Sort file:- Canterbury, November, 2023.

Page Updated Canterbury:- Thursday, 30 November, 2023.


Earliest 1792-

(Name from)

Black Griffin

Open 2020+

40 St Peter's Street


01227 455255

Kentish Cricketers 1886

Above photo, 1886, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Postcard 1903

Above postcard, circa 1903, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Griffin 1912

Above photo, 1912. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Griffic 1951

Above photo, 1951. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Griffin 1960

Above photo 1960, kindly sent by Tim Timpson.

Black Griffin 1965

Above photo taken by Edward Wilmot in 1965.

Photo taken 25 September 2012 from by Dunstabelle.

Black Griffing inside

Above photographs circa 2012 taken from

Black Griffin sign 1980sBlack Griffin sign 1888

Black Griffin sign left 1980s, sign right original 1888

Black Griffin sign 1991Black Griffin sign 1994

Black Griffin sign left 1991, sign right November 1994.

Black Griffin metal sign

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis


At one time a Rigden's brewery pub, this started off as the "Black Griffin" and then in 1999 changing name to the "Hobgoblin" when it was owned by the Wychwood brewery chain.

After a short time as the "Hobgoblin" and sometime between September and November 2010 it again reverted back to being the "Black Griffin."

The building we see today was built about 1890 but records show previous buildings dating back several hundred years.

The original building was listed in the licensing lists of 1692 and also the following year for the purpose of billeting 6 soldiers. However, the premises as a public house can be traced back much further than that. The earliest mention being in 1610 when it was called the "Bull."


Kentish Gazette, 27 January, 1792.


Last week died Mrs. Bailey, wife of Mr. Bailey, at the "Black Griffin," in St. Peter's.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 14 February 1832.

Feb 8, in a parish of St. Andrews, after a long illness, Mr. Edward Feakins, late landlord of the "Black Griffin," Canterbury, age 66 years.


From the Kentish Gazette, 17 November 1846.


Feakins:— Nov. 6, in St Peter's Street, Canterbury, after a long and painful illness, Mrs. Sarah Feakins, many years landlady of the "Black Griffin."


South Eastern Gazette,10 January, 1860.

The winter quarter sessions for the city and borough were holden in the Guildhall on Wednesday last, before the Recorder, John Deedes, Esq.

Henry Marten, for stealing a bullock’s tongue, value 3s., the property of Wm. Griggs, a butcher, in the borough of Skaplegate, on the 24th October.

Edmund White deposed that he was pasting the prosecutor's shop at about eight o’clock in the evening in question, when he saw the prisoner take the tongue from off the shop board.

Henry Baker, landlord of the "Griffin" public-house, in St. Peter’s street, stated that at about 8 o’clock on the morning of the 23rd October, the prisoner offered the tongue to him for sale. Witness refused to buy it, but gave information to the police.

Three weeks’ hard labour.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 2 May, 1863.

Sarah Davis was charged with breaking six panes of glass value 2s.

James Butler said he kept the “Black Griffin,” public house.

Last night about a quarter to twelve, just as he was going to shut up his house; the defendant maliciously took off her shoe and smashed the windows.

Defendant said she could not get any lodgings and had no friends.

The Bench committed her for seven days at the City gaol.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 3 February 1900. Price 1d.


The City Coroner (Dr. T. S. Johnson) held an inquest at the “Black Griffin,” St. Peter's Street, Canterbury, on Friday evening, touching the death of a young married woman named Alice Mary Brett, who committed suicide on the previous day.

Frederick George Brett, bricklayer, living at 3, Foundry Cottages, North Lane, identified the body as that of his wife, who was aged twenty-three years. The deceased was confined on January 13th and was very well in health until after the third day. From that day she had very strange ideas come into her head and said she would never get over it. Dr. Sworn attended the deceased while a Mrs. Sharp, of Headcorn, nursed the deceased. On the previous Tuesday the nurse left owing to some misunderstanding. At 10.30 on Wednesday night witness last saw the decease at alive when she appeared very comfortable. At 4.15 in the morning the deceased was missing and witness was informed of the fact by his sister, who was with the deceased. Witness searched about but could not find the deceased. He went downstairs and into the garden where he saw a chair against the wall. On the opposite side of the wall was the river. There was a footprint in the chair. As he could not find the deceased he sent for the police.

Lucy Brett, 63, Whitstable Road, stated that deceased was her sister-in-law. After the nurse left she nursed the deceased. On the night in question she was with the deceased, but seeing that the deceased was asleep she laid on the bed and dropped to sleep. When she awoke she found that the deceased was missing. She then informed her brother.

Edward Stringer, living at 4, Wood's Passage, stated that he was going across Barton's Field at about 8.45 on Thursday morning when he saw the deceased in the water. As the woman was dead he went and informed the police.

Dr. Sworn deposed that he attended the deceased at the confinement. Everything went on satisfactorily till the 20th when deceased had delusions. Death was caused by drowning.

The Coroner having summed up the jury returned a verdict of “Suicide whilst of unsound mind.”


From the Whitstable Times, 16 June, 1900.


The Canterbury Coroner (Dr. T. S. Johnson) held an inquest on Wednesday afternoon last, at the "Black Griffin, St. Peter's Street, touching the death of a boy named Horace Edward Parks, aged 15, who was drowned the previous evening in the Stour at Bingley.

William Henry Sutton, living at 2, Cotton Mill Row, St. Stephen's, deposed that deceased was his half-brother, and lived at the "Tower Inn," St. Radigund's. Witness saw him alive on Tuesday playing bear the stream at the back of the house. He had only lived in Canterbury about two months.

William Paris, aged 13, brother of deceased, stated that at about six o'clock the previous evening he and the deceased left home and went to Bingley meadow. They undressed and both went into the water, Witness went into the shallow part. Deceased said he was going across the hole. When going across witness saw deceased sink and then come up again. This he did for three times and then sank and witness did not see any more of him. When he first went down witness told some boys on the banks that his brother was drowning, but they thought he was only playing about and they would not go into the water after him. Witness went for a boy named Parry, who was in the other field, and he came to his assistance.

Archibald Parry, aged 15, stated that he lived at 9, Knott's Lane. On the previous evening about 7.30 he was in the meadow at Bingley when the last witness told him that his brother was drowning. He ran across the field and jumped into the water with his clothes on. With the assistance of another boy who also jumped into the water he got deceased out. They put him on the bank and applied artificial respiration.

Mr. Sworn, surgeon, stated that he was called to Bingley on the previous evening. He found deceased on the bank. He was quite dead. The cause of death was suffocation from drowning.

The Coroner having summoned up, the jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death" adding a rider that the Town Council should be written to on the subject of the bathing at Bingley.

A collection was made on behalf of the two boys who tried to save the deceased's life, and about a sovereign was collected in the room.


From the Whitstable Times, 6 July, 1901.


An inquest was held at the "Black Griffin," St, Peter's Street, Canterbury, on Tuesday evening by the City Coroner (Dr. T. S. Johnson), touching the death of the illegitimate child of Lily Carter, of Hastings.

Lily Carter, wife of William Carter, a private in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment, who was now serving in South Africa, stated that she resided in apartments at 18, Wellington Road, Silver Hill, Hastings. The deceased was born on February 11th this year, and she had it baptised in the name of "Albert Carter," whereas it was an illegitimate child and the father was named Gerr. The child had never been very healthy from birth. It was always crying, and she had never had any peace with it. She took the child to Dr. Blaine, of Hastings, who said the child could not digest the food witness had been feeding it on and advised her to get some Mellin's Food. This she did. She had been feeding it on bread and milk. She came to Canterbury the previous day because she heard that her husband had written home and said he would shoot witness when he got back because she had that baby. She left Hastings the previous day about seven o'clock and arrived at Canterbury at 9.30 the previous night. She went to a beer-house in Canterbury to sleep. A sailor accompanied her to Canterbury and she paid for his and her own lodgings.

In answer, to the Coroner, witness said she received money from the War Office. The last time she received 2 19s. 5d. She left half-a-sovereign at Hastings to pay for the keep of her two children. The sailor came from Hastings with witness. His name was Neave and he came from Sheerness. She paid his railway fare.

The Coroner asked the witness if she thought it right to receive that money from the War Office and to appropriate it in that way.

Witness said the money kept coming to her.

The Coroner said he hoped that she would feel the effect of it some day.

Witness said the sailor had gone back. She had known him a long time. She used to go to school with him.

In answer to the Coroner, witness said the father of the child was a married man.

Witness (continuing) said she got up that morning at about eight o’clock. After washing she went to look at he child and she found it dead. She asked where the nearest doctor lived and she was sent to see the Coroner.

The Coroner.— But you did not see me?

Witness.— No.

The Coroner.— I sent you on to Mr. Prentice.


Mr. Z. Prentice, surgeon, deposed that the last witness brought the deceased to his house at 8.20 that morning. She was accompanied by a naval man. The child was then dead and had been dead for some three or four hours. He had since made an external examination but found no marks of violence. The cause of death was diarrhoea, probably accelerated by injudicious feeding.

The Coroner, in summing up, made some strong remarks on the life the mother of the child had been leading.

The Foreman of the jury (Sir. H. B. Collis) said there was only one verdict to return—namely, that death arose in accordance with the medical evidence. The jury might be well advised in commenting upon the immoral life that the woman had led. She had taken money from the War Office which was supposed to be given to deserving persons, and misappropriated it in this way.

The Coroner said there was another matter he should like to refer to, and that was that the woman had registered the child in the name of her respectable husband. It was a terrible crime!

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony, it being understood that the authorities would be communicated with, pointing out that the War Office allowance should be sent to the woman's mother, so that the two children should be looked after, and that it should not be sent to the mother in future.


From the By Jack Dyson, 19 April 2020.

Coronavirus Kent:

Landlord of "Old City Bar," "Black Griffin," "Seven Stars," "Dolphin" and "Thomas Becket" in Canterbury racks up 115k debt amid pandemic

A city pub magnate has described his finances as “critical” after already racking up 115,000 of debt since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Businessman Charles Smythe is faced with the hefty bill after being left unable to pay rent or invoices from big suppliers while his five Canterbury bars are closed.

Charles Smythe 2020

Charles Smythe says his outstanding bills already total 115,000.

And the 50-year-old - who runs the "Old City Bar," "Black Griffin," "Seven Stars," "Dolphin" and "Thomas Becket" - believes his outstanding payments could rise above 200,000 in the next two months.

Despite this, the tavern tycoon insists he will not close any of his watering holes.

“I won’t get rid of my pubs,” he maintained. “Cash flow is pretty critical.

“My outstanding debt at the moment is 115,000 - and that’s going up each week.

“I’ve paid off my little suppliers - like my cleaners and butchers.

“But with the big companies - like the breweries and major suppliers - I’m saying to them, ‘you’re not getting any money until I get some in’.”

Brewery Shepherd Neame, which owns the "Old City Bar," has suspended rent for its licensees during the Covid-19 crisis.

But Mr Smythe says the landlords of his four other pubs want him to pay all outstanding rent in full once he is able to restart trading.

“Lots of them have not cancelled the rent,” he said.

“Punch Taverns and EI Enterprise still want the full rent, but they want to collect it after we’ve reopened.

“If the rents aren’t waived, my debt will be over 200,000 in the next six to eight weeks.”

In addition to this, Mr Smythe says he has a total of 8,000 of opened and unopened beer stored in casks in the cellars of his pubs.

Despite being able to claim back duty on out-of-date beverages from the government and send a selection of untouched barrels back to breweries, he expects this to leave him more than 5,000 out of pocket.

Meanwhile, Wetherspoon says its entire stock of beer across its sites in the area is sitting in cellars unable to be used.

Spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “The pubs closed without warning, so there was no opportunity to do anything with their beer supplies.

“The pubs are closed and locked up, so the state of the beer is not a major concern.”



BAILEY Mr to 1792 dec'd

BAILEY William 1803+

BAILEY Sarah 1810+

KING Edward 1824+ Pigot's Directory 1824 (Griffin)

CULLEN Henry 1827-33+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

CUTLER Henry 1840+ Pigot's Directory 1840

FEAKIN Edward 1828-Feb/1832 dec'd Pigot's Directory 1828-29Maidstone and Kentish Journal

BAKER Henry 1847-61+ (widower age 60 in 1861Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847Historic Canterbury web site

BUTLER James 1862-Dec/1867 Post Office Directory 1862 Whitstable Times

STROOD George Dec/1867+ Whitstable Times

JORDAN Myles 1871-73+ (age 37 in 1871Census)

DODD Julia Elizabeth Mrs 1874-82+ (age 36 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882

SKINNER Thomas 1891+ (age 67 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1891

MAINWARING William 1903-22+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913Historic Canterbury web sitePost Office Directory 1922

MYERS Gilbert O 1930-38+ Post Office Directory 1930Post Office Directory 1938

SMYTHE Charles 2020+


Pigot's Directory 1824From the Pigot's Directory 1824

Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


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 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Historic Canterbury web siteHistoric Canterbury web site

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald

Maidstone and Kentish JournalMaidstone and Kentish Journal


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