Sort file:- Margate, December, 2023.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 10 December, 2023.


Earliest 1761

(Name from)

New Inn

Latest ????

(Name to)

16 New Street


New Inn 1895

Above photo circa 1895. Kindly supplied by Rory Kehoe.

New Inn 1915

Above photo, 1915, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

New Inn 1953

Above photo, 1953.

O S Map 1875

O S Map 1875.

New Inn sign 1991

Above sign, October 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

New Inn card 1980s

Above card circa 1980s. Kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

New Inn beer mat 1981

Above beer mat, circa 1981, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.


I have reference to this pub from the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle September 1768, when the paper advertised the sale of household furniture of Colonel Parr, at his House in Burgate Street, Canterbury. It was stated that catalogues could be obtained from this public house. See Notes of 1768.

Further research states that the "New Inn" was previously known as the "Black Horse" and was only changed to the "New Inn" in 1761 when John Mitchener took over. John Mitchener carried out many improvements to the hotel and the assembly rooms, but, from 1769, he faced serious competition from a new hotel and assembly room that had been built in New Square, later named Cecil Square. This new hotel was known first as "Smith’s Hotel," then as "Fox’s Hotel," "Smith’s Tavern" and "Benson’s Hotel," but, after 1794, as the "Royal Hotel."


From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, Saturday 27 May to Wednesday 31 May, 1769. Price 2d.


May 25, 1769.

John Mitchener begs Leave to acquaint the Public, that he has carried every Accommodation for bathing in the Sea to the highest Degree of Perfection; he has lately opened a Warm Salt-water Bath, for the Use of those to whom it might be inconvenient to venture into a Cold one; it may be bought in a few Minutes to any Degree of Heat which may be required, according to the Regulation of Farenheit's Thermometer, which has been provided for that Purpose; the same may be made use of as a Cold one, whenever the Sea may be so rough as to render bathing in the machines unpleasant. Every person that makes use of this Bath, has the Pleasure of clean, Salt-water each Time of bathing; he never did or ever will spare and Expenses to procure the best Provisions, Wines, Teas, &c. which can by any means be had, and has provided a good Man Cook from London.

The Number of Subscribers to his assembly amounted, in the last Year, to Five Hundred; and having received so great Encouragement from the Nobility and Gentry, he thinks it his Duty to acknowledge it with all Gratitude, and to assure then at the same time, that nothing in his Power shall ever be wanting which may merit their future Favours. He has also laid in a fresh Stock of good Wines, Brandy, Rum, Arrack, Cyder, Perry, &c. that can be had, which he feels wholesale and retail, on the most reasonable Terms by their most obedient humble Servant,

John Mitchener.

N.B. The Assemblies continued as usual.


From the Kentish Gazette, 4 May 1774.


The Creditors who have proved their Debts under a Commission of Bankrupt against Richard Covell, late of Margate, in the Parish of St. John the Baptist, in the lsle of Thanet and County of Kent, Mariner, Dealer and Chapman, are requested to meet the Assignees of the said Bankrupt's Estate and Effects, on Wednesday the Eleventh Day of May instant, at Four o'clock in the afternoon at John Mitchener's, the "New Inn, in Margate aforesaid, to Assent to, or dissent from, the said Assignees commencing, prosecuting or defending any Action or Actions at Law, or Suit or Suits in Equity touching or concerning the said Bankrupts Eftate or Effects or the compounding, submitting to arbitration or otherwise agreeing any Matter or Dispute relating thereto; and on other special Affairs.


Kentish Gazette, 19 May, 1779.

Michener, at the "New Inn Tavern and Hotel," on the Parade front in the Sea, Margate.

Begs leave to acquaint the Nobility and Gentry resorting there, that he has, for their better Accommodation, enlarged his house with a number of additional lodging rooms, where those, who please to favour him, may be accommodated with neat and remote Apartments till they are provided with suitable lodgings.

Dinners, Wines and Spirits of all Sorts, sent out on the shortest Notice.

A neat Post Coach, Chaises, and a Diligence, to and from London every day.

Several Marble Hot salt-water Baths belong into the house.

He has erected a compact livery stable opposite his house for nearly 60 horses, which is so contrived, that he flatters himself will give Satisfaction; the Stalls are large and airy, and he has procured fine London Hay, Sainfoin ditto, with good Corn.

Gentleman who choice to turn their Horses an airing for a few hours in the Day to Grass, he hath provided a field for the same near the Stables, and those, who please to consider their Favours, May depend on the greatest attention to render the same agreeable.

Good Stands for the Carriages, and Lodging Rooms over the same for servants.


Kentish Gazette 8 June 1819.

On the 31st ultimo, a man of the name of Lawrence, undertook to walk blindfolded a mile and a half from the "New Inn," Margate, to the "Wheatsheaf" at Northdown for 50, in one hour and a half, which he completed in one hour.


South Eastern Gazette, 21 February, 1860.

Petty Sessions, Tuesday.

(Before T. Blackburn and R. Jenkins, Esqrs.)

Sarah Ann Austen, of the "New Inn," Margate, was summoned by Superintendent Saunders for keeping her house open for the sale of liquors, on Sunday, the 5th inst., between the hours of three and four p.m.

Fined 10s., and 8s. 6d. costs.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 29 August, 1863.


On Saturday morning the police were called lo the “New Inn” yard, Margate. In a water closet there they found a man named Richard Brook, who it appeared had gone up into a loft to sleep, and on getting to the top of the ladder fell and broke his leg. He afterwards crept into the closet. Surgical assistance was sent for and the unfortunate man was taken to the union.


Dover Express 29 August 1863.


On Saturday morning the police were called to the "New Inn" yard, Margate. In the water closet there they found a man named Richard Brook, who it appeared had gone up into the loft to sleep, and on getting to the top of the ladder fell and broke his leg.


Kentish Gazette, 11 January 1876.


Much excitement was occasioned on Sunday last in Margate and the neighbourhood, by the report that a woman had been most brutally murdered near the town on the previous night, by a man named Thomas Fordred, who has been leading a kind of vagabond life for some time past, often making his appearance before the magistrates on charges of violence and dishonesty. The victim of what there is too much reason to believe is a very shocking crime, was an unfortunate woman named Mary Ann Bridger, who has been living with Fordred for some time, holding to him in all the vicissitudes of his irregular life, and sharing his lot through good and evil report. She was 27 years of age, and her parents, who reside in Margate, are poor but respectable. The accused man is 41 years of age, and a very sullen and determined appearance. He is a native of Margate, and has formerly been in the army. The particulars of the sad occurrence, as far as they have at present been divulged will be found in the evidence, taken before the Cinque Ports magistrates at Margate, yesterday (Monday) morning.

The Magistrates upon the Bench were:- G. E. Hannam, Esq., (chairman), H. B. Sheridan, Esq. M.P., K. W. Wilkie, Esq., W. H. Thornton, Esq., Captain Swinford, and Captain Hatfield.

The prisoner, who had a very callous expression of countenance, was charged with the wilful murder of Mary Ann Bridger, in the parish of St. John, Margate. He was not professionally represented.

Superintendent Compton, of the Margate Borough police stated:- On Saturday night about twenty minutes past eleven, from what police-constable Stockbridge told me I came to the station. I found the prisoner there. At one o'clock in the morning of Sunday the prisoner made this statement to me voluntarily:- "I came into town at ten minutes past five. I met Mary Ann Bridger and gave her two half-crowns to pay Mr. Payn, and she had 4 1/2d change out. I took her to Mr. Austen's in the "New Inn" yard, and had a quart of beer. She went to Mr. Pamphlett's pork butcher, and bought three pounds of pork, and brought it to me at Mr. Jezzard's. There I had two 1/2 quarterns of rum and one glass. I went from there to Mr. Jarrett's the "Liverpool Arms." Mary Ann Bridger, her father and mother, were there. We had, say two 2 1/2 quarterns of rum. I went there to Mr. Payn's and got my grocery for the week. From there I was going to Salmstone. When I came to the bridge she fell down. I pulled her up and she fell down again. I went and called the waggoner. I told him I should go to the police and give information that she was dead." Compton continued:- I went to the barn shortly afterwards accompanied by Dr, Crawshaw. I found the body of Mary Ann Bridger, whom I know well, dead, covered with straw. When I took away the straw, she was naked, with the exception of her stockings. Her age is 27 years. I came back to the Police-station at five o'clock in the morning, and charged the prisoner with murdering Mary Ann Bridger. He said:- "I am not guilty." I took off his gabardine (produced) the front of which is covered with blood. His jacket was also covered with blood. I took his boots off, and the doctor will give evidence as to their state. I searched prisoner and found on him a razor, knife, and 9d. in money.

The prisoner said the Superintendent's statement was quite correct, and he had no questions to ask.

George Emptage, waggoner, said:- The prisoner came to me between ten and eleven o'clock on Saturday night. I went with him, and found the deceased Bridger lying on the bank, with her mouth open and her eyes half shut. I did not hear her speak. I did not see any blood. I helped to get her on to the back of the prisoner, who carried her. She was very near naked. I cannot swear whether she was dead or alive. When I went away from him the prisoner said he thought she was dead. When prisoner first came to me I noticed blood on his face and on his coat which he was then wearing.

In reply to the Bench, Mr. Treves, F.R.C.S., said he has seen the body of the deceased, and was of opinion that death resulted from violence, but could not tell the exact cause without a post-mortem examination. On the application of Superintendent Stokes, the Bench remanded the prisoner till Saturday.

W. H. Payn, Esq., coroner for Dover and its liberties opened an inquest upon the body of the unfortunate woman at three o'clock yesterday afternoon at Salmstone Grange and adjourned to Thursday.


Thanet Times, Tuesday 21 December 1965.

Publican dies age 56.

Mr. Harold Sydney Burns, 56-year-old licensee of the "New Inn," Margate, died at his home in New Street, on Friday. Mr. Burns had lived in Margate for nearly 12 years.

He had for many years been a keen bowler and a member of Margate Bowling Club. In 1957 he won the Westbrook pairs tournament and was singles runner-up in the same year. Mr. Burns also played in the Kent team Mementoes of his successes, which include a wall barometer, are to be seen in the "New Inn" public house Mr. Burns leaves a widow, daughter and two grandchildren.

The cremation will be at Barham tomorrow (Wednesday) at 3.30 p.m.


Thanet Times, Tuesday 14 June 1977.

Angry pub landlords in talks on beer shortage.

AS beer supplies in Thanet dry up in the strike by Whitbread-Fremlln's draymen, the tenants of 330 public houses in east Kent are to hold a mass meeting at the "Granville Hotel," Ramsgate, this (Tuesday) afternoon.

Landlord of the "New Inn," New Street, Margate, Mr. Ron Grantham, said: "Our trade has been hit drastically and the losses for pubs in Thanet must run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. It may be very difficult for some smaller pubs to survive this blow."

Mrs. Enid Howard, landlady of the "Sun Inn," St. Nicholas, said:- "We are extremely angry. The brewery has broken its agreement."



Prior to 1833 the pub was owned by the Symond's Brewery of Ramsgate, but they sold the business and pub to Francis Cobb and Son, brewer also in Ramsgate that same year but Whitbread took them over early 1968 and closed the brewery later that year, although the pub continued to serve till 2004 when it changed name to the "Ruby Lounge." However, I believe that the pub also operated it's bar inside named the "Ruby Lounge" from as early as 1964, although the pub itself was still called the "New Inn."


From the By Kathy Bailes, 4 May 2020.

Tribute to ‘colourful and legendary’ Margate pub landlady Shirley Sullivan.

Shirley Sullivan

Shirley was much loved and respected.

Margate has lost one of its most colourful characters with the sad passing of well-known pub landlady Shirley Sullivan.

Shirley had been fighting a lengthy battle with cancer in previous years and finally succumbed, surrounded by her family, on April 20.

An Eltham girl by origin, Shirley arrived in Margate in 1974 and in 1982 took over her first pub with husband Mick, the "Six Bells" at the top of Margate High Street. This was to be the start of a 40 year career as a much loved, respected and at times feared publican!

Shirley and Mick moved to the "New Inn" in the Old Town in 1985 and it was here Shirley began to really make her mark. A builder’s pub by day, Shirley began to host gay nights in the evenings and weekends that quickly became renowned throughout East Kent and beyond in the gay and lesbian communities, providing a much needed safe environment for people in those less tolerant times.

Shirley will always be held in the highest esteem by all who remember the hard yards she and Mick took in providing a safe haven and a unique place to congregate, and vitally express freely who they were in safety and without fear of persecution.

As well as the "New Inn," Shirley ran "Rumours" nightclub in Cliftonville, and welcomed resident DJ Flipz and drag artists such as a young Lily Savage to the area well ahead of mainstream exposure. These venues were both legendary for their raucous clientele and antics, yet were run safely and with zero tolerance for any local indifference, Shirley always had her client’s backs. The many stories of these years remain the source of local folklore.

After a brief stint living in France, Mick and Shirley returned to publican life in 1995, taking over the "Oxford" before having the opportunity to run the "Bull’s Head" in the heart of the Old Town in 1997. The "Bull’s Head" during those years, had all the instantly recognisable characteristics of a Shirley Sullivan pub. The unflinching landlady, time for all yet suffering no fools and drawing an eclectic mix of ‘punters’, all of whom were fiercely loyal and found the pub to be a true heart of the community, with Shirley at its head.

Shirley will be remembered by many people for many reasons. She was unflinchingly loyal to those around her, ‘Shirl’s Girls’, her loyal band of barmaids used to follow her from pub to pub, all trained in the very highest level of customer service, Shirley style, and her loyal customers would always find her wherever she went.

Shirley Sullivan and Buster Bloodvessel

Her position as the Margate ‘Guvnor’ brought her into contact with all walks of life. Ray Winstone and Buster Bloodvessel were regular visitors to the town during the 80s and 90s, and they’d receive the same warm welcome afforded to all who walked through her door.

Shirley and Mick retired in 2014 to Westgate, and following Mick’s passing in 2015, she lived out her latter years ‘happily by the sea, ‘away from the madness’, her faithful ‘grand-dogs’ ever present and visited by friends and family alike.

Shirley is survived by her three children, Lee, Donna and Charlotte, and five grandchildren, Carl, Dale, Joseph, Lauren and Alexa.

Her funeral is booked for Friday, May 15, Margate Crematorium at 3.15pm. Social distancing strictly in place after the service. Donations to Pilgrims Hospices.

Tribute with thanks to Neil Brennan.



MITCHENER John 1761-79+

ROBINSON Thomas 1823-39+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

AUSTEN Henry 1839-49+ (age 40 in 1841Census) Williams Directory 1849

AUSTEN Sarah Mrs 1851-74+ (widow age 59 in 1871Census)

GRAINGER Alfred 1881-91+ (widow age 49 in 1881Census)

SAYER James William 1901-03+ (also jobmaster age 51 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

LAWES Frederick 1913-30+

LAWES Edith Mrs 1938+

BURNS Harold Sydney to Dec/1965 dec'd

GRANTHAM Ron 1977+

MISKIMMIN Fred 1980s+

Last pub licensee had SULLIVAN Mick & Shirley 1985+ Next pub licensee had


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


Williams Directory 1849From Isle of Thanet Williams Directory 1849


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