Sort file:- Canterbury, March, 2024.

Page Updated:- Monday, 18 March, 2024.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Rory Kehoe

Earliest 1847-

Eagle Tavern

Latest 1902+

5 White Horse Lane


Eagle 1930

Above photo, circa 1930, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. The building to the extreme right is part of Drury & Biggleston's Foundry (where the current Foundry BrewPub is located) and used to be the site of the Canterbury City Mint. As a result of this, White Horse Lane had been previously known as Monetaria. It is unknown as yet whether the Eagle was trading at the time the above picture was taken.

Eagle Tavern building 1965

Above photo, 1965, kind sent by Rory Kehoe. The above building numbered 5 and 5a were built in the mid 17th century. Demolished in 1965 to make way for a road-widening project that never happened.

Eagle location 2017

Above photo taken October 2017, and identified by Rory Kehoe.

Canterbury map 1874

Above location identified on the 1874 map by Rory Kehoe.


I have found reference to another "Eagle Tavern" addressed as Ivy Lane which is about half a mile away.

It is suggested by Rory Kehoe that the pub changed name to the "White Horse" around the 1860s or 1870s, but reference was being made to it being called the "Eagle" again in the Post Office directory of 1882, so perhaps the "White Horse" reference was a mistake due to the location, the pub had finally closed by 1902/03 whatever it's name was.

After the pub closed it was occupied by George Snell's printing works.

The 17th century buildings were demolished in 1965 to make way for a road-widening project that never happened.

I have reference to Snells Printing Works, but don't yet know in what context that was connected to the pub.


Kentish Gazette, 10 September 1850.

On the annual licensing day (Thursday last) our city magistrates suspended the following licenses:-

"Military Tavern," King Street;

"Eight Bells," King Street;

"Duke of York," Riding Gate;

"Kentish Arms," Jewry Lane;

"Eagle," Whitehorse Lane;

"Golden Cross," Northgate;

"Queen's Head," Northgate;

"City of London," Tower Street;

"Duke's Head," Wincheap;

"True Briton," Northgate;

"Royal George," Northgate;

"Queen's Arms," Northgate; and

"Three Grenadiers," Military Road.


Kentish Gazette, 23 September 1851.


This was an adjourned day for granting licences, there being on the bench the Mayor, Aldermen Cooper, Brent, and Plummer, and Mr. Sprakeling. The following licences, which had been deferred for consideration, were altogether refused:— The "Eagle," White Horse Lane (Keith).


Kentish Gazette, 14 October 1851.



Thursday.— (Before the Mayor, Aldermen Plummer, Brent, and Neame, and Messrs, Sprakeling and Wootton.)

The appellants were Wm. P. Carter of the "True Briton," public-house, Northgate, and Wm. Keith, of the "Eagle," White Horse Lane.

Mr. Sandys appeared for both parties. The Magistrates had refused lo renew the applicants' licenses, and the Court of Guardians to increase their rating, to enable them to obtain a beer license; they now appealed against the poor rate made on the 12th of September last, on the ground that they were not sufficiently rated.

Mr. Sandys, in opening his case, stated that it was important parties should be properly and fairly rated, as on it sometimes depended various civil rights and privileges. After mentioning the particulars, as afterwards elicited in evidence, he called for the production of the last three rates, whereupon the usual rate-books were handed in, but be objected to them all, as in no case was there the usual heading required by law, setting forth that the rates were made for the relief of the poor; and further they were not certified at "the foot," by the churchwardens and overseers who made the rates.

The Clerk stated that the law merely specified that the rates should be certified at "the foot of the form," and said nothing about the foot of the rates.

The Mayor remarked that if this objection were good for anything, it would deprive the bench of the power of raising the rating as required.

Mr. Walker objected to the validity of the rate being gone into, as it formed no part of the appeal.

Mr. Sanders then called Wm. P. Carter first, who deposed to his having occupied the "True Briton" the last five years, paying 21 a year—a bona fide rent; and produced receipts of his landlord. In cross examination, he admitted there was a cottage, sometimes letting for a shilling or eighteen-pence a week, which formed part of the premises.

William Keith was next called; and he deposed that his house, which formerly was two cottages, let at 20 a year he being an under tenant of Mr. Beer’s; and witness stated that he would give 20 a year for the premises even were the license taken away.

Mr. White, rate collector, also spoke to this amount having been exacted of previous tenants, but stated that one of the two cottages which formed the beer house was compounded.

Mr. Walkier, observed that the main question they had to try was, what was the annual value of these premises? Now, he submitted that the rent was no criterion of their value, and that after deducting repairs and the other usual outgoings, neither of these houses could be said to be underrated; in proof of which he would call a person well practised in surveying.

He then called Mr. E. Homersham, builder, who deposed the full value of the "True Briton" to be 18 4s. per year. Allowing insurances, repairs, and taxes to amount to 6 6s.; the rateable value would be 13 18s. In the other case of the "Eagle," which premises were in a very bad state of repair, 12 a year would he ample rent.

Mr. Sandys replied. No parole evidence could be given to contradict absolute facts. In these cases they had evidence that the rent in one case was 21 a-year, and in the other 20.

The Court was cleared. After a consultation of about half an hour, the Bench decided in favour of the appellants, stating that they had confined themselves strictly to the evidence, which furnished them with the true value of the premises. Nothing had been shown them of any fraud in the bargain made; consequently they raised the rates of the "True Briton" to 16 15s., and the "Eagle" to 16.


From a report to the Mayor and Magistrates in Guildhall on 17th April 1859.

"Sergeant Ells reports that he found the following number of Prostitutes at the following public houses and beer-shops yesterday morning:

"Eagle," White Horse Lane, 3.


From the Kentish Chronicle 22, October 1859.


(Before the Mayor and Captain Love.)

Two men named Walker and Cole, were charged with being drunk in St. Peter's place, at half-past nine on Sunday morning.

The prisoners were discharged on payment of the costs 3s.

James Mills, in the employ of Messrs. Drury and Biggleston, was brought up on a similar offence, and discharged on payment of costs, 4s.

Jemima Robins and Richard Chapman were charged with stealing some money from the person of James Small.

It was stated by the police that the prosecutor in this case had been taken out of the way by the prisoners' friends.

The following evidence, however, was taken:—

Mary Lawrence: I live at the "Eagle," White Horse-lane, and am servant there. About half-past three o’clock, yesterday afternoon, I saw the two prisoners in the house. They were lodgers. The woman had been lodging there all Michaelmas, and the man since Saturday night, I know a man named James Small. He was there at the time. Two other men were also present besides the prisoners. We were not drinking at all.

Small was lying asleep on the form. The female prisoner said she wanted a lucifer, and the put her hand into Small's pocket. I did not see which pocket, as she was leaning over him. When she took her hand out of his pocket, I heard money rattle in her hand, and she said she had just enough to buy a pot of beer. Small's comrade told her not to take the few halfpence from him, and she said, "I have put it back again." The other prisoner was sitting away from Small, and the woman had been sitting beside him before she went to Small.

George Evans: I am a labourer. I was at the "Eagle" yesterday evening and all the day. I am a recruit, and I was billeted there. About half-past three o’clock my comrade (Small) was lying on the form. The female prisoner said "I wish I had some matches." I said, "my comrade here will give you some presently." I saw her put her hand in his waistcoat pocket. I heard some money rattle, and I said, "do not lake the little money he has." She said she had put it back. When Small woke he said he had lost 1s. 6d. About an hour before Small showed me 1s. 6d. and 4d. in copper, and he did not spend any of it afterwards, as I was in the room all the time. Small told the landlord, who sent for a policeman. Small had been drinking a little, but was not drunk.

A woman named Keen, a lodger in the house, said: I came down stairs yesterday evening about seven o'clock. A policeman was then standing at the door. I saw the female prisoner pass a purse to the male prisoner. He put it up his sleeve, and afterwards transferred it to some other part of his dress.

The Mayor said that although, no doubt, there were circumstances of strong suspicion against the prisoners, there was no legal evidence against them, and they would therefore be discharged.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 15 December, 1860.


At the Canterbury Police Court on Monday George White, a soldier belonging to the 20th regiment was charged with assaulting Thomas Fist, landlord of the "Eagle" public-house, White Horse Lane, on Saturday night.

About a quarter before twelve o'clock, on Saturday night, the defendant went to the door of the "Eagle," and began to kick it, demanding a supply of beer. On the landlord opening the door, the prisoner struck at him with his belt, and a struggle ensued, which resulted in the soldier being given in charge of the police. On his way to the station he committed a violent assault on Police-sergeant Ells, breaking his hat all to pieces and kicking him several times on the body.

In giving his evidence the officer spoke more feelingly about his hat than the blows on his person, describing it as "the best he had got," and that the cost of setting it to rights again would be half-a-crown.

The bench fined the prisoner 1 for the assault on the landlord, and 2 10s., for assaulting the policeman. In default of payment he was committed to prison for fourteen days for the first offence and a month, with hard labour, for the second.


South Eastern Gazette, 1 January 1861.


On Monday last, Wm. Vinter, a labourer, was charged with having assaulted Mrs. Fiat, the wife or the landlord of the "Eagle Tavern," White Horse-lane, on the evening of Christmas-day. The defendant (whose face was fearfully disfigured) was in the room with a number of soldiers and girls, when something was said about Fiat's houses. The landlord immediately squared up to fight, and told defendant if he had anything to say about the house, he (Fiat) would knock it out of him. A scuffle then ensued, and the complainant was accidentally hit on the head with a Quart pot. The case was dismissed, the Bench thinking that the blame rested with the landlord, and remarking that the house was very badly conducted.


From South Eastern Gazette 2 December 1862.


The "Eagle Tavern, White Horse-lane, Canterbury.

Immediate possession. Apply to Thomas Fist, who is going into another business.



LINAM Frederick 1847+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847

KEITH James 1851+ (age 39 in 1851Census)

PINCHES Henry 1858+ Melville's 1858

FIAT/FIST/FEIST Thomas 1860-62+ (age 27 in 1861Census)

BASS Isaac 1871-74+ (also labourer age 38 in 1871Census) Post Office Directory 1874

SPENDIFF Henry Leonard 1881+ CensusHistoric Canterbury web site

ABBOTT William 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882

ROBERTSON Thomas 1888+ (identified as "White Horse" in Bedwell's directory)

WHITCOMBE Alfred 1917+ Historic Canterbury web site (not known if he was licensee)


Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

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:-