Page Updated:- Wednesday, 16 November, 2022.


Earliest 1718-

Halfway House

Latest 1990s



Halfway House 1910

Above photo circa 1910.

East Kent Fopxhounds 1922

Above picture showing the East Kent Foxhounds at a meet outside the "Halfway House" on Saturday 8th April 1922.

From the Dover Express 10 December 1926.

East Kent Foxhounds

Above photo showing the East Kent Foxhounds at the "Halfway House."

Halfway House 1949

Above photo, circa 1949, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Halfway House postcard engraving

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by James Street.

Halfway House 1963

Above photo 5 March 1963, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Halfway House 1963

Above photo 5 March 1963, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Haldway House 1963

Above photo 5 March 1963, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Halfway House sign 1963

Above photo 5 March 1963, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Halfway House 1995

Above photo 1995, kindly submitted by Ray Hopkins.

Halfway House

Above photo, date unknown by Darkstar.

Former Halfway House at Barham

Above photo by Paul Skelton, 22 Aug 2008.


The owners changed hands in 1859 after Thomas Walker sold off the Phoenix brewery to Leney's.

Also addressed as at Womanswould in the Post Office Directory 1913 Post Office Directory 1913

Around about the 1960s the premises was more of a hotel than local's public house where it catered for the increasing Cross-Channel Ferry services.


St Mary's Dover baptism 24 July 1718.

Susanna HAMILTON, daughter of Francis and Margaret. The poor woman's maiden name is Margaret BROWN, her childbed pains fell upon her at the Halfway House where she was delivered betwixt Canterbury and this town. And she brought her child to my house and I christened it. She herself, an ancient father and mother are going to New England where they say this Francis HAMMILTON is settled in a plantation left him by a deceased brother who lived there.


Kentish Gazette, 31 June, 1779.


Whereas a malicious, menacing, impudent, and insulting letter was received by Sir Henry Oxenden, Bart. on the 17th of July last past, from the "Halfway House," near his Seat at Broom, in the parish of Barham, County of Kent, where all Post Letters for that Neighbourhood are left.

And whereas the letter was wrote and sent without the least Cause of Provocation; and that it is believed that more than one was concerned in the dark Transaction; whoever will (within one month from the date hereof) give such an Account of this Affair, as may be the Means of bringing the Offender or Offenders to Light, shall receive 50 Reward, even although the Person making this Discovery be one of the Accomplices.

This information may be given to Sir H. Oxenden himself, or made before any Magistrate in London or in this Country.
Broom, August 28th, 1779.


Kentish Chronicle, 10 March, 1829.

The "Half-Way House," on the Dover Road, was broken open on Saturday night last, and money to the amount of eleven pounds stolen, and four silver tea spoons.


From the Kentish Gazette, 28 November 1837.


AT the "Halfway House, in the parish of Womanswould, on FRIDAY, December the 8th, 1837, at Two o’clock in the afternoon, TWENTY ACRES of Valuable UNDERWOOD, in Woolwich Wood, belonging to the Trustees of the late Sir Henry Montresor, K.C.B.

Half-part of the Purchase Money to be paid on the day of Sale.

John Castle, Woodreeve, will show the cants.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 20 April, 1839. Price 5d


This offence is still carried to a great extent in the neighbourhood. Two Wethers belonging to Messrs. Phipps, were slaughtered in a meadow in Pineham, between Saturday night and Monday morning last, and the carcases carried away.

On Tuesday night, or early on Wednesday morning, some miscreants slaughtered, in a most slovenly manner, three fine two year old Marsh Wethers, belonging to Mr. Harvey, of Elvington, and carried away the carcases, leaving the skins and entrails. The sheep were put out to keep, and were in a field nearly opposite "Halfway House," on the Dover road to Canterbury. This offence is now becoming so common in that neighbourhood, that three considerable occupiers have offered ten pounds each to any one of their labourers, in addition to other public rewards, who will at any time detect or lead to conviction any offender of this nature. It is generally supposed that an establishment of rural police, would be highly advantageous.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 29 January, 1848. Price 5d.


A Commission was open yesterday at the "Half-way House," before Francis Barlow, Esq., one of the Masters of Lunacy, under a writ De Lunatico quirendo, (a writ directing an inquiry as to whether a person named in the writ is insane) to enquire into the state of mind of Charles Cole Reynolds, Esq., who is residing with the Rev. C. Borckhardt, at Lydden vicarage. It was attended by Mr. Byrne, of the firm of Sweeting and Byrne, of Southampton Buildings; and their agent, Edward Knocker, Esq., J. Walter Esq., and Wm Sankey, Esq., surgeons, were examined; as were also Mr. Borekhardt and Edward Reynolds Esq., a brother of the supposed lunatic. The jury was composed of 23 good men and true of the country; and they came to the unanimous conclusion that Mr. Reynolds was of unsound mind, and had been so since January, 1839.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Saturday 16 July 1859.

To let by tender.

The following public houses situate in and near Dover, Eastry, and Folkestone, viz:-

1. The "Bull Inn," Eastry.

2. The "Halfway House" and land, on the Dover and Canterbury Road.

3. The "Chequers," at Folkestone.

4. The "Chequers" and land, at West Hougham.

5. The "Red Lion," at Charlton.

6. The "Fox," in St James's Street.

7. The "Ordnance Arms," in Queen Street.

8. The "Cause is Altered," in Queen Street.

9. The "True Briton," on Commercial Quay.

10. The "Three Kings," in Union Street.

11. The "Fleur-de-Lis," in Council House Street.

12. The "Cinque Port Arms," in Clarence Place.

13. The "Red Lion" in St James's Street.

14. The "Dolphin," in Dolphin Lane.

The above houses are to be let as free houses, in consequence of the proprietors of the Dolphin Lane Brewery discontinuing that business.

The holdings of the present Tenants expire under notice to quit, as follows, viz:- No. 2, on the 6th January next, No. 3, on the 6th July, 1860, No. 10, at Lady Day next, No. 13, on the 23rd October next, No. 14, on the 6th April next, and reminder on the 11th October next.

Tenders must be sent into the offices of Mr. Edward Knocker, Castle Hill, Dover, on or before the 20th day of July next, marked on the cover "Tender."

Particular and Terms of hiring, with the forms of Tender, to be obtained on application to Mr. knocker, or Mr. Thomas Robinson, Estate Agent, Bench Street, Dover.

Tenders may be given for the whole together or separately. The Tenders will be accepted subject to the houses being sold on or before the 20th day of September next, and the proprietors do not bind themselves to accept the lowest or any tender.

N.B. The proprietors are open to treat for letting the Brewery, Malthouse, and Premises, in Dolphin Lane.

Edward Knocker. Castle Hill, Dover, June, 1859.


From the Kentish Chronicle and General Advertiser, 22 March, 1862. Price 1 1/2d.

Henry McLellan, John Watson, and Alfred Smith were brought up in custody, charged with having, on 14th instant, at Barham, stolen a box value 2s., property of Reuben Smith, of Eythorne.

It appeared that the prosecutor and prisoners were drinking at the “Half-way House,” and one of the prisoners sold the prosecutor the box for 2s. Shortly afterwards, while the prosecutor was playing at dice, the prisoners left the house, taking with them the box. On discovering the loss, the prosecutor followed the prisoners on the road towards Canterbury, and succeeded, alter a scuffle with one of them, in recovering the box. He then gave information to the police, and the prisoners were subsequently apprehended in a public house at Bridge.

The prisoners were all sentenced to fourteen days’ imprisonment with hard labour.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 30 January, 1864.


On Monday afternoon a trotting match, for 10 a side, took place on the Canterbury and Dover Turnpike road, between a cob belonging to Mr. Burren, of the “Providence Inn,” Northgate, Canterbury, and it chestnut mare belonging to Mr. Charles Hornsby, of the “Duke of Cumberland Inn,” Barham. The distance was two miles—from Lydden Hill to the “Halfway House.” Belting was even at starting, and the match, which was a very close and exciting one, terminated in favour of Mr. Burren’s cob by two yards, The two miles was accomplished in two seconds under seven minutes.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 19 October 1867. Price 1d.


At the County Police Court, Canterbury, on Tuesday last, William Adams of London, was charged with assaulting James Wanstall, landlord of the "Half Way House" on the Canterbury road, and also with breaking a window at the house. The prisoner had been lodging at complainant's house, and being a noisy, troublesome fellow the landlord determined to get rid of him. On telling him he must go the prisoner committed the assault complained of and broke a square of glass. He was given into the custody of P.C. Munns.

Committed for 14 days' hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 10 July, 1868. Price 1d.


Arthur Finn, 16, a waggoner's mate, employed by Mr. Knight, at Old Park, was charged with stealing two pigeons, the property of Mr. Frederick Arter, of the "Half-way-house," Womanswould.

Frederick Arter: I live at the "Half-way-house," in the parish of Womanswould, and am a farmer. I have been in the habit of keeping pigeons in my stable, and saw some young men there a fortnight ago. Since then they have been left in charge of a boy named William Dunn. On Saturday last two of the pigeons were lost. I believe those produced are the same. Their value is 1s. 6d.

William Dunn: I am in the service of Mr. Frederick Arterm and have charge of his pigeons. On Saturday morning the prisoner came to my master's stable, and put his horses there. After that he went into the house. When in that stable prisoner talked to me about the pigeons, asking where they were kept, and where it was they had their young ones. I told him they had them all over the loft. Some time afterwards the prisoner and another man again came to the stable and harnessed their horses, and when the horses went away the prisoner remained a few minutes behind. I noticed that when he came out of the stable he appeared to have something under his jacket; and after the waggon had moved away I went into the stable and saw that two of the pigeons were gone. I then ran after the prisoner and asked what he had done with the pigeons, and he replied that he did not know any thing about them. Afterwards I watched the prisoner and saw him go behind a faggot stack, and on going to the faggots I found that he had lain one of the pigeons there. I also, at the same time, saw him take another pigeon from under his smock. I picked both of them up. The pigeons produced are the same.

Prisoner denied that he had one of the pigeons under his jacket. He said that when he went behind the faggots he saw the pigeons there, but he did not know anything about them.

The case was remanded to the next Special Sessions at Wingham, to be held on the first Thursday in August; and prisoner was bound over in his own recognizance's of 10 to appear on that day.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 26 February 1870.


On Wednesday last a number of gentlemen from Canterbury and Dover assembled at Mr. Arter's, "Halfway House Inn," and from thence started for the well-stocked woodlands on the Broome estate to enjoy the sport of rabbit shooting. In the course of a couple of hours' shooting about 50 hares and rabbits were bagged, and although the grins were somewhat numerous for the thickly wooded covets, there was fortunately no mishap. Early in the afternoon the company adjourned to a meadow near Mr. Arter's hostelry to witness a match at sparrow shooting between teams of four each from Canterbury and Dover. The Dover party proved themselves to be the best shots, for the day at least, the score being— Canterbury, 9; Dover, 12. In the evening about 20 gentlemen sat down to a capital dinner, provided by Mr. Arter, and the after-dinner toasts included the health's of Sir Henry and Mr. George Oxenden for their kindness in allowing the "shoot” to take place over their land.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 7 April 1900. Price 1d.


The East Kent Coroner (R. M. Mercer, Esq.) held an inquest on Saturday at the "Half Way House," Womenswold, on the body of a man unknown.

The deceased was seen on the 29th inst. by a man named Driver, on the Barham Road, lying by the side of the road. About half an hour afterwards he saw him get up and stagger against a fence. Witness went to his assistance and found he was dead.

Dr. Cole, of Barham, made a post mortem, and found death was due to croupous pneumonia and heart failure.

The jury returned a verdict accordingly.


From the Whitstable Times, 16 June, 1900.


Arthur Leighton, whose mother resides in Canterbury, was charged on remand with incurring a debt of 4s. 6d. with Thomas Norris, landlord of the "Half Way House," Womanswould, without having the means to pay the same.

P.C. Boots deposed that on the 11th instant he went to prosecutor's house, and in consequence of a complaint ha made, he asked prisoner what he meant by not paying for the board and lodging. He replied that he would pay when he left, and handing witness a pocket book said there was money in it. Witness examined it and found there was no money inside. Prisoner then said he had a stick which was worth 5. Witness found five pawn tickets in the pocket book. He brought prisoner to the police station at Canterbury and when searched no money was found on him.

Prosecutor deposed that at 8 p.m. on the 10tkth inst., prisoner came to the house and asked to be served with tea. After partaking of it he asked witness if he let beds. He replied "Yes," and prisoner arranged to stay for the night, agreeing to pay 1s. for the bed. During the evening he had three threes' of whiskey, and treated other people in the house to two pints of ale and a glass of port wine. The following morning when he got up he called for brandy and soda. He then asked for breakfast but witness refused to serve him as he did not seem likely to pay. Witness sent for P.C. Boots.

J. Norris, sister of last witness gave similar evidence, and added that when prisoner asked for breakfast on the morning on the 11th inst., she told him she did not think she could let him have it as she was rather dubious about his paying. She told him she did not think he had the money to pay for what he had had, but he male no reply.

Provost Sergeant Gill, stationed at Canterbury Barracks, said that prisoner belonged to the 5th Lacers, and was discharged from Netley Barracks awaiting his discharge from the Army, he having had a sun stroke.

Superintendent Jacobs said that prisoner was discharged from Chartham Asylum about a month ago.

Prisoner said that he was originally in India, and was sent to South Africa. He came home from Platermaritzburg in December last and was sent to Netley, but he had lost his papers that were given to him at the hospital.

Prisoner’s mother said that he was a great trouble, and would have to go back to Chartham as she could do nothing with him.

In reply to the Bench Provost Sergeant Gill said that he would take prisoner to the barracks and get the medical officer to look after him until something more definite was known about him. The Chairman said the Bench, were of opinion that no jury would convict him on prosecutor's evidence and he would, therefore, be discharged, and handed over to Provost Sergeant Gill. Addressing prosecutor the Chairman told him to be more careful as to who he took in his house in future.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 4 May, 1906. Price 1d.


George Hasler, a torpedo man of H.M.S. Pembroke, was found unconscious with a bullet wound in his forehead, in a field just off the highway on the Dover Road near the “Halfway House” to Canterbury, on Monday morning. Lying by his side was a small revolver, still loaded in five chambers, and two had been discharged. Two men found Hasler in the field at once called Police-constable Saunders, and Dr. Wilson, of Bridge, who was sent for gave it as his opinion that the wound was probably self-inflicted. A conveyance was obtained, and Hasler was taken with all speed to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, where he lies in a critical condition. Hasler comes from a highly respected Ashford family, and his father is a railway guard.


From the Whitstable |Times and Herne Bay Herald, 8 December, 1906.


Alfred Tong, labourer, of Wingham, was charged before Mr. F. H. Wilbee (in the chair), Mr. J. Bowes, Mr. A. A. Kemp, and Mr. P. E. Iggulden, at St. Augustine’s Petty Sessions at Canterbury on Saturday, with stealing a Kent and Canterbury Hospital collection box from the “Hallway House” at Womenswould on November 24th.

Mr. Horace Broughton appeared for the defendant.

George Castle repeated the evidence he had previously given to the effect that he kept the “Halfway House” in the pariah of Womanswold. On Friday week he saw the prisoner who entered his house at about eleven o’clock. He called for some beer and bread and cheese. The next day, Sunday, he saw prisoner about 5.55, when he came into the bar. He had more bread and cheese and beer, witness serving him. Prisoner came in by the private bar, and in the course of conversion witness said “Why, you were here yesterday” and he said “No; that was my cousin.” Witness said “You come from Wingham? and he replied “No; from Canterbury.” Prisoner also said be had met his cousin that day in Dover, and they were so much alike that people did not know them apart. His clothes were dirty and prisoner accounted for this by saying he bad had a fall off his bike while coming along. He enquired whether the market vans from Canterbury had gone through to Dover, and witness said he expected they had already gone through. The contribution box in question was standing on the counter in the private bar, in which the prisoner then was. After talking to prisoner for some few minutes he left the bar and went into a private room. He was only gone five minutes, as he heard his puppy whining in the bar. When he returned to the bar he found the bar door open and the prisoner gone. He had left half his beer, and the contribution box he missed about ten minutes afterwards. No one had entered the private bar in the meantime. The box could not be seen from where it stood in the private bar, by anyone in the public bar. The pieces of box now produced belonged to the box missing from his house. He then gave information to the police. There was more in the box than they had ever had before judging from the weight, and 10% was taken from it last week. On both occasions prisoner entered by the private bar.

In reply to the Superintendent, witness stated that owing to his son having received benefit from the hospital his daughter made it a practice to put something in every week, and customers often put some of their change in. His grand-children used to put farthings in. Among the. Among the coins found on prisoner was a George IV penny, which they used to use for a musical box. This his daughter gave to the children to play with, and one of them put it into the box.

William Henry Willmore stated that he was a groom, at present staying with the last witness. On the Friday in question he saw the prisoner go into the private bar. They had a conversation together, prisoner asking witness whether he knew Harris, of Wingham. Witness said “No,” and in reply to a further question said he did not know Long, of Wingham. Witness told him he did not know much of Wingham, and prisoner said “Then you don't know us.” Prisoner treated witness and several others in the bar. Prisoner told witness he was going to Dover, and later witness saw him start off on his bicycle in the direction of Dover. The next (Saturday) evening witness saw prisoner come up to the house from the direction of Dover, and enter by the private bar. Witness bade him “Good-night,” as he was on his way to Dover. Witness was certain it was the same man on both days.

P.C. Binfleld stated that at 7 p.m. on the 21st of November, from information he received respecting the robbery, he proceeded to Wingham and instituted enquiries. About 6.15 he saw prisoner standing in the road near the “Lion Hotel”. Witness asked him his name, and he replied “Long.” Witness asked him whether he was cycling on the Dover Road that evening, and he replied “Yes, I rode from Dover to-night." Witness asked him if he called in at the “Half-way House,” and he said “No; the last house I called in at was the ‘Eagles.” Witness then asked him if he had a drink at the house he called the “Eagles” he said, “I had a glass of ginger beer there, but what do you want to know for?” Witness said “There is a hospital box missing from the “Halfway House.” How much money have you on you?” He said “I don’t know and handed witness a quantity of money, mostly in coppers. Witness said “How do you account for having so many coppers in your possession?” He said “I have taken them in change. I have treated several people to-day and kept getting Change.” Witness and prisoner went into the “Lion” stables, and he placed the money on a box, used as a table, and placed his hand on top of the money. Witness said to Long “Have you among this money a large coin?" and he said No.” Witness showed him the large coin produced, and asked him how he accounted for its possession. He said “I suppose I must have taken it among other change.” Witness then asked Long if there were any farthing amongst the money, and he said “No; there isn’t any.” Witness replied “There are two,” and showed them to him. He said “I did not know that I had them.” Witness asked Long if he had any more farthings on him, and ha said “No; not one.” Witness then searched him and found in the ticket pocket of his jacket three more farthings. In his waistcoat pocket he found two more farthings, and asked prisoner to account for them. He said “I didn’t know that I had them.” Witness then counted the money, and found 17 pennies, 21 half-pennies, 7 farthings, two sixpences, and the large coin referred to. Witness then charged prisoner with stealing the hospital box and its contents from the “Halfway House.” He said I should not think of doing such a thing.” Prisoner's clothes were very dirty, and he asked him where he got all the mud from. He said he got it through riding his bicycle. Witness brought the prisoner to the police-station. On the 25th of November witness made search for and found the broken hospital box. Some of the pieces were lying on a field of green peat and other pieces on a piece of ploughed land adjoining the highway leading from the Dover Road, in the direction of Wingham, and about a mile from the “Halfway House.” One piece of box was pressed into the ground and under this he found two sixpences and 3 1/2 in coppers. This was on the ploughed land.

Beside this piece of box on the soft ground was the impression of a bicycle wheel, and also the foot-print of a light boot. No nails were shown, and it was a pointed toe boot size and similar to the one worn by prisoner. Witness took the pieces of the hospital box to Mr. Castle and he identified them as parts of the missing box.

In reply to Mr. Broughton, witness said he searched as he went along the road, in different fields and the woods.

William Hobbs, landlord of “Moor’s Head,” Adisham, said he first saw prisoner on Thursday morning, 23rd, and he saw him again on the Friday and Saturday following. On the Saturday he first saw him about one o'clock. Prisoner was waiting for the Dover train and treated several in the bar. He saw him again shortly after six in the evening when witness gave him some oil for his bicycle lamp. On this occasion prisoner also stood treat. Prisoner spent about 1s. 2d. altogether in his house.

Mrs. Page, butcher, of Wingham, gave evidence to the prisoner coming into her shop on the Saturday in company with a salvation Army officer, when he paid 9 d. in coppers for a pound of meat.

Henry Champ, landlord of the “Ship Inn,” Wingham, said prisoner came into his house on Saturday night and treated several at the bar paying for the drinks with coppers.

Defendant, who pleaded not guilty, gave evidence, stating that he had only lately left the 2nd Battalion “The Buffs" after serving in South Africa. He arrived home on November 19th and was supplied with a ticket to Adisham and 10s. On Thursday he went to Preston to get his settling-up pay amounting to 2 15s. 5d. On Friday he gave his mother 1 1s. 6d. to keep for him, and borrowing a bicycle went to Dover. He stopped at the “Half-way house” for a drink and bread and cheese. When leaving Dover he fell off his machine in crossing the tram lines and had to return home by train. On Saturday he got the 1 1s. 6d. from his mother and went to Dover to get his bike back and pay for it. On the way back he again called at the “Halfway House” but he saw nothing of the hospital box. On leaving the “Halfway House” he did not get off his bike till he got to the public-house near Adisham Station. He absolutely denied any knowledge of the box or that he had seen it before.

In reply to the Superintendent, defendant said he could only account for the farthings found in his possession by the fact that he saved them for his little brothers and sisters. He denied that he had said to anyone that in leaving the “Halfway House” he saw someone tiding a bicycle with something like a cigar box under his arm.

Mr. Broughton on his address to the Bench suggested that the large coin found among prisoner’s money might just as well have got into the till and been given in change as that the grandchild put it into the collection box.

Defendant’s mother gave evidence to her son having saved his farthings for the children.

The Bench said they had decided to convict prisoner, and Mr. Broughton then asked that he might be bound over under the First Offenders Act.

The presiding magistrate said this practise of stealing collection boxes was becoming all too prevalent in the district and the Beach notified on the last occasion that they intended to put a stop to it. In view of defendant's previous good character, however they would only fine him 20s., including costs, or fourteen days’ imprisonment.

Defendant's father paid the money.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7 November, 1924. Price 1d.


An occasional licence was granted to Mr. Hopkins, of the "Halfway House," for a farm sale at Denton on November 19th.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 6 May, 1927. Price 1d.


Harold Horace Barnes, Woolage, pleaded not guilty to assaulting and beating James Henry Cotton and Albert Hughes and with using threats to John Henry Hughes, who asked that the defendant should be bound over.

Thomas Henry Cotton, 18, Firs Road, Woolage Village, a miner, said: On April 24th, at 9.30 in the evening, they were having a drink at the “Half-Way House.” Defendant came up and said, “You're sitting there like three Lords.” (Laughter.) “I could put all the three of you through the window.” Defendant's brother later said, “Come on Tommy (to witness) we're waiting on you.” The landlady telephoned the Police at Bridge. When the Sergeant came he went towards their home, and they followed. They went up to the path to the house, when Barnes suddenly sprang out and hit Albert Hughes. He then hit witness in the eye.

Albert Hughes, 18, Firs Road, Woolage, a miner, said: As he turned the corner the defendant hit him in the head and knocked him down. That was the last he saw of him as he went into the house dazed.

Lord Fitzwalter: What did he do it for?

I don't know. We had not had a quarrel.

John Henry Hughes said that after they had all got in the house defendant said that next morning they “had got to have the same what Cotton had.” Witness had to stay from work the next morning because he was afraid of what defendant would do.

Defendant, giving evidence on oath, said he believed he got a “bit merry” at the “Half-way House.” He could not remember threatening anyone there, and he could not remember anything of the other occurrences.

William Shaw, 6, The Place, Woolage, said they were about “three parts mopped” at the “Half-way House,” and he did not know anything about it. He stated that what took place near their home was a bit of a scuffle.

Cotton: Who struck you?

Not you, but your landlady did with her umbrella. (Laughter.)

Defendant was fined 1 on each of the first two summonses and bound over on the third for 12 months. He was allowed a month in which to pay.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 October, 1933. Price 1d.


Shortly before midnight on Tuesday, P.C. L. Seymour, stationed at Barham, discovered that the barn at Ropersole Farm, Barham (which is behind the “Halfway House”, on the Canterbury road) was blazing fiercely. He awoke the tenant, Mr. G. F. Collard, and telephoned for the Bridge Fire Brigade. Mr. Collard and the Constable rescued four calves from the adjoining cowsheds, which were soon after enveloped in flames. The glare from the burning thatch of the barn and buildings was seen for many miles around. The fireman, under Chief Officer S. Gilbert, arrived, and with the little water available damped down the stables and the granary, and also stopped the flames from reaching the house of Mr. Collard, which was within twenty yards. The only water available was that from a small rain water tank and from a shallow pond, so little could be done to save the barn and its contents of unthreshed oats, barley and wheat. A farm wagon, a cart, an old engine, and several agricultural implements which were in the barn were totally destroyed. The damage to the contents is estimated at 400. The buildings were the property of Messrs. B. J. and J. Austin, of Grasmere Lodge, Thornfield Avenue, Chesterfield. Besides the assistance rendered by P.C. Seymour, valuable help was rendered by Sergt. Castle. The fire was extinguished by 1.30 p.m. on Wednesday.

From the Dover Express, 20 October, 1933.


The "Halfway House," Womenswould, was transferred from John Sidney Whitlock to Ernest King.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 13 October 1939.

Albert Gordon Harold Betteridge, "Halfway House," Womanswould, was granted a possession order in 21 days, in respect of a cottage in the occupation of Jack McLaughlin.


From the

Drugs barons hid a skunk cannabis factory producing "industrial amounts" of the illegal plants – inside a 17th century coach house near Canterbury.

Drug farmers

Stephen Randall (left) and Darren Barber jailed for drugs farm operation.

Ten rooms, which had once housed hotel guests, were lined with silver insulation sheeting and converted into a sophisticated drugs farm.

Police who raided the Old Coach House, in Dover Road, Barham, discovered 660 cannabis plants capable of raking in more than 1.5million a year for the dealers.

The gang that ran the factory managed to bypass the electricity meters to power the lights and hydroponic-Hotel used as 1.5m drugs farms needed to cultivate the plants.

The new owners of the building, on a four-acre site, had allowed father-of-two Steven Randall, 46, to stay on the site in a caravan as "a caretaker".

But Canterbury Crown Court heard that behind their backs Randall was part of the team that ran the operation – described as a "sophisticated cannabis factory" with timer units, transformers and electrical fans.

He was jailed for four-and-a-half years after admitting cultivating cannabis and illegally taking more than 4,000 of electricity to run the operation.

Darren Barber, 21, of Plurenden Lane, High Halden, who was caught trying to flee the former hotel, was jailed for two years and three months. He admitted one charge of cultivation.

Judge Adele Williams told Randall, who has previous convictions for drug offences: "This operation was capable of producing 37 kilos of skunk cannabis per crop worth 1.5m a year. It was capable of producing industrial quantities for commercial use.

"You were a caretaker, but I believe you played a significant role, exercising management function.

"You were aware of the scale of this operation and were motivated by making money."

Prosecutor Edmund Burge told how police raided the disused building last December, when they found "a large and sophisticated cannabis factory".

He added: "Randall had been living on a caravan on the site in the hotel grounds and when it was sold to new owners in 2008, he negotiated that he would stay in his caravan in return for looking after the grounds and offering security, on the understanding he didn’t go into the hotel itself."

Halfway House 2013

Officers found Randall in his caravan, together with small cannabis plants, a shotgun and 64 cartridges.

The Old Coach House at Barham that was used as a drugs factory
Mr Burge said: "Police then entered the Coach House and as they did Barber was seen to appear on a terrace on the first floor looking for a means of escaping. Police called him to stop which he did."

He added that two electricity meters that fed the hotel had been bypassed with bare wires and an electrical engineer later revealed it was "extremely dangerous" – with a "loud hum" coming from the meters.

He said it was impossible to say just how much power had been stolen but it was estimated at 4,100.

Mr Burge said: "This was a sophisticated operation in that 10 of the rooms had been converted for the production of the drug, with a nursery room, rooms for maturity and then drying rooms where the crop would be cut."

The prosecutor said the new owners, a development company, "had been looking to renovate it since 2008 and the building was unused for any other purpose whatsoever".

Barrister Peter Alcock said Randall, a plasterer, was remanded in custody awaiting trial – and had been told his caravan had now been burned and all his property taken.

Police are now planning a financial investigation into both men's assets to discover if there are cash sums which can be seized by the courts as the proceeds of crime.


The building is currently being bulldozed. (February 2018).


From the 11 February 2018. By Sian Elvin.

Explore the Old Coach House hotel in Barham which was abandoned 10 years ago and once used as a drugs farm.

Halfway House 2018

These are possibly the last ever images of the building as it is now in the process of demolition.

Halfway House 2018

Footage and photos of the inside of an abandoned 17th century hotel in Barham once used as a drugs farm has been revealed.

The Old Coach House, in Barham, is now in the process of being demolished after work started on the site at the beginning of February.

And before the demolition started an explorer decided to go and capture possibly the last videos and pictures of the inside of the building, which was thought to have been abandoned around 10 years ago.

Lee Webb lives in Ashford and runs Our Abandoned World, a group of friends and enthusiasts who have a love for urban photography and extreme tourism.

He has provided Kent Live with these intriguing images and footage from the inside of the dilapidated building.

Halfway House inside 2018

Halfway House inside 2018

Halfway House inside 2018

Halfway House inside 2018

Halfway House inside 2018

Halfway House inside 2018

Halfway House inside 2018

Halfway House inside 2018

Halfway House inside 2018

“It was a unique explore that was once a picturesque French themed location, with so much history which has now been reclaimed by nature,” Mr Webb said.

The hotel, located halfway between Dover and Canterbury, was two star and was believed to have originally been run by a French chef.

Before being called the Old Coach House the hotel was named The Halfway House, and most of its business was thought to have come from travellers walking down the Dover Road from the port to Canterbury.

The building had three floors and a cellar, including 10 rooms for guests.

An old advert for the hotel read: “Half way between the beautiful and ancient city of Canterbury and the coastal port of Dover, this traditional coaching inn exudes rural charm, and has been a place of rest and relaxation for travellers for generations.

“The owners have been careful to retain many of the original features and fuse them with modern amenities for your convenience. The staff is always on hand to help you enjoy your stay.”

But in 2013 police raided the hotel and discovered 660 cannabis plants which could have made 1.5 million a year for drug dealers.

Two men were jailed after managing to bypass electricity meters to power the lights and hydroponic systems which cultivated the plants.

Halfway House demolition 2018

The demolition of the Old Coach House Barham has commenced making way for a new Clague designed 104 bed hotel with conference facility.


Halfway House location 2018

Above photo, April 2018, kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe.



HOSKINS Martha 1841+ (aged 49 in 1841Census)

ARTER Edward 1851-61+ (also farmer age 46 in 1861Census)

WANSTALL James 1867

ARTER Frederick 1868+

ARTER Edward 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882

NORRIS Thomas 1900+

CASTLE George Henry 1903-Oct/16 Post Office Directory 1913Dover Express

BEST Joseph 1918+

WOOD George to Mar/1921 Dover Express

STANLEY Mr Thomas Mar/1921-Mar/22 Dover Express

SIMONS Percy Robert Mar/1922-Nov/23 Dover Express

HOPKINS John Alfred Nov/1923-Aug/25 Dover Express (Of Dover)

Last pub licensee had SMITH Herbert Walter Aug/1925-Apr/1931 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

THORNBY Charles Apr/1931-Sept/32 Dover Express

WHITLOCK Mr John Sidney Sept/1932-Oct/33 Dover Express

KING Ernest Oct/1933-34+ Kelly's 1934Dover Express

GASSON Mr Charles Albert to Dec/1938 end Dover Express

BETTERIDGE Mr Albert Gordon Harold Dec/1939-Nov/40 Dover Express

QUESTED Mr E Nov/1940+ Dover Express

GRACE Mr 1960s+



Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

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:-