Page Updated:- Sunday, 03 September, 2023.


Earliest 1871-

Chilton Tavern

Closed Oct 2022


187 Pegwell Road

Pegwell Bay

01843 586001

Chiltern Tavern 1989

Above photo 1989, kindly sent by Michael Mirams.

Chiltern Tavern

Above photo taken with permission from Saunders family web.

Chilton Tavern 2020

Above photo kindly taken and sent by Peter Chechsfield, October 2020.

Chilton Tavern 2020

Above photo kindly taken and sent by Peter Chechsfield, October 2020.

Chiltern Tavern 2022

Above photo September 2022, Kindly sent by Steve Glover.

Rita Elizabeth Alice Johnson 1960s

Above photo showing Rita Elizabeth Alice Johnson, 1961 kindly sent by Daughter Deborah Mullins, also in photo.

Rita Elizabeth Alice Johnson 1960s

Above photo showing Rita Elizabeth Alice Johnson and their Great Dane, 1965 kindly sent by Daughter Deborah Mullins.


Thanet Advertiser, Saturday 13 October 1877.

The Chilton Tavern Destroyed by Fire.

On Monday night a fire broke out at the "Chilton Tavern," which completely destroyed the whole of the building, and almost every vestige of furniture. The house is in the occupation of Mr. Nicholls, but he was in London at the time, and his wife, who is shortly expecting her confinement, went round to the house of her father, Mr. Bangor, at Pegwell, to sleep, so that no person was on the premises when the fire broke out.

Mr. Bangor closed the door at the usual time, and left everything, as he thought, safe.

About 12:30 Mr. Duncan, who resides at the farm opposite, saw a glare of lights, and on looking out of his window discover the tavern to be in flames. He immediately dispatched a boy to Ramsgate to give information to the police. The Superintendent of the fire brigade (Mr. J. J. Darby) and the other members of the brigade were soon in readiness, but some delay occurred and getting horses for the engine, and it was past 2 o'clock before the brigade reached the scene of the configuration. This was too late to be of any service in saving the tavern, which was by this time completely gutted, and attention was at once directed to localise the fire, as a large row of cottages stand very contiguous. The engine was placed near to a pond, which was soon pumped out, whilst a very bad supply of water could only be got from the waterworks. The brigade pushed the walls onto the burning embers, as they looked very dangerous. The fire brigade returned to Ramsgate about 6 o'clock in the morning.

Part of the furniture was insured in the County Fire Office, and the remaining portion, with the house, in the Norwich Fire Office.

The house belongs to the firm of Rigden and Co., brewers, of Canterbury.

No clue has been ascertained as to the origin of the fire. It is somewhat singular that a fire broke out upon the same premises on Sunday week, but was extinguished, as reported in our last, before it had got much hold. This seems to be an ill-fated house, for shortly after it was first opened as a public house it was destroyed by fire. At that time it was in the tendency of a Mr. Hone.


Thanet Advertiser, Saturday 15 October 1927.

50 years ago cuttings from our columns.

The Tavern On Fire.

A fire which resulted, on this occasion, in the total destruction of the house took place at the "Chilton Tavern," Pegwell, early on Tuesday morning. From what we can gather there was no one in the house, when the fire broke out, the landlord, Mr. Nichols, having left home on the previous evening for London, and his wife, in whose charge the place had been left, having gone to her father's house at Pegwell to sleep. At about 1 o'clock on Tuesday morning, Mr. S. Bangor, Jun., who resides close to the tavern, heard a crackling sound, and on going out found that the tavern was on fire. An alarm was given, and the Ramsgate fire brigade central, but all the efforts used to extinguish the flames were fruitless, and in less than 2 hours only a portion of a walls and a heap of smouldering ruins remained on the side of the tavern.

[Phoenix like, the "Chilton Tavern" arose again out of its own ashes.]


Thanet Advertiser 08 November 1938.


"Chilton Tavern," Ramsgate, did not reproduce their best form, on Monday, when they visited the "Australian Arms," Ramsgate, and were defeated in three straight legs.

Throughout all three legs the average of the "Australian Arms" players was considerably better than the "Chilton," although they needed all they had in hand for the finishing was close in two of the three games.

Chilton won the toss and for the first eight throws it was level pegging. Then they struck a bad patch and at the first check "Australian Arms" wanted 376 and their opponents 466. The scoring evened out again and when the home team wanted 12 the Tavern needed double 8. B. Laurence missed double 6 for the Arms and the Tavern split 16 to leave 5. With his second dart, however, F. Clapson threw double 3 to give the Arms victory, when the Tavern needed double 2.

In the second leg the "Australian Arms" scored steadily and at 496 were nearly 100 in the lead. They continued to enjoy the advantage and had three to "muck" when the Tavern required 136. Two players missed double one and things looked exciting when the Tavern got down to 32. B. Bax, the third Arms player to try for double one, made no mistake.

The final leg produced the two best individual scores of the match. Chilton won the toss but again their early throwing allowed the Arms to take the lead. The high scoring came midway through the leg when F. Clapson, for the Arms, returned 98 with two double-tops and 18. The next man to the board L. Coombs, of the Tavern, just managed to beat this with 100, made with a bull and two doubles. Holding an advantage of over 100 the "Australian Arms" forged ahead and B. Laurence went out on double 16, after the number had been missed once, when the Tavern required 70.

Teams: Australian Arms; B. Read. B. Clapson, B. Bax. B. Laurence, F. Clapson. J. Harris, B. MacGrath, B. Neeves.

Chilton Tavern: F. Osborne, S. Whichello. T. Avery, E. Belsey. H. Rose. L. Coombs, F. Humphries, B. Anstey.


Thanet Times, Tuesday 21 October 1969.

Mystery death crash of woman on motor-cycle.

A few minutes after leaving her home on her 49cc motor-cycle on 7 October, Mrs. Rita Elizabeth Alice Johnson (42), wife of the licensee of the "Chiltern Tavern," Pegwel Road, Ramsgate, crashed into a tree in Canterbury Road East, the Margate Coroner (Mr. Jack Rice) was told at an inquest on Thursday.

Mrs. Johnson, a provisional licence holder who had left her crash helmet at home, died in hospital two days later.

A jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

Dr. Harold Sterndale, consultant pathologist said the cause of death was cerebral haemorrhage and a fractured skull, consistent with a severe blow to the head as a result of a road traffic accident.

Mr. Sydney Wootsgrose, heating engineer, of Salisbury Avenue, Broadstalrs, said that at about 7.30 pm on 7 October he was working at a house in Canterbury Road East, Ramsgate.

He was in the garden when he heard the noise of a small motorcycle in the roadway. He heard the grinding noise of an attempt to engage a gear and then there was the sound of a motor-cycle scraping the ground.

He went across the road and saw a small motor-cycle leaning against a tree and Mrs, Johnson lying on the pavement behind the tree. He arranged for an ambulance to be called and attended to Mrs. Johnson.

Mr. Woolsgrove said he did not hear any other traffic on the road.

P.C. Michael Epps said the road was 36ft 6ins wide and the tree was two feet from the kerbside. The road surface was dry and the lighting good.

On 10 October he was present when the motorcycle, a 49 cc Honda, was examined and found to be in good mechanical order.

Witness said Mrs. Johnson was a provisional licence holder but the motor-cycle had no "L" plates. She was not wearing a crash helmet There was nothing in the road which could have accounted for the accident.

Mr. Arthur Reginald Johnson, licensee of the "Chiltern Tavern," said his wife's health and eyesight were perfect. She bought the motor-cycle in June this year. He said she left the "Chiltern Tavern" on the motor cycle at about 7.25 p.m. that evening.

After the accident, when he returned from the hospital, he noticed that she had not taken her crash helmet with her.
The Coroner said it might be significant that Mr. Woolsgrove heard the noise of crashing of the gear. "It may be that she was in trouble with her gearbox, possibly went off the road and struck the tree, due to inexperience," he said.

"That is surmise, of course, We do not really know."


From the  By Kathy Bailes, 13 October, 2018.

An application to turn a Ramsgate pub into housing has been refused.

Chilton Tavern 2018

The proposal outlined in planning documents was to create three homes at the Chilton Tavern in Pegwell Road.

Minimal changes were expected to be made to the fašade of the building.

In documents submitted by agents LT Drawing Services it says the Tavern is no longer viable as a pub and the business has seen takings decrease considerably over the past 10-year period due to the impact of no-smoking legislation and cheaper sales of alcohol being provided by local retail outlets.


The document states: “At present the pub is struggling to attract patrons and is not viable as a public house competing with local family pubs and restaurants which have the space and gardens to attract families and tourists alike.

“It is however recognised that it is a long standing and valued community facility. The economic reality is that for most pubs, unless they are able to offer a particular service such as a high-quality restaurant, a vibrant live entertainment scheme or some other important cache, they are unviable. They simply can’t survive with a handful of regulars and an occasional event. The result has been wholesale and massive pub closure both in urban and in rural areas.

“There are a large number of former public houses, located on residential streets which historically traded on the locals spending considerable amounts of time frequenting and using their services, however society has changed over the past 10-15 years and no-longer can these local public houses provide for the local community who increasing wish for family orientated establishments with safe and secure gardens and recreational facilities.

‘Radical change’

“The proposal recognises the difficulties of running a local pub such as The Chilton Tavern in this location, which, without a radical change, the building will either close because it is simply not viable, or be run in a way that will seek to improve its viability by extended opening hours, live music functions etc. But that kind of development, if it were possible, would impact upon the living conditions of neighbours.

“The proposals involve a creative solution to the problem. The building would be retained and enhanced.”

The application was supported by Ramsgate Town Council.

Thanet council’s decision to refuse permission was issued yesterday (October 12) although there are no accompanying documents to state the reason for the refusal.


From an email received 7 May 2020.

I would like to let you know who the landlord and landlady were from 1961 to 1972 it was my childhood home, my farther was the landlord Authur Johnson he was in the army for many years and served in Egypt during the 2nd World War and on leaving the army he was a staff sergeant, he left shortly after I was born in 1961. I was the youngest of 4 girls. While there my father was quite famous for growing the highest hop vine, my mother was the landlady Rita Elizabeth Alice Johnson, she was killed in a motor cycle accident in Oct 1969 she was 42 years old and still the landlady at that time.

Kind Regards.

Deborah Mullins (Johnson).


From the By Joe Walker 9 October 2022.

Fire at Chilton Tavern in Ramsgate after reports of 'loud explosion'

Fire crews tackled a raging fire at a pub following reports of a "loud explosion".

Shocked neighbours told of hearing a huge bang before the Chilton Tavern in Ramsgate went up in flames last night.

Josh Roberts captured this video of the Chilton Tavern on fire.

The pub in Pegwell Road is no longer in operation.

Angela Bradley shared a video of the fire on twitter, adding: "Loud explosion and looked out to find Chilton Tavern in Ramsgate ablaze."

Six fire engines and a height vehicle were sent to the derelict pub at about 9pm and crews spent four hours tackling the blaze.

Police were also called.

A fire service spokesman said: "There were no reported injuries and the cause is not yet known."

Chiltern Tavern fire 2022

Flames pour from the rood of the Chilton Tavern. Pic: Ruby Astrid.

Witness Karen Burridge was staying at her mother's house a few doors down from the pub when she saw blue flashing lights through the window at about 10pm.

The mum-of-one said: "I went outside to see what was happening.

“There were a few people outside, but the firefighters had it under control quickly. I think the police and the firefighters did an amazing job to keep the people of Ramsgate safe.

Chiltern Tavern fire 2022

Above photo by Jake.

“I believe the building was empty, I think it’s been empty for a while now."

Chiltern Tavern fire 2022

Firefighters tackling the blaze at the Chilton Tavern pub in Ramsgate. Picture: Karen Burridge.

It was the second pub blaze in the county, with firefighters also at the "Dirty Habit" in Hollingbourne.

The fire was also the third of significance in Thanet yesterday, following a blaze at GB Pizza in Margate in the early hours of this morning, and another at a play park behind Ramsgate fire station this evening.

Michael Milham wrote on Facebook: "Three fires in a few hours. What's going on? One park, one pizza shop, a park. What's next?"

Another commenter posted: "Is Kent on fire tonight?"


From the  By Kathy Bailes, 10 October, 2022.

Fire crews battle Ramsgate pub blaze.

Six fire engines and the height vehicle were in attendance at a blaze at the former Chilton Tavern pub in Ramsgate last night (October 9).

Fire crews were called in at 9.03pm after residents heard a loud ‘explosion.’ Kent Police were also at the scene.

A Kent Fire & Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to Pegwell Road in Ramsgate to reports of a fire in a derelict pub.

Chiltern Tavern fire 2022

Photo Mathew McKew.

“Six fire engines and height vehicle attended, and crews fought the fire with hose reel jets, main jets and water from hydrants. Kent Police also attended.

Chiltern Tavern fire 2022

Photo Mathew McKew.

“There were no reported injuries and the cause is not yet known.”

Crews did not finish at the scene until 1.02am.

A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was called by Kent Fire and Rescue Service at around 9.20pm to a building alight in Pegwell Road, Ramsgate. Officers attended the scene and closed the road while fire crews extinguished the blaze. Enquiries are underway into the cause of the fire.”

Ramsgate firefighters also attended a blaze at the play park next to the fire station in Newington Road last night.

Chiltern Tavern fire 2022

Photo Mathew McKew.

The Chilton Tavern stopped trading several years ago. In 2018 a planning application to convert the site into three homes was refused.


From the 10 October 2022.

In Ramsgate, six fire engines were sent to the scene of a fire, at a derelict pub in Pegwell Road.

The fire started at about 21:00 on Sunday. There were no reported injuries.

Chiltern Arms fire 2022

Fire at The Chilton Arms in Pegwell Road, Ramsgate.

Six fire engines attended a fire at The Chilton Arms in Pegwell Road, Ramsgate.


From the By James Pallant, 31 August 2023.

Chilton Tavern pub in Ramsgate to be demolished for new housing development.

The charred husk of a former pub gutted by fire will be bulldozed to make way for homes.

Flames engulfed Ramsgate’s Chilton Tavern after it closed in 2019 with the land now earmarked for four family-sized houses.

At the height of the inferno, it took firefighters in six engines a significant number of hours to get the blaze under control on October 9, 2022.

Now, Thanet District Council has given the nod for development to proceed at the Pegwell Road site despite a number of objections from some living nearby.

In official council papers, while approving the plans, a planning chief said: “It is considered, that the proposed development would not have an unduly adverse impact on either the character and appearance of the area, the living conditions of the occupiers of adjacent properties, or highway safety.

“Therefore, the development is considered acceptable.”

Now the future of the site looks certain following the latest twist in a long-running planning saga.

The old Victorian inn had three times been targeted for transformation into homes - but councillors repeatedly scrapped the proposals.

A bid to turn the site into three houses was refused in 2018, with another proposal to convert the first floor into flats was also turned down in 2020.

A year later, a separate bid to turn the site into five homes was rejected on appeal, with an inspector noting at the time: “Before the fire, the pub was clearly recognisable for what it was and had a certain charm.

“No doubt it is a local landmark and has been a feature of the area for well over a hundred years.

“But the same could be said of many older buildings on corner plots.

“There is also no indication that the building is particularly loved or valued by the local community.”

But now the location is finally to be given a fresh lease of life as plans to knock down the building and rebuild the site as four three-bedroom homes have been given the green light.

Some residents raised objections to the proposal, with one citing that the buildings would be out of character with the neighbourhood.

"In all, I’m not happy with this proposal due to there being four houses proposed instead of three, which would be far more realistic, I also feel these buildings are out of character with the area, said the resident.

“If the site is to be re-developed it really should include space for a pub/micro-pub, or at the very least any undertaking that it is community focussed,” remarked a neighbour.

But on August 29, the latest application submitted for the space was approved by Thanet District Council.

Chiltern Tavern plans 2023

A drawing of how one of the front of the houses on the Ramsgate site will look.

Concluding their report on the matter, the case officer said: “It is considered, that the proposed development would not have an unduly adverse impact on either the character and appearance of the area, the living conditions of the occupiers of adjacent properties, or highway safety.

“Therefore, the development is considered acceptable.”



BANGER Samuel 1871+ Census

NICHOLS Mr 1877+

FLANIGAN Michael J 1881+ (also tailor age 37 in 1881Census)

MARVELL George F 1890-91+ (age 34 in 1891Census)

DOWNS Arthur 1901+ (age 47 in 1901Census)

AMBROSE William 1903-07+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

POTTS Walter Harry 1913-34+

MOCKETT Thomas Reginald 1936-39+

TAYLOR Stephen 1951+

PHILLIPS F T 1953-57+

JOHNSON Arthur & Rita Elizabeth Alice 1961-72


Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


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