DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Friday, 24 February, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1851-

Botolphs Bridge Inn

Open 2020+

Botolphs Bridge Road

West Hythe

01303 267346

http://www.botolphsbridgeinn.co.uk

https://whatpub.com/botolphs-bridge-inn

Botolph's Bridge Inn 1908

Above line print, 1908.

Botolph's Bridge Inn 2008

Above line print 2008.

Botolph's Bridge Inn 1935

Above photo, 1935. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Botolph's Bridge

Above painting, date unknown.

Botolphs Bridge print West Hythe

Above print taken from "Old Country Inns of England."

Botolphs Bridge Inn 2010

Above photo showing taken 2010 from their web site.

Botolphs Bridge Inn 2010

Above photo showing taken 2010 from their web site.

Botolphs Bridge Inn bar 2004

Above photo showing the bar in 2004.

Botolphs Bridge sign 1974Botolphs Bridge sign 1996

Above sign left 1974, sign right 1996.

With thanks from Roger Pester www.innsignsociety.com.

Botolphs Bridge Inn sign 2010

Above sign 2010

Botolphs Bridge Inn sign 1970sBotolphs Bridge Inn sign 1991

Botolphs Bridge sign left 1970s, sign right March 1991.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis www.innsignsociety.com

Botolph's Bridge card 1951

Above aluminium card issued June 1951. Sign series 3 number 9.

Botolph's Bridge Dart Team 1947

Above photo showing the "Botolph's Bridge" dart team of 1947.

 

Kelly's Directory of 1903 addressed this as Burmarsh.

 

THE LEGEND OF BOTOLPHS BRIDGE

(As related by Duncan Forbes in his book "Hythe Haven" pub 1981)

The English monk St. Botolph lived in the seventh century, and many popular tales have been told about him, since there is very little known historical fact. His monastery is thought to have been in Boston, Lincolnshire, which has derived its name from "Botolph's Town". But our legend about the saint concerns his dead body and Botolph's Bridge.

Go to the bridge across the Canal Cut at West Hythe, which is not the same as the original bridge before the canal was constructed, and look at the Inn sign there, which illustrates the story. Two more monks are following them from the bank, and a shaft of light is seen shining down on all of them out of a dark sky.

The legend is that the body of St. Botolph was lying borne to some place where it would be kept safe from desecration by the heathen Danes. There was water to cross, and the night was pitch black. Then suddenly a shaft of light, which was not the moon, shone down from heaven to guide the escort as they went aboard. But where the body now lies, no one knows.

The bridge by the Inn spans a stretch of water that is now a branch of the Royal Military Canal, draining into the sea through the sluice beside the Grand Redoubt built during Napoleonic Wars. But in the past it carried travellers to the shore across one of the many creeks of the marsh. It was called Boter's, Butter's or Butler bridge on the old maps, whether Butler is derived from Botolph, or whether there really is a man in charge of the drinks there, a there is today, or whether, as is more likely the name came from that of a well-known local family. I do not know.

What I do know is that, with the sheep meadow around you, the placid water nearby, the Roman ruins, looking like old, decaying teeth sprouting out the hillside, and the more modern castle with its Second World War reinforced concrete watchtower on the skyline, there is no pleasanter place to stop and take a glass.

 

From the Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, 7 January 1905.

WEST HYTHE. WEDDING BELLS.

A very pretty wedding took place on Boxing Day at St. Stephen's parish church, Lympne, the contracting parties being Mr. MacDonald Taylor, only son of Mr. D. Taylor, of Wayfield House, West Hythe, and Miss Edith Jane Sellen second daughter of the late Mr. John Sellen, of "St. Botolph's Inn" West Hythe, and Mrs J. Sellen, of Jordan's Temperance Hotel, Faversham.

The ceremony was performed by the Rev. H. B. Biron, Vicar of Lympne. The bride looked charming in a dress of silver grey trimmed with white silk, and wore a grey Ligton hat trimmed with white and sprays of orange blossoms. The bridesmaids were Miss H. Wratton and Miss Totty Taylor, sister of the bridegroom. They wore navy costumes with white silk blouses, and hats of navy Ligton trimmed with white silk and sprays of ivy. They also carried sprays of ivy and white chrysanthemums, the gift of the bridegroom. The bride was given away by Mr. Henry Heywood Piddock, of brockman's Barn, and Mr. T. Wratten acted as best man. During the evening a merry peal was rung on the church bells. A reception was held at "Botolphs bridge Inn," when about 40 sat down to an excellent spread. Amongst the gusts present were Mrs. Sellen, mother of the bride; Miss A. Taylor and Miss T. Taylor, sisters of the bridegroom; mr. and Miss Pilcher, of Ashford; Mr. and Mrs. C. Piddock, of Burmarsh; the Misses H., and L., and A. Wratten, Mr. H. Piddock, Mr. T. Wratten. Mr. A. Wratten, Miss Trear, and Miss Keeler. The bride received a large number of useful presents.
 

Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 20 June 1914.

Saturday's storm. Houses struck by lightning. Animals killed.

Early on Saturday morning a remarkable thunderstorm passed over Hythe. At the Dentals, the residence of Mrs. J. F. Shelford, in North Road, the lightning struck a chimney stack at the west side of the house, making a big hole in the stack itself and tearing up a large number of tiles on the roof surrounding it. An immense crack was created extending down the stack the stack into the servants' room below, where, luckily, no further damage was done, except that the paper was scorched. The occupants of the room were naturally match alarmed for the time being.

It was at about one in the morning when the thunderstorm become noticeable, and from 1:15 to 1:35 it was at its height. Flash succeeded flash, and roll followed role in quick succession. The lightening was extraordinary vivid. Nothing like it has been known in the town for very many years. The rain came down in torrents, and from the appearance of the streets in the morning it was easy to see that the rushing water had difficulty in getting away in several places. There were signs of a great rush of water down Tanners Hill, while in Mill Road, close by, parts of the thoroughfare were covered in mud washed there. There were other roads in a similar state and in Stade Street the sudden flood entered the "Hope Inn," where the landlord was put to considerable trouble in clearing out the mud, etc, brought in by the water.

In one or two parts of the town, too, the electric cable seemed to have been affected by the storm, and people could not light their rooms when desired. However, this received quick attention from the Electricity Company and by the afternoon, the cables were in working order. Some of the goods, also, in the shops of electricians were affected in various ways.

West Hythe the most serious damage in the neighbourhood occurred. "Botolph's Bridge Inn," occupied by Mr. George Piddock, suffered severely and some of the tenants had a marvellous escape. The lightening seems first of all to have caught the chimney stack, which it knocked down into the roof of the top room, making a big hole. The occupant of this room, was, needless to say, very much frightened, but in the bedroom below a worse experience befell two people who were in bed. A window was completely smashed and taken partly out of the wall, carrying away some bricks and mortar; the lightning then appears to have caught the brass knob at the foot of the bed and passed down underneath the bed itself to the bottom of the wall at the head, where it vented itself on the bricks and mortar and passed away through the hole made. When Mr. Piddick got a light he found the room full of smoke, and he had to open the door to clear it. However there was no fire about. The lighting also "touched" other parts of the inn in minor ways.

Mr. J. T. Clarke, of Botolph's Bridge Farm, lost two horses; one was killed by lightning, while the other evidently ran into a pond i its fright and was drowned. Mr. P. J. Uden, of the "Carpenter's Arms," lost a sheep and three lambs, and one or two other farmers around West Hythe also suffered in this way.

At Pedlinge a large tree was stripped of its bark by lightning.
 

Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 6 January 1923.

BURMARSH SMOKING CONCERT.

On Tuesday evening a smoking concert was held at "Botolph's Bridge Inn." A capital programme was carried out by Messrs. Neve, Parry, Rolph, Tutt, and Mutton, with Mr. Mowatt at the piano. A collection for the Royal Victoria Hospital, Folkestone amounted to 1 3s.

 

From the Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 28 May, 1932.

MARRIAGE. PARRETT – MACSHARRY.

At the Royal Catholic Church, Guildhall Street, Folkestone, on April 30th, Mr. Maurice R. S. Parrett, son of Mr. and Mrs. Parrett, “Botolph’s Bridge Inn,” Hythe, to Miss Kathleen W. Macsharry, 16, Manor Road, Folkestone.
 

From an email receive 8 September, 2014.

I browsed your entry of the pub, to see what information you had about ownership during & post WW2.

You could show a much more interesting history of this lovely pub, if you availed yourself of a copy of the book, "The Flying Sword" (a history of 601 Squadron)

This famous RAF Squadron used the pub whilst attending summer camps at Lympne. The road sign for Dymchurch from the nearby junction became a 'mess trophy' after a landing accident.

I am interested in what happened to the propeller displayed in the bar in the 1970s and any other stories you may unearth.

 

Excerpt from, "The Flying Sword" by Tom Moulson (a history of 601 Squadron Royal Aux AF (the Millionaires Squadron).

During summer camps at Lympne private aircraft were flown off the aerodrome and put down alongside the favourite pub, Botolph's Bridge Inn, a picturesque tavern among the sheep pastures of Romney Marsh. Although some of these aerial run-abouts were dazzlingly impressive, others were held together by a few strips of sticking plaster and the ingenuity of the squadron's mechanics. The Legion* was so closely knit that a mechanic would never object to working on his officer's aeroplane even though he knew that after dinner it might be used, as though it were a bicycle, to fly a mile or so down the road for a game of darts.

On an evening in 1935 the Legionnaires were assembling at Botolph's Bridge before the rabbit hunt. When it became dark, live rabbits would be caught in the headlamps of a motor car, then put through every window found open on the airfield precincts. Once almost two hundred had been caught and all let loose in the bar of the Cinque Ports Flying Club, the barman who found them next morning had to be coaxed out of taking a week's sick leave.

The evening was warm and the door of the inn was left open. Through it drifted the strains of a concertina, played by Peter Robinson as he leaned against the bridge and the sounds of aero engines, as the little machines rose just beyond the brow of the hills, cruised the two miles then circled over the inn and followed each other into the stamp sized field opposite.

Roger Bushell in (Max) Aitken's Aeronca, eager and thirsty, made a crisp approach over the taxying machines, swerved to avoid a sheep and touched down too late. As his plane tore through the hedge and disintegrated on the highway, less than 20yds from the inn, it decapitated a signpost which read, “To Dymchurch”. Bushell stepped unscathed from the wreckage, apologized to Aitken and began to auction off the Aeronca's remains. The “TO DYMCHURCH” sign became one of the Squadron's most treasured mementos, locked up with the Squadron silver and displayed on mess nights.

 

*Squadron Leader Roger Bushell was one of the ‘great escapers' from Stalag Luft III at Sagan and was murdered by the Gestapo.

 

Above email kindly submitted by "Nobby Nige."

 

LICENSEE LIST

?ARRITON? John 1841+ (age 50 in 1841Census) (pub not named)

PIDDOCK George 1851+ (also carpenter age 65 in 1851Census)

PIDDOCK Henry Hayward 1861-91+ (age 56 in 1891Census)

SELLEN Jane Mrs 1903+ Kelly's 1903

PIDDOCK George 1914+

PARRETT Sydney 1932-38+ Post Office Directory 1938

DOORMAN Pete & Belinda Next pub licensee had ????

LANGDON David and Mandy 2005-15+

 

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

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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