Sort file:- Minster on Sea, July, 2024.

Page Updated:- Monday, 22 July, 2024.


Earliest 1851-

Royal oak

Latest 1950s

East End Lane

Minster on Sea (Sheppey)

Royal Oak Hotel 1910

Above postcard, date 1910, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Royal Oak

Above photo, circa 1910. back in the 1840s it boasted its own playing fields on the seaward side upon which the cliff falls have taken their toll.

Royal Oak postcard

Above postcard, date unknown, from Trevor Edwards.

Royal Oak

Above postcard, date unknown.

Royal Oak painting

Above painting by J. Gevaux-Ross, date unknown. Probably copied from above postcard.

Above postcard, date unknown, from Trevor Edwards.

Royal Oak 1952

Above postcard, dated 1952.


An old farmhouse at East End, Sheppey, became the "Royal Oak," a smugglers inn, during the nineteenth century, when it was a mile from the sea.

Ind Coope & Co Ltd purchased the pub from Budden & Biggs Brewery Ltd by conveyance and assignment dated 23 March 1931. The pub held a full license.

Erosion brought pub and cliff closer together, so that by the 1950s the premises were closed for safety reasons. Or, as a notice outside the building put it: ‘Sorry, this ain't a pub no more'. The "Royal Oak" disappeared over the cliff soon after.

There is a story going about that a local football match whilst the teams were taking refreshment inside the pub at half-time that half of the football pitch disappeared into the sea. Lucky escape I would say, although I think perhaps this story has been enhanced just a little.


From the Kentish Gazette, 14 January 1845.

Appalling and Fatal Accident.

A most appalling accident happened on Saturday morning se’nnight to a man of the name of Bourne, wagoner to Mr. Thomas Bigg, farmer, Eastchurch, Sheppy, but as no one was present to witness it, much must remain in obscurity. It is the practice of the farmers in Sheppy to send their corn to Sheerness on Saturdays, to be shipped for the London market, and this man and his mate were sent with a wagon load of corn to Sheerness early on Saturday morning, and when the wagon had reached the foot of the hill between Eastchurch and Minster, on the Minster side, the poor fellow was found between the near hind wheel and the body of the wagon in a dreadfully mangled and mutilated state. It appears that Mrs. Bigg, of the "Royal Oak" public-house, Minster, was going the same way with a loaded wagon, and seeing a team proceeding along the road without a driver, told her man to go and stop it, and when the man went round to the near side, be found the wagoner as above described. On looking about and tracing the blood, Mrs. Bigg found the poor man’s hat about half way up the hill. Assistance was immediately obtained and the poor fellow extricated, but he was quite dead, his body being so dreadfully torn and mangled that his bowels came out, and it was with the greatest difficulty that he could be moved; the body was ultimately taken to the union workhouse. The mate was gone on to the blacksmith’s shop in the village of Minster, with some work, which accounted for the wagoner being alone; and it is conjectured that he was removing the skidpan from the wheel before the wagon reached the bottom of the hill, and that the wagon must have gone on, and that, by some means or other, the deceased must have got entangled in the wheel and carried round by it. When the team was stopped the skidpan was dragging on the ground; but yet, as the deceased was found so far up the hill, it is difficult to imagine that he should be removing the skidpan there. Deceased was a steady man, being, as we understand, a member of the Wesleyan society. He has left a wife and four children.


An email sent to me on 1 August 2021 from Jimmy Wright, with some photos, seems to indicate that the original pub was destroyed by fire on the 24th November 1892, although to date I haven't seen reference to this. It seems that Jimmy has acquired this and that the licensee in the 1920s is his namesake, although relationship as yet also unknown.

Royal Oak fire sign

Above photo showing the sign inside the case.

Royal Oak fire relic

Above close up showing the fire relic.

Royal Oak fire relic

Above photo showing the case holding the relic.



STAINES John 1851+ (age 44 in 1851Census)

SHERLOCK William 1858+

LOGAN James 1861-62+ (& Pleasure Gardens widow age 56 in 1861Census)

LOGAN Thomas 1874+ (& Pleasure Gardens)

GOULD Joseph 1881-82+ (age 34 in 1881Census)

JOHNSON George Marshal 1896+

WORMALD Thomas 1903+ Kelly's 1903

WORMALD John 1911-13+ (age 42 in 1911Census)

WRIGHT James 1922-30+

WHITE Walter 1938+


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:-