Sort file:- Canterbury, August, 2023.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 19 August, 2023.


Earliest 1824-

(Name from)

Jolly Sailor

Closed Oct 2018

75 Northgate Street


Jolly Sailor 1890

Above photo, circa 1890, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Jolly Sailor 1953

Above photograph June 1953. Showing the pub pictured on the left, looking toward the Borough. Kindly sent by Rory Kehow who says:- "The bunting is up for the Queen's Coronation celebrations. It rained heavily on the day and Her Majesty has been reigning ever since!"

Jolly Sailor 1965

Above photo by Edward Wilmot 1965.

Jolly Sailor drawing 1969

Above print from "City of Canterbury Streets and Buildings," drawing by John Berbiers. 26 April 1969.

Jolly Sailor 1983

Above photograph, circa 1983, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Jolly Sailor Jolly Sailor Jolly Sailor Jolly Sailor signJolly Sailor sign 1991

Above photos and sign left taken by Paul Skelton, 19 May 2012.

Jolly sailor sign right July 1991.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Jolly Sailor beermat

Above beermat 1960s, kindly sent by Mike L.

Jolly Sailor 2017

Above photo, August 2017, kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe.


Originally known as the "Black Swan" which was mentioned in the licensing list of 1692. The pub changed name from between 1780 and 1830 to the "Jolly Sailor."

Bought by Rigden's brewery in 1801, the original building was demolished  and rebuilt with a cottage for the sum of 2,001.

An entry in Fremlin's 1950s publication called "Where shall we go," indicated the following:- Phone number - Canterbury 3828. Parking accommodation - Space for Coaches 50 yards. Up to 7 cars in yard premises. Lunch - Any number up to 45 Buffet Meal 80. (3 days notice). Tea - Any number up to 45 Buffet meal 80 (3 days notice). Remarks - Pianos available. Bar in Dining room. Public Bar prices all Bars. Cathedral 200 yards. Adjacent King's School.


From the Kentish Gazette, 8 May 1838.


May 4, in Northgate-street, Canterbury, Mr. Thomas Mottershead, landlord of the "Jolly Sailor."


Kentish Gazette, 14 May 1844.


Yesterday morning a man of the name of Charles Gillman, wheelwright, committed self-destruction by hanging himself with a cord, in an outhouse belonging the "Jolly Sailor" public-house, Canterbury. He was seen to enter about half-past nine o'clock, and was discovered by the landlord, Mr. Smithers, about an hour afterwards. The deceased was 55 years of age. An inquest was held on the body last night, and a verdict of "Mental Derangement" returned.


Kentish Gazette, 25 February 1851.


With immediate possession, an old established public house, in Canterbury, doing a good trade.

Satisfactory reasons will be given for the present occupier's leaving the same.

Apply for particulars to Mr. Hughes, "Jolly Sailor, Northgate, Canterbury.


Southeastern Gazette, 21 June 1853.

June 8, at St. George's church, Ramsgate, Mr. James Hughes, landlord of the "Jolly Sailor," Canterbury, to Miss Maria Cooper Annell, formerly of Deal.


East Kent Times 09 July 1859.


July 5, at the "Jolly Sailor," Northgate, Mr. J. Hughes.


Dover Express 2nd August 1946.


The story of an Aylesham young man who got fighting drunk, assaulted a Police Sergeant and damaged a cell at the Police Station, was related at Canterbury Magistrates Court on Friday, when Victor Roycroft (19) haulage hand and boxer of 54 King’s Road, Aylesham was charged with being drunk and disorderly, assaulting P. Sgt Holness and causing wilful damage to the extent of 28s to the window of his cell on July 19th. Roycroft said that he remembered nothing but waking up in the Police Station next morning.

P. Sgt Holness said that, at 10.35 p.m. on July 19th, he had occasion to go into the “Jolly Sailor”, Northgate Street and saw defendant being prevented from fighting by other customers. He ejected the man and advised him to go away, but he refused, used obscene language and became very violent. With the assistance of PC Prentice, witness handcuffed him and took him to the Police Station in a car. There, when the handcuffs were removed, Roycroft again became violent and struck witness with his fist two or three times on the chest. Subsequently, while in the cell, he broke six panes of glass, cutting his finger in the process.

In reply to the Bench, witness said the man was fighting mad drunk and did not seem to appreciate that the Police were trying to keep him in order.

The Mayor: He must have been really bad if he could not recognise a policeman.

PC Prentice corroborated and defendant had nothing to say.

Rycroft’s father said that defendant was a faithful and dutiful son while he (the speaker) was smashed up and in hospital. There was only one thing ------ he wished his son would not drink. When he came home from the Police Station and said he started by drinking beer and spirits, he said to him “You darned young fool”.

Chief Inspector Tebay said the police had had a lot of trouble with young men of that type coming into the city and having too much to drink. Defendant had caused trouble on previous occasions. He got fighting whenever he had any drink.

Roycroft was fined 1 and had to pay 1 12s damages and costs. His father, asking for time for his son to pay, remarked “Let him pay it himself. It will be a lesson to him”

Defendant was allowed seven days.


Phil Pope 1956

Above photo showing Phil Pope licensee in 1956. Kindly sent by his grand-son Tony Pope.

Phil and Jenny Pope 1980s

Above photo showing Phil Pope and his daughter Jenny circa 1980. Kindly sent by Tony Pope.

Phil and Irene Pope and grandson 1980s

Above photo showing Phil & Irene Pope, holding their grand-son, Mick, 1980s. Kindly sent by Tony Pope.

Irene Pope painting 1976

Above painting of Irene Pope by Phil Pope 1976. Kindly sent by Tony Pope.

From the By KentOnline reporter, 4 November 2016.

Reindeer balls on the menu at The Jolly Sailor pub in Canterbury.

The Jolly Sailor, in Northgate, kick-started their wild range of unusual cuisine last month offering up crocodile, buffalo and wood pigeon.

It has been popular with punters – but some customers have been sceptical about the reindeer meatballs.

Wild Food Catering Company’s general manager – and chef at the pub – Will Bettles, said: “We researched and found that it’s not widely sold anywhere else and I purely think that’s down to people associating it with Rudolph.

It’s near enough deer I think, it’s exactly like venison.”

The meatballs are a starter with mains such as swordfish steak, butter roast turkey and venison wellington on the menu – as well as a range of desserts.

Jolly Sailor landlord Ian Blackmore, said: “The reindeer being one of the starters is just a talking point and an amazing dish.”

Wild Food kitchen’s festive menu is quite clearly their tamer set of dishes compared to the traditional Wild Food menu they have started producing outside of seasonal occasions.

The standard Wild menu they offer gives diners the chance to chow down on exotic and foreign animals such kangaroo, ostrich, boar and even alpaca.

Student Hannah Bennett, 18, said: “That’s so unusual it’s like a bush tucker trial from I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here but I would try some of it though.”


From the By Marijke Hall, 21 September 2018.

Landlord of Canterbury pub The Jolly Sailor, Ian Blackmore, calls time.

A landlord is ringing the bell on his time at a popular city pub.

Ian Blackmore has run The Jolly Sailor in Northgate for 10 years but says rising pressure, including a huge rent increase, means his time there must end.

Ian Blackmore 2018

In a statement on the pub's Facebook page, he admits it has been "one hell of a voyage".

"We have looked at all options to stay but these matters are out of our control so it's time for one chapter to close but another one to open," he said.

"It's been a pleasure and an honour to have been the clubhouse for over 16 sports teams and home to over a dozen arts groups and so many musicians.

"Thank you all for your support throughout these years.

"But what we have built is bigger than the four walls and The Jolly Sailor pop ups and events will be continuing, starting with our Canterbury Christmas Market Bar on November 16.

"For now we have one last weekend to party Jolly Sailor style before it's time to clear the decks."

Mr Blackmore, who took over the pub in August 2008 after drinking there as a Canterbury Christ Church student, will be hosting a party tonight and a final closing party tomorrow from midday until late.

He said: "It's not about sinking the ship, it's about pulling up anchors and sailing to somewhere new.

"Keep your eyes on the horizon as the good ship Jolly Sailor will be popping up time and again across this great city.

"Thank you all for your continued support and for sailing with us these last 10 years.

Ian Blackmore 2018

"Without our shipmates and our wonderful crew none of this would have been and will be possible."


The pub closed when Ian Blackmore left and owners PubCo, I believe are selling it to The King's School, possibly for a campus for the students.


Jolly Sailor 2018

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

Jolly Sailor 2018

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


From the Kentish Gazette, 21 February 2019.

Pub in City Centre snapped up by neighbour in school.

A city pub which closed 5 months ago has been sold to the Kings school.

The "Jolly Sailor Inn" Northgate was owned by Enterprise Inns, and now called the Ei group, and run by landlord Ian Blackmore for almost 10 years.

But he reluctantly quit pub last September, blaming "increased pressures" on the business and it has remain shut ever since.

Last year, Ei I said it was considering it's options for the building, but this week revealed it had been sold.

The Kings school, which already owned a lot of property surrounding the pub on the corner of north gate and broad Street, has now confirmed it has brought the pub.

Bursar Mark Taylor said: "We are very pleased to confirm that we have completed on the purchase of the "Jolly Sailor."

"We have yet to finalise it's intended use and fully appreciate the importance of the setting of the building, particularly in relation to our neighbours."

Any change of use is expected to require planning permission.



BAYLEY/BAILEY Moses Junior 1824-30+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Edward Wilmot Canterbury

BAYLEY Mary 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

HUGHES James 1838+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury(Stapleton's Directory)

MOTTERSHEAD Thomas to May/1838 dec'd

MOTTERSHEAD Esther Mrs 1838-40+ Stapletons GuidePigot's Directory 1840

HUGHES James 1847-5/July/59 dec'd Bagshaw's Directory 1847Melville's 1858

HUGHES Maria "Maud" Mrs 1861-68+ (age 44 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1862Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

BROWN Matilda C Mrs 1874-81 Next pub licensee had Post Office Directory 1874

THOMPSETT Hannah (widow) 1881+ (age 76 in 1881Census)

THOMPSETT George (son) 1882+ (age 39 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

JARRETT William 1891-22+ (age 55 in 1901Census) Post Office Directory 1891Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1922

ANDREWS Thomas 1830+ Post Office Directory 1930

ARCHER William Fras 1838+ Post Office Directory 1938

POPE Phil & Irene 1956-84

BLACKMORE Ian 2008-2018


Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Stapletons GuideStapleton's Guide 1838

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

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

Edward Wilmot CanterburyInns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot, 1988


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