Sort file:- Canterbury, November, 2022.

Page Updated Canterbury:- Thursday, 17 November, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Rory Kehoe

Earliest 1775

Bricklayer's Arms

Latest 1970

(Name to)

21 Best Lane


Canterbury map 1874

Above map 1874 identified by Rory Kehoe.

Bricklayer's Arms 1905

Above picture taken in 1905 and kindly sent to me by Rick Howarth.

Bricklayer's Arms 1960

Above photo, September 1960, kindly sent by Tim Timpson.

Bricklayer's Arms 1965

Above photo by Edward Wilmot 1965.


The house probably started off as a coffee house  near the end of the 1700s, but in 1775 it became a Trade Club for a group of bricklayers and was registered as the "Bricklayer's Arms."

Brewers Rigdens purchased the premises in 1840 for the sum of 379. A skittle alley is mentioned as being pert of the premises in 1849.

An entry in Fremlin's 1950s publication called "Where shall we go," indicated the following:- Phone number - Canterbury 4384. Parking accommodation - Free Car Park outside of house. Remarks - Piano available. 2 minutes to Cathedral.


Kentish Chronicle, 21 July, 1829.


July 17, in King Street, Canterbury, Mrs. Burton, wife of Mr. Burton, formerly landlord of the "Bricklayers Arms" in Best Lane.


Kentish Gazette, 19 March 1844.


March 15, at the "Bricklayers' Arms," Stour street, Canterbury, Mrs. S. Jennings, widow of Mr. W. Jennings, formerly of the "Two Brewers," in this city, aged 57.


Kentish Gazette, 21 September 1852.

Thursday. Licensing.

This being the adjourned licensing day, those parties, whose licences had been suspended, again attended, and after receiving animadversion for their irregularity of conduct, had their licences granted, but with a decided caution that if again complaints were made against them they would not have their licences in future.

These parties were:- John Stairs, of the "Eight Bells," King Street;

John Noble, "Kentish Arms;"

George Kilner, "City of London;"

John Jordan, "White Heart;"

John Gillis, "Bricklayers' Arms;"

Elizabeth Forbes, "Oddfellows Arms;"

John Murphy, "Carpenter's Arms;"

Richard Wellard, "George and Dragon," Westgate;

Joseph Pentecost, "Royal George;"

and George Crow, "Rose and Crown."

Applications for New Licences.

Thomas Rodgers, of the "Sir Robert Peel" beer shop;

David Tuthwell, "True Britain;"

and Edward Gordon, "Pine Apple,"

applied for spirit licences, but which were refused.


From the Kentish Chronicle and General Advertiser, 23 November, 1861. Price 1 1/2d.

John Hilton, landlord of the “Bricklayers' Arms,” Rosemary Lane, St. Mildred’s, was fined 5s. and costs, for people drinking in his house at 11 o'clock on Sunday morning.


From the Whitstable Times, 22 January, 1944.


Canterbury Man Charged And Committed For Trial.

A strange story was told at Canterbury Police Court on Friday of a man who, to pay for the burial of two of his relations who died suddenly, spent the money invested by other people in his Christmas Club and then took subsequent subscriptions and gambled them away on horses and football matches in an effort to replace the original sum stolen.

This odd occurrence was described in a statement made by John Charles Farmer, of 20, Best Lane, Canterbury, accused of fraudulent conversion of sums of money; amounting to 23/11/6, from a Christmas club organised by him at the "Bricklayer's Arms," Canterbury.

Mr. Eric Whale prosecuted on behalf of the police. After reading prisoner’s statement he commented:- " It's the old, old story, of robbing Peter to pay Paul." The prosecution proceeded with three specimen cases only.

Richard G. Smith, an A.R.P. worker, of 17, King Street, Canterbury, said that he had been paying into a Christmas club at the "Bricklayer's Arms" since December 28th, 1942. There was no club committee and he understood Farmer was in charge. Prisoner had told him that the pay-out was to be on December 21st last year. The cards of witness' family were produced and it was seen that 11/17/0 was due. It was arranged that his money should be left with the licensee, but the pay-out day came and the money was not handed over. On December 23rd witness said to Farmer: "How about the club money, John?" Prisoner answered that he had drawn it out and put it in his hip pocket when he went on Home Guard duty on the Sunday evening. The money had gone when he came off on Monday morning. "That won't do for me," was the reply and Farmer promised to repay the money due within three months. He had not done so.

Edward C. Solly, an N.F.S. fireman, of 7, Blackfriars Street, gave similar evidence, saying that he had not received 7/2/6 due to him.

Mrs. Dorothy A. Stemp, licensee of the "Bricklayer's Arms," said that the majority of the members of Farmer's Christmas club were customers and they paid over their money in the bar. Witness was a member of the club and 4/12/0 was due to her. She spoke to prisoner on the evening of December 21st about paying out and he answered that the money had not come through, adding that it would be all right for the following night.

The next evening Farmer came in, ordered a drink, and then announced that there would be no club pay-out as he had lost the money at Home Guard.

Detective Sergeant Wimsey told the Court that he saw Farmer on December 23rd and, when told of the nature of the visit, prisoner said he had lost the club money from his pocket the previous week. Told that this explanation was not satisfactory, Farmer volunteered a true statement.

In this he said he had been secretary of the "Bricklayer's Arms" Christmas club for three years and at the end of 1942 he transferred to treasurer. There had never been any previous trouble. Then a brother-in-law and sister-in-law who had been staying with him died within a month of each other. Having no insurance and no money to pay the burial fees (32) he decided to use the subscriptions in the Christmas club, intending to replace them later. He tried different ways to do this—betting on horses and football matches—but only got further and further into debt.

Told the following evening, continued D.S. Wimsey, that he would be arrested. Farmer, when charged with fraudulent conversion at the Canterbury Police Station, said: "The charge is correct."

D.C. Croome stated that when charged with the three specific cases being dealt with, prisoner admitted them all.

In Court, Farmer said: "I've promised to repay all the members and I will do so."

The Bench (Alderman C. Lefevre presiding) committed Farmer for trial at the West Kent (Adjourned) Sessions on March 2nd.


From the Whitstable Times, 10 June, 1944.


Privale William Minto, of the East Surrey Regiment, pleaded guilty at Canterbury Police Court on Friday to stealing a lady's coat, a gentleman’s jacket and other articles of the value of 6/14/6, the property of Mr. S. L. Sadler, and not guilty to assaulting and beating Miss Joyce L. Sadler.

Mr. Sadler, licensee of the "Bricklayer's Arm," Best Lane, Canterbury, into which he had only moved the previous day, said that on May 27th he closed the bar at 10 p.m. and went to bed at 11.30 p.m. His daughter, Joyce, was staying with him and was sleeping in a bedroom adjoining the one in which he slept.

He told her not to put the lights on as the black-outs were not in very good condition. After he had been to sleep for some time, he heard his daughter shout "Daddy" several times. He rushed into her room, switched on the light and saw a naked man.

He asked him if he had been in bed with his daughter, and the man replied: "What do you ------- well think?" Witness said he grappled with the man, who ran down into the bar. There he grappled with him again. The next thing he knew he was out the street and he called the police.

Inside he could hear the man struggling with his wife and daughter. He returned and the man had gone upstairs and disappeared. A pair of trousers and other things were missing.

Miss Joyce Sadler, of 47, Hampton Road, Norbiton, Surrey, said she went to bed in the dark on the night in question because of the bad black-out. Later in the night she felt somebody touch her and then try to draw her to him. She started to scream and a hand was put over her throat and her head was beaten. As soon as the light came on in the room the intruder darted out.

Inspector Piddock said that at 12 noon on May 28th prisoner was charged with the offences at the Police Station. He made a statement, in which he admitted that on May 27th he had gone into the "Bricklayer's Arms" at 6.30 p.m and had had some beer and whiskey.

From there he had gone to two other public houses and had returned about 8.30. He had a few more drinks, and when closing time came had gone upstairs, undressed and slept under a bed. During the night he woke up and stood up and a girl started to scream.

He ran out of the room when a man and woman entered it, and, whilst the man was calling the police, ran back upstairs, got some clothes on which he had found; and left the house via a window, sloping roof and alleyway. He had no recollection of a struggle with a girl or a man. The fact that he was drunk accounted for his actions.

The prisoner said he was sorry it had happened, and his superior officer stated that he was a very sober and intelligent soldier.

Prisoner, who has four previous convictions and is 25 years old, was sentenced to two months' hard labour on each charge, the sentences to run consecutively.

The Mayor commented that prisoner had evidently intended to go on a "binge" that evening and had lost his sense of proportion.


Bricklayer's Arms Christmas pre 1970

Above photo showing a Christmas part, pre 1970, from Janine Broster. Landlord is far left.


1970 saw a change of name to the "Thomas Becket" to commemorate the 800th anniversary of his murder.



HOARD Daniel 1792+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury

BLOGG Charles 1802-03+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury

BURTON John 1824-28+ Pigot's Directory 1824Pigot's Directory 1828-29

GORLEY George 1832+ Next pub licensee had Pigot's Directory 1832-34

COLLARD William 1838-40+ Pigot's Directory 1840

ANDREWS Thomas William 1847+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847

GILLIS John 1852+

STROUD George 1851-58+ (age 84 in 1851Census)Melville's 1858

HILTON John 1861+ (Rosemary Lane)

JONES Charles 1861-71+ (also wheelwright age 36 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1862Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

OXLEY Thomas 1874+ Post Office Directory 1874

WATERS Catherine 1881+ (age 26 in 1881Census)

HARDIMAN William Walter Kingsford 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882

BARNES William 1889-91+ Electoral RegisterPost Office Directory 1891

WILLIAMS Mrs Eliza 1903+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

TAYLOR P E 1913-17+ Post Office Directory 1913

VANE R 1922+ Post Office Directory 1922

BAMPTON William H 1930-38+ Post Office Directory 1930Post Office Directory 1938

STEMP Dorothy A 1944

SADLER S L Mr 1944+

Last pub licensee had RICHARDSON Benjamin & Margaret March-20/Dec/1968


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

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

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

Edward Wilmot CanterburyInns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot, 1988

Electoral RegisterElectoral Register


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