Sort file:- Penge, February, 2024.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 29 February, 2024.


Earliest 1853-

Crooked Billet

Open 2020+

99 Beckenham Road (High Street)


020 86760020

Crooked Billet engraving 1827

Above engraving, by William Hone circa 1827.

Crooked Billet 1827

Above watercolour, dated 1827.

Croked Billet 1900

Above postcard circa 1900.

Crooked Billet sign

Above photo, date unknown.

Crooked Billet 1901

Above postcard, circa 1901.

Crooked Billet 1920

Above postcard, circa 1920.

Crooked Billet

Above photo, date unknown.

Crooked Billet

Above postcard, date unknown.

Crooked Billet 2014

Above photo, June 2014.

Crooked Billet bottle 1900

Above bottle circa 1900.


A public house has existed on this site since 1601 or earlier and could have been a coaching stop for travellers to Dover.

The building built in 1827 was demolished in 1840 and rebuilt as  and a new, grander, Victorian three-storey building. The triangle area outside the pub was used for public meetings between the wars.

The building was bombed during the blitz, and rebuilt in the nineteen fifties.rook

It is said that a river runs through the cellar.


South Eastern Gazette, 22 November 1853.


On the 9th inst., at the "Crooked Billet," Penge, Mr. Michael Mathew, aged 43 years.


From the By Riley Krause, 27 August 2018.

Crystal Palace - Liverpool: Man arrested after Penge pub stabbing.

Crooked Billet 2018

The Crooked Billet in Penge, 2018.

A man has been charged by police following a football-fuelled stabbing.

On August 20, the Crooked Billet in High Street was showing the Crystal Palace-Liverpool game when a "heated exchange" occurred between rival fans.

"One of the Liverpool fans, a man in his twenties, seemed to have had enough and was leaving the pub," a witness said.

"But he turned round in the doorway when the Palace fan called him the c-word, at which point he turned round and walked towards the fan, who started walking towards him.

"It was like slow motion."

According to the witness, this was when one of the Liverpool fans pulled a knife out of his jacket.

"He stabbed the bigger, older Palace fan in the shoulder," they said.

"The young man then ran out of the pub up Maple Road."

The witness said the victim's family quickly rushed to his aid.

"He was bleeding a lot," they said.

"The landlady brought tea towels to help press on the wound, while the man slipped in and out of consciousness.

"His two sons came from nearby and were considering driving their father to the A&E."

A spokeswoman for the Met Police confirmed that a 45-year-old man was taken to hospital for a stab wound, which was deemed non-life threatening.

"Police were called by the London Ambulance Service at approximately 9.39pm to reports of a male with stab injuries, on Penge High Street," she said.

"Enquiries led officers to arrest a 20-year-old male at Gatwick airport on August 24 in connection with the incident.

"Sami Mercan, 20, of no fixed abode, has since been charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He was remanded in custody and was due to appear at Bromley Magistrates Court on August 25.


From the By Sam Truelove, 13 February 2019.

Barber 'stabbed Crystal Palace fan in South London pub' after being 'racially abused'.

Sami Mercan admits using a cut throat razor, but denies he meant to cause any harm.

A barber who allegedly stabbed a Crystal Palace fan at a South London pub did so in "self-defence" and because he was racially abused, a court has heard.

Sami Mercan, 20, is charged with grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent against Steven Barnes at The Crooked Billet, on Penge High Street, on August 20, 2018.

Mercan, who worked as a barber at the time of the attack, admits stabbing Mr Barnes in the shoulder with a cut throat razor, but denies he meant to cause him any harm.

The defendant claims he acted in self-defence after he was alleges he was racially abused and called a "stupid c***".

The trial of Mercan, who denies causing GBH harm with intent, entered day three on Wednesday (February 13) at Croydon Crown Court.

Mercan gave evidence at the hearing, telling the jury his version of events. He said he was working as a barber on Penge High Street at the time and had planned to cut a friend's hair after work. He also planned to go to his girlfriend's house.

One of his friends was in The Crooked Billet, so he ended up joining them for a “half-pint”. He didn’t get to finish his drink because of what happened involving Mr Barnes.

Mercan said he went to the pub “quite regularly”, and on that night the match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool was being shown.

He had his full barber equipment in a bag, including razors, clippers, scissors and various combs.

The defendant told the jury he had previously cut Mr Barnes’ hair, as well as his son’s, in the barber shop.

According to Mercan, they had a conversation in the pub which started out as “friendly banter”. But this soon turned sour after the defendant mocked Mr Barnes for supporting Palace.

“He became aggressive after I told him Palace were sh**,” Mercan told the court.

The jury heard that Mr Barnes allegedly told Mercan he was a member of Combat 18 - described in court as a neo-Nazi terrorist organisation.

“Apparently him and his group [Combat 18] hated people like me, that is what he said,” Mercan said.

“He also told me on the night he had ‘fu**** my mum’.

“He also made threats to kill me and my family.”

Mr Barnes was described as being "drunk" by the defendant, who added he was allegedly called a "P**i" and a "stupid c***".

Mercan told the jury he acted against Mr Barnes in “self-defence”.

“I attacked him before he attacked me,” he said, going on to explain he used a razor he had in his pocket from work.

The court heard Mercan went to go outside for a cigarette, and at this point the victim became “more aggressive”.

“I struck him on the shoulder because I felt threatened,” Mercan said.

“If I didn’t attack him he was going to attack me, I am sure.”

When asked if meant to hurt Mr Barnes, Mercan replied "no".

The jury was shown shown CCTV footage from the pub. In it you can see Mercan and Mr Barnes exchanging words, and the defendant then goes to leave the pub but appears to be called back by Mr Barnes.

Mercan then appears to lash out at Mr Barnes’ shoulder, before running off.

Mr Cherrill asked Mercan how he feels about what happened.

“I feel disgusted with myself,” he replied.

Cross examining, prosecution barrister Alexander Krikler asked Mercan a series of questions about his intention to hurt the victim, something which he denies.

“There was no need to stab him in the way you did, was there?” asked Mr Krikler.

“There was no need but as I said I was defending myself,” replied the defendant.

“You were not acting in self defence, were you?” asked Mr Krikler.

“You’re mistaken, sir,” said Mercan.

The trial continues.


From the By Sam Truelove, 14 February 2019.

Barber who stabbed Crystal Palace fan with razor in South London pub jailed.

Sami Mercan 2019

Sami Mercan has been jailed for five years (Image: Met Police).

A barber who stabbed a Crystal Palace fan with a razor in a South London pub has been jailed

Sami Mercan was found guilty of grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent at Croydon Crown Court following a three-day trial.

The 20-year-old, of no fixed address, stabbed Steven Barnes at The Crooked Billet , in Penge High Street, on August 20 last year.

Although Mercan admitted stabbing Mr Barnes during the trial, he denied intending to cause serious harm.

The jury of nine men and three women found the thug guilty and he was sentenced to five years in a youth offenders' institution.

The court heard how Mercan went to the pub to meet a friend for a half-pint of beer.

He had planned to cut a friends hair and meet his girlfriend afterwards.

Mr Barnes, a Palace fan, was in the pub watching his side play Liverpool, a game which was being shown on the pub's TV screens.

Mercan knew Mr Barnes because he sometimes cut his hair, and the pair exchanged "friendly banter".

But this soon turned sour, and insults were thrown back and forth.

In his evidence, Mercan said he was racially abused and called a "stupid c***".

Mercan claimed Mr Barnes became "aggressive" and made a jibe about his mother.

The court heard that Mercan stabbed the victim in the shoulder with a cut-throat razor - Mercan had his full barbering equipment with him in a bag on the night of the attack.

“I struck him on the shoulder because I felt threatened,” he told the jury.

“If I didn’t attack him he was going to attack me, I am sure.”

CCTV of the attack was shown to members of the jury.

When asked how he felt looking back on the incident, Mercan said: “I feel disgusted with myself."

The defendant argued that he stabbed Mr Barnes in self-defence, and told the court that he did not intend to cause serious harm.

Prosecuting, Alexander Krikler asked Mercan a series of questions about his intention to hurt the victim at the trial.

“There was no need to stab him in the way you did, was there?” asked Mr Krikler.

“There was no need but as I said I was defending myself,” replied Mercan.

“You were not acting in self defence, were you?” asked Mr Krikler.

“You’re mistaken, sir,” said Mercan.

The court heard that Mr Barnes was taken to hospital, where his injuries were deemed as not life-threatening.

Mercan was arrested after the attack at Gatwick Airport, where he was due to catch a flight to Cyprus to visit his dad.

Daniel Arratoon, who was in the pub at the time of the incident, had his witness statement read to the court.

Mr Arratoon said he saw Mercan reach for a knife with his right hand and described the moment the defendant lunged at Mr Barnes with the blade.

“I heard the victim shout ‘he just stabbed me’," said Mr Arratoon.

The witness estimated that the knife, which reportedly had a black handle, was around “five to six centimetres in length”.

Mercan was asked during his police interview what events in his life had caused him to lash out.

“I lost the job,” he said.

“Lost the house. Came out a long-term relationship. Fell out with siblings and family.

“I was in a very, very bad place.”



MATHEW Michael to 9/Nov/1853 dec'd


SHALLESS Charles 1871+ (widower age 33 in 1871Census)

HOEWS George 1878+

GOWENLOCH David 1881+ (age 48 in 1881Census)

BAILEY Mary L 1891+ (widow age 55 in 1891Census)

CAKEBREAD John S 1896+

JENNINGS Frank 1898+

JENNINGS Arthur L 1901-22+ (age 30 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903



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