Page Updated:- Tuesday, 11 January, 2022.


Earliest 1841-

(Name from)

Ferry Inn

Open 2020+

Appledore Road


01233 758246

Ferry 1908

Above photo, circa 1908, kindly supplied by Rory Kehoe.

Above postcard, 1910, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Ferry Inn 1950s

Above postcard, 1950s.

Ferry Inn 2017

Above photo, 2017.

Ferr Inn bar 2017

Above photo showing the bar area 2017.


The building was built in 1690 to refresh and accommodate the travellers who would then cross over the outlet of the River Rother to the mainland! The existing narrow watercourse you see today is called the ‘Reading Street Sewer’ (or ditch, or dyke) and is the Southern edge of the Old Rother, which was up to a quarter of a mile wide in parts at the time. I believe it was originally known as the "Black Ox," but don't know the year it changed name yet.

The then coastline was near to where the Military Road and canal is today, and if you drive from Rye to Appledore and look to your left, you can clearly see the original ‘Stone Cliff’, the ancient shoreline of the Isle of Oxney.

The "Ferry Inn," along with many other buildings on the Romney Marshes and other nearby areas were Smuggler’s haunts, and in the corner of the main bar (by the Inglenook) can still be seen an Owler’s (smuggler’s) window, where people inside could signal to the smuggler’s boats to let them know whether it was safe to land the contraband. Knock House at the bottom of Knock Hill was virtually on the coast and was the HQ of the Customs and Excise men.

During the Napoleonic War, troops were quartered in the upstairs rooms and attic in case the French invaded. One soldier was murdered by another upstairs after falling out over the favours of a local lady! The murderer was executed at Chatham. There was also a barracks at Reading Street and also an army racecourse.

The Isle of Oxney, on which the Ferry stands, was a separate island from the Isle of Ebony (also called the Chapel Bank), which you can see from the bar windows quite clearly. You can see all this on one of the many maps in the bar, ‘Hasteds Hundred Map’, which also shows that even after the waters diminished and the bridge was built, the road North only went as far as Court Lodge Lane and not straight on to the old school crossroads, so that travellers to Tenterden, Ashford and further afield had to go right (Court Lodge Lane) through Appledore (B2080) and onwards.

The Ferry was originally a Free House, once owned by the Deedes family from Saltwood Castle (Bill Deedes MP’s ancestors). It was purchased by Edwin Finn brewery (Lydd) and leased by them to Style and Winch (Maidstone) who later purchased it from them. Courage Barclay Simmonds, later ‘Courage’ bought out Style and Winch, in 1953. It was sold by Courage as a Free House, which it still is today.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday, 11 March 1856.

Corn Stealing.

A waggoner named Rose, in the employ of Mr. Thomas Baden, of Brookland, was charged with stealing, and Frederick Frampton, of Stone Ferry, with receiving a quantity of beans, the property of Mr. Baden. Rose confessed his guilt, and was committed for three months' hard labour. Frampton, who denied all knowledge of the affair, was committed for trial at the next quarter sessions.


The sentence on the prisoner was that he be imprisoned one week on the first offence, and at the expiration of that period twelve months in the House of Correction for the second.

The prisoner before leaving the bar desired to address the court, which he was not allowed to do and he was conveyed into the prison.


Thanet Advertiser, 2nd February 1924.


The many Broadstairs friends of ex-Coastguard W. J. Rickaby will be interested to learn that he is now the landlord of The "Ferry Inn" at Stone-in-Oxney, near Appledore.

Mr. Rickaby's new duties are not confined to catering for the inward needs of travellers and others, but he also fills the somewhat mediaeval role of toll keeper upon the King’s highway. This is a job that would have eminently suited Air Raid Jim, Coastguard Rickaby’s constant and faithful canine companion of Broadstairs memories.

Curiously enough his connection with the preventive calling is not completely severed for the "Ferry Inn" is a romantic and comfortable relic of smuggling times, and was the headquarters of one of the gangs that in those good old days infested Romney marshes. Beneath the quaint old hostelry there still exist cellars and caves used by the free traders of the past, and in particular the subterranean passage by which they brought their merchandise from the coast.


Thanet Advertiser, 19th July 1932.

Ex-Coastguard Bereave.

There will be many friends in Broadstairs who will regret to learn of the death of Mrs. Rickaby, wife of ex-Coastguard W. J. Rickaby, who was stationed at Broadstairs during the war. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rickaby were well known end both by reason of many acts of kindness were held in the greatest respect and affection by Broadstairs residents. Mr. Rickaby was a well known figure during the war years, when he went his rounds telescope under arm, accompanied by his dog. In 1919, when he was removed to another station, he and his dog were made the recipients of a public presentation at the Cinema. Upon his retirement from the service Mr. and Mrs. Rickaby settled at Stone in Oxney, near Ashford, where Mr. Rickaby became the landlord of one of the oldest inns in the county, the "Ferry Inn" and Toll. Mrs. Rickaby's funeral took place last week and was attended by nearly everyone in the neighbourhood.



HOACH Charles 1841+ (age 54 in 1841Census)

FRAMPTON Frederick 1851+ (age 32 in 1851Census)

HASKINS Henry 1871+ (age 31 in 1871Census)

FILE William J 1891+ (age 26 in 1891Census)

NAPP Henry 1903+ Kelly's 1903 (Oxney Ferry Inn)

CLARKE James 1911+ (age 70 in 1911Census)

RICKERBY W J Mr 1924-32+




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:-