Page Updated:- Wednesday, 19 May, 2021.


Earliest ????

Royal Oak

July 2015

14 Sweechgate

Broad Oak


Royal Oak 1950s

Above photo showing licensees in the 1950s. Kind ly sent by  Carol Nubbert.

Royal Oak stores 1960

The caption for this picture reads. The Royal Oak Stores served the village of Broad Oak for many years, until the early 1960s. The shop itself, situated on the forecourt of the Royal Oak public house, was demolished in 1962. The store was run by Ron Birch and his wife Nora (nee Keem.) Ron's mother, Mrs Lily Birch, was the licensee of the Royal Oak. The shop sold sweets and tobacco through the door to the left - the one to the right led to the butcher's department. You could also buy paraffin and chopped firewood and outside there was always a selection of fresh vegetables. If you wanted to, you could order your groceries and Ron would deliver them to your door on his trade bike, which can be seen in the photograph, standing to the right of the shop. The shop was greatly missed by the people of the village when it closed down. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Royal Oak

Above photo, date unknown.

Broad Oak sign 1991

Above sign, July 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Royal Oak matchbox

Above matchbox, circa 1980s, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.


 The "Royal Oak" had its licence transferred from another inn at Sweechgate, the "Spreading Oaks," which became a private dwelling.


From an email received 4 April 2017.

Referring to the photo above of the pub in the 1950s.

The landlady was Lily Knight my gg-aunt who was married to Percy Earnest Smithson Birch and you see these two in this photograph that is in our family collection.

Lily was born in 1884 in Canterbury and died in 1962. She was said to have haunted the pub and her picture was supposedly on the wall. If anyone took it down then unlucky things happened until they put her picture back up.

Kind regards,

Carol Nubbert.


From the 03 November, 2011.

Families on Canterbury caravan site could be homeless at Christmas.

Tiffany Keen

NOWHERE TO GO: Tiffany Keen has lived on the caravan site next to the Royal Oak pub for two years

Caravan site

FAMILIES with young children face spending Christmas homeless after a pub landlord went missing.

Up to 12 families living on a caravan site next to the "Royal Oak" pub in Broadoak, Canterbury, face eviction tomorrow, Friday.

Bailiffs moved in after landlord Nick Stewart walked out with no notice.

Father-of-two Ben Briggs said: "If we are evicted, we will have to live by the side of the road in our caravan. We have no choice.

"I might chain myself to the caravan if the worst happens."

He and his partner Lisa have lived on the site for three years with their children Chloe, six, and Kieran, four.

They moved there after having to leave their house because of financial difficulties.

Mr Briggs said: "I'm heartbroken. Our little community is going to be broken up."

He added: "Mr Stewart was a very quiet man. This is completely out of character."

Fellow caravan-dweller Tiffany Keen, who worked as a cook and barmaid at the "Royal Oak," said: "Nick just packed and went one night. He was a nice, quite quiet man. I was shocked to hear the news."

Miss Keen moved to the site two years ago and is now working at the "Blind Dog" pub in Canterbury. She says she has nowhere else to live.

She said: "I can't move in with my boyfriend because he still lives with his parents.

"I feel sorry for the others who have children. It is going to be hard on them."

The pub and camp site are owned by Enterprise Inns.

Spokeswoman Vicky Averis said: "We have recently recovered possession of the pub and are seeking possession of the land surrounding it."

She told residents who had paid money to Mr Stewart to contact him direct, or notify the police.

She said: "We hope for an orderly handover of the remainder of the site to allow the property to resume trading as soon as possible."


I am informed that Punch Taverns closed the pub in the summer of 2015 and it is rumoured that a developer is interested in the site.

Latest news, from the Kentish Gazette, 24 March 2016 states that Enterprise Inns have sold the pub and are seeking planning permission for, you got it, housing.


Royal Oak 2017

Above photo, June 2017, kindly taken and sent by Doogie Moon.

Royal Oak 2017

Above photo, June 2017, kindly taken and sent by Doogie Moon.

Former Royal Oak 2019

Above photo May 2019, kindly taken and sent by Ray Hopkins.

Former Royal Oak 2019

Above photo, December 2019, kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe, who says the building is now called "Oak House."



INGLETON Henry 1881 (also carpenter age 25 in 1881Census)

STEED Albert 1891-18+ (age 49 in 1901Census)

BIRCH Percy Earnest Smithson 1950s+


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