DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Saturday, 13 April, 2024.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1841-

Bower Inn

Latest 1905+

Ashford Road

Bearsted

Bower Inn 2024

Above photo 2024, kindly sent by Beth Lloyd.

Bower Inn well 2024

Above photo, showing the now disused well in the back garden, 2024, kindly sent by Beth Lloyd.

Bower Inn well location 1866

Above map 1866 showing location of well. The Bower Inn and well is to the extreme right.

Bower Inn barrel

Above photo kindly sent by Beth Lloyd.

Bower Inn articles

Article found in the garden, kindly sent by Beth Lloyd.

 

The 1871 census referred to this as the "Bower Tea Garden" and the licensee a beer retailer.

Reference has been found to this pub in the census of 1901 where the premises was referred to as a beer house. However, I do also know of a "Bower Inn" in Maidstone, some 6 miles away, and as yet do not know whether this one is the same. But the census also listed the "Yeoman" on the same page, and that I believe refers to the "Kentish Yeoman" of Bearsted.

Mrs. Beth Lloyd tells me the following:- "I have lived at Periton Cottage, built on the site of The Bower Inn, since 1981. The 1905 date, I think, is when there is a record of the then current owner throwing a brick through the court house window, on Bearsted Green, after his licence was refused!

The current house was built in approximately 1920 and I have found census information on the site being a beer house since 1841, along with with the names of its former owners. I still have the site of the original well in my garden, now filled in but shown on old maps. Over the years, I have also collected a variety of Victorian artefacts from the garden.

When my late husband and I moved in we found the staves of old barrels up in the loft and were told that in the 1920s beer was still being sold from our hall, and the old charabancs would stop for refreshments in the front garden!

This came to an end once the original Tudor House was built further along the Ashford Road."

The license for the "Bower Tea Garden" ceased after 1905 but the venue continued to be a popular and attractive place for motorists and cyclists to stop for tea. The location of the main road to Ashford and Folkestone allowed it to benefit from increasing volumes of traffic, After the Tudor house was built, the two premises competed for business as people used their leisure hours to travel. However, the Tudor House was able to offer bigger and better facilities so the tea garden closed.

 

From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 7 September 1861.

Bearsted Petty Sessions.

James Richardson, "Bower" public house, was fined 2 for an offence against his licence.

 

Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser 28 July 1891.

PROPERTY SALE.

At the "Star Hotel," includes:-

"a piece of fruit plantation situate on the Ashford-road, in front of the "Bower Inn," Bearsted, let at 4 per year, 100."

 

The Courier, 10 March, 1905.

The Bower Garden, Bearsted.

Mr. Brennan, solicitor, applied for the renewal of this license.

P. S. Blackwell stated that the house, which was an "on" beer house, was situated on the Ashford Main Road. The population of the district was 726, and the area 574 acres. There were six other licensed houses in the neighbourhood, and the population per head worked out at 121.

Mr. William White, the tenant for the last 3 1/2 years, said his trade averaged 3 1/2 barrels per week. He also did a considerable trade in providing teas during the summer months to travellers.

The decisions.

After a retirement of nearly three quarters of an hour, the Chairman announced the Magistrates decisions as follows:- The "Bower Gardens," Bearsted, referred to quarter sessions.

 

LICENSEE LIST

KIRBY Harriett 1851+

RICHARDSON James 1861+ (also carpenter)

STANFORD Charles 1871-91+ (age 46 in 1871Census)

BROWN Edward 1901+ (age 28 in 1901Census)

WHITE William 1905+

PAGE Edward 1911+

 

CensusCensus

 

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

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