Sort file:- Birchington, September, 2021.

Page Updated Birchington:- Wednesday, 29 September, 2021.


Earliest 1748


Closed 2016

6 Park Lane


Acorn postcard 1919.

Above postcard, 1919, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe who says the pub is on the left just behind the shop and advertised Shepherd Neame beers.

Acorn Inn

Above picture taken from Google Maps. The flint building at the back of the pub now houses the restaurant and is probably the oldest part of the pub.

Acorn sign 1992

Acorn sign August 1992

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis


A budding oak tree is found behind the village square at Birchington, where the tiny Acorn Inn has traded since 1748. In 1802 Isaac Williams was rated for the ‘sign of ye Acorn', although a Tithe Map of 1840 shows the premises as a cottage. The Parish Poor Books indicate that the inn was a frequent overnight stop for soldiers, who had been issued with special passes.


The inn, known by the name and sign of the Acorn," was built in 1748, but incorporated into a much older dwelling. The rear room is housed in a tiny flint cottage reputed to be over 500 years old. That dwelling house dates back to the late 1400's when it was a tied cottage belonging to the estate of Edward Cotone. Early occupants are unrecorded but in 1500 "Joseph Quested, woollen draypa" was in residence, along with his wife Martha and five children. The house stayed in the Cotone family for the remainder of the 16th century, who seem to have held title to it long after they ceased to live there. In 1611 it was occupied by Widow Lambe, a milliner who paid a peppercorn rent to Charles Henry Cotone, landowner of Birchington.

Some years later the house was acquired by Isaac Oliphant, a brewer of Birchington. He lived in the house for some time, probably brewing home made beverages, but by 1748 the building had been extended considerably. In that same year a licence to sell ales from the premises was granted, under the name of "The Acorn Ale House". (Or was that the other "Acorn?" Paul Skelton.)

The pub although known as a beer shop, poor books indicate that travellers, even soldiers on furlough with their wives, used the Acorn as an inn. It had coaching facilities, stables and an old forge separated from the building.

In 1838 the Acorn was bought by Edward Neame, farmer and brewer and member of the Neame Brewery family who lived in Birchington. Edward Neame ran the house until 1866 by which time the breweries of Shepherd and Neame had merged and the Acorn was in their control. The Acorn remained under the brewery's management until 2000 at which time it became a Free House. The inn was completely refurbished with the addition of a new kitchen and 40-seater restaurant dining area.

This is another pub that is supposed to have smuggling tunnels underneath which connect under the Square, some to the Anvil close estate.

A more complete history of The Acorn was available at the inn. Unfortunately the premises is closed and has been turned into residential useage.


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 18 February 1803.

Saturday morning as a lad, son of Mr. Williams, of the "Acorn" public-house, at Birchington, Thanet, was sliding on the ice, he unfortunately slipped down and broke his thigh.


From the Kentish Gazette, 8 December 1868.


At the Cinque Ports police court, Margate, on Wednesday, before Thomas Blackburn, Esq G. E. Hannam, Esq., and T. H. Keble, Esq. Mr. William Hayward, licensed victualler, of Birchington, was summoned for having committed an assault upon Mr. Oliver Wanstall, also a publican of the same parish. (Powell Arms).

Mr. Towne appeared for complainant; and Mr. Delasaux, of Canterbury, for the defendant. Mr. Towne, in opening the case, stated that the parties were near neighbours, and that the dispute had, so far as he could tell, originated on account of a jealous feeling on the part of the defendant, because Mr. Wanstall did a better trade then he did.

The Chairman suggested that it would be better if a settlement could be come to without hearing the evidence.

Mr. Delasaux said his client was quite ready to shake hands and let the matter end, if the complainant was willing.

Mr. Towne said his client would assent to that course on condition of defendant paying the costs.

Mr. Delasaux said he could not think of doing that, as he had a complete answer to the case.

Mr. Towne:- Then it must be gone in with. It was all very well for his friend to talk about shaking hands, but the defendant should not have shook his fist.

The following evidence was taken:—

Complainant said:- I am landlord of a public-house at Birchington. On the 19th ult., about twenty minutes before twelve at night, the defendant came to my house, and when he saw me he said you are the man I want. He took hold of me, and threw me across the passage. He then pulled out his purse, and offered to fight me for as many sovereigns as there was in the purse. He caught hold of both my arms, and "slewed" me across the room, and wanted to fight. I asked him to go home. I had had no previous words with him. I believe he was sober.

Cross-examined:- Had ridden home from Margate with him that evening, and was very comfortable with him; did not know of any other cause for what defendant had done then jealousy.

A witness was called who gave corroborative testimony, and after Mr. Delasaux had addressed the Bench two witnesses were called for the defence, but their statements were not of such a character as to shake the cause for the complainant.

Fined 2s. 6d. and 14s. costs.


From the Thanet Advertiser, 13 June 1939.



Popular Charles Solly, licensee of the "Acorn Inn," Birchington, and founder of the Birchington old folk’s outing was presented by the Mayor (Alderman G. R. Farrar) with an inscribed clock at the annual outing.

The presentation which took place at Tenterden where Mr. J. H. A. Smith, chairman of the Outing Committee, presided at tea, was made by the committee and friends in recognition of Mr. Solly's unceasing work for the old people of Birchington. St. Nicholas and Acol over a long period of years.

More than 250 old people left Birchington in twelve motor coaches and proceeded to Tenterden via Monkton, Wingham, Barham, Elham, Lyminge, Lympne, Bilsington, and Bethersden.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Margate and the Mayor of Tenterden (Councillor Mrs. Adams) were present at tea. The Mayor of Tenterden extended a cordial welcome to the elderly visitors and expressed the hope that she would see them visit the town again. “You have many years ahead of you yet,” she added.

The Mayor of Margate had a few cheery words for the old people, and announcing that a presentation would be made to Mr. Charles Solly in recognition of his work for the outing Mr. Smith recalled that Mr. Solly was responsible for inaugurating the outing nearly 40 yeare previously. It was Mr. Solly who promoted the first Easter Sports at Birchington from which funds for the outing were provided for many years.

After receiving the clock from the Mayor, Mr. Solly said the sports which were the forerunner of the outing, attracted thousands of people to Birchington from all parts of the county.

Paying tribute to the work of Mr. W. T. Hancock, the hon. secretary. Mr. Solly said if Mr. Hancock stayed with the committee as long as he had that gentleman would earn two clocks.

Mrs. C. Sinclair, of Park View, Acol, who will celebrate her ninetieth birth-day shortly, was the oldest member of the party. She has attended the outings for nearly 20 years. Recovering from a recent illness, she decided only on the day of the outing to accompany the party.

Mr. E. Knott, a member of the committee, who is 75 years of age, has attended every one of the 32 outings.

Hundreds of residents assembled in Birchington Square in the evening when the party, headed by the Birchington Silver Band under Mr. W. E. Hayward, were played into St. Nicholas and Birchington.

Every guest was presented with a shilling by the outing committee and at Tenterden received another shilling given by two Birchington residents.

The officials were: chairman, Mr. J. H. A. Smith; hon. secretary, Mr. W. T. Hancock: committee. Messrs. A. Sladden, A. Hoare, H. Dillistone, E. Knott. P. Mariner, S. Holmans, A. Finch, and C. Solly.


Thanet Advertiser, Tuesday 18 June 1940.


Mr. Charles V. Solly, of Birchington, who was serving with the R.A.F. in France, flew over to England in time to see his mother before she died.

The mother, Mrs, Emma SolIy, was the wife of Mr. C. E. Solly for 42 years licensee of the "Acorn Inn," Birchington.

When it became known that Mrs. Solly had only a few days to live Margate police communicated with the Air Ministry, and a message was sent to the airman's unit giving instructions for his release from duty so that he could return home immediately. Mr. Solly was driven to Paris, flew in a special plane to Hendon and caught the last train of the day from London to Birchington.

Mother and son were able to talk together before Mrs. Solly passed away.

Mrs. Solly, who was 73 years of age, was laid to rest in Birchington Churchyard on Thursday.


Thanet Advertiser 02 December 1941.


The death took place last week at the age of 78 of Mr. Edwin Charles Solly, licensee of the "Acorn Inn," Park-lane, Birchington, for the past 43 years. Son of a Margate farm labourer, Mr. Solly began work as a newspaper boy and shortly afterwards went to London to work in a public-house. Re returned owing to ill-health and for some time was in private service with the late Capt. Hatfeild at Hartsdown. After again working for some years in London Mr. Solly took up residence in Birchington 53 years ago. He was an insurance agent for ten years and than took over the license of the "Acorn Inn." Among his many activities Mr. Solly helped in arranging the Easter Monday sports, which was a great feature in the social life at Birchington before the last war. The money raised at the sports led to an entertainment and outing for the old people of the parish and he was appointed secretary of the committee which was formed in 1907. He held the position until 1939 when he received a clock from the committee and old people of Birchington in recognition of his services. He then became assistant secretary to the committee. For about 20 years Mr. Solly was a member of the old Birchington Parish Council and at one time held the position of chairman. He was also an overseer for many years and up to the time of his death was manager of the Church School and a trustee of local charities. Mr. Solly was predeceased by his wife about 18 months ago. He leaves one son, who is serving in the R.A.F., and two daughters. The funeral took place at Birchington on Friday.



WILLIAMSON Isaac 1802-03+

DUFFELL George 1810+

HAYWARD William 1858+ Next pub licensee had Melville's 1858

HOGBIN Edward 1861-67 (age 28 in 1861Census) Post Office 1867

MILGATE George 1871-74+ (age 45 in 1871Census)

TERRY Robert 1881-Aug/86 dec'd (age 33 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

PEMBLE Arthur Henry 1890-91+ (age 31 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1891

SOLLY Charles Henry Edwin 1901-Nov/39 dec'd (age 35 in 1901Census) Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1922Post Office Directory 1938


Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office 1867From the Post Office Directory 1867

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938



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