Page Updated:- Wednesday, 15 June, 2022.


Earliest 1740-

Charity Inn

Closed Nov 2013

The Street



Charity Inn

Above postcard, date unknown.

Woodnesborough map 1896

Above map 1896.

Charity Inn 2012

Above photo November 2012, by kind permission Tracey Cavell

Charity Inn at Woodnesborough
Charityy Inn sign at Woodnesborough

Above photo shows the Charity Inn in Woodnesborough and their Inn Sign. Photos taken from date taken unknown.


Charity Inn sign 2017

Above sign, July 2017, kindly taken and sent by Doogie Moon.


Sussex Advertiser 20 February 1826.

At the sale of the public houses and other estates, situate in the eastern parts of the County of Kent, which took place at the "Bell Inn," Sandwich, on Monday last, Messrs. Pott and Denne knocked down the following lots, at the sums affixed to them, viz.:—

The "Bull," at Eastry, 1,190.

"Three Colts," Tilmanstone, 500.

"White Horse," Eythorne, 575.

"Red Lion," Frogham, 455.

"Rose and Crown," Womenswould, 166.

"Duke of Cumberland," Barham, 910.

"Charity," Woodnesborough, 710.

"Three Crowns," Goodnestone, 620.

"Admiral Harvey," Ramsgate, 1,150.

"Ship," Ramsgate, 1,250.

"Red Lion," St. Peters, 1,100.

"Crown and Thistle," St. Peters, 705.

"Crown, or Halfway-house," Sarr, 940.

"King's Head," Walmer Road, 425.

The "Duke of York," Walmer Road, 310.

The sale-room was most numerously attended.

We understand that the "Ship," at Ash, and "Crispin," at Worth, have since been sold by private contract, the former for 750, and the latter for five hundred guineas.


Kentish Mercury. Saturday 25 January 1840.


At Woodnesborough, Kent, Sarah the wife of Mr. Charles Taylor, landlord of the "Charity Inn," aged 40, much respected.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 27 October, 1860.


Mr. Sladden, of Adisham, a farmer, paid off his yearly servants at Michaelmas, as is customary, and some were dismissed and others re-engaged. Amongst the number re-engaged was a young man named Kingsland, who received the sum of 9 for his wages, and a few days’ holiday to see his friends. He called upon a Mr. Pettman, a shoemaker, at Woodnesborough, a village about one mile from Sandwich, and paid his shoe bill, and left the "Charity" public-house, it is thought, for Sandwich, to see a brother, who is a seaman on board the Harriett schooner, lying in the river Stour, moored off Lower Head; and he has not since been seen or heard of. Whether he fell overboard into the river, or whether he has started on a trip to London, or into the country, is at present a matter of conjecture. Suffice it to say that he has been gazetted in the Police Gazette as missing. All intelligence of him to be forwarded to Superintendent Stokes, of the Kent County Constabulary, or Chief Constable Warman, of Sandwich.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 15 November 1884.


John Baynes, belonging to Deal, was charged with maliciously wounding William Gimber, also of Deal Mr. R. M. Mercer defended. Complainant deposed that on Tuesday, the 4th November, he was in a public-house at Woodnesborough. Prisoner was also there, a young man named Francis Allen, and the landlord. It was about five o'clock in the afternoon. They had two pints of beer and two bottles of ginger-beer together. Prisoner then threatened to throw a penny in the eye of one of them, and drew his knife. He opened it and rushed at witness. He attempted to stab him in the chest but only cut his coat, and then succeeded in stabbing him in the loins. (His shirt was produced saturated with blood.) The landlord interfered and took the knife away. Witness then drove back to Sandwich in his pony and cart and went to a doctor. He had always been on good terms with the prisoner, and they went to Woodnesborough together. They were not intoxicated.

Cross-examined:- He met prisoner in Sandwich. Were at the public-house about ten minutes before the affair occurred. Prisoner and the landlord talked about soldiering. Prisoner threw Allen's hat off, tore it and threw it outside. Allen afterwards tore prisoner’s hat. Witness did not touch Baynes’ hat, or throw it into the fire. Baynes fainted when he saw the blood come. Witness struck him when Baynes attacked him. When prisoner fainted he lifted him up with Allen and threw him over a fence. Later in the evening he did not go to prisoner's house and say that if he would come out he would knock his brains out, and do six months for it. Had never been convicted of assaulting the police.

Thomas Dunk Wood, landlord of the Charity Inn, said the men commenced skylarking about throwing each others hats upon the fire. Prisoner struck at prosecutor's heart. Witness interfered and seized prisoner by the throat. He drew the knife out of prosecutor’s side. Prosecutor was struck down, and cried out "I am stabbed." Prisoner then attempted to escape, but was seized. He then threatened to do the same for witness. Prisoner was dragged outside.

Cross-examined:- Gimber did not appear to know what he was doing after he was stabbed. He fainted on coming into the house again for his hat.

Francis Allen also gave evidence.

They were all quite sober.

Police-constable Shepherd deposed to arresting Baynes, who was slightly under the influence of drink at the time.

The prisoner reserved his defence, and was committed for trial at the East Kent Quarter Sessions. Bail was allowed in prisoner's own recognisance of 40 and one other of 10.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, 16 January 1886.



Thomas Dunk Wood, landlord of the "Charity Inn," Woodnesborough, was charged with selling whiskey under the legal standard strength.

Superintendent Kewell stated that this was the worst case he had had for a long time, the whiskey being 15.22 degrees under the standard strength.

Defendant said he formerly had his whiskey from a spirit merchant, the strength being proof. He had just changed to another merchant in Sandwich, the spirits given him there being very much below, and he had thus made a "grand mistake."

Superintendent Kewell explained that spirit merchants always supplied a permit with the goods, stating the strength supplied.

Defendant said these permits were made out in such a peculiar fashion that he could not understand them.

He was fined 3, with costs 10s. 6d.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 26, January, 1900.


The monthly meeting of the Woodnesborough Rat and Sparrow Club was held at the "Charity" on Tuesday, under the presidency of Mr. W. J. Laslett. The number of heads and tails brought in was 1,245. Mr. T. K. Laslett gained the first prize with 441, Mr. C. Drayson, jun., being second with 144. After the business, songs were sung by Messrs. Watson, Harrison, Cox, Davidson, Dixon, and Oxenden. A most enjoyable evening was spent. The local representatives for the Protection of Wild Birds was not amongst the guests.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 24 November, 1900. 1d.

The opening course of the season was held at Woodnesborough on Thursday last. Hares were very scarce, only four being found all day, and of these two were killed. An excellent luncheon was provided by Mr. J. Davison (of the "Charity"), at Ringlemere Farm. The dearth of hares in no doubt due to the Sunday morning poaching which is carried on in the neighbourhood.


Dover Express 2nd July 1909.


Wingham Petty Sessions Before H. F. Plumptre, C. W. Firebrace, I. F. Godfrey Esqrs, and the Rev S. G. H. Sargent.

F. Small of the "Charity Inn," Woodnesborough, applied and was granted a licence to sell intoxicants at a flower show on July 20th. The Chairman said it was not a very desirable thing with respect to flower shows, but the booth had been well conducted in the past and the licence would be granted.

Similar permission was given the landlord of the "Lion Inn," Ash.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 17 January, 1913. Price 1d.


Extensions of one hour were granted to Mr. Clark, of the “Red Lion,” Wingham, on Friday, January 31st; and to Mr. Cullen, of the “Charity,” Woodnesborough, on the 21st inst., on the occasion of Conservative Association smoking concerts.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 March, 1914. Price 1d.


The licensee of the "Charity Inn," Woodnesborough, was granted an extension from 10 to 11 p.m. on march 19th, for the annual dinner of the Woodnesborough Rat and Sparrow Club.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 3 March, 1922. Price 1d.


The “Charity Inn,” Woodnesborough, applied for an extension for a Rat and Sparrow Club dinner, on March 23rd, from 10 to 11. This was granted.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 4 January, 1924. Price 1d.


An extension was granted for the "Charity," Woodnesborough, for the British Legion dinner on January 5th.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 19 November, 1954.

Frederick Small, of the "Charity Inn," Woodnesborough was granted an occasional license to sell beer in Mr. Graves's meadow on June 21st, at the annual flower show.

From the Dover Express 8 May, 1970.

Doghouse Club initiation rite proved no easy task.

Charity Inn landlord 1970

Above: Taking his wetting like a man, landlord Bill Thomas gets more than enough of his beer, while Mrs Alma O'Brien stands by to render first aid. Joe O'brien secretary of the "Charity's" dart club (right) wonders if he is going to get swamped in the process.

Charity Inn landlord

Dry again. Bill joins Arthur Drake (left) and Brian Stevenson before the yard is hung up again in the bar to wait for its next victim.


In getting the whole of a yard of ale down the gullet was an essential qualification there would be precious few members of the Doghouse Club started at the "Charity Inn" at Woodnesborough on Friday.

It is all a question of balance and keeping an open air channel down the 36 inch tube and this is harder than it seems.

Landlord Bill Thomas found this out when he drank himself in as the club's first president. He cannot have been too confident as he had provided a plastic paddling pool at the bar for the evenings contestants.

The first pint went down easily enough. But then there was an obvious 'slop' as the tube neared the horizontal. Bill soon found out that the inertia of twenty ounces of beer in a narrow pipe is a force to be reckoned with. He quickly got very wet and had to be towelled down by his second, Mrs. Alma O'Brien.

But the next two members to empty were more wary. They had watched and worked out the technique and provided themselves with mackintoshes, work back to front.

Looking like grey-clad Dr. Kildares ready for the operating theatre they went into action and hardly spilt a drop.

Brian Stevenson had his wife Janet, standing by as chief towel holder, while Mrs. O'Brien stood by for Mr. Arthur Drake as they drank themselves in.


Believed to be the only pub with that name in the country.

Earliest reference found so far is in the Wingham Division Ale Licence list, which shows the "Charity," Woodnesborough, to be re-licensed for the sum of 8 shillings in 1740 indicating that the pub was present before 1740.

The pub was sold along with another 11 public houses in neighbouring villages in 1826 for the sum of 710. It is not yet known who sold the pub or who purchased it.

Some time during the 1990s and certainly in 1996, the pub was renamed the "Poacher" but by 2002 it had again reverted back to the "Charity."


From the East Kent Mercury, 10 December, 1992


A Christmas party menu for less than 10 - that's what the "Charity Inn," Woodnesborough, is offering this month. The historic inn (it opened in 1734 after being converted from two cottages) is serving its Christmas special, lunch and evening, up to and including Christmas Eve.

Charity licensees 1992

There is a choice of four starters with the main course being turkey, roast beef or salmon to select, followed by some mouth-watering sweets, and its all wrapped up with coffee, mints and crackers. The cost is only 9.95.

Much of the "Charity's" historic background is retained in its decor, old oak beams and a roaring fire. Just the right ambience to celebrate a pre-Christmas occasion.

The normal Sunday lunches at the "Charity" offer roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, of course, with an alternative of chicken or duck. It is a pretty popular venue.

The normal round-the-year menu is excellent and the steaks, served with a choice of sauces, are always cooked to perfection, just the way one wants them. Fish is a speciality and there is a choice of sole, salmon, trout, plaice and scampi.

Omelettes come in a variety of ways; prawns, ham, mushroom, cheese. Such offerings such as lasagne, taglaitelle, and moussaka brings to the old British pub a touch of the warmth of the Mediterranean.

Bar snacks include a wide assortment of sandwiches and for those with a man-sized appetite there is a Texan burger.

Specials are available day-to-day and these will include excellent pork chops and beef Wellington.

The "Charity" stands in the main street of Woodnesborough, there is street parking outside and an adequate car-park. Mine hosts are Robin and Jayne Field, a young couple who have had plenty of catering experience.

A happy feature of the restaurant is that children are always welcome and special dishes are available for them.



According to the local CAMRA website March 2008 (click here) the pub is currently closed for refurbishment and should reopen again on Easter Sunday 23rd March 2008 under the new name of "Turner's Inn and Restaurant".

23 October 2009 the inn had returned to the original name from that of "Turners," and is being run under local private ownership of Phillip Miller, and has gone back to being a traditional village pub, restaurant and bed & breakfast.


From the, 8 November 2009.


Charity Inn

A MILLIONAIRE who drinks in a village pub didn't want to see it turned into flats - so he put his hand in his pocket and bought it, writes Nick Ames.

Phillip Miller bought the "Charity Inn," the last pub in Woodnesborough, near Sandwich, for an undisclosed sum from an asking price of 300,000 for the freehold.

The pub, which dates from 1875, was formerly owned by Punch Taverns but was on offer to a developer.

Mr Miller, who is also in the property business, decided he had to act to safeguard the future of the "Charity Inn," the only pub in the UK carrying that name.

Now a 100,000 refurbishment programme has been completed and Mr Miller has installed a new manager, David Hodson.

Mr Hodson, who is also head chef, plans to create a traditional village pub serving real ales and Kentish produce.

He said: "We feel it's important to integrate the pub into the daily life of the village.

"When it looked like the pub would be lost, everyone was upset. We all got together to work out how to save it and then Phillip said he'd buy it.

"I've come in as manager and it's going great. We have our set of regulars and although Phillip is an extremely popular man around here, he still gets his round in.”

A grand opening night celebrated the refurbishment. Mr Hodson said: "We regard what we have done as a model for other village pubs threatened with closure.]

"Our village has three focal points - the pub, the village hall and the church.

"We lost our shop a few years ago, but we have plans to put that right as well. Our next stage is to put together a small shop in the pub itself. We have older residents in the village and although we have good bus links, they find it difficult to get to the bus stop.

"When villages have pubs and shops closed they have the heart ripped out of them.

"Villages are more than just places where people come to sleep. Focal points make a community.

"When the pub was closed for four months while the sale was going through it was a pretty low time for the village.

"It was dreadful to think it might never reopen.”


From the Dover Mercury, 25 March, 2010.


At The "CharIty Inn," Woodnesborough there is a beer festival with a difference, as there will be a large selection of sausages to accompany the 15 different real ales.

The beer festival starts on Friday, April 2.



Information just received tells me the pub is currently closed (November 2011) and that the leasehold is for sale for 25,000.


Good news, it's open again. (Feb 2012)


Charity Inn reopening
Inside the Charity Inn 2012

Above photo by Tracey Cavell, November 2012.

Behind the bar

Above photo by Tracey Cavell, November 2012.

Charity Inn regulars

Above photo by Tracey Cavell, November 2012.

From 27 November 2013. By Phil Hayes.

Charity Inn 2013

THE "Charity Inn" pub in the heart of the historical village of Woodnesborough is to go under the auctioneer's hammer.

It is among 60 listed for sale by Clive Emson, the land and property auctioneers, next month.

The inn is being sold on behalf of the Receivers and has a guide price of 200-210,000.

EXPERT ADVICE: Kevin Gilbert, auctioneer and familiar figure on BBC's Homes Under the Hammer, says the property may suit "someone who wished to run it again as a pub or, perhaps, restaurant."


From accessed 17 June 2015.


A most unusual name for an inn at the centre of the village, with there is a list of proprietors and proprietors to 1719, when the first was Richard Sanders. It appears to have been called the "Charity Inn" since 1714. Many years ago, local farmers who employed casual labour, gave them tokens for food, drink and accommodation to spend at this pub. These were kept in a slotted wooden box, with at the end of the week, the farmer collected the tokens and gave money to the proprietor. Presumably, this was looked upon as charity, which then gave rise to the pub name. Two men have haunted the "Charity" since the late 1880s, which died at or after a funeral at St Mary's church. One was a mute, a professional mourner, with the other was a funeral featherman, now , locals knew, as an undertaker. The featherman walked in front of the mourners with a tray of black feather plumes, given as a mark of respect by relations and colleagues.


Charity Inn 2017

Above photo, July 2017, kindly taken and sent by Doogie Moon.

Charity Inn 2017

Above photo, July 2017, kindly taken and sent by Doogie Moon.

Charity Inn 2017

Above photo, July 2017, kindly taken and sent by Doogie Moon.

Charity Inn window 2017

Above photo, July 2017, kindly taken and sent by Doogie Moon.

Charity 2018

Above photo, November 2018, by Martin Tapsell.

Charity 2019

Above photo, kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe, July 2019.


Unfortunately this one has now gone for good, and means that Woodnesborough is another village without a public house.

The pub has been converted into flats and a pair of semi detached houses are under construction in the grounds. The work is being done by Acorns Developments Ltd Herne Bay. 242,000 is being mentioned.


Former Charity Inn CGI 2021

Above CGI image 2021.

Charity floor plan 2021

Above floor plan 2021.

Former Charity Inn 2022

Above photo January 2022, kindly sent by Sandy Dew.



CASTLE Henry 1740+ Wingham Ale Licences 1740

TAYLOR Charles 1840-41+ (age 40 in 1841Census)

BAX Robert 1847-71+ (age 69 in 1871Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847

BAX Elizabth A F 1881+ (age 69 in 1881Census)

THORNE William John 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882

WOOD Thomas Dunk 1884-Apr/88 Whitstable TimesCanterbury Journal

ROE Thomas Apr/1888+ Whitstable Times

DAVIDSON John 1899-Nov/1903 Kelly's 1899 (market gardener & victualler) Kelly's 1903

WISE Jesse Nov/1903-Feb/1907 Dover Express

PAGE T F Feb/1907+ Dover Express

SMALL Frederick 1908-May/10 Dover Express

KERR Mr A W 1946+ Dover Express (of De Burgh St. Dover)

THOMAS Bill 1970+

CULLEN James May/1910-38+ (Pensioner WO Royal Artillery age 46 in 1901Census) Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1913Kelly's 1934

ALSTON Michael T 1974+ Library archives 1974 Fremlins

FIELD Robin & Jayne 1992+ Deal Mercury

MILLER Phillip Oct/2009-2011

CAVELL Stephen, Tracey & Jamie 12/Jan/2012-Nov/13


Wingham Ale Licences 1740From Wingham Division Ale Licences 1740 Ref: KAO - QRLV 3/1

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express

Deal MercuryFrom the Deal Walmer & Sandwich Mercury

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald

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:-