Page Updated:- Saturday, 22 April, 2023.


Earliest 1924

(Name from)

Fitzwalter Arms

Open 2021+

Goodnestone Street


01304 840303 / 07710 864893

Fitzwalter Arms 1900

Above photo circa 1900, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Fitzwalter Arms circa 1910

Above postcard circa 1910.

Fitzwalter Arms 1952

Above photo, circa 1952, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Fitzwalter Arms 1960s

Above photo, 1960s, kindly sent by Michael Mirams.

Fitzwalter Arms 1970

Above photo, circa 1970, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Fitzwalter Arms December 2012 Fitzwalter Arms December 2012

Above photos showing the pub in December 2012. Kindly sent by the licensees December 2012.

Fitzwalter Arms in Goodnestone 1988

Above photo Fitzwalter Arms in Goodnestone in 1988, by kind permission of Dover Library.

Fitzwalter Arms in Goodnestone 1998
Fitzwalter Arms in Goodnestone 1998

Above two photos of Fitzwalter Arms in Goodnestone in June 1996, now Shepherd Neame, by kind permission of Dover Library.

Fitzwater Arms August 2008 Fitzwater Arms August 2008 Fitzwater Arms Old SignFitzwater Arms New Sign

Above photos by Paul Skelton August 2008.

Fitzwalter Arms sign 1991Fitzwalter Arms sign 1991

Fitzwalter Arms signs above, July 1991.

Fitzwalter Arms sign 1993

Above sign July 1993 with thanks from Brian Curtis


Photo below shows the back of the pub, same date.

Fitzwalter Arms at Goodnestone, back of pub.
Fitzwalter Arms Sign 2011Fitzwalter Arms Sign 2011

Signs shows June 2011 by Paul Skelton.


Originally built in 1589, this pub has seen many changes over the years, according to the documentation found hanging on the wall inside the pub, it has always been called the "Bridges Arms" from its first  license as a beer house in 1703. However, I have found documentation of another pub in Goodnestone, mentioned as early as 1770 called the "Three Crowns". From records held at the East Kent Archives Centre at Whitfield, they have 21 documents in a bundle that mentions the "Three Crowns" in Goodnestone Street (EK-U373/T6) 1770-1826. I am wondering whether this is the same.

However, Michael David Miriams in his 1987 book "Kent Inns and Inn Signs" say the following:- The "Fitzwalter Arms" may have been known to Jane Austen, but not as a public house. The authoress spent some time at the Goodnestone Park home of her brother Edward and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Brook Bridges. The inn was probably a gate lodge at that time, as the list of landlords dates only from 1862. Until c.1900 it was called the "Bridges Arms," but is now the property of Lord and Lady Fitzwalter, who lease the premises to the brewery.

The pub is now a Shepherd Neame tied house called the "Fitzwater Arms".


Click to start.                 Continued.

A. J. Page gave up the house in 1928 and was succeeded by William Hogben, he in 1930 by Thomas J. N. Augustus Griffin, he in 1937 by Percy J. Hickson, he in 1939 by J. Shaldrake, he in 1945 by Frank Dill, he in 1947 by M. Carr, and he in 1948 by C. Molford. In 1951 Gardner & Co merged with Tomson and Wotton of Ramsgate. G. Hearn took over and served until 1953 when he handed over to S, Perkins. In 1955 whilst in his hands the holding company of Combined breweries was formed. In 1957 Harry Crawshaw took over the house and until 1958 when he handed over to John Henrry. In 1968 when in his hands Combined Breweries was taken over by Whitbred & Co. of London. John Henry served here until 1978: John Hendry served here until 1978 when he handed over to B. Wiseman, and he in 1985 to Peter Dillnott. In that year the lease of the Fitzwalter Arms was assigned to the Shepherd Neame Brewery of Faversham, they in turn leased to Anthony Taylor who was here until 1987 when he handed over to Francis Joseph Rowe, who at the time of writing this was the keeper of the Fitzwalter Arms.


Dover Express 4th July 1947.

Plans Approved.

Plans were approved for the alteration of the sanitary arrangements at the “Fitzwalter Arms”, Goodnestone and for the removal of a wall in the lounge of the “Five Bells”, Eastry.


From the East Kent Mercury, 4 October, 1990.



Roger Penn, of the "Fitzwalter Arms," Goodnestone, on the right, receives his award from Shepherd Neame chairman Robert Neame.


A COUNTRY pub has won top honours in a brewery competition, beating opposition from pubs throughout the southeast. Roger Penn, of the "Fitzwalter Arms," Goodnestone, took first prize in a cellar management contest organised by Shepherd Neame to promote the serving of the perfect pint in all of their 290 pubs. With his wife Sharon, Roger has won a holiday in Switzerland, to include a visit to a brewery in Zurich. Pub cellars were inspected three times by the judges, with marks awarded for effort and enthusiasm, cleanliness, temperature and the condition of their beers.


From the Dover Express, 21 May, 2009

Great pub grub

GOODNESTONE pub The "Fitzwalter Arms" has been awarded pub restaurant of the year in the Shepherd Neame Pub Awards 2009.

Judge Elizabeth Carter, a restaurant critic from Square Meal Magazine, said she was impressed by the variety of its dishes using local ingredients and its customer service.



Heard on 6 December, 2011 that the pub is for sale with a leasehold of 15,500. Another Shepherd Neame pub that is superfluous to requirements, they do seem to be trying to sell off quite a few at present. Hope someone takes it on and succeeds.

The "FitzWalter Arms" is a quintessential English pub dating back to 1702, the centre of village life in Goodnestone, an unspoilt, picturesque village set in the beautiful Kentish countryside between Canterbury, Sandwich and Deal. To this day it remains the village hostelry to the FitzWalter estate. It is recommended by top food guides including the Michelin Guide and the Good Food Guide. The kitchen prides itself on sourcing the finest local produce available. There is a heated and covered smoking terraced area and a large beer garden with an area set aside as a vegetable patch that provides the restaurant with vegetables for a large part of the year. This is a rare opportunity for an experienced caterer and Licensee to maintain the excellent reputation of this fantastic pub. Viewing is highly recommended.


Inside the Fitzwalter Arms 2012 Inside the Fitzwalter Arms 2012 Inside the Fitzwalter Arms 2012

Above three photographs kindly sent by Ben Pechobi, landlord 7 May 2012.


From the Dover Mercury, 2 August, 2012. 80p ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE


THE charming 16th century "Fitzwalter Arms" with its lattice windows and mellow brickwork is a picturesque pub. Its cosy interior has original log fireplaces and there is a games room for darts and bar billiards.

Benedikt and Sabina

Landlord Benedikt Pechobi and his fiancee Sabina are proud to run the historic Shepherd Neame hostelry in Goodnestone, which has been a pub since 1702.

Benedikt, who has a Czech father and English mother wanted to introduce hearty traditional Eastern European food to the menu.

He said: “When I visited the Lake District I came across a pub offering Hungarian food. They were serving a bowl of goulash with crusty bread and it was so popular that the pub was packed out. It has inspired me to do the same at the "Fitzwalter Arms."”

Benedickt, who uses local ingredients, including free range meat from Laurie Wakeham in Bridge and organic vegetables from Wingham Country Market, always makes food freshly to order. His signature dishes include meat dumplings with wild mushroom sauce, Czech goulash and the hearty, warming cowboy stew with white beans, diced Polish sausage, onion and tomato, served with mashed potato. With prices for main courses starting at 6.95, Benedikt is keen to ensure his customers enjoy wholesome food at good value.

Fans of English food will not be disappointed as the pub continues to offer traditional Sunday roasts of pork, lamb or beef, from 8.50, plus its home-cooked ham, Goodnestone eggs and chunky chips.

Vegetarians are catered for with dishes such as nut roasts or mushroom bake. For those wanting a lighter snack there is a varied sandwich menu.

Benedikt prides himself on providing a welcoming atmosphere at the "Fitzwalter Arms," which has a patio and lovely gardens where a relaxing pint can be enjoyed outside on a summer's day.

He said: “We are a very friendly pub and welcome families and walkers with their dogs.”

With its beautiful building, delicious food and fantastic welcome, the "Fitzwalter Arms" is the perfect place to while away a summer's day.



October 2012 saw the pub change from open to For Sale.

Latest information received, December 2012, the pub has been sold and is now under the reign of Amy Kerr, Luke Howell and Danny, the pub puppy.

I have been informed that Amy Kerr's parents own a small vineyard in Kent and their Bardingley Rose 2011 is currently on sale at the pub.


Fitzwater Arms local wine

Above photo advertising the wine from the Kent vineyard.

Rainy day at the Fitzwater Arms 2012 Christmas 2012 Dining area 2012

Above photos kindly supplied by the licensees December 2012.

Fitzwalter Arms 2018

Above photo August 2018. Kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe.


In 2016, the pub opened its doors for the first time in over 400 years to overnight guests. Its three unique guest letting bedrooms on the first floor of the property are well maintained and all boast ensuite bathrooms, tea & coffee making facilities and freeview televisions.



Last pub licensee had PAGE Alfred Joseph Dec/1923 Dover Express

Name changed from "Bridges Arms"

HOGBEN George William P Dec/1923-Oct/33 Dover Express

GRIFFIN Thomas John N Augustus Oct/1933-37 Dover ExpressKelly's 1934

HICKSON Mr Percy J up to 1937-Jan/39 Dover Express

SHELDRAKE Mr J H V Jan/1939-Mar/44 Dover Express

DEAL Frank S Mar/1944-47 Dover Express

CARR M 1947-48

MOLFORD C 1948-51

HEARN G 1951-53

PERKINS S 1953-57

CRAWSHAW Harry 1957-58

HENDRY John 1958-78 Library archives 1974 Owned by Lord Fitxwalter

WISEMAN B 1978-85

DILLNOTT Peter 1985

TAYLOR Anthony 1985-87

ROWE Francis Joseph 1987+

PENN Roger 1990+

THOMPSON John & RICHARDSON Annabelle 1999-2006 (married at pub)

HART David & GUTTERIDGE Claire 2006+

PECHOBI Mr Benedikt Sept/2011+

KERR Amy & HOWELL Luke Dec/2012+

TODD Jeanette Mrs Mar/2015-17

CAUTERUCCIO Ant & Vicky to July 2017

FISHER Lynn July/2020+

BROWN Nick Turner 2022+


Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express


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