Sort file:- Canterbury, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.


Earliest 1850-

(Name from)

County Hotel and Tudor Bar

Latest 2011-

(Name to)

30 High Street


Above showing the "County Hotel" from a postcard in 1909. Picture taken from the Historic Canterbury web site

County Hotel 1922

Above photo, circa 1922, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

County Hotel and Tudor Bar

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly submitted by Mark Jennings.

Canterbury map 1874

Above map 1874 identified by Rory Kehoe.

Above showing the County Hotel.

County Hotel 2001

Above photo July 2001 taken from


The premises is now called the "Abode Hotel" but originally was called the "Saracen's Head Inn" and can be traced as early as 1539. Not to be confused for the other "Saracen's Head" which used to stand at 72 Burgate.

During the reign of George Henry Delasaux the premises also contained "Ye Old Vinter Vaults," later taken over by Herbert Lukey.


Ginger beer botles

Above photo showing two ginger beer bottles that were sold during the time of C Tomkins between 1913 and at least 1917.


From the Gloucestershire Echo, Saturday 18 January 1908.

Canterbury Hotel on Fire.

A fire broke out on Saturday morning at the "County Hotel," Canterbury, but was soon subdued. The front apartments were, however, saturated with tons of water, in addition to being damaged by flames. The guests at the hotel included Mr. Henniker Henton, M.P., and his family. No one was injured, and the visitors were able to remove to apartments at the back of the hotel.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 18 November 1911.

Alleged wholesale robbery from a Canterbury Hotel.

A German committed for trial. Prisoner hides in a cupboard all day.

The young German, Lexi Sagert, who was at one time employed at the "County Hotel," Canterbury, as a waiter, was placed in the dock, on remind, at the Canterbury Police Court, on Tuesday last, before Messrs. F. Hart (in the chair) T. L. Mourilyan, F. T. Gentry, and E. G. Hammond, charged with entering the "County Hotel, High Street, sometime between the 17th and October and 18th October and stealing there from a pair of gents boots, a pair of gents Oxford shoes, a gent's light fawn overcoat, a lady's gabardine striped mackintosh, a gent's striped mackintosh coat, 14 boxes of cigars, 12 tins of cigarettes, a gent's suede vest, a gent's dress coat, a pair of white flannel trousers, white socks, a large brown portmanteau, a small brown leather handbag, 2s, worth of penny and halfpenny stamps and 2 5s., in money, of the total of 43 17s.

Henry Laurence Prior, Netherfield, Stanstead Abbott, Hertfordshire, said he was staying at the "County Hotel" on the evening of October 17th and he left his coat in the sitting room upstairs, and on the following morning about 8:30 he found the coat was missing. The coat (produced) had his initials stamped on the inside. He valued it at 50s.

Frederick Alan Tompkins, son of the proprietress of the "County Hotel," said that on Tuesday, 17th October, at 7 p.m., he closed the wine office store, leading to the High Street and locked it. The wine office adjoined the hotel and he also locked the door leading to the hotel. On the morning of the 18th he found the two doors had been opened and he also found the till, which contain 2 overnight, had been emptied. He also found that a window hotel office had been forced and found three or four marks from 1/4 inch to an inch on the window which had evidently been made by a chisel. He found that the key of the door leading to the wine office from the hotel and also all the keys for the interior of the wine office had been taken off the keyboard in the hotel office. He examined the till in the office and found about 5s., in money and about 2s., in penny and halfpenny stamps had been taken. He then examined the inner hotel office and found about a dozen boxes of cigars and about the same quantity of cigarettes missing from a shelf. From the hat rack in the hall he missed a gent's tweed motor coat and a green silk scarf. He then went upstairs into his own dressing room and discovered that the leather portmanteau with C. T. in black letters was missing, also a leather handbag, a dress coat, a dark brown hunting waistcoat, a dress waistcoat, a pair of white flannel trousers, a pair of white socks, a pair of patent boots, a pair of Oxford leather shoes, a fawn overcoat with velvet collar, a ladies Barbary mackintosh, and a dress shirt. From a sitting room on the next floor he missed a green stripe gent's mackintosh (identified by previous witness), and two pairs of gloves. He then went into a small cupboard on the first floor and found on the floor the postcard produced addressed to prisoner, also the pair of boots, produced. The prisoner was employed at the hotel from August, 1910, to February 1911, as second coffee room waiter. Witness was prepared to swear to all articles produced, which belonged to him. The two overcoats belong to guests.

James Charles Stringer, Park Hill, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, stated that on the 17th October he was in the "County Hotel" to dinner and handed his overcoat to the hotel porter. About 9:45 the same evening he was in a hurry and took the wrong coat. On the following morning he brought it back and his own coat could not be found. The coat produced was his property, valued 65s.

Ernest Joseph Buttersby, pawnbroker, 80 Newgate Street, London stated that on the evening of the 18th October, prisoner came into the pledge office with the coat produced and marked with initials H. L. P. He identified prisoner in Court. Witness examined the coat and lent him 10s. He gave the name of Parker, 66, Guilford Street. On 24th October prisoner came again with 6 boxes of cigars produced and asked 30s. for them. Witness asked him if they were his property and he said they were. Witness asked him where he got them from and he said he was a dealer in cigars and he bought them at auction sales. He wanted this temporary loan to release more cigars he bought at an auction sale. Witness examined the cigars and advanced prisoner 30s. on them. Prisoner gave the name old Parker, 44 Upper Bedford Place. On 27th October prisoner came again and had 9 more boxes of cigars, 275 in all and said he required 50s. on them. Witness asked him if he had a business card and he produced the card with "Descombes" on it with the address, 44 Upper Bedford Place. Witness advanced him 50s. on these cigars.

Frances Pfarr, assistant to Mr. R. Pocket, pawnbroker, 35 Grays Inn Road, London, said that on the morning of the 18th October prisoner came to the pledge office with his kit bag produced and offered it to pledge. He lent 5s. on it and prisoner gave the name of Frank Thompson, 66 Guildford Street. he could not identify prisoner as the man. He was foreign by his accent. Prisoner ask no questions of the witness.

Sergeant Swaine stated that at 7:30 on Saturday evening, 4th instant, he received prisoner into his custody from the City Police, Snow Hill station, London. Witness said to prisoner "I am a police sergeant and you will have to accompany me to Canterbury on a charge of entering the "County Hotel," Canterbury, between the night of the 17th of October and the morning of the 18th, and stealing there from the articles enumerated in the charge." Prisoner replied, "I know nothing of the robbery. I admit that I did at one time work at the "County Hotel." The articles produced, consisted of 5 penny stamps, 5 empty cigarette tins, a white dress shirt, and a pair of white socks were handed to witness by the police in prisoners presents which were found by the Police in apartments occupied by prisoner at 40, Balsover Street, London. Prisoner said "Yes they are mine, I have had them some time." When arrested he was wearing the gents coat, produced, brown vest, and the gents pair of button boots. Prisoner said "They are mine. I have had them for some time. The waistcoat I bought in America." On the way to Canterbury prisoner said: "I admit I did commit the robbery at the "County Hotel," and I am sorry for what I have done. I was out of employment and 'hard up," and I walked from London to Canterbury. I went into the "County Hotel" that morning at 7 o'clock. I went upstairs to a cupboard, where I remained until 12 o'clock at night. I came out, had something to eat, and then obtained the articles, which I placed into bags. I let myself out of the hotel wine department. I unlocked the doors from the keys I obtained in the office from off the key rack. I left the hotel about twenty minutes to six. I threw the keys away over a fence on the way to the station. The cigars you will find pledged at Baterby's, just outside Holborn station. I pawned them in two lots. One for 1 10s., the other 2 10s., in the name of either Parker or Descombe, Upper Bedford Place. I also pledged an overcoat at the same place for either 8s. or 10s. I pledged another overcoat at Thompson's, pawnbroker, Oxford Street. I also pledged the small handbag at a pawnbrokers in Grays Inn Road, on the left hand side as you come from Holborn. The large brown leather portmanteau together with the other articles you'll find in my apartment at 23, Monmouth Road, Westbourne Grove. The cigarettes I have smoked and the pawn tickets I have destroyed." On Wednesday last, 8th inst the lady's mackintosh coat produced, witness recover from Harvey and Thompson Ltd, in New Oxford Street, where it had been placed in the name of Lexi Thompson for 8s. on 18th of October. The same day witness went to 23, Monmouth Road and into a bedroom which had been occupied by prisoner where he recovered the brown leather portmanteau which contained a gent's overcoat produced, they gent's dress coat, a suede vest, a pair of flannel trousers, pair of gents Oxford shoes, pair of brown kid gloves. The portmanteau had a label attached addressed "Mr. Sagert, 23, Monmouth Road, Westbourne Grove, from Victoria Station.

The Chairman:- Has all the property stolen been recovered.

Superintendent Dunk:- Yes sir, practically all, except the cigarettes, which prisoner has smoked.

Mr. Tompkins:- It is all recovered except the 500 cigarettes and one box of cigars, valued about 3, your worships.

Prisoner upon being charged had nothing to say and said "I reserve my defence."

The Chairman to prisoner:- What nationality are you?

A German.

How long have you been in this country?

About 2 years.

The Chairman:- This is a very serious charge and the Magistrates have no other alternative than to send you to Maidstone Assizes to be held on November 22nd.

The Chairman asked if the keys have been found and Chief Constable Dunk said they had looked for them but had not found them.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 08 March 1924.

The Canterbury Justices, on Friday, granted Mr. Frank Mason, the proprietor of the "County Hotel," an extension from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m., on the occasion of the Blean Beagles Hunt ball on April 22nd. Mr. Mason stated that as the ball started late it was not possible to get suppers over by 11 p.m.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 22 April, 1944.



Summoned at Canterbury Police Court on Friday, for food offences, Mr. Frank Mason, of the "County Hotel" Canterbury was represented by Mr. J. Thompson Halsall. Mr. Halsall expressed the opinion that a superhuman mathematician was needed to cope with food regulations. He pleaded guilty on behalf of Mr. Mason to (1) using an excessive amount of sugar per person per meal, between November 14th and January 8th. (2) using an excessive amount of fats per person per meal between the same dates; and (3) recklessly making a statement, under the Food Rationing Order, which was false, on January 18th.

Mr H. Gardner Wheeler, prosecuting for the Canterbury Food Control Committee, said that Mr. Mason was the proprietor of the "County Hotel" which was known in Food Office circles as a catering establishment and, as such, received from the Food Office authorisation to buy food during eight-weekly periods. That quantity could not be exceeded. The establishment had to keep a return and a record of all meals served and at the end of the period, a form had to be sent in, showing how many meals and hot beverages had been served and the quantity of rationed foods obtained by the establishment and on the back of the form, a statement of stock. That was to enable the Food Office to check that there had been no excessive obtaining of food and that the establishment had not used more food than it was legally entitled to do.

It was alleged by the prosecution that during the eight-weeks period in question. Mr. Mason had shown his quantity of sugar obtained as 196lbs., whereas, in point of fact, the quantity was 224lbs., and the quantity of preserves obtained as 158lbs., when it was actually 162lbs. It was agreed that the total amount of fats which had been over-used was 88lbs and of sugar 36lbs.

Mr. Halsall said Mr. Mason had been in the trade for thirty-five years and had been twenty-five years at the "County Hotel." In normal times his son ran the business, but he had been in the Army for three years, leaving his father who was not particularly youthful, to carry on. There had been staff complications and Mr. Mason had been working day and night. In practice the forms were completed by Mrs. Mason and Mr Mason signed them and accepted responsibility.

He (Mr. Halsall) was in a difficulty as to whether to plead guilty or not guilty, because the degree of "recklessness" was exceedingly small. The preserves were only 4lbs. over for the eight weeks, which, he submitted was not due to recklessness, but was purely accidental. Since the proceedings were started, it had been found that one invoice for that quantity which should have been sent to Mr. Mason by the supplier had, in fact, not been sent. The supplier had apologised, but that was what had given rise to the omission of the 4lbs.

Mrs. Mason’s system was to make up the forms from the invoices received and in that period she omitted an invoice for 36lbs. of sugar. She agreed that she had been careless and that she should have noticed that she was taking in seven instead of eight invoices.

Mr. Halsall emphasised that the amount of fats, etc., which could be supplied to each individual customer was arrived at by an extremely complicated calculation. Whoever wrote the order had been a great friend to chartered accountants! What could be given to one customer at one time was complicated enough, but for the 13,941 meals which had been served at the hotel in the period it required rather a superhuman mathematician to be precise. It was in that way and in defendant's overworked state that the miscalculation was made. Eighty-eight lbs. of cooking fats might seem rather a large figure, but it had to be remembered that the "County Hotel" was a catering establishment in general and not really a place where meals were served. A considerable number of cakes were made for functions and it was extremely difficult to calculate those amounts so as to keep within the limit. Mr. Mason had done his best.

In no single instance, emphasised Mr. Halsall, had Mr. Mason bought anything like his allocation. He would have been entitled to 313lbs. of preserves, but bought only 162lbs. and other figures were: Fats 487lbs. bought 282lbs: butter 162lbs., 88lbs.; sugar 336lbs., 224lbs.; and cheese 200lbs. 85lbs. His general attitude was one of the utmost care and precaution and he went too every length within his capabilities and did not take up his full allocations, but in every instance under-bought.

After a retirement, the Mayor said that in the cases of sugar and fats there would be a fine of 20/- in each instance. In regard to recklessly making the statement, the Bench felt that in view of the other two fines, justice would be met by imposing no penalty. They had a considerable amount of sympathy for Mr Mason in his difficulties, especially in view of the fact that in no case had he used the amounts of food which his permits would have allowed him to buy.

Defendant had to pay 25/- costs.



DELASAUX Thomas P 1850s-87 dec'd (Wine and Spirit Merchant age 42 in 1851Census) Historic Canterbury web site

DELASAUX George Henry 1889+ (Wine and Spirit Merchant) Historic Canterbury web site

LUKEY Herbert 1891+ (age 25 in 1891Census)

TOMKINS Mrs 1901 (widow age 45 in 1901Census)

TOMKINS C and Co 1913-17+ (Wine and Spirit Merchants) Historic Canterbury web site

MASON Frank 1924-44+


Historic Canterbury web siteHistoric Canterbury web site



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