Page Updated:- Sunday, 19 November, 2023.


Earliest 1790-

Red Lion

Open 2020+

75 High Street


01227 832213 / 07961955080

Red Lion 1900

Above postcard, 1900. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Showing the "Red Lion" on the left and "Plough and Harrow" on the extreme right.

Red Lion 1904

Above postcard, circa 1904, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Red Lion 1910

Above photo, 1910, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. The date was Sunday 3rd April and the funeral was for John Fenner, junior. John was the second engineer in the Bridge Fire Brigade, who was killed on duty on Thursday 31st March. He'd been firing the maroon, to summon the Brigade to a fire in Pett Bottom, when the accident occurred. Mr Fenner was 28 years old and lived at 6, Albert Terrace, Bridge.

Red Lion 1910

Above photo, from the same funeral. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Red Lion 1915

Above photo, circa 1915, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Red Lion 1934

Above postcard, circa 1934, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Red Lion 1936

Above photo, Wednesday 15th April 1936, The funeral, was that of John Friend, licensee from 1912 to 1918 who, for 29 years, was also a member of the Bridge Fire Brigade, serving as Second Officer. His co-licensee was his wife, Louise. John Friend was only 46 at the time of his death from a short illness.

John Friend 1925

The c.1925 pic of John Friend appeared in the Kentish Gazette the day after his funeral.

Red Lion garden 1937

Above postcard, circa 1937. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Red Lion 1958

Above photo 1958, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Red Lion 1960

Above photo, circa 1960. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Red Lion 1960

Above photo 30 August 1960, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Red Lion 1960

Above photo 30 August 1960, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Red Lion 1963

Above photo 15 October 1963, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Red Lion 1963

Above photo 15 October 1963, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Red Lion 1963

Above photo 15 October 1963, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Bridge map 1896

Above map 1896.

Red Lion at Bridge Red Lion at Bridge Red Lion sign at BridgeRed Lion sign 1991

Above three photos and sign left by Paul Skelton, 22 Aug 2008.

Red Lion sign right July 1991

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis


Red Lion 2019

Above photo, 2019, kindly sent by Rene Renault.

Kentish Gazette 19 October 1790.

Last Thursday night or early on Friday morning, the dwelling house of Mr. Kingsland, the "Red Lion," at Bridge, was broke into, the sundry articles of apparel stolen thereout.

The same night the dwelling house of Mr Fletcher, at Bridge, was broke into, and robbed of a watch and some silver.


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal, Tuesday 9 November 1802.

Red Lion, Bridge.

R. Kingsland having retired from the above house, returns his most grateful thanks to his friends and the public, for the very liberal encouragement he has experienced. He now begs leave to recommend to their future favours R. Hubbard, (late of the "Prince of Orange," Canterbury, to whom he has resigned the business, and earnestly solicits the continuance of their favour to him, which will add to those already bestowed on their much obliged and humble servant.


Kentish Gazette, 12 August 1803.

LOST, from the "Red Lion," Bridge,

ON Friday, the 5th of August, a dark RED COW, about nine years old, a graze on her left shoulder. Whoever will give information where she now is, or will bring her to Mr. Hubbard, at the "Red Lion," Bridge, will be satisfied for their trouble:

Bridge, August 11, 1803.


Kent Gazette Reports 5 April 1805.


THE Annual Easter Plate will be run for on BARHAM DOWNS, on Easter Tuesday; the Horses to be entered at the "Red Lion," Bridge, before one o’clock, on the same day.

N. B. There will be a food ordinary at Mr. Hubbard's, "Red Lion," Bridge.

Dinner on table precisely at two o’clock.


Kentish Gazette, 12 August, 1806.

CANTERBURY RACES. "Red Lion Inn," Bridge.

R HUBBARD grateful for the many favours he has received, begs leave to inform his friends that he has fitted up his House for their reception.

At the same time informs them he has enlarged his Stables in a very commodious manner.

N. B. An Ordinary will be provided on Thursday next, at two o'clock, being entrance day.

August 11th, 1806.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 14 February 1809.


Feb 12, at Bridge, Mr. Richard Hubbard, landlord of the "Red Lion" public house.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 28 January 1882.


January 25th, at the "Royal Oak Inn," Blean. Mr. Robert Eyers, late of the "Red Lion Inn," Bridge, aged 36 years; much respected.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 21 September 1878.

Bishopsbourne. Fire and Loss of Life.

It is our painful duty this week to record a fatal fire at Bishopsbourne, which occurred early on Wednesday morning. It seems that shortly after 1 o'clock, midnight, flames were seen issuing from a thatched roof cottage on the estate of Matthew Bell, Esq., the property of which is in the occupation of Mr. Perkins, tenant farmer. The cottage, which had only one floor, was occupied by Mrs. Clayton, of the advanced age of 94 years, who lived entirely by herself, and who was known to be an old lady of somewhat peculiar habits, sometimes going to bed as early as five o'clock and other times being seen moving about her cottage at very late hours of the night. The Bridge Volunteer Fire Brigade were summoned at 1:50 a.m. and were on the scene of the fire - about 2 miles distance - within the remarkably short space of 30-minutes. The brigade under the superintendence of first Lieutenant R. Smith (the Marquis Conyngham's land steward) and 2nd Lieutenant F. J. D. Sam's, and we believe every man was in attendance. On the arrival of the brigade the whole of the cottage was in flames, and as no one had seen anything of Mrs. Clayson the worst fears were entertained respecting her. There was no water obtainable within a distance of 380 feet, but the brigade laid on a hose with commendable promptitude, and very soon a copious supply of water was being poured on the heat of burning debris, for there was nothing else left. As quickly as could be, search was made among the ruins for the body of the aged occupant of the cottage, and it was found lying near the window, literally burnt to a cinder, and headless. A further search resulted in the finding of the head, which, becoming disconnected from the body, had fallen over a joist in the floor. The exertions of the fireman with directed both to the extinguishing of the flames and preventing their coming into contact with the adjoining cottages; fortunately the wind, which was very high, was blowing in an opposite direction, or there is little doubt that the whole of the cottages would have been burnt down. The fire was put out by 4:45, and the charred remains of the body were removed a sergeant of police to a stable, there to await an inquest. The Rev. T. Hirst, the Vicar of the parish, was present at the fire, and, together with other persons, bore testimony to the promptitude and strenuous exertions of the fire brigade, which were most praiseworthy. Thanks are also due to Mr. Eyres, of the "Lion Inn," Bridge, for the prompt manner in which he horsed the engine. It should be added that the night was exceedingly dark and tempestuous, which rendered the task of the fireman all the more difficult. Of course it is impossible to say how the fire originated; there can only be conjecture, and the most probable thing would seem to be that the old lady had a candle burning in her bedroom, which by some means ignited the bed clothes. It is stated that some boys who were on the scene soon after the fire was discovered saw the unfortunate woman at the window; but we cannot vouch for the truth of this. It appears that Mrs. Bell had tried to induce the old lady either to leave the cottage or have someone to live with her, but she declined to accede to either request. The cottage was insured in the Kent fire office.

The county coroner, T. T. Delasaux, Esq., held an inquest on the remains of Mrs. Clayson at Bishopsbourne on Thursday.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 21 August, 1891. Price 1d.


The employees of Mr. F. A. Tunbridge, builder, Alkham, Dover, had their annual outing on Saturday last. Owing to the liberality of the employer, together with subscriptions from the various firms with which he deals, the men enjoyed a capital treat, at a very small personal outlay. Mr. Burbridge's vehicles carried the party, numbering 28, to Boughton, where a capital repast was provided by the landlord of the “George Inn.” The afternoon was spent in various ways, and the return journey was commenced at five p.m. A halt for tea was made at the “Red Lion” Bridge, and an impromptu entertainment was subsequently arranged. The health of Mr. Tunbridge was drank with Kentish Fire, to which he suitable responded. The weather was gloriously fine, and the party reached home delighted with the long and enjoyable day's outing.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 14 July 1894. Price 1d.


This was a claim for £27 5s. 2d. value of a horse and for keep of another one.

There was a counter claim for £5.

Mr. H. Broughton for the plaintiff and Mr. R. M. Mercer for the defence.

Thomas Lister Hinds, landlord of the “Red Lion Inn,” Bridge, deposed that on Sunday, 3rd, June, defendant drove over to see him and defendant said he thought he had a horse that would suit witness, witness went and looked at it and said he would show it to the gentleman, but he would have no transactions on Sunday, he should want a warrantee. But if he came over on the Monday he would take his (witness') chestnut and witness would give him £5. Defendant borrowed witness's chestnut to drive home with. On the Monday his man tried the bay horse, and he came back shortly afterwards and said something to witness. In the evening defendant came over to see him bringing the chestnut, and witness went to see him and said “You take your horse away, please, and leave mine here, for it's not sound anywhere.” Defendant jumped up in his trap and drove off. He wrote to the defendant asking him to return the chestnut and take the other away. His wife was the only one present when he had the conversation with Green. Not receiving the horse, he took out a summons. He valued his horse at £18. He kept Green's horse from the 3rd June to the present day, and charged 15s. a week for its keep. For the hire of his horse he would charge 18s. a week.

By Mr. Mercer: He bought the chestnut from Mr. Burrows. On the 3rd June he lent defendant the horse. Hills was out with the horse when defendant called when he came back. Green drove the chestnut back with his consent. Witness did not say he would pay the £5 if defendant called for it on the Monday. On the Monday defendant did not ask for the £5, witness told him to leave his horse behind.

Martha Hinds deposed that she was the wife of the last witness. On the 3rd June defendant came over to Bridge and plaintiff refused to deal on a Sunday. Defendant offered to leave his horse to be tried and to drive the chestnut horse back. She then corroborated what the last witness said about the meeting on Monday.

By Mr. Mercer:- Her husband was to pay £5. He made no arrangement about defendant coming over to fetch the £5 on Monday.

George Noble deposed that he was driver to Mr. Hinds. He corroborated the evidence of plaintiff.

Edward Taylor, servant in the employ of Mr. Hinds and Daniel Davidson also corroborated.

F. T. Green deposed that he was a carrier plying between Canterbury and Sandwich. He had known Hinds for some time. In May he spoke about this horse, which he said was going to Slater's, but which was not sold. On the 3rd June he went over, and plaintiff said he had bought the horse, but he could not see it as it had gone put. He wanted to know how much witness would take in exchange for his horse. Plaintiff went inside and wrote he would give £5 and take the bay, and witness was to have the chestnut. He saw Hills come back, and witness went and looked at the horse and said he would have it, and the chestnut horse was then put in witness' cart. Plaintiff told him to come over on Monday for the £5. When he went over on the Monday he asked for the £5.

By his Honour:- He valued the chestnut at £12 or £13, and his own horse at £17.

Frederick Hills deposed that he was over at the “Red Lion” at Bridge, on the 3rd June. He understood there had been a deal.

John Carey deposed that on the day in question, when Hills and he got back from the drive, the chestnut horse was put in Green's cart.

His Honour gave judgment for £12 or the return of the horse, £1 5s. for its keep, and £3 for the hire of the horse, or a total of £16 5s., to be reduced to £4 5s. if the horse was returned within a week, and costs. The counter-claim would be dismissed on plaintiff undertaking to return the defendant's horse.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 2 February 1901. Price 1d.


The East Kent Coroner (R. M. Mercer, Esq.) held an inquest at the “Red Lion,” Bridge, on Saturday, touching the death of George Frederick Rye.

William Rye identified the body as that of his son. The deceased was sixteen years of age and worked in the village.

Thomas Philip Harvey stated that he was a gardener in the employ of William Perry, of Bridge. At 1.5 pan. on the 25th inst. he saw the deceased near the gate leading into Mr. Perry's premises. He was then returning to his work. Witness spoke to him and the deceased then appeared all right and said “How is the governor to-day?” About 2 p.m. he went into the meadow at the back of Mr. Parry's house and saw the deceased lying near the fowl ran. Witness did not go near him, but went and asked Mr. Perry what was the matter with “George.” Mr. Perry went out to him and came back and said deceased had shot himself.

William Perry stated that he was a grocer at Bridge. At about two p.m. on the day in question the previous witness came to him and said “What is the matter with George.” Immediately he went to see what was the matter and found the deceased lying partly on his back and partly on his right side with a wound in his throat and witness' gun by the side of him, apparently dead. "Witness sent at once for Dr. Moorhead and the police. The gun was always kept in a shed. There were six cartridges kept there also. The deceased had no right to go into the shed only by witness's order. He had kept the gun in the shed for about two years.

P.C. Wells, stationed at Bridge, stated that he was called to the deceased by the witness Harvey. Witness saw the deceased lying in a meadow at the back of Mr. Perry's house. He examined the body and found a wound under the lower jaw and at the top of the bead. The skull was shattered in pieces. He was quite dead. The gun was lying about two feet from the body on the left side, with two cartridges in if. The right hand one of which had recently been discharged. Witness searched the clothing and found two pennies, a pocket knife, an empty money purse, a note, pencil, etc. In the shed where the gun was kept witness found a watch and chain, and a collar and necktie, belonging to the deceased. The letter which was found on the deceased, was as follows:—

Dear Mother,—I have shot myself with Mr. Perry's gun at twenty to two. I have left my watch and chain to G. Page, tell father he can have my money purse, tell Tommy he can have my collars and tie. I have been a very bad boy. Don't put yourself out about me.— Yours truly, G. Rye.— The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away.

It appeared the lad had for three or four years delivered the newspapers in the locality for Mr. Ladd, newsagent of Canterbury. Deceased got wrong in his accounts by about 10s. and another boy was appointed to take his place some few days back, but notwithstanding this the deceased went to Bekesbourne station as usual and dispossessed the other lad of the papers and delivered them himself as usual till the day of his death.

The Coroner summed up and the jury returned a verdict of “Suicide during temporary Insanity.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 19 August, 1904. Price 1d.


At the St. Augustine's Petty Sessions on Saturday, Herbert George Piper, of Bridge, was summoned for refusing to quit the “Red Lion” public house, and also with assaulting Frank Clayson the landlord. The affair, which occurred on Bank Holiday, was one I which the defendant had been requested to leave the premises no less than four times, and on each occasion had refused, and on the landlord approaching him, he struck him in the mouth. For the two offences the fines and costs amounted to £1 18s. 6d. in all.


From The Dover Express,  Friday, May 11,

BRIDGE. Presentation of Billiards Cup.

At the "Red Lion" Inn on Wednesday, the final of the Finch Hatton Billiards Cup for British Legion members was won by Mr. W. Divers, who defeated Mr. W. H. Wass. The cup was presented to the winner by Capt. H. E. Maslin, who also presented Mr. Wass and the two other semi-finalists, Mr. H. Price and Mr. C. West, with prizes.


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald 12 May 1934.


Landlord of the "Red Lion Inn," Bridge, met with an accident while driving his car at Boughton, near Faversham, on Tuesday afternoon. He was conveyed to hospital, where he was found to have sustained a broken leg and was suffering from head injuries.


From the Dover Express, 16 December 1951.

Red Lion at bridge crossing despute

Standing in a line across the main road outside the Red Lion, where studs marking a pedestrian crossing have been removed, parents hold up traffic while children, on their way home from school at mid-day on Wednesday, cross in safety.



Protesting Parents Stop Traffic.

NOT content with mere verbal protests against the removal of the two pedestrian crossings from their village, residents of Bridge have decided on positive action.

Their chief complaint is that the crossings were largely used by children attending the village school. So, on Friday morning - following a parish meeting the previous night - residents turned out to form a human barrier across the main road where the crossings used to be.

Despite pouring rain, parents and others stood in the road holding up all traffic while the school children crossed in safety on their way to school.

This manoeuvre was twice repeated at lunch time and again in the afternoon after school.

Volunteers have formed a rota and intend to keep up their traffic-stopping activities until the authorities take notice and restore the crossings.

Application has also been made to the Kent Education Committee for the services of a paid traffic warden to see the children across the road.

After their half-term holiday the children returned to school on Wednesday, and, in the morning and afternoon were seen safely across the road by more than a dozen parents.

"We shall carry this out until they give us back our crossings," declared Mrs. Bishop. "While the crossings were there we felt that our children were reasonably safe when they left school. Now, none of us would know a moment's peace of mind unless we were there to see them across safely."

At their meeting on Thursday evening the villagers expressed in strong terms their indignation at the removal of the crossings.

The Vicar (the Rev. W. H. Gregory), declared the crossing had been removed by the Ministry of Transport without consulting Parliament, and said that the fact that they could do that was the first step towards dictatorship.



One notable character who must be mentioned was 1950s licensee Lt Col (Retd) Walter Percy Gardener. Not that he is the subject to the following claim to fame, but it's that of his daughter, Toni Gardiner, who eventually married King Hussein on May 25, 1961. Apparently Walter Gardiner met the King of Jordan while working as a secretarial assistant on the film set of Lawrence of Muna al-HusseinArabia. The King had allowed troops to work as extras on this film and would occasionally visit to see how things were progressing and the King evidentially met his daughter there. After marrying the King of Jordan, she converted to Islam and was renamed Muna al-Hussein and after the birth of her first son on 30 January 1952 was given the title Her Royal Highness Princess Muna al-Hussein. They had 4 children between them but divorced on 21 December 1971. She still keeps title Princess of Jordan and continues to work and live there being involved in the development of nursing in the country founding the Princess Muna Scholarship fund for nursing.

The Red Lion has recently (2008) been restored after a fire engulfed the building, parts of which date from the 1580's and is a Grade II listed building. Working closely with conservation staff at Canterbury Council, the pub has been rebuilt and now includes an extended dining area.

During the work a Tudor dovecote was uncovered, which has been preserved and incorporated into the new building. The pub also includes later Victorian additions and a striking Georgian façade which makes this a real ‘landmark' pub in the area.

2006 the pub was seriously damaged in a fire but has recently been renovated to its former glory.



KINGSLAND Mr 1790-Nov/1802

Last pub licensee had HUBBARD Richard Nov/1802-12/Feb/1809 dec'd

HAWKINS Thomas 1828-41+ (age 50 in 1841Census) Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839Pigot's Directory 1840

EYRES Joseph 1847-78+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1874 (also licensed to let  horses and carriage age 50 in 1861Census)

FINN George 1881-82+ (age 44 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

HINDS Thomas Lister 1894+ Whitstable Times

DOMMETT Samuel 1899+ Kelly's 1899

Last pub licensee had ANDERSON Frederick 1901-Jan/1903 Next pub licensee had (age 36 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

CLAYSON Frank E Jan/1903-11+ Dover Express (age 40 in 1911Census)

FRIEND John 1912-18+ Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1918

GOLDER Joseph C 1922+ Post Office Directory 1922

ANCELL R S 1930+ Post Office Directory 1930

BURTON George 1934-39+ (age 57 in 1939) Post Office Directory 1938

GARDINER Lt Col (Retd) Walter Percy 1950s

HARRINGTON Mike Aug/2007+

RENAULT Rene 2019+


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

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

Pigot's Directory 1839From the Pigot's Directory 1839

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 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1918From the Post Office Directory 1918

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

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald



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