Page Updated:- Tuesday, 20 February, 2024.


Earliest 1500

Crown / Halfway House

Open 2020+

Ramsgate Road


01843 847808

Crown 1900

Above photo circa 1900, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1905

Above photo circa 1900, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1907

Above postcard, date 1907, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Crown 1908

Above postcard, circa 1908, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1908

Above postcard, 1908, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1910

Above postcard circa 1910, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown Inn

Above postcard, date unknown.


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

Crown postcard

Above postcard, date unknown.

Crown Inn circa 1906

Above photo circa 1906.

Crown 1912

Above postcard, circa 1912, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1913

Above photo 1913, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. To the left of the door: Shepherd Neame & Co Ales "Malt & Hops Only" Drawn From The Wood. To the right of the door: Bottled Beers - Bass, Worthington, Guinness, Strong Ale, Lager Beer & Cider. The sign to the far right of the pub confirms that the Crown then offered Luncheon, Tea, Rooms and Petrol. The large wall sign reads: The noted Sarre Cherry Brandy Made at This House for Upwards of a Century.

Crown 1913

Above photo 1913, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Showing Alfred Loft and family.

Above postcard, circa 1915, kindly sent by Nick Heading. The board to the left says the following:- Patronised by M. B. Irving, Pelissier, George R. Sims, Margaret Cooper, Fred Farren, Harry Randall, Joe Elvin, F. C. Burnard, The Pickwick Coaching Clun.

Crown 1918

Above postcard 1918, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1919

Above postcard, circa 1919, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1920

Above photo, circa 1920, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1920

Above photo, circa 1920, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1923

Above postcard, circa 1923, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1923

Above postcard, circa 1923, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1930

Above photo, circa 1930 showing a meeting of the West Street Hunt, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown Inn 1940s

Above photo, circa 1940s.

Crown Inn bar 1940s

Above photo showing the bar area circa 1940s.

Dickens Room 1940s

Above photo showing the "Dickens Room," circa 1940s.

Crown Inn Dickens Room

Above postcard showing the Dickens Room. Kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Crown 1948, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Above photo 1950s.

Crown 1951

Above postcard, circa 1951, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1959

Above photo, circa 1959, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 1961

Above postcard, circa 1961, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown 2011

Above photo 2011 by David Anstiss Creative Commons Licence.

Crown Inn

Crown Inn at Sarre.

Crown Inn sign

Above sign date unknown.

With thanks from Roger Pester

Crown Inn sign 1986Crown sign 2011

Crown sign left May 1986. Sign right 2011.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Crown 2015

Above photo, 2015, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Crown card 1932

Above card, circa 1932, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Front cover of a Crown Inn short history pamphlet. Mr Lindo clearly had an interesting background, which may help to explain why so many members of the entertainment scene in the 1930s came to visit his pub.


Kentish Chronicles, 22 December, 1795.


Sunday morning died, Mr. Strood, many years landlord of the "Halfway House" between this city and Whitstable.


Kentish Gazette 8 April 1800.


ON the premises, on Monday, the 21st day of April instant, about four o’clock in the afternoon:-

All that long-established and good-accustomed Inn, called the "CROWN," otherwise the "HALF-WAY-HOUSE" at Sarr, in the Isle of Thanet, contiguous to the high road from Canterbury to Margate and Ramsgate consisting of a large and commodious messuage, with coach-house, stable, and other conveniences, well adapted for carrying on the public line of business, now in the occupation of Mrs. Mary Richford.

The premises may be viewed by applying to Mr. Thomas Wraight at Sarr, of whom, and of Mr. J. Solly, Sandwich, further particulars be known.

Possession may shortly be had.


Kentish Gazette 21 July 1801.

On Wednesday, as Mr. Derby, of the "Halfway House" between Margate and Ramsgate, was walking in a field by the road, he heard the cries of a child in the corn, and discovered a new-born infant, left by its unnatural parent without any clothing. On its being examined by a surgeon, he supposed it had not been born more than an hour. The most diligent search was made for the wretch who had abandoned it, but without success. The infant was taken to the workhouse, and continues perfectly well.


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 29 May 1821.


Came Astray on the 10th of October last, a Young Pointer Dog, liver coloured and white.

Whoever owns the said Dog may have him again by paying his keep and expenses, on application to Mr. F. Holmes, "Crown Inn," Sarre.


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 Gazette 25 June 1844.


The annual meeting took place on Thursday last at Sarre. The shearing commenced at twelve o'clock, and the prizes were awarded as follows:—

First prize to No. 9, J. Collins, in the employ of Mr. Collard, Gore Street. second ditto, to No. 14. A. Horn. in the employ of Mr. Gaskell Third ditto to No. 15, J Wile., in the employ of Mr. J Dadds Fourth ditto to No. 7, T. Browning, in the employ of Mr. S. Smith.

First prize for wooI winding to No.14. A. Horn. Second ditto to No. 15, J. Wiles.

There were seventeen competitors, and the shearing was allowed by all present to be very much improved since last year. A great increase has taken place in the number of members, there by improving the funds of the society, so much so that it is expected the premiums will be enlarged at the next annual meeting.

The members, after the shearing, dined at the "Crown Inn," Sarre, and partook of an excellent dinner, provided by Mr. Holmes, at which Mr. Champion presided, and Mr. S. Smith officiated as the deputy. The usual loyal toasts were drank, and well received by the company. There were nearly forty of the neighbouring farmers and graziers at the dinner.

Messrs. Wacker, T. Bing, and T. Slater, officiated as judges.

There were as usual several woolstaplers at the meeting, and a great deal of wool was sold at advanced prices. The company were very much pleased with the presence of one of the French wool buyers, M. Duplas; and he seemed equally delighted with the day, and promised to attend again, if possible, the next year.


Kentish Gazette, 25 June 1844.


The annual dinner is fixed for Wednesday, the 3rd of July, 1844, (instead of the day before advertised), at the "Crown Inn," Sarre, at Three o'clock, when the favour of any Gentleman will be esteemed.

E. WOOTTON, Secretary.

June 24, 1844.


Kentish Gazette 11 November 1845.


All Persons indebted to the Estate of the late Mr. Francis Thomas Sharp Holmes, late of the "Crown Inn," Sarre, are requested forthwith to pay the amount of their respective Debts to Mr. Edward Stark, of Sarre aforesaid, Plumber, or Mr. Sackett Adams, of Monkton, Blacksmith, the Executors of his Will or to us on their behalf. And all Persons having any claims on the said Estate, are requested to send particulars thereof as above, in order that they may be examined, and if correct, discharged.

Kingsford, Son and Wightwick.

Canterbury. 8th Nov.,1845.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 9 April 1870.


James Gibbons, on bail, was indicted for having stolen 2 in money and 18lbs. of flour, value 2s., the property of his masters, Henry Hudson and Son, at Chislett, on the 10th of March, 1870.

Mr. F. J. Smith prosecuted, and Mr. Barrow defended the prisoner.

Mr. Barrow remarked that the charge of stealing the money was dismissed by the magistrates, and yet to his surprise it had been included in the indictment. However, unusual as this coarse was, he would not complain, because, from circumstances which would come out in the course of the case, he was rather glad than otherwise the two charges had been included.

Mr. Smith having opened the case, he called William Henry Hudson, who said he was the junior partner of the firm of Hudson and Son, millers, at St. Lawrence, Thanet. Prisoner had been in his service nearly five years. It was his duty to go out and deliver flour. He did so on the 10th March, and eight sacks were given to him to take out. Before he started witness weighed 286lbs. The flour was then placed in the waggon. Prisoner was not present when the flour was weighed. Prisoner was to go to Chislett with the flour. Prisoner left at eight o'clock in the morning, and he took four and a half hours to get to Chislett while three and a half hours was quite sufficient. Witness went by train to Grove Ferry, and thence to Chislett. He was at Mr. Johncock's when the prisoner arrived. The whole of the flour was for Mr. Johncock. The sacks were weighed by Mr. Johncock and his baker. Two of them were found to be short by 18lbs. The other six sacks were correct. Mr. Johncock paid witness 2 in copper coin, which was done up in 5s. packets. He put the money into the waggon and told prisoner to "take thorn coppers home.” Prisoner then started and witness passed him on the road. Prisoner did not return home, but left the waggon and horse at a public-house at Sarre and absconded. Prisoner came back on the following Monday and said he was sorry for what he had done.

Cross-examined:— Before prisoner was in witness' employ he was employed by Mr. Hooper. He (prisoner) had been in the neighbourhood a long time.
By the Chairman:— I told the prisoner about the flour being missed at Chislett, and gave him the coppers to take home afterwards.

Wm. Johncock, baker, Chislett, said he weighed the sacks, and two of them were short. He paid 2 worth of coppers to Mr. Hudson. He heard Mr. Hudson speak to the prisoner, but did not know what he said. On the same day he went to the "Crown Inn" at Sarre, and there saw the prosecutor's waggon. The horse had been taken out. On the following Monday he was between Sarre and Upstreet, and found some flour in a dyke there. Some flour was also found dry on the shore. The flour so found was here produced, and witness said he considered it was similar to that which was delivered to him in the sacks.

Edward Wood said he was in the employ of Mr. Hudson, whose evidence be corroborated as to the weighing of the flour. He gave the prisoner 10d. before he started to pay the gates and for "allowance." The flour produced was of the same quality as that sent to Mr. Johncock.

William Moss said he was station-master at Birchington. The prisoner came to his station on the 10th of March at 6.41 in the evening, took a ticket for Whitstable, and paid for it is coppers. The purse was not full.

Cross-examined:—If the purse had been full it could not have held 3 worth of copper coin.

Alfred Caple, in the service of the landlord of the "Hare and Hounds,” Chislett, said he went to Sarre and got the waggon from the "Crown." He did not know if there was any money in the waggon.

Mr. Hudson, recalled, said, in answer to Mr. Barrow, he had sometimes paid the prisoner his wages in copper.

Mr. Barrow, in opening his address to the jury on behalf of the prisoner, remarked that the Chairman presided at that Court for the first time. Therefore he would not take the coarse which he would take if he were before the late Chairman, who had had very large experience in criminal matters. He did not think it fair to the Chairman in the very first case heard before him, to ask him to take upon himself to decide that there was no evidence to go before the jury. Although he did not take that course, because he felt it might put the Chairman, in his somewhat novel position, in a state of some little embarrassment; yet he called his attention to the fact, which he submitted to the jury with the greatest possible confidence, that there was not, from the beginning to the end of the case, a particle of evidence that affected the prisoner in the slightest degree. Nobody had seen him do anything with either the money or the flour. With regard to the flour, was it not as reasonable to suppose he was robbed as that he was the robber, and as to the money it was quite possible that that was taken away by some person during the prisoner's stay at the public house at Sarre. Then as to the prisoner's conduct in absconding, there was no doubt he was frightened, first by being accused of a theft and then at losing the money, and that he went away in consequence.

The Chairman in summing up said the learned counsel for the defence had commenced by saying that, out of consideration for himself, he would not place before them one view of the case, namely, that there was no evidence at all to go before the jury. He could not conceive that any counsel weald be so oblivious of his duty as to neglect placing before them that view of the case which would be most advantageous to the prisoner he was defending. Supposing for a moment that that would be the course adopted by the learned counsel on this or any future occasion, he hoped that no consideration for the Chairman or the magistrates would prevent him adopting that course which would be most advantageous to the prisoner he was defending. He then went through the circumstances of the case, and went through the circumstances of the case and the jury acquitted the prisoner.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 23 June, 1900. 1d.


John A. Wright, proprietor of the "Crown," of Sarre, was granted an extension to 11.30, for a party who intended celebrating the fall of Pretoria at his house on the 26th inst.


The Era 14 November 1928.

From Ricard H. Lindo, so long associated with Sir Arthur Collins at Drury Lane Theatre, and now the popular host at that historic rendezvous, "The Crown Inn," Sarre, on the main road between Canterbury and Birchington, has just written an interesting book, which he has titled "From Stage to Bar." This entertaining little volume of reminiscences has many anecdotes from stories of "The Lane," from the author's first association in 1899 until the final break up of the old regime, towards the end of 1918, whereas he relates someone wishfully of the changed conditions of the theatre, the departure of the "old school," and the coming into being of the modern type of manager, the product of a theatre controlled by speculators of allsorts. George Rober, Dan Leno, George Graves, Violet Cameron, Beerbohm Tree, F. C. Barnard, Sir Squire Bancroft, Irene Vanbrugh, are but a few of the celebrities who figure in Mr. Land's narrative, which closes with his retirement from the stage, and his "call to the bar."

Mr. Lando invited a number of friends the other evening to the "Crown" for what he termed "the inauguration" of his weekly steak and kidney suppers. The guests came from Margate, Ramsgate, Westgate-on-Sea and Birchington, and there was an interesting gathering under those old ok beams. The evening was further enlivened by the appearance of Mr. E. Thornley Dodge, who gave some of his inimitable studies stories and lightening sketches, which pleased the company immensely.


Thanet Advertiser, Tuesday 21 March 1944.

Misused Petrol. Home Guard Officer Fined.

Henry G. Clements, 70 year-old licensee of the "Crown Inn," Sarre, and a lieutenant in the Home Guard, was fined 10s., with 1 7s. costs, at St. Augustine's Sessions, Canterbury, on Wednesday, for misusing petrol allowed him as a Home Guard Officer.

Mr. T. T. Cropper prosecuted and Mr. C. A. Gardner for defendant, admitting a technical offence.

The case for the prosecution was that the petrol was allowed defendant in order to drive to Herne Bay and collect subsistence money from Lloyds Bank for the men. On 1st January he paid an abortive visit to the bank, as it was closed, and he went again the following week. On each occasion, instead of returning by the direct route, he admitted that he visited an old friend at Herne Bay, went on to see his daughter at the "Fox and Hounds," and then returned via Blean Wood to Sarre, having gone some seven miles out of his way.

Lieutenant Colonel C. S. F. Witts, defendants C.O., said defendant was allowed a gallon of petrol weekly for Home Guard duties and was not permitted to deviate from the direct route. Defendant was very patriotic and showed it by his good work for the Home Guard.

In evidence the defendant said that his work and Home Guard duties he had no spare time. He went to Herne Bay by the direct route and visited his daughter to help her, for which he had previously been allowed petrol but it had been stopped. Witness told Mr. Copper that he could not recall telling the constable that he visited his daughter in that way on 20th November, 4th and 11th December and 1st and 8th January.

Mr. Gardner said defendant and never drawn a penny from the Home Guard.


From the East Kent Mercury, 31 August, 1989.


The 15th century "Crown Inn," at Sarre, better known locally as the Cherry Brandy House, has closed for a six month 500,000 refit.

The work will include the addition of 10 letting rooms, dining room, kitchen and a complete upgrading of the pub's existing facilities.

To ensure none of the character of one of Kent's most historic pubs is destroyed brewers Shepherd Neame have taken photographs of the bar areas to help them return all its ornaments to their old positions after the work is finished.

A feature of the pub has been its collection of autographed photographs of stage and screen stars of the 1920s and 30s.

Built in 1492 the "Crown Inn" is steeped in history. Charles Dickens wrote part of Pickwick Papers there. And a condition of the licence is that it must always sell cherry brandy made to a 17th century Huguenot recipe - hence its more popular title of the Cherry Brandy House.



Taken from the Shepherd Neame web site, December 2011.

The "Crown Inn" at Sarre has welcomed a variety of distinguished guests over the years, from novelist Charles Dickens to Prime Minister Edward Heath.

Its obvious appeal – its 15th century origins, comfortable accommodation, good food, warm hospitality and lovely garden – continues to be discovered by countless visitors.

The Crown Inn is known locally as the Cherry Brandy House on account of its sale of the popular drink. (I will add here that I have been to the pub and did ask for a Cherry Brandy, and the barmaid hadn't a clue what I was on about. Paul Skelton.)

The Grade I listed building boasts an impressive history. It is thought to have started life as a coffee house and features a priest-hole. It is, perhaps, no wonder that the BBC Ghosthunters programme filmed at The "Crown Inn."

Open all day, every day, the "Crown Inn" has much to offer, from fine food and accommodation to a wide selection of ales and wines and the friendliest of welcomes. (No Cherry Brandy though, apparently.)


From the By Secret Drinker, 29 May 2020.

Secret Drinker's best Shepherd Neame inland Kent pubs.

The fantastic response to my top five seaside pubs, added to the fact many locals are already planning for the glorious day they can reopen, has persuaded me I must also bring you my top Shepherd Neame inland pubs.

Just imagine the joy of sitting in a beautiful pub garden, a freshly pulled pint in your hand, while the sun blazes down and the birds twitter sweetly in the background.

I took some flak for daring to dream of the time we can revisit a lovely seaside boozer and gaze upon the waves again, but why shouldn’t we have something to look forward to?

If seven out of 10 people reckon the thing they’ve missed most during lockdown is the pub then just imagine getting back to these five fantastic pubs.

The only rule I set to be an inland pub is that if you look out of the window you can’t see the sea.

Crown Inn 2019

The No.1 pub on my list - the Crown Inn at Sarre.

And, in top spot, another pub I haven’t had the chance to review yet, though I did have the pleasure of popping in just hours ahead of lockdown.

The Crown Inn at Sarre, near Birchington, can boast a fantastic history dating back more than half a millennia. You might take the list of famous names with a pinch of salt but one thing that’s beyond question is the quality of the food – bangers and mash to die for.

I love the rustic, down-to-earth feel but this large than life pub gets all the details right. Excellent, warm-hearted customer service combined with great food and drink – and Clive behind the bar who reckons he responds best to ‘Oi’, what more could you want?

I need to write a full review as soon as possible.


From an email received 6 April 2021.


My grandfather Col. George Hamilton Gordon DSO, CMG, was the landlord in 1938/39.

My mother who died at 102 in 2014 had strong memories of being in the kitchen, and my aunt who is still, alive at 95, in New Zealand also has fond memories.

My grandfather was a regular soldier, and spent most of the Great War in Salonika. He was an artillery officer, I still have his medals, as well as quite a few pictures of him, several with Winston Churchill, and aircraft, as he and my grandmother were friends of Commander Charles Rumney Samson one of the original 8 members of the RNAS .


Rob Henley.

Colonel George Hamilton Gordon medals

Above photo showing his medals.

Suzanna Gordon 1939

Above photo showing Suzanna Gordon when in the ATS


The legend is that the resident pub ghost was a smuggler, who was killed in the pub in the early 1800s. When he manifests, on numerous occasions, he is wearing seafaring clothing of that period and surrounded by a strong odour of rum.

In 1903 it is suggested the house was tied to Francis A White, Stourmouth Brewery. The brewery was sold, along with 11 pubs, at auction in 1904 to Flint & Sons, Canterbury, who sold on the Crown to Shepherd Neame in 1910. Still operating under Shepherd Neame in 2011.



RICHFORD Mr 1777+ Kentish Gazette

DERBY Mr 1801+

HOLMES Francis Thomas Sharp 1821-Nov/45 Kentish Gazette

HOLMS Sarah 1841+ (age 60 in 1841Census)

PAY Thomas William 1847-81+ Melville's 1858 (age 69 in 1881Census)

POINTON Samuel James 1891+ (age 51 in 1891Census)

WRIGHT John Albert 1900-03+ (age 40 in 1901Census) Deal MercuryKelly's 1903

LOFT Alfred 1911-15+ (age 60 in 1911Census)

GRANT Louisa 1918-22+ Post Office Directory 1918Post Office Directory 1922

LINDS/LINDO Richard Henry 1928-30+ Post Office Directory 1930

GORDON Colonel George Hamilton DSO, CMG 1938-39+ Post Office Directory 1938

CLEMENTS Henry G 1946+


Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1918From the Post Office Directory 1918

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

Deal MercuryFrom the Deal Walmer & Sandwich Mercury


Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette


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