saved.

The Passat was damaged under the waterline of the bow.

Two of the French crew were injured, one rather seriously in the leg, while the other had a slight cut on the head.

Mr. G. Bates, pilot and steam tug agent of Dungeness, was out in his motor launch off Dungeness on Saturday and noticing that something was wrong with the sailing vessel hailed her. He then brought the French crew ashore, the first party landing at about 8:30 a.m.

The Daphne, whose port of registry is Caen, was of 1,467 tons and was bound from Ghent to Gaund, with a general cargo, and the Passat, which is a Hamburg boat, was bound from Hamburg to Chili with general cargo.

The French crew were taken to the "Britannia" at Dungeness and after being supplied by the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society they proceeded to Folkestone making the first part of the journey by way of the Light Railway.

They had been unable to save any of their property and possessed only the clothes in which they stood. They were little the worse for their exciting experience.


From the By Lauren MacDougall, 26 April 2018.

Popular seaside pub The Britannia Inn in Dungeness has reopened after a £200k makeover.

The seven-week transformation of the Shepherd Neame pub has revealed a whole new look.

Richard Davis 2018

Licensee Richard Davis behind the bar.

Seaside pub the Britannia Inn in Dungeness has reopened following a £200,000 refurbishment.

The seven-week project included repainting throughout, introducing new nautically-themed décor to reflect the Shepherd Neame pub’s coastal setting, and refurbishing the bar area and toilets, including improving disabled access.

As part of the refurbishment, the pub’s kitchen has trebled in size, with brand new equipment installed, and the menu has been revamped.

Locally caught seafood is a speciality, including the popular Britannia Fish and Chips.

A new stone baked pizza oven has been installed so customers can enjoy freshly made pizzas with a variety of toppings. There are also a wide selection of traditional pub classics and light bites on the menu, along with fresh homemade cakes.

Dengeness Inn 2018

The Britannia Inn, Dungeness.

Licensee Richard Davis took over the Britannia Inn last year following a career which has included running a pub in Wales, travelling around the UK with his own mobile wood-fired pizza business, and most recently working as a freelance chef at major sporting events such as Royal Ascot and Wimbledon.

Richard, 52, said: “I’m originally from Hythe and wanted to move back nearer to my family, so I began looking for a pub in the area.

“When I discovered that the Britannia was available, I could see it had enormous potential.

“Our aim is for the Britannia’s menu to be as much of a draw for customers as its location.

“We source our ingredients locally wherever possible, with suppliers including Aldington Fresh Foods, Savages Greengrocers in New Romney, and of course the Dungeness Fish Hut.”

Just a couple of minutes’ walk from the beach, the Britannia Inn is situated in the heart of the unique Dungeness estate, a Site of Special Scientific Interest boasting a wealth of unique wildlife.

It is between two historic lighthouses and next to the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch light railway’s Dungeness station.

Shepherd Neame’s director of retail and tenanted operations Nigel Bunting added: “We are delighted with the Britannia Inn’s new look and food offer, and are confident that the pub will continue to go from strength to strength.”

The Britannia Inn is open from 11am, Monday to Sunday, and food is served every day during daylight hours.


From the By Max Chesson, 11 March 2023.

From Ed Sheeran to Micky Flanagan, the Britannia Inn in Dungeness is a 'hidden gem' pub loved by celebs.

Given its remote location, the Britannia Inn doesn't seem the most likely destination for the likes of Ed Sheeran to drop in for a drink.

But the pub in Dungeness has become quite the celebrity hotspot.

Richard Davis 2023

Richard Davis has been the licensee for six years and says that during his time at the establishment, he’s seen Grammy-winning artists, BAFTA-nominated actors and footballers rock up and enjoy a pint.

In fact, they get so many celebrities that Richard and the staff even have a "no selfies" rule, something he believes helps attract big names to the tavern.

The 57-year-old told KentOnline: “In the past we’ve had Peter Andre, Suggs, Christopher Eccleston, Lee Ryan - obviously Micky Flanagan has done some promo work here.

“It’s nice to have these faces come in, have a chat about the football or the rugby, like you would in any pub.

“That’s before we even get into the footballers - who I won’t mention.

“We get so many writers as well, it’s such a special part of the world.

“It’s a beautiful, natural place, and I suppose they love that aspect of it."

Dungeness has previously been dubbed "Britain's only desert", although the Met Office says it gets too much rainfall to officially qualify for that status.

Nevertheless, it's certainly a far cry from the hustle and bustle many of the Britannia's famous visitors are used to.

"People do have to actively visit us - you don’t just walk past it like you would elsewhere," said Richard.

Micky Flanagan

Comedian Micky Flanagan visited the Britannia Inn in Dungeness to put together some promo material for his upcoming tour.

"But it’s nice to have a good reputation that brings people back. It’s a hidden gem, definitely.”

Comedian Micky Flanagan is the latest big name to have been spotted at the Romney Marsh pub, having visited back in September to snap promo pictures for his upcoming tour.

The image captures the 60-year-old funnyman looking a bit glum with a glass of Whitstable Bay beer.

However, Richard confirmed that far from being miserable, Micky was a good sport.

“He had a couple of pints while he was here. He was a nice guy and funny," he said.

“I asked him if he'd do a gig and he said 'how many people will there be?’”

Other famous faces who have made use of the pub include comedian and conservationist Bill Oddie, actors Lindsey Coulson, Geoff Bell and George Irving - as well as radio DJ Zoe Ball.

But by far the biggest star to have stepped foot into the pub is four-time Grammy and seven-time Brit award winner Ed Sheeran.

The musician and his wife Cherry Seaborn have become well acquainted with the area, having bought and converted an old 1880s railway carriage along the coast last summer for £650,000.

He has also been pictured grabbing some fish and chips in nearby Greatstone.

Daisy Hagard

Daisy Haggard wrote BBC series Back to Life, which used the Britannia Inn as a set. Picture: Luke Varley.

However, far from being starstruck by the 32-year-old, staff at the Britannia have somehow failed to recognise the musician on more than one occasion, something Richard chuckles at as he tells the story.

The Hythe-born resident said: “It’s not the sort of place you expect to see someone, so when you do see someone it can raise eyebrows.

“But Ed Sheeran came in unrecognised for four visits. On the surface he’s got this scruffy ginger face and he’s got one of those faces that blends in.

“I’d say word does spread around that we’ve got a nice, respectful pub down here that welcomes anyone without making them uncomfortable.”

Known as ‘Smugglers’ for a brief period in the 1990s, the pub has roots back to 1862 and was rebuilt in the 1930s, having originally stood closer to the seafront.

Owned by Shepherd Neame since 2003, the bar isn’t just a good place for celebrities to come in and have a quiet pint.

Big BBC productions have made use of the pub for filming.

“We’ve had EastEnders in before, they’ve come down on a few occasions," said Richard.

“Daisy Haggard, who wrote [BBC comedy drama] Back to Life, has used the pub as well for filming.

“It definitely makes for an interesting film location as the area is so unique. It’s the only shingle desert in the UK. It’s like a moonscape down there.”

"There’s no selfies, no autographs, we just treat them normally..."

Richard believes that the appeal of the pub to celebrities is both its location and the staff’s attitude towards creating a safe haven for stars to drink at.

With a father who worked in showbiz, and a sister who is an author, Richard says his visits to TV sets as a child have helped form his behaviours towards famous people.

“My dad worked in television, I used to go on set with him a lot and from that we were always taught not to ask for autographs, and that’s stuck with us," he said.

“So there’s no selfies, no autographs - we just treat them normally.

“If they’re happy enough they’ll offer but we don’t encourage it. They just want to talk about the area and the pub."

Richard suggests that even more well-known faces have popped in which excite the younger members of staff a bit more - but that as pop culture changes so frequently, it’s hard to stay on top.

His staff have previously pointed out Instagram influencers and Love Island contestants to him, but he admits he struggles to recall their names.

“Celebrity culture has massively changed - a lot of famous people that are out there now I don’t know,” said Richard.

“I don’t know what an influencer is, I don’t know who was a Love Island star. We’ve got the younger ones who I couldn’t even name and they’re always on their phones.

“The younger members of staff get a bit more excited for those, and they tell me ‘that’s so-and-so’.

“But the older generation, they’re a lot more relaxed and whether people recognise them or not just does depend on their age, there are such a wide range of people.”



LAWRENCE William 1841-96 dec'd (age 59 in 1871Census)

HOLBROOK Sarah 1901+ (age 58 in 1901Census)

CHUBB A Mrs 1930+

CHUBB Thomas 1938+

COLWILL L A 1947-48+

DAVIS Richard 2017-23+




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