Page Updated:- Friday, 14 April, 2023.


Earliest 1851-

Chapter Arms

Closed 2017

New Town Street

Chartham Hatch

Above photo kindly sent by Peter Moynahan, date unknown.

Chapter Arms

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Chapter Arms 1960

Above photo 25 August 1960, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Chapter Arms 1960

Above photo 25 August 1960, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Chapter Arms sign 1960Chapter Arms sign 1963

Above sign left 1960, sign right 1963 kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Chapter Arms 1963

Above photo 5 March 1963, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Chapter Arms inside 1964

Above photo, 1964, showing barber Ted Tole cutting a customers hair, whilst licensee Norman Askey watches from behind the bar.

Chapter Arms 2007

Photos taken on 16 May, 2007 from by John Law.

Chapter Arms 2023

Above photo 2023.

Chapter Arms sign 1987Chapter Arms sign 1991

Above sign left, March 1987. Sign right, July 1991.

Thanks from Brian Curtis

William and Ann Coombs 1890

Above photo circa 1890, showing licensees William and Ann Coombs, kindly sent by Great Great Grandson, Gary Tong.


According to Michael David Mirams in his book "Kent Inns and Inn Signs," (1987) the "Chapter Arms" was the property of a Dean of Canterbury, but it also served as a farmhouse before its conversion to an inn over a century ago.


Kentish Gazette, 13 May 1851.


Saturday, Mat 10. (Before W. delmar, Esq.)

Henry Hawkins, beer-shop-keeper, in the parish of Chartham, was charged by Superintendent W. Walker with having his house open for the sale of beer, on Sunday, the 4th instant, before half-past twelve o’clock. The superintendent visited the house and premises at twenty minutes before twelve, and found four men concealed in the stable, and also a jug with beer, covered over with straw; the glasses were also hid, and one of them broken in the hurry to put them out of sight. The defendant pleaded guilty, and was fined in the mitigated penalty of 20s., and 13s. costs. The magistrate told the defendant that be had been supplying people with beer in the stable for the purpose of avoiding detection, and should he again be convicted the full penalty should be inflicted.


Kentish Gazette, 19 August 1851.

Henry Hawkins, beershop keeper, Chartham, was convicted of keeping his house open for the sale of beer after 10 o'clock on the night of 10th August last. A previous conviction was recorded against him in may last.

Ordered to pay a fine of 30s. and 15s. costs.


South Eastern Gazette 9 September 1862.


At the St. Augustine's Petty Sessions on Saturday last, Thomas Hawkins applied for a spirit license for the "Chapter Arms," Chartham-hatch. Mr. Sankey appeared for the applicant, and the justices granted the license.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 28 December 1867. Price 1d.


At the sitting of the St. Augustine's Bench, at Canterbury, on Saturday last, a man named Sims was charged with stealing a ferret from the “Chapters' Arms,” Chartham Hatch, belonging to Thomas Beaney, of Harbledown.

The evidence of prosecutor went to show that on the previous (Friday) evening he went to the “Chapters' Arms” with his son. He had a ferret with him in a bag, which he placed under a table in the room where he had his supper. After he had had his supper, he rose for the purpose of leaving, and on looking for the bag containing the ferret he found that it was gone. Sims had been in the room during the evening, and the landlord said that he (defendant) had taken it out of the house. Prosecutor then went for a policeman, and assisted him in searching for the bag from half-past eleven at night till half-past six in the morning. While they were looking for it, defendant brought the bag and the ferret to the policeman.

William Coombes, the landlord, stated that he saw Sims take the bag up from the floor, and hold it up so that almost every person in the room could see it. Thinking that Sims did this for a spree, he did not say anything about it.

In defence, defendant said he picked up the bag near the door of the room, and, not knowing to whom it belonged, took it out of the house, and laid it underneath a hedge.

The Chairman said that as there was a doubt as to whether defendant took the bag with a felonious intent, he would be discharged.


From the Canterbury Journal. Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 17 November, 1883.


The East Kent Coroner (T. T. Delasaux, Esq.) on Saturday evening held an inquest at the "Chapter Arms," Chartham Hatch, on the body of George Dixfield Coombs, aged 26 years, whose premature and unfortunate death is rendered still more lamentable by the fact that he was engaged to be married in the course of a few days.

Mr. Holloway was chosen foreman of the jury.

Harry Ernest Coombs. a younger brother of deceased, deposed that on the previous Thursday morning he went in search of his brother to call him to breakfast, but was unable for some time to find him. He at length discovered deceased lying on his back at the bottom of the garden apparently very ill. Assisted by a man named Sims, he carried deceased into the house, and in his brother's bedroom saw the bottle now produced which had contained vitriol, and a portion of the contents of which deceased had applied to the foot of one of his father's horses. Deceased had of late suffered intensely from toothache.

Mr. William Coombs, farmer, said deceased was his son, but had never shown the slightest sign of any intention to destroy himself.

Mr. Charles Holttum, surgeon, of Canterbury, said he was sent for on the previous Thursday to attend deceased. Mr. Coombs had, previous to his arrival, very judiciously administered an emetic of salt and water, which caused deceased to vomit an immense quantity of dark blood, from which it was apparent to witness that her had swallowed some corrosive poison which was, no doubt, oil of vitriol, or sulphuric acid.

Death ensued on the following day. He should imagine that deceased, being almost mad with pain, had attempted to pour some vitriol into his tooth and swallowed the poison. This evidently burnt away the coating of the stomach and perforated it, thus causing his death.

The jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally killed by having taken oil of vitriol to allay pain he was suffering from a tooth.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 22 June 1907.



Swinford Butcher, Lewis Butcher, and Frederick Whittaker were charged before the County Magistrates at Canterbury, on Saturday, with being disorderly and with refusing to quit the "Chapter Arms," Chartham Hatch, when requested to do so by the landlord, on June 8th.

Mr. A. K. Mowll prosecuted the defendants, who pleaded not guilty, and Mr. Horace Broughton defended Swinford Butcher and Lewis Butcher.

William Diloot, landlord of the "Chapter Arms," Chartham Hatch, stated that he had been tenant of the house for six years. He had had occasion in the past to inform the three defendants not to come to his place at all. On the previous Saturday the two Butchers came to his house at about nine o'clock. Swinford Butcher asked for 1 half a pint of ginger beer, but witness said he should not serve him, as he was the worse for drink. Witness asked them both to leave, but neither of them left directly. After about half an hour Swinford Butcher went away for about twenty minutes and then returned. When he came back he had his coat and waistcoat off. Lewis Butcher remained in the house the whole time. On coming back, Swinford Butcher held two-pence over the bar for witness to serve him and then got his money bag and held it over the counter, at the same time saying witness was not worth two-pence. About ten minutes later Whittaker came in and soon commenced fighting with Swinford Butcher. They broke a window, one knocking the other against it. Swinford Butcher struck the first blow. Lewis Butcher was going to hit Whittaker, but a man named Wildash kept him back against the door. Witness heard Wildash say "No, no, don't hit him."

In cross-examination, witness could not describe how Lewis Butcher was going to hit Whittaker as Lewis Butcher did not move from his seat.

William Wildash, labourer, of Chartham Hatch, stated that he was in the "Chapter Arms" on the previous Saturday evening, when be saw the two Butchers come in. He heard Swinford Butcher ask for half-a-pint of ginger beer, and he heard Dilnot say "I won't serve you, get out of my house.” Swinford Butcher was almost drunk, but witness did not see anything wrong with Lewis Butcher. Witness heard Dilnot aay to Swinford Butcher that he should not serve him with any beer and he left the house. Lewis Butcher stopped in the house. When Swinford Butcher came back at about ten minutes to ten he was strip shirt. He struck Whittaker. They fell over and broke a window Lewis Butcher did not try to fight, and all that witness said to him was "You had better keep away from them." He did not try to get away from witness at all.

Edward Nevard, a fruit grower at Howfield, stated that he was in the "Chapter Arms" on the previous Saturday evening. At about five minutes to ten Swinford Butcher came in in his shirt sleeves. Witness heard Dilnot order him out. Butcher, who made no reply, bad bis hands over the counter. Just before ten o'clock witness saw two people struggling on the floor.

James Linch Bird, labourer, of Chartham, stated that he went to the "Chapter Arms" at about nine o'clock on the previous Saturday night. Swinford Butcher came in and asked for a glass of beer, but the landlord refused to serve him and wanted him to go outside. Witness did not see anything of the fight as he left the house before Whittaker came in.

The Bench considered there was no case against Lewis Butcher and discharged him.

Mr. Broughton, in his address to the Bench on behalf of Swinford Butcher, said that Whittaker was the aggressor. Swinford Butcher tried to got out of the house, but was prevented by Whittaker.

Swinford Butcher gave evidence on oath and stated that on the previous Saturday night when he went into the "Chapter Arms" for the second time it was between 9.30 and 10 o'clock. He went there to see a woman about pea-picking. He had previously been to the woman's house and was told she was at the "Chapter Arms." He saw her there. Whittaker was also there, and while he was speaking to the woman Whittaker came across to him and said "You are Swin Butcher, take that," giving him a blow with his fist in the face. Whittaker struck him a second time, and witness then said to Whittaker, "You come outside and I will fight you." Witness's brother was present and saw Whittaker strike witness. Whittaker also struck witness's brother, saying "You are his brother; you take that." Whittaker afterwards pushed witness's brother through a pane of glass. Whittaker took hold of him by the throat. They afterwards went out and fought.

In cross-examination, defendant said he had his coat and waistcoat on when he went into the house. Neither he nor his brother went into the house more than once that night. Whittaker knocked him down in the tap room, and his desire was to get outside the house and fight Whittaker.

Mr. Mowll:— Were you and your brother going to fight?

I should hare been killed had it not been for my brother.

Did your brother "save your life "inside the house or outside?

Outside, in the tumble.

Were you sober or drunk when you went in?

Suppose I say I was drunk.

Mr. Broughton:— You had had something to drink?


And you think that Mr. Dilnot was really justified in not serving you with the drink?

Yes, sir.

Mr. Mowll:— Has not Mr. Dllnot told you that he will not have anything to do with you?

About five months ago, but I have been there continually since.

Lewis Butcher, a hawker, who stated that he went into the "Chapter Arms" about 9.30., corroborated what his brother had said about the assault by Whittaker both on himself and on his brother. When Whittaker struck witness the second time he punched his round and knocked witness and another man in the bar against the door, smashing the glass. He did not hear the landlord ask anyone to leave the house.

Whittaker, upon being asked whether he would like to give evidence on his own behalf, said "Yes, and I will speak the truth." In the witness-box he said he was a labourer, and he went into Mr. Dilnot's house on the night in question and asked for a glass of beer. As it was close on 10 the landlord refused to serve him. Swinford Butcher said "You are Whittaker, you are fit for the Asylum," and stuck at witness. Witness then looked after himself, and he had another turn at Butcher outside. If witness had not looked after himself Butcher would have taken advantage of him.

The Chairman:— Has Dilnot refused to serve you on the premises before?

He did not want me to come inside, but I have had beer at the backdoor and drunk it outside.

The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr. O. E. Kingsford):— Did Mr. Dilnot tell you to go outside?

When I had Butcher on the floor, because he bit my finger.

In reply to Mr. Mowll, witness said the landlord had refused to serve him in the bar because he was interfered with on another occasion.

The Bench decided to convict both Swinford Butcher and Whittaker and asked Superintendent Jacobs if anything was known of either of the defendants.

The Superintendent said Whitaker had hitherto borne a good character, but there were twenty four convictions against Butcher. When free from the drink he was all right, but when in drink he was a perfect nuisance.

Mr. Broughton:— I think both my friend Mr. Mowll and myself can endorse that.

Mr. Mowll:—I certainly can.

The Bench decided to fine Swinford Butcher 5 and the costs or one month's hard labour, and Whittaker 30s., including costs or seven days'.

All three defendant's were then summonsed for disorderly behaviour on the highway, and to this Swinford Butcher pleaded guilty and Whittaker and Lewis Butcher not guilty.

After hearing the evidence the Bench dismissed Lewis Butcher and Whittaker, and in fining Swinford Butcher a further 10s, and 1s. costs, or seven days', reminded him that drink was his greatest enemy but if he would not keep away from it he must put up with the consequences.


Date unknown.


We regret to record the death of Mrs. Ann Coombs, widow of the late William Coombs, who was for a period of 38 years the owner of the "Chapter Arms" public house, Chartham Hatch, and which took place on the 13th of May at the residence of her grandson, 2, Primrose cottages, Chartham Hatch, where she had resided since retiring from business sixteen years ago. The deceased lady, who had attained the age of 88 years, was loved by a large circle of friends outside her immediate family for many acts of kindness, in her younger days. She leaves five sons and daughters, forty-three grandchildren and thirty-seven great grandchildren, and she was deservedly proud of the fact that sixteen of her grandsons are now serving their King and Country, some at the Front and others in India. The funeral took place on Tuesday at Chartham cemetery. The famiy mourners were Mr. William Coombs (son), Mrs. E. Pout and Mrs. E. Faulkner (daughters), Mrs. H. Coombs (daughter-in-law), Mr. L. Bird (son-in-law), Mr. A. Faulkner (son-in-law), Messrs. T. and S. Gambrill (brothers) Mr. T. Pullen (a very old friend), and many others. The floral tokens were of exquisite beauty, one calling for special notice being from her grandson serving with the colours.


Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser 04 January 1947.

Edward E. Hoile, licensee of the "Chapter Arms, "Chartham Hatch, near Canterbury, was killed when he fell down a well at his home. 1964, showing the travelling barber at work inside the pub.

I am informed that this pub was at one time leased to Cobb.

Latest news (30 June 2017) the pub has been advertised as Free House for sale, and has recently been purchased and has "ceased trading" signs outside and two Rollers in the car park. Presumably, some rich swell has bought Chartham Hatch's last pub (in an acre of land) and (without Change of Use) doesn't want to sell beer. Local CAMRA on the case.

Latest news (August 2017) I am informed that the house is going to be converted into houses, with more houses being built on the car park, however, news has it that the new owners are hoping to open a micro pub on part of the site.

Latest news October 2017 say that the locals are rallying around to try and keep it open, but the owner who is renowned for buying pubs and closing them for residential use is adamant it will close for good.


Chapter Arms 2018

Above photo March 2018 kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe.

From the By Gerry Warren, 1 April 2023.

Planning inspector rejects plans to turn The Chapter Arms pub in Chartham Hatch into house.

The future of a dilapidated village pub remains uncertain after a planning inspector ruled it cannot be turned into a house.

The decision is the latest twist in the long-running saga over The Chapter Arms at Chartham Hatch, near Canterbury, where successive applications for a variety of schemes - including housing and a new pub building - have failed.

Alistaire Noel 2023

Alistair Noel had big plans for the site.

The inn closed in 2017 after being deemed unviable, shortly before being acquired by developer Alistair Noel.

But any efforts to do anything but reopen the existing pub have been fiercely opposed by residents and the parish council.

The city council rejected the plan to fully convert the property into a four-bed house in 2021 on the grounds it would result in the loss of a community asset.

The authority also deemed the owner had not fully demonstrated the business could no longer be viable, and had failed to implement necessary measures to mitigate the impact of the development on Stodmarsh nature reserve, which has suffered pollution from waste water.

Chapyter Arms

The Chapter Arms pub in Chartham Hatch.

Mr Noel wanted to fully transform the building into a house.

He previously said: “The property is getting worse with every month that goes past.

“The plan is just to convert the old pub into a dwelling. The rest of the site will be landscaped and hopefully it’ll tidy up the entrance to the village.

“People will see a lively landscape there, and one would imagine they’d welcome that.”

But now a planning inspector has rejected the developer’s appeal, citing the failure of mitigating measures for the Stodmarsh, but they did not comment on the issue of the pub no longer being viable.

In another ruling, the inspector also agreed with the city council that there is insufficient evidence to prove the property has been fully used as a residential dwelling continuously for the past four years - dashing the owner’s hopes of gaining a ‘certificate of lawfulness’ for the change of use.

Mr Noel has previously said he finds it “incredulous” his plans are still being objected to, despite everything he has tried, including offering five years’ free rent to the tenant of the new pub to ensure its viability.

He says the building is increasingly becoming “a mess” and will never reopen as a pub.

Parish council chairman Tim Clark said he could not comment on the latest situation due to the upcoming local elections.

KentOnline made efforts to contact Mr Noel for comment on the planning inspector’s decision.



HAWKINS Henry 1851+

HAWKINS Thomas 1862+

COOMBS William 1867-91+ (also farmer age 72 in 1891Census) Whitstable Times

KENNETT Thomas 1901+ (age 33 in 1901Census)

DILNOT William 1901-13+ Kelly's 1903Whitstable Times

THOMAS Frederick M 1922+

HOILE/HOYLE Edward Ernest 1930-Jan/1947

Last pub licensee had BAKER George Palmer 1/Feb/1955-5/July/56

ASKEY Norman 1964+


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald



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