Page Updated:- Tuesday, 19 December, 2023.


Earliest 1775+

(Name from)

City of London

2012 (Name to)

Closed Jan 2023

Sea Wall


01303 873979

City of London 1911

Above postcard, circa 1911, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

City of London 2010

Above photo 2010 by Oast House Archives Creative Commons Licence.

City of London 2019

Above photo, 2019.

City of London 2022

Above photo 2022.

City of London sign 1991Citu of London sign 2010

Above sign left March 1991, sign right 2010.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

City of London sign 2015City of London sign 2019

Above sign left 2015, sign right 2019.

With thanks from Roger Pester

City of London card 1951

Above aluminium card issued June 1951. Sign series 3 number 11.


The pub was within the original tied estate of Mackeson's Hythe Brewery, prior to their 1929 amalgamation with Jude, Hanbury's Dane John Brewery, Canterbury, which was, by then, under Whitbread ownership.

The sign in 1987 commemorates the local wreck of a barge of that name in the eighteenth century, although it actually displayed the heraldic device, which depicts the dagger associated with the death of Wat Tyler in 1381.

Originally called The "Seawall Tavern," this was a 16th Century inn. During a storm in 1775, a ship called City of London was blown ashore and collided with the inn, causing substantial damage. The ship's figurehead and timbers were used to repair the building, and the name was changed to reflect this.

The pub remains a memorial to those who died in the 1775 storm, and it is well worth a visit both for its historical interest and for its food and drink. The public house is mentioned in the Dr Syn novels.




Located in the middle of the high street is the "City of London," which was built in the sixteenth century as a coaching inn. The lower bars on the high street are the stabling area of the original inn. It is the establishment mentioned in the Dr Syn stories as the "Seawall Tavern." There is a story of how the "Seawall Tavern" became the "City of London." Apparently during a great storm in the mid seventeen hundreds a ship called the City of London was wrecked off the coast of Dymchurch, with a great loss of life. So great was the storm and so gigantic the waves, that the ship was tossed up over the sea wall and crashed into the tavern, causing great damage to the building. The tavern was restored using timbers from the wreck and as a commemoration for all the people who were killed the tavern changed its name to the "City of London."

The figurehead of the ship stood for many years in Wraights Builders’ Yard and now stands in the New Hall.

The signboard hanging outside the inn depicts the arms of the City of London, which incorporate Wat Tyler’s dagger. Wat Tyler was a man of Kent who in 1381 during the reign of Richard II, led an armed revolt against a tax levied on the populus, a poll tax. They marched on Canterbury and took Rochester Castle, then continued to march on to London. In a meeting between the rebels and the Lord Mayor of London the goodly Mayor stabbed Wat Tyler to death.


From the Kentish Gazette, 28 March 1848.

Attempt at Self Destruction.

A person named John Thomas, employed in the letter delivery at Hythe attempted to put a period to his existence on Friday morning, at the "London Tap," by taking arsenic. Mr. Podevin, surgeon, was promptly called; by whom effective measures were retorted to, which resulted in the partial recovery of the unfortunate man, who was afterwards removed to Hythe, under the care of a member of the police force.

From what transpired, we learn that the poisonous drug was procured from a shop at Hythe, kept by Thomas's father.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 9 July 1861.

Romney Marsh.

At the petty sessions on Wednesday, before C. Rolfe, Esq., Bailiff, and W. D. Walker, Esq, Benjamin Ransley, of the "City of London" beer house, Dymchurch, appeared to a summons, on the information of P.C. Boven, K.C.C., for keeping his house open for the sale of beer after 10 o'clock at night of the 25th May last. The defendant admitted the offence and was fined 5s. and 10s. costs.


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 7 April 1928.


Dymchurch Magistrates Refuse Separation Order.

At the Dymchurch Petty Sessions on Wednesday, Mrs. Eliza Philpott applied for a separation order on the grounds of the wilful neglect of her husband (Mr. Walter Philpott) and his failure to provide maintenance for herself and the four children. The Magistrates were Messrs. W. B. Smith (in the chair). H. J. Body, R. S. Jones, A. S. Jones, and Major F. Krabbe.

Mr. S. Shea, of Margate, appeared for plaintiff, and Mr. J. E. Chappel for defendant.

Mr. Shea and complainant had married on the 25th December, 1907, at Dymchurch. At that time her husband was working for his father, the former licensee of the "City of London Inn." There were four children of the marriage. When the father died he was succeeded by his son. During the past six or seven years, defendant had become intemperate. Latterly he was more or less in a maudlin state of drunkenness, and used to go into the bar and take money fro the till without keeping any record, gave wrong change, and by passing his time with boon companions at other licensed premises, spent the home money. In October last he had had a serious illness, and it was only in January that he was able to get about again. The takings had gone down to such an extent that it was practically impossible to keep body and soul together. The average takings per week were about 2. A piece of land belonging to the husband had had to be sold. The husband had decided to relinquish his present business.

Complainant gave evidence bearing out Mr. Shea's opening statement.

Cross-examined by Mr. Chapple, witness said she did not go near her husband during the three months he was ill. She did not cook him his food; her sister did. It was about four years since she had provided him with any food.

Asked whether she desired maintenance for the children, complainant said that she would rather her husband took charge of them. She wished to live apart from him, and she would not go to him if he offered her a home.

Interrogated as to why she did not cook him his food, witness said that one day when she was busy preparing the meals for the visitors, her husband had come in with a piece of pork and had asked her to cook it. She had told him that she was too busy at the moment to do so, but had not refused to cook it for him. He had gone out, and his sister had cooked meals for him.

Walter William Philpott (19), the eldest son, gave the evidence.

Mr. Chapple contended that it was not a case of wilful neglect because his client had had no money, and being ill, had not been able to get work.

Defendant said that he had been licensee of the premises for 20 years 3 months. Before that his father had been the licensee for 22 years. He denied ever having taken the money from the till, but even if he had, it would have been his own money. Nor had he been under the influence of drink.

Cross-examined by Mr. Shea, witness admitted having made promissory notes under his wife's name. he had got a home to go to when he have up the brewery business, and his wife was free to come if she liked. Trade had gone down owing to the place not having been kept clean. He had never struck his wife, but had called her a ______.

Mr. Alfred James Beattie, a collector in the employ of Messrs. Mackeson's, Hythe, said that the "City of London" was one of his firm's houses. There had always been a good living there. He had known Philpott for the last thirteen years, and he had always been satisfactory.

After retiring a short while, the bench dismissed the case, each party being ordered to pay his or her own costs.

The transfer of the license from Mr. Walter Philpott to Mr. Edwin John Price, formerly a chauffeur in the employ of Lord Warrington, was granted.


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald 01 November 1930.


One man was burned to death, and two others were injured, one seriously, when two motor-cycles collided head-on and burst into flames on the road between Hythe and Dymchurch on Thursday evening. The man who was fatally burned was Private Richard Niblett of the Royal Tank Corps, stationed at Lydd. The rider of the other machine, Mr. Alfred Nicholson, an employee of the Hythe Gas and Light Company, and who has lived for the past year at the "City of London Inn," Dymchurch, to which he was proceeding from work at the time, was seriously burned, and was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Folkestone, in a critical condition.

Private George Rodd, also of the Tank Corps, who was riding pillion on Niblett's machine, received a fractured wrist, and was removed with Nicholson to hospital.


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 8 June 1940.


Price. On June 4th, at the "City of London," Dymchurch, Kent, Daisy Merton, the beloved wife of Edwin James Price.



The pub appears to have reverted back to the "City of London" again, and unfortunately closed around January 2023. However, I have just been contacted by the new owners who say the pub will open again soon.



RANSLEY Benjamin 1861+

PHILPOTT William 1886-Jan/1908 (age 39 in 1891Census)

PHILPOTT Walter Jan/1908-Apr/28 (age 32 in 1911Census)

PRICE Edwin John Apr/1928-41+ (age 59 in 1939)




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