Page Updated:- Monday, 13 February, 2023.


Earliest 1841-

(Name from)

Lord Nelson

Latest 1959-

Kings Ferry


Lord Nelson

Above photo, date circa 1893.

Lord Nelson 3 Feb 1953

Above postcard, date showing the floods of 3 February 1953.

Lord Nelson 1953

Above photo, 4 February 1953, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Lord Nelson rescue 1953

Above photo of Harry & Charlotte, gran and granddad of Howard Statham being rescued from Ridham farmhouse by the Army in 1953, the Lord Nelson in the back ground, who says "my dad was in a rowing boat in distance going to rescue a horse."

Kindly sent by Howard Statham.

Lord Nelson

Above photo, date unknown.

Lord Nelson 1953

Above photo, 1953, taken from the film The Long Memory.


I have reference to a pub that was identified as the "King's Ferry" in the 1841 census. I have a suspicion that the two are one and the same. However, I also have two different licensees mentioned for 1841, so perhaps they are different.

I believe the pub was demolished in to make way for the Kings Ferry Bridge in 1959.


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal, Tuesday 6 December 1803.


To be sold by Auction, by Mr. Batten, on Saturday, the 10th inst of December, 1803, at twelve o'clock, at the "Lord Nelson," King's Ferry, Iwade.

Four capital cows in calf, two Buds, one chestnut Horse, four Sows, sundry Poultry, a cart and harness, a water-barrel, a wheel-barrow, a cutting Box and Knife, Bridles and Saddles, a parcel of Faggots, Dairy Utensils, and sundry other articles, belonging to Mr. William South, leaving the place.


22 Jan 1806.

Up about 7, at 10 went with Messrs Head, William Swift, Wright, Boarer, Viney and Widgeon to meet Mr ? and French at the "Lord Nelson," Kings Ferry. At home at 5 and in bed 8 o’clock.


From the Maidstone Gazette and West Kent Courier, 13 February, 1827.


On Monday night about 10 o'clock, a woman, genteelly dressed, went to the "Lord Nelson" Public House at Kings Ferry, and enquired if she could be allowed to sleep there; she was taken in and remained until Wednesday about 1 o'clock, when she rang the bell, and told the daughter of the landlord she had taken poison; she soon after fell back in her chair and expired. She is about 4 feet 8 inches in height, has dark eyes and black hair; she wore a black sarsenet gown, light coloured shawl with a pink striped border, leghorn bonnet, and black lace veil. She appeared to be about six and thirty.


Maidstone & Kentish Advertiser on 13th August 1833.


At Iwade, August 5th, Mr. Chapman of the "Lord Nelson," King's Ferry, to Miss Ann Lockyer, of Iwade.


From the Kent Online, 24 March, 2021.

The First and Last. A haunted hostelry with a macabre past.

Although the name was clearly displayed on the fascia, even in large painted letters on the roof, the long gone "Lord Nelson" pub was often referred to as the "First and Last.

It depended on the route of travel, on or off the islands.

It was the only pub between Queenborough Corner and the "Woolpack" and the official address was Iwade.

There is also Lord Nelson Road in the Bobbing, Iwade and Lower Halstow Ward, but of the pub?

Nothing at all. No landmark stone. Nothing since 1959 when it was demolished as the new Kingsferry Bridge was making ready to officially open in 1960.

But there are many stories about it, which lose nothing in the telling - accidental deaths and a suicide.

The pubs location is near isolation gave wat to ghostly happenings.

Many a yarn most likely began "it was a dark and windy night, no moon all stars in the sky (pause for dramatic effect)..."

It was such a night in February 1827 when a young woman smartly but plainly dressed, entered the pub and begged a room for the night. Where she had she come from on foot? She was made welcome but a few hours later announced she had taken poison and died.

There are accounts of a livestock sale in 1803, but not until 1841 is there mention of a landlady - 55 year old Martha Lockyer.

We can assume in its long history farm workers and Swedish sailors coming in from pub boats at Ridham Dock would have been customers. Soldiers too, from Chetney Marshes, and railway workers from Swale Halt. It is possible after the Second World War German prisoners-of-war held in huts at Kingsferry were allowed supervised freedom to inbibe?

It was certainly not only on the beaten track but we know families from Queensborough and Rushenden found a route across Rushenden Marshes which brought them out to the Ferry Road with the "Lord Nelson" as their gaol. What better place to sit and admire Sheppy's magnificent sunsets?

Filmmakers both amateur and professional have found it an ideal location and scenes from one film starring John Mills were definitely shot there. But not everyone agrees the name of the classic. Some insist it was Great Expectations with the actor has young Pip meeting with escaped prisoner Magwitch. Not so.

The film was Long Memory, made in 1953 - the year of the floods. John Mills was certainly the star, but he played a man out for revenge after serving a prison term for a murder he did not commit.

Filming must have been after the ruinous floods because everywhere was a quagmire of mud when the water subsided.

However the pub did feature prominently in the rescues there never had been such activity in years - swarms of soldiers creating a Bailey Bridge, armies of civilians filling sandbags and farm workers squelching through mud hauling the bloated bodies of dead sheep.

Royal Engineers searching

Above photo showing Royal Engineers searching for drowned animals on the marches of Sheppey during the flood of 1953.

After days like that a few first have been slaked, be it with beer or hot drinks. The bar also offered warmth and shelter from bitterly cold winds and rain.



CHAPMAN Mr 1833+

LOCKYER Martha 1841+ (age 55 in 1841Census)

LOCKYER John 1847-61+ (age 55 in 1861Census)

HAMMOND John 1882-91+ Post Office Directory 1882Kelly's 1882

DARTNALL John 1899-1903+ Kelly's 1903

WALTERS Albert Edward 1913-34+


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Kelly's 1882From the Kelly's Directory 1882


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


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