Sort file:- Sandwich, July, 2021.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 31 July, 2021.


Earliest 1677-

Red Lion

Latest 1906

23? Strand Street (St Peter 1891Census)


Red Lion

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Paul Wells.

Red Lion 1900

Above photo, 1900, kindly sent by Michael Mirams.

Red Lion

Above print, date unknown, kindly sent by Carole Philpott.

Red Lion painting

Red Lion painting, date unknown, kindly sent by Michael Mirams.

Red Lion painting

Above painting by Ida Lowering, date unknown.

Red Lion 2018

Above photo, November 2018, kindly taken and sent by Michael Mirams.

Red Lion 2018

Above photo, November 2018, kindly taken and sent by Michael Mirams. Red Lion was building on the right.


Trading somewhere in Strand Street in 1677. If this is the same one, it finally closed around the turn of the 20th century.

However, it appears from the "name above the door" that after closure as a fully licensed public house, it operated as an off license for a number of years, but the dates of that are as yet unknown.


Red Lion off licence name 2018

Above sign showing A I Griggs as licensee of the off license, date unknown. Photo taken and sent by Michael Mirams, November 2018.


Derby Mercury, Friday 4 October, 1765.

Canterbury, September 21st., On the 10th instant came to Sandwich, three men, two women, and a girl of the Gypsy kind, except one of the women; they travel the Country with a horse and a Jack-ass; one is an old man, whom the rest call Father; the woman went the day following to the house of Solomon Barton, at the "Red Lion," and, under pretence of telling fortunes, prevailed on Barton's wife to show her all the money she had in the world, which was about 20. She then ordered Barton's wife to put the money in clay, and put it in a rag, which she was not to open till the Saturday night following, and then she should find a large quantity of gold; but when the poor woman looked for her money on Saturday evening, she found nothing but a few half pence wrapped up in the rag.


From the Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 7 September 1819.


Free Public Houses and other estates,

To be Sold By Auction, By Messrs. White, (Without Reserve).

Pursuant to certain orders of the Vice Chancellor of Great Britain, and before the Major part of the Commissioners named and authorised in and by a Commission of bankrupt awarded and issued against Matthew William Sankey, of the City of Canterbury, brewer, dealer and chapman, at the Guildhall, of the said city of Canterbury, on Wednesday next, the 22nd day of September next, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, (subject to such conditions of sale as shall be then and there produced.)
The following very Valuable Freehold Estates, in Lots.

Valuable Brewery free public houses and other Estates to be sold by auction by Mrs white without reserve.

Lot 23. A Messuage, called the "Red Lion," with the stable, yard, garden, and appurtenances, situate in the parish of Saint Peter the Apostle, in the Town and Port of Sandwich, in the said County, and now in the occupation of Jennings Rutter.


From the Kentish Gazette, 6 February 1838.


Jan 27, at Sandwich, after a few days’ illness, Jane Hayes, the wife of Mr. Richard Langley, landlord of the "Red Lion," aged 39.


From the Kentish Gazette, 27 February 1838.


Feb. 15, at Sandwich, Mr. Richard Langley, landlord of the "Red Lion," aged 35.


Kentish Gazette, 9 July 1844.

Valuable FREEHOLD PUBLIC HOUSES, at Sandwich, Word, Deal, Sutton, Northbourne, and Great Mongeham, in the County of Kent,

TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, AT the "Three Horse Shoes," GREAT MONGEHAM, on THURSDAY, the 25th day of JULY, 1844, (unless previously disposed of by Private Contract, of which due notice will be given), subject to such conditions as will be then and there produced, in several Lots.

Also a FREEHOLD PUBLIC HOUSE, called the "Red Lion," situate in Strand Street, in the parish of Saint Peter the Apostle, SANDWICH, with the outhouses and appurtenances thereto belonging, now in the occupation of Mr. George Stupple.

The above Property forms a most desirable investment, and (if not forthwith Sold by Private Contract), will be offered for sale in convenient Lots, as will be expressed in future advertisements.

For Particulars, and to treat for the Purchase by Private Contract, apply at the Offices of Mr. Mourilan, Solicitor, Sandwich.


From the Kentish Gazette, 20 June 1848.


June 14. at Sandwich, Mr. Wm. Langley, mariner, to Miss Elizabeth Golden, landlady of the "Red Lion."


From the Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, 11 April, 1872.


William Sinclair, and American sailor, was charged, on remand, with stealing the sum of 10s. from the till of Mr. Benjamin Parker, of the "Red Lion." It appeared that the prisoner engaged a bed at the above house on Sunday, April 28th, and while the landlady was getting the bed ready, he went into the bar and took about 10s. from the till. There happened to be a marked sixpence in the till at the time, which the prisoner afterwards changed. He at first pleaded not guilty, but on being told that he would be committed for trial, withdrew that plea and said he was guilty. The prisoner was sentenced to two calendar months' imprisonment with hard labour.


From the Canterbury Journal and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 6 October, 1906.


In the case of the "Red Lion, Strand Street, Sandwich, Dr. Hardman, of Deal, applied for the renewal of the licence.

Mr. R. F. Gibson, who appeared for the Justices, explained that the licence of this house was taken away on the ground that it was not required for the people of the neighbourhood. There were 35 licensed premises in the borough of Sandwich and the population at the last census was 3,170, giving one license to every 90 of the entire population. There were seven other licensed premises in the immediate neighbourhood. The "Red Lion," which belonged to Messrs. Ash and Co., of Canterbury, was really a common lodging house.

Evidence was given by Mr. Firby, Borough surveyor of Sandwich, who stated that the "Red Lion" was a very old house, and Police Sergeant Nevons who gave the number of licensed houses in the borough, and stated that the house was difficult of police supervision.

In reply to Mr. Hardman, the latter witness stated that the house was well conducted. There was one firm who owned nine licensed premises in Sandwich, and another firm had six licenses, the "Red Lion" being the only house belonging to Messrs. Ash and Co. of Canterbury.

Mr. William James Hughes, Chairman of the Sandwich Licensing Justices, stated that he was of opinion that the "Red Lion" was not required for the people of the neighbourhood. There were fifteen licensed houses which it was desirable should be expunged.

In reply to Dr. Hardman, witness said he was not aware that half of the licensed houses belonged to two firms of brewers.

Dr. Hardman, in addressing the Committee on behalf of the brewers and tenant, asked the Magistrates to refer back the case of the "Red Lion" to another year in order that the question of dealing with the licensed houses in Sandwich might be dealt with in a more satisfactory manner. The two brewers who owned fifteen of the licensed houses in the town were carrying on licensees in Sandwich or the liberties of Sandwich whereas the "Red Lion" was the only house belonging to Messrs. Ash and Co. It was admitted that the house was clean, well conducted, and structurally in a good condition.

The committee refused to renew the licence.


From an email received 12 November 2012.


In the 1901 census the publican of the Red Lion pub in Strand Street, Sandwich St Peter, was Walter Playfoot, who lived there with his wife Clara and two children. Their neighbours on one side were the Line family (oil merchants).

There's no mention of the Playfoots, nor of the Red Lion, in the 1911 census. By then Strand Street had property numbers and the Lines lived at 25-27; confusingly, that address was the last of the odd numbers in the street and I can't tell from it where the neighbouring former-Red-Lion would have been. The neighbours on the other side of the Red Lion must have changed since 1901 because their surname had disappeared, so that's no help either.

Best wishes,

Ian McDonald



BARTON Solomon 1765+

RUTTER Jennings 1819+

HODGMAN Charles 1823-29+ Pigot's Directory 1823Pigot's Directory 1828-29

LANGLEY Richard 1832-Feb/38 dec'd Pigot's Directory 1839

STUPPLE George 1840-44+ Pigot's Directory 1840

GOLDEN Elizabeth 1848+ Kentish Gazette

LANGLEY William 1858-62+ Melville's 1858Kelly's 1862

PARKER Benjamin 1871-91+ Deal MercuryKelly's 1874Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1878Post Office Directory 1882 (aged 51 in 1871Census)

CORNHILL William 1899-Mar/1900 Kelly's 1899Deal Mercury

TANNER Harry Mar/1900+ Deal Mercury

PLAYFOOT Walter 1901-03+ (age 41 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

GRIGGS A I Date unknown (Off license)


Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

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

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

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

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Kelly's 1862From the Kelly's Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Kelly's 1874From the Kelly's Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1878From the Post Office Directory 1878

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

Deal MercuryFrom the Deal Walmer & Sandwich Mercury


Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette


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