Sort file:- Ashford, September, 2023.

Page Updated Ashford:- Thursday, 21 September, 2023.


Earliest 1702-


Closed 2000s

1 Castle Street


Castle Hotel

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.


Above photo, date unknown, by kind permission of Roy Moore.


Above photo, date unknown, by kind permission of Roy Moore.

Castle Hotel

Above postcard, date unknown, from Melvin Roy Bartholomew.


Above photo kindly sent by Chris Excell, date unknown.


Above photo, date unknown.

Castle sign 1990

Above sign 1990.

Castle sign 1991Castle sign 1993

Above sign left September 1991, sign right November 1993

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Castle Matchbox 1970s

Above matchbox, circa 1970, kindly sent by Dave Waller.


Pigot's directory of 1832 describes Phillip Meane as Excise Officer and Brewer as well as licensee.


From Document Order U1524/T2/11. Date:1702.

2 Documents Held At:- Kent History and Library Centre.

The Castle, brewhouse and brewing vessels, occupied by Rowland Williams, and land occupied by James Bolding and Mary Lowndes.

Description: [Mortgage for 120 and interest at 6%, Walter Brooke of Aldington, blacksmith to Ursula Knevett of Great Chart, widow] [Also bond]


26 March 1789.

Insured:- Julius Shepherd, Faversham, Kent, brewer.

Other property or occupiers: the Castle, Ashford (Angelina Wilson, victualler).


26 March 1793.

Insured: Julius Shepherd, Faversham, Kent, brewer.

Other property or occupiers: The Castle (Thomas Fellows victualler).


From the Kentish Gazette, 3 January 1804. Price 6d.

Turnpike from Ashford to Tenterden.

NOTICE is hereby given that a Meeting of the Trustees of this Turnpike Road will be holden (by adjournment) at the “CASTLE INN,” at the entrance of the town of Ashford, on Saturday the 7th day of January next, at eleven, o'clock in the forenoon.

By order, GEORGE ELWICK JEMMETT, Clerk and Treasurer.

Ashford 28th, Dec. 1803.


Kentish Gazette 5 March 1850.


Mr. P. Mien (of the "Castle Inn," Ashford), after closing his doors as usual about 11 o'clock on Friday evening last, ordered his ostler to turn off the gas at the main pipe, in accomplishing which, some part gave way, allowing the premises to become filled with gas. Mr. Mien, with his man, in endeavouring to discover the cause of the escape, used for the purpose a lighted candle, when an explosion took place, by which both parties were slightly injured; but by the aid of kind neighbours, and getting the gas turned off at the Gas-house, the flames were got under without very serious injury.


Kentish Gazette, 23 May 1854.


Yesterday, Mr. Eaden held an inquest at the "Castle Inn," in the town, on the body of Mary Stevens, a single woman aged 17 years.

The evidence touching her death is as follows:— Mary Bridgeland, saw deceased alive on Friday evening in her bed—when she complained of acute pains in the region of the heart, and on the day of her death she also complained of similar pain, with pain in her head. Deceased said to witness three or four times that she was going to die. Mr. Wilks, surgeon, was sent for but was from home, and witness did not go for any other assistance.

Henry Whitfield, from information he received, went to the house, when he found the woman dead. The symptoms described were such as attended a diseased heart—poison also would cause similar symptoms, particularly arsenic. Saw what deceased had vomited but discovered nothing unusual.

Elizabeth Morris knew deceased, had heard her say her father was unkind to her, and had threatened to break her bones; said she was encieste, (pregnant) and would take something to destroy herself. Showed witness a small brown paper packet, and said she would do it Sunday. Did not think she was in earnest.

John Law, chimney-sweep, stated that deceased had told him she would destroy herself, and showed him some white powder, which he took from her and burnt. Showed him a mark on her arm, which she said was caused by her father having "given it to her."

William Blackman had kept company with deceased 3 months since, but had left her as he disliked her family.

Mary Ann, wife of Benjamin Blackman, stated that she heard deceased say she hated her mother, but that she would not be a trouble to her long.

The inquest was then adjourned till this day, to obtain the evidence of the surgeon, after a post mortem examination.


Kentish Gazette, 30 May 1854.


In our last we gave the particulars of the inquest held on the body of Mary Stevens, on the previous day, and which stood adjourned for a post mortem examination. The jury again assembled on Tuesday, when Mr. Whitfield having made a post mortem examination, found sufficient arsenic to cause death; and a verdict was accordingly returned "that the deceased died from the effects of arsenic, but by whom administered there was no evidence to show."


Kentish Gazette, 12 September 1854.

Ashford. Serious Accident.

An accident, which was at first regarded as trifling, occurred a few days ago to Stephen Kettle, a servant at the "Castle Inn." When cutting a bung the knife slipped, and passed through his thumb, which occasioned a violent haemorrhage. He was at once removed to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, when Mr. Hallowes operated upon the limb and secured the bleeding vessels. There has been no return of the haemorrhage, or other bad symptoms, and he is now doing well.


From the Kentish Express, 12 January, 1856.

ASHFORD PETTY SESSIONS, Saturday. January 5th.

Before J. B. Wildman. Esq., (chairman,) Sir N. J. Knatchbull, E. K. Hugesson, H. W. Carter. G. E. Sayer, W. Burra, Esqs., and the Revs. J. Dufton, and N. Toke.

William Bridge, keeper of the "Castle Inn," Ashford, was charged with assaulting Henry Hemsley, shoemaker, of Ashford, on the 6th of December last.

Lewis Paine, surgeon, stated that the injuries sustained by Mr. Hemsley were of such a serious nature as to prevent him from attending to give evidence at present.

Mr. Furley said the application now was for the defendant to give bail to appear when called upon.

The defendant offered personal bail to any amount, which the magistrates refused to take; but accepted the security of himself is 100 and Robert Bridge in 50.


From the Kentish Express, 8 March, 1856.

Ashford Petty Sessions. Saturday, Makch 1st.

Before J. B. Wildnum, Esq., (chairman) W. Burra, G. E. Sayer. E. K. Hugesson. H. B. Walker, H. W. Carter, J. Wildman, jun., Esqs., amd the Revs. J. Dufton, K. Nares, and N. Toke.

William Bridge was charged by Superintendent Dewar with not maintaining good order in his house (the "Castle Inn") on the 6th of December, 1855. Mr. Langham appeared for the defence. After some conversation it was agreed not to take any evidence which might bear upon the case of Hemsley v. Bridge which was compromised last sessions.

Police-constable Taylor said:— On the day in question, about four o'clock in the morning. Mr. Tunbridge came to me and asked me to go with her to the "Castle." I did so, and we knocked at the door, and defendant answered it. Mrs. Tunbridge asked for her husband, and defendant asked her to walk in, but she refused. Her husband came out almost directly, and they went away together. I distinctly heard the noise of billiards; I heard them all night.

Mr. Langham said he was totally unprepared for the case, as the indictment was framed in such general terms. He must say that his client was not aware of the law on the subject. He had never had a charge brought against him before, and he would promise not to do so again. A scandalous statement appeared in a newspaper (the Susses Express) on the subject, in which ridiculous statements were put in the mouth of one of the magistrates.

Mr. Burra said be did not know what had appeared in the newspapers on the subject, but he was prepared to defend anything he had said.

Mr. Hugessos justified the general conduct of the reporters present.
The Chairman said the general fault of the gentlemen of the press was to suppress the facts rather than otherwise, and expressed his satisfaction with the general nature at the reports which appear in the papers.

After some consultation, the Chairman said the magistrates had decided upon inflicting a penalty of 2 10s., and costs, at the same time warning defendant to be more careful in future.


From the Kentish Express, 27 September 1856.

Ah Accomplished Swindler.

On Tuesday evening, the 23rd inst., a gentleman having the appearance of a commercial traveller, drove up to the "Castle Inn," in a horse and trap, with luggage and put up for the night. Soon after his arrival, however, he said that he had lost his porte-monnaie in the High-street, containing two 5 Bank of England notes, and some loose silver. The superintendents of police were sent for, and next morning, the crier was sent round the town, bills printed and well circulated, and active measures taken to recover the money. The supposed gentleman was in much trouble because he did not know the numbers of the notes; but as he could ascertain by going to Maidstone, he determined to go by Newton's omnibus, and return in the evening; previous to his departure, borrowing three sovereigns of his landlord, and leaving the trap behind him. As he did not return in the evening or the next day, the suspicions of the parties concerned became excited, and it was discovered, through a handbill, that the horse and cart had been hired of Mr. Watson, of Ramsgate, to whom Mr. Bridge immediately gave it up on it being applied for. Of course, nothing has been heard of the "gentleman."


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette 23 May 1857.


May 10, Mr. Philip Mien, aged 76.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 19 May 1860.

Boughton Blean. Indecent Conduct.

At Ashford, on Friday, William Hawkins, of this parish, was charged with drunken and indecent conduct. Police-constable Hickmott deposed that about 5:30 the previous afternoon he found the prisoner near the "Castle Inn," Ashford, very drunk, and making a great disturbance. Witness tried to persuade him to go home; but instead of doing so he went round to North Street, and they took off nearly the whole of his clothes. The Rev. J. P. Alcock confirmed the constable's statement, and, in default of paying a fine of 40s., the prisoner was committed for 28 days.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 19 May, 1860.


At the Ashford Petty Sessions on Friday, before Captain Groves, a man named William Hawkins, of Boughton Blean, was charged with exposing himself.

P.C. Hickmott deposed that about half-past five the previous afternoon he found the prisoner near the "Castle Inn," very drunk, and making a great disturbance. Witness tried to persuade him to go home; but instead of doing so he went round to North Street, and there indecently exposed himself by taking off nearly the whole of his clothes. There were a great many females passing up and down the street at the time, who were obliged to turn back to get out of the prisoner's way. Witness then apprehended him.

The Rev. J. P. Alcook depose that shortly before the time mentioned by the constable, he heard a great outcry at the top of high-street, and saw the prisoner come out of the "Castle" yard, making use of the most filthy and disgusting language he had ever heard in the street of Ashford. It was so shameful that he sent two ladies, who were approaching, back, to prevent their passing him, and he was obliged to send for Hickmott.

The prisoner in excuse pleaded the beer had made him so; he was always quiet at other times.

Captain Groves replied that drunkenness was rather an aggravation than an extenuation of his offence. The public must be protected from such conduct as his had been. He would therefore fine him 40s. The prisoner, expressing his inability to pay, was committed to prison for 28 days.



In 1869-70 the pub was part of a consortium who were advertising their goods of selling tea in response to grocers' selling beer and wine. (Click for further details.)


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 12 March 1870.


At the Petty Sessions on Tuesday, a young man, a mechanic, was brought up on remand from the previous day charged with assaulting Police-constable Relfe in the execution of his duty. It appeared that late on Saturday night the prisoner was in company with a crowd of low characters who were creating a disturbance outside of the "Castle Inn." One of their number was locked up, and Relfe was persuading another of the party to go away, when the prisoner came behind him and deliberately tripped him up, and he and some of the brawlers went into another street and recommenced their quarrel and disturbance. Relfe followed them, but was again tripped up and thrown heavily by one of them, whom he knew, but who had absconded. A short time afterwards he found the prisoner and apprehended him. The prisoner had nothing to say in defence, and was fined 5 or a month's hard labour. The fine was paid.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette 28 June 1884.


Walter Osmond, painter, one of the "characters" of Ashford, was charged with assaulting Mr. Stanford, landlord of the "Castle Inn," Ashford. Osmond came into the "Castle" the worse for liquor, and because Mr. Stanford would not serve him he took up another man's beer and threw it in Mr. Stanford's face. Mr. Stanford did not wish to press the charge if the defendant would become a teetotaller, and undertake not to enter his house again. The defendant has been a great plague on account of his tipsy habits, but as it was 12 months since his last imprisonment, he was let off with a fine of 10s., and urged to take the pledge.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 23 November 1889.


At the Petty Sessions on Tuesday. Mary Stanford, wife of the proprietor of the "Castle Inn," Ashford, came up on remand charged with feloniously receiving a pair of ladies' boots, value 7s. 6d.. well knowing that they were stolen property.

Mr. Martyn Mowll appeared for prisoner.

The boots were stolen by a prisoner in a previous case, and bought by Mrs. Stanford for 1s. 6d. When she was first asked if she had bought the boots she denied all knowledge of them, but ultimately admitted buying them, and adding that she had been instructed by Mr. H. Piper, bootmaker, of New Street, to buy any boots, & said that were offered her in case they might belong to him. Mr. Piper again appeared, and denied having given prisoner any instructions in the matter. Mr. Mowll pleaded guilty, and handed in a memorial signed by fifteen inhabitants speaking of her respectability. Mr. Mowll pleaded hard for a fine instead of sending his client to prison and branding her as a felon for life. The bench after a prolonged consultation, adopted this course, and fined her the sum of 10 or in default ten months' hard labour.


Whitstable Times and Herne bay Herald, 20 November 1926.

Betting Raid at Ashford.

Nine arrests were made in a betting raid about midday at the "Castle Hotel," Ashford, on Tuesday. The arrested men were immediately brought before Mr. C. Igglesden and Mr. J. Hogg at the Police Court. George and Frederick Offen, of the "Castle Hotel," were charged with being concerned together in keeping and using the "Castle Hotel" for the purpose of unlawful gaming, on the 16th November and divers other dates.

John Albert Hopkins, Charles Henry Green, Clarence G. Wraight, Arthur John Hanson, Arthur Amos Carey Arthur Summerfield and Percy G. Summerfield were charged with being found on the premises alleged to be used as a gaming and betting house, on Tuesday November 16th.

Superintendent Pattenden stated that with other officers he entered the premises at the "Castle Hotel" about 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday and they secured papers relative to betting. The two Offens, he said, gave him all the assistance in their power and made his task less difficult. At the Superintendent's request the defendant Arthur Summerfield was discharged.

George W. Offen, and Frederick G. Offen were remanded on bail in the sum of 50 each and the other defendants were bound over in the sum of 10 to apply appear at the Ashford Petty sessions on Tuesday next.


I am informed that the pub is closed and in 2012 was being used as a branch of the Halifax building society.


Former Castle 2012

Above Google image, July 2012.

Former Castle 2017

Above Google image, May 2017.


The pub unfortunately closed early 2000s and is now (2017) a Halifax Building Society the last landlord, Richard Coughlan was the drummer for Caravan, a Canterbury band.



WILLIAMS Rowland 1702+

WILSON Angelina 1789+

FELLOWS Thomas 1793+

HODGES John 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

MEANE/MEIN Phillip 1832-May/57 dec'd Pigot's Directory 1832-34Census

BRIDGE William 1856-58+

FINN Walter Foster to Feb/1860 Kentish Gazette

RIVERS James Brown Feb/1860-62+ (age 43 in 1861Census) Kentish Gazette

HILLYER Mr to Feb/1868 Whitstable TimesMaidstone Telegraph

GOBLE J Mr Feb/1868-70+ Whitstable TimesMaidstone Telegraph

GOBLE Priscilla Mrs 1871-74+ (age 44 in 1871Census)

ROSSITER Henry 1881+ (age 48 in 1881Census)

HOMEWOOD James Thomas 1882+

STANFORD 1884-89+ Whitstable Times

McDAID John 1891+

OAKLEY Sarah 1901-03+ (widow age 46 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

HILDER William Henry 1911-13+ (age 47 in 1911Census)

OFFEN George William 1922-30+

HEYMAN William Frederick 1938+

Last pub licensee had WOOD Victor J & Lilian 1947-54

BUDDEN William & Sadie 1970-75

COUGHLAN Richard to 2000+


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

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

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald

Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette

Maidstone TelegraphMaidstone Telegraph


Castle Street

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin. Not showing the pub but showing Castle Street.


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