Page Updated Alkham:- Monday, 27 December, 2021.


Earliest 1844-

Carpenter's Arms

Latest July 1969


Carpenter's Arms

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Carpenter's Arms circa 1970

Above photo shows the Carpenter's Arms circa 1970. Kindly sent to me from Mrs. J R Allen (Nee Richards)

Carpenter's Arms in Alkham

Carpenter's Arms, taken by Paul Skelton, 16 December 2007.


Above photo, kindly sent by Joan Allen, showing the "Carpenter's Arms" on the right. Circa 1970.

Carpenter's Arms in Alkham

Above picture shows the Carpenters Arms, date unknown.

Alkham map 1914

Above map 1914.

Carpenter's Arms landlady and regulars

Above photo showing inside the Carpenter's Arms, and the landlady Mrs. Rockall with regulars Harold Richards, Brian Richards and Geoff Richards. Kindly supplied by Joan Allen.

Paul Richards, son of Brian says the photo was taken on the wedding day of his wedding to Paul's mother Denise nee Gardner. He goes on to say:- "My mum worked there in the summer of 1968 and stayed in the pub until she was married on that day in November 1968. Then in July 1969 Mrs Rockall sold the Pub.


Carpenter's Arms landlady circa 1970

Above picture showing landlady Mrs. Rockall and Alec Richards and Douglas Richards. Kindly sent by Joan Allen.

Inside the Carpenter's Arms circa 1970

John Richards, Harold Richards and Geoff Richards inside the Carpenter's Arms, circa 1970. Photo kindly sent by Joan Allen.

Inside the Carpenter's Arms circa 1970

Above showing Alec Richards, Mrs Rockall and George Mannion. Photo kindly sent by Joan Allen.

Inside the Carpenter's Arms circa 1970

Nan Stray, Gladys Richards, and Dot Richards. Photo kindly sent by Joan Allen.

Inside the Carpenter's Arms circa 1970

Above showing Joan Richards, Nan Stray, Gladys Richards (my mum) Dot & Dot Richards. Photo kindly sent by Joan Allen.

Inside the Carpenter's Arms circa 1970

Joan Richards, Gladys Richards Dot & Dot Richards, Vic Lott, don't Know the little boy. Photo kindly sent by Joan Allen.

Inside the Carpenter's Arms circa 1970

John Richards, Vic Lotts & Clive Richards. Photo kindly sent by Joan Allen.

Inside the Carpenter's Arms circa 1970

Vic Lott, Ken Davies & Denis Gardner. Photo kindly sent by Joan Allen. Joan says she didn't come from Alkham, but lives in London. Her father was born there and she spent many holidays and weekends there.

Inside the Carpenter's Arms circa 1970

Ann Goodbourne, Mrs Rene Richards, Mrs Doris Richards, Michael Richards, Gladys, & Joan Richards. Photo kindly sent by Joan Allen.

Brian and Dee Richards

Above photo showing Brian and Dee Richards cutting the cake. Joan Allen who kindly submitted this photo says this was the last wedding reception to be held in the "Carpenter's" Arms" before it closed.


Shown in the Alkham census of 1851 as the "Carpenters Arms" and built around the 1840's upon older property as can be seen from the top photograph, it is now unfortunately closed. The original property may well have been the "Golden Bush" owned by Richard Thomas in 1653, a carpenter by trade, hence the name of the new public house. However, having said that, the very first licensee that I am so far aware of, Thomas Tunbridge, was also a Carpenter and Grocer by trade, as is indicated in Melvilles directory of 1858.


Mr and Mrs Dickens

Above picture kindly sent by Joan Allen who says:- "This photo was given to me by my cousin Don Richards, they are his grandparents on his mums side. He said they owned the "Carpenters arms." When they died his Aunts owned it. I think their name was Mr. & Mrs. Dickens, I'll have to ask for the date. Don lived in the pub as a young boy."


Don Richards kindly sent the following to go with the photograph:-

These are the details you requested to go with the photo, of my Grandparents on my Mothers side, that we sent to you:

My Grandfather was named Stephen but went by the name Steve.

My Grandmother was named Elizabeth but went by the name of Lizzie.

They moved to the Carpenters Arms in 1929.

My Grandmother died in 1931.

My Grandfather carried on running the pub, with the help of my Aunt Edith, until 1949 when they retired and moved to Vale Cottage.

During WW11 my Mother Beatrice, Sister Pam and myself stayed in the Carpenters Arms, while my father served in the Navy.

My Mother, moved with Pam and I, to Vale Cottage, the Cottage just down the road from the Pub in 1945 returning to London in 1949.



1906 saw Bushell Watkins and Co, brewers of Westerham buy the premises, and later Whitbread, who owned the building only three years before it finally closed (year as yet unknown).


Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 2 April 1859.

Williams v. Tunbridge.

Plaintiff is a surgeon practising in Dover, and defendant is landlord of the "Carpenter's Arms," Alkham. Medicine had been supplied to his son, a lad 14 yean of age, who at the time lodged in Worthington’s Lane, and the charge (claim) was £3 5s. 6d. Defendant said the party his son lived with in Dover had been told that he was to have no medicine, and the father had also told the son himself, inasmuch as Mr. Eastes and Mr. Major, of Folkestone, had said medicine would injure his constitution.

Ordered to pay the amount in two monthly instalments.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 15 February, 1884. 1d.


On Thursday, David Allen, a young man, was charged with stealing a garden fork, value 2s. 6d., the property of Thomas Tunbridge, landlord of the “Carpenter's Arms,” South Alkham.

He had already been nearly a fortnight in prison, and he was now fined 10s., in default, one weeks' imprisonment.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7 April, 1905. Price 1d.


At the County Police Court at Dover, on Monday , two men, Joseph Ladd and Dougal Dutton, were charged with being concerned with another man, not in custody, with stealing from the “Carpenter's” Arms,” Alkham, 1lb. of tobacco, value 4s., the property of the landlord, John Ribbons.

Mrs. Martha Ribbons, wife of John Ribbons, landlord of the “Carpenter's Arms,” South Alkham , said, “On Friday night, between nine and ten, the two defendants and another man were in the bar. The other man's name is George Attwell. They all came in together, and were drinking together. They have been in our house several times. They all three went out just before closing time. They paid for their drinks. After we had closed we missed some tobacco from a jar on the bar on a shelf near the partition. While the men were there I served an ½oz. of tobacco out of the jar to Dougall Dutton, and the prisoner saw me do it. The jar then contained half a lb. of hard cake and 1lb. of twist. After closing time I only found half a lb. of twist and all the rest gone. I heard a noise in the bar as if the swing door moved. I went upstairs and looked through a window, and saw the man Atwell coming out from behind the counter. I did not see anything in his hand. When they left I looked round to see if anything had gone. I could not do anything till the morning, when I gave information to Police-sergeant Crowe. I did not see the prisoners again till they were in custody. The tobacco produced is similar to that I missed. I missed 1lb,. value 4/-, but there is not 1lb. produced.

It was found impossible to make Dutton understand the evidence when they tried to read it over to him, as he was stone deaf and could not hear a word. The attempt at length was abandoned, and the evidence read over to Ladd, who said he never took the tobacco.

Henry Couchman, labourer, living at Ewell Minnis, said: On Friday night I was in the “Carpenter's Arms,” when the prisoners were there. I was in the same bar and saw them leave. I know them well, but I had not seen Atwell till the night before I saw him there. I saw Mrs. Ribbons serve Dutton with ½oz. of tobacco. Afterwards Atwell went into the room behind the bar when Mrs. Robbins was out of sight. He went to the shelf and put his hand into the tobacco jar and took some out. He bought it out and divided it between himself an the two prisoners. There was a man named Matcham also there. Atwell asked me if I wanted some, and I said, “No, I never use it.” Matcham had nothing to do with it. The landlord came into the bar before I left, but I said nothing before we all left because I thought they might turn on me when we were going along the road.

Mr. Bradley: You might have stayed behind five minutes if you liked.

Witness: I never thought about that.

The Clerk: Was nothing said about it when you got outside?

Witness: They said they had got the tobacco, but that was all. I walked home with Ladd and Attwell and Dutton went the other way. They kept on talking about the tobacco all the way, and seemed to think it a good joke.

The Clerk: You said nothing about it till Sergeant Crowe came?

Witness: No.

The Clerk: You ran the risk of being with the prisoners.

Police-sergeant Stephen Crowe. K.C.C., stationed at Alkham, said: I heard about this at 9 a.m. on Saturday. I went in search of the three men. About 6 p.m. I went to Drellingore Farm, where I saw the prisoner Ladd at work in a field. He admitted having been at the “Carpenter's Arms.” I then said, “I want that piece of tobacco you had shared to you there.” He said, “I have not got any and did not receive any.” I told him I knew he had. He again denied having it, but later said, “I'll tell you the truth; it's up the other end of the field.” I walked part of the way across the field and Ladd picked the tobacco out from under some earth, saying as he handed it to me, “I did not think you would find me out.” I took him in custody, and took him to Ewell Minnis, where I found Dutton in the “Newcastle Inn” on Ewell Minnis. I made motions to Dutton, and produced the tobacco Ladd had given up, asking if he had any like it. He said, “I've got some thin.” And handed me this twist, which I now produce. I asked if he knew where it came from, and he said, “I saw Attwell take it out of a jar.” I then took possession of it, and took him into custody, and brought him to Dover.

Mr. Bradley: How do you make him understand?

Witness: By movements of the mouth. I am sorry to say I have a deaf son, and know how to deal with him. Dutton is stone deaf, but he can speak. That is the case so far as I can take it now.

Dutton's father, living at Alpine Cottages, said that his son lived at Ewell Minnis. Ladd and he lived at Drellingore.

The Clerk said Ladd had to appear at that Court on a charge of cruelty to a horse, and would have to appear there on April 20th. It was decided to remand the men to the Wingham Petty Session on that date. Ladd on his own recognizance's, and Dutton in his father's also.


On Wednesday morning, before Mr. J. T. Bradley, George Attwell was charged with being concerned with two other men now in custody with stealing a pound of tobacco from the bar of the “Carpenter's Arms,” Alkham.

Mrs. Rubbons, Couchman's, and P.S. Crowe's evidence was read over.

Police Constable Kirnes said that at nine o'clock on Monday night he was at the Police Station, when the prisoner came in and said, “I wish tio give myself up for stealing tobacco from the “Carpenter's Arm's,” Alkham, last Friday night. I was very drunk, and do not know who received the tobacco, or how much I took. I woke up next morning under a stack. Yesterday I was in Folkestone, and from what my brother-in-law told me, I decided to give myself up, and I have come for that purpose.”

The case was remanded until the 20th, the prisoner being allowed out on bail of his father.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 February, 1950.


An application by Mr. Bracher, on behalf of the "Carpenter's Arms," Alkham, the licensee of which, Daniel Sutton, produced a petition signed by 67 people. The application was granted with an additional monopoly value of £400 being fixed, and the Bench expressed the opinion, without making it a condition, that the public bar should be enlarged.


Dover Express, Friday 3 March 1950.

Approved plans.

Plans approved included alterations "Carpenters Arms," Alkham.


From an email received, 26 December 2021.

A fantastic Pub, probably where I not only learnt to eat crisps, Mars Bars but slightly later, drink beer!

Only just a few years ago, within 5, I picked up the lady who lived in the building then, as a Volunteer Driver. Can’t recall where I took her but that’s not relevant. What is though is that having got chatting to her about what I knew of the Pub etc, she invited me in for a look around.

I was staggered! The so called ‘Living Rooms’ were still as I remembered them from about 30-40 before i.e. the Bars were still very, very much as I remembered—unbelievable.

I wish I could remember the Ladies name, her Brother, a Farmer from about a couple of miles away will come back in to my mind at about 9pm probably. Brenda Prescott, who still might live just up the road will know her. Another amazing, stunning Lady, so much in my memory,

John Richards.


The pub is situated a little way down on the right hand side of Meggott Lane in Alkham and is now a residential house. Incidentally, Meggott Lane was originally titled Maggot Lane.



TUNBRIDGE Thomas 1851-59+ (shown as carpenter age 37 in 1851Census)

TUNBRIDGE Mr Thomas sen. Sept/1878-Jan/84 Dover Express

TUNBRIDGE Mr Thomas jun. Jan-Oct/1884 Dover ExpressCanterbury Journal

WILSON James Oct/1884+ Canterbury Journal

SMITH Stephen 1891+ (listed as bricklayer age 30 in 1891Census)

MARSH John to Sept/1901 Dover Express (also shoeing smith age 42 in 1901Census)

MARSH Arthur Abraham Sept/1901+ Dover Express

BAILEY W 1914 Post Office Directory 1914

EASTES Mr A G to Dec/1920 Dover Express

GOODSELL Mr Ernest J Dec/1920-July/22+ Post Office Directory 1922Dover Express beer house

STACE George William July/1922-Sept/24 Dover Express

HARRIS Richard George Sept/1924-May/27 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

IRELAND Bertie Feb/1927+ Dover Express

OLDHAM George William May/1927-June/29 Dover Express

DICKENS Stephen June/1929-June/49 (widower age 49 in 1939)(Post Office Directory 1930beer retailer)Post Office Directory 1938 Dover Express

SMITH D June/1949+

SUTTON Daniel 1950 Dover Express

ROCKALL Mrs 1960s-July/69


Post Office Directory 1914From the Post Office Directory 1914

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

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express

Canterbury JournalCanterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette


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