Page Updated:- Tuesday, 07 November, 2023.


Earliest 1780s

(Name from)

Red Lion

Open 2020+



01797 344648

Red Lion 1948

Above photo, circa 1948, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Above photo kindly sent by Chris Excell, date unknown.

Red Lion painting

Above painting, date unknown by Michael Richardson.

Red Lion

Above photo kindly sent by Chris Excell, date unknown.

Red Lion

Above photo kindly sent by Chris Excell, date unknown.

Red Lion bar area

Above photo kindly showing the inside of the bar sent by Chris Excell, circa 1980, showing Chris Excell.

Kate and Doris Jemison

Kate and Doris Jemison, date unknown.

Red Lion bar circa 1987

Bar area circa 1987.

Red Lion 1992

Above photo 1992.

Red Lion 2003

Above photo, June 2003, kindly sent by Philip Dymott.

Red Lion bar 2003

Above photo, June 2003, kindly sent by Philip Dymott.

Red Lion sign 1991Red Lion sign 2007

Above sign sign, July 1991, sign right, November 2007.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


According to Michael David Mirams 1987 book "Kent Inns and Inn Signs", two hundred years ago, this lone village pub was known as the "Shepherd and Lamb;" it was a coaching inn, built c.1650, but when the name was changed is not certain. The pub is also the village shop, and there is a telephone kiosk in the back garden, for which British Telecom pay the princely sum of 5p for a year's rental. In fact, the landlord has framed, and hung in the bar, a Postal Order for 25p, which represents five years rent! The "Red Lion" has been in the same family for 74 years, the present licensee being born on the premises. Formerly a Style & Winch property, it was purchased from Courage Limited and is now a free house. The charm of the pub is in its tiny, rustic nineteenth century interior, decorated much the same as a century ago. As with so many parts of Romney Marsh, time has stood still here.


The building gained its Grade II listing status on 23 April 1985 and the interior hasn't changed since 1911, and it's still owned and run by the same family (2014).

This pub is on the National Inventory of the 17 most historic public houses in England. Known locally as “Doris's” on account of Mrs D. Jemison being owner, ably assisted by her daughter Kate, and Robert, the music maestro who gives some very good extempore piano renditions from time to time. This Pub is absolutely magic – a safe haven from the lousy times in which we live. Extremely friendly atmosphere, and loveable boisterous Dalmation dogs named ‘Sooty' & 'Scampi'. Large selection of real ale (you'll NEVER get a bad pint in here!) from the best Breweries in the country; constantly changing selection including Milds and Stouts. This place is unbeatable, and the Guild uses it at every possible opportunity, and members of the Leeds Society of Handbell Ringers play tunes here at Christmas.


Any further information or indeed photographs would be appreciated. Please email me at the address below.

This page is still to be updated.


Kentish Gazette 16 January 1801.

A freehold Estate to be sold by Private Contract. On the premises, by John Mott, Appraiser, of Cranbrook.

On Wednesday the 28th instant January, 1801, in the afternoon, unless disposed of in the interim, in which case due notice will be given.

The "Red Lion" public house, at Snargate, in Romney Marsh, now incomplete repair, being newly beautified, and put in a style desirable for a Gentleman of independency, having a large brick court in front of the house, and a pleasant green court at the back, and adjoining a very extensive complete garden, in full cultivation, and furnished with choice fruit trees; likewise adjoining is a pleasant grove, and a large fish pond, with a serpentine walk, situated in a cherry orchard; and also a very convenient barn, stable, cow-close, wood and cart lodge, and about 60 acres (more or less) of the most improvable, fertile, and desirable land in the whole Marsh, being on an eminence it is never flooded, whereof out of which number of acres 11 are enclosed, and 2 acres and a half sown with wheat, now bears a capital complexion, being sown on good fallow. The extent of the lands comprises 3 miles and a half, and most advantageously situated for wild fowl shooting, being in the centre of the flight; likewise for fishing, having the commands of the sewer on one side, and a deep dish on the other, on which two sides will be very suitable for the fast growing willow, which will be in one respect very accommodating for travelling, being a good shelter, and, second, for the stock grazing. Moreover will be an advantageous annual income, as the production will furnish the whole Marsh with fuel and fence poles, which is a necessary advantageous article to grow, as woodlands and agriculture are strangers in that part. The whole is land tax free, and very moderate taxes.

The estate may be viewed 3 days previous to the sale, and facts explained by R. Eason, on the premises, (to an agriculturist it is the land of Canaan) and in all probability may be supposed a religious country, having 13 churches within 3 miles and a quarter of the house.

(This will be advertised no more.)


Kentish Gazette, 27 September 1803.


For the good of the community at large, and for the convenience of such Persons that are non-suited for comfortable situations, the public are hereby acquainted, that the "Red Lion" at Snargate, and Lands thereunto belonging, (the same as was advertised for sale the 21st inst.) is not yet disposed of, and is now for Sale by either R. Eason, (on the premises), or Mr. Butler, auctioneer at Dymchurch, who has instructions to treat for the same, till Saturday October the 9th, after which time all applications whatever will be fruitless.

Snargate, Sept the 25th, 1803.


Kent Gazette Reports 9 August 1805.

A Public House and Marsh Land for Sale.


AT the "Red Lion Inn," Snargate, on Thursday the 27th August, 1805. between the hours of 3 and 4 o’clock in the afternoon, unless in the mean time disposed of by private contract, of which, if it happens, the earliest notice will be given.

All that MESSUAGE, bearing the sign of the "Red Lion," with out-buildings; also a large garden and orchard, (planted with choice fruit-trees, and in high cultivation;) and also several pieces of land, containing altogether by admeasurement 12a. 3r. 21p, (of which 10a. 2r. 17p. are enclosed), situate in Snargate, in Romney Marsh, and in the possession of Mr. Easton, the proprietor.

The premises are freehold; and exonerated from the said tax — Possession may be had at Michaelmas next.

For particulars inquire of Mr. Easton; or of the Auctioneers; or at the office of Mesrs. Curties, Woollett, and Dawes, Rye, where a man may be seen.


From the Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal, 29 September, 1815.


Edward Palmer, of Appledore, in the county of Kent, farmer, having executed a Conveyance and Assignment of his real and personal Estate and Effects, unto Samuel Brown, of Appledore, aforesaid, carpenter, and Stephen Tolhurst, of Snargate, in the said county of Kent, victualler, in rest for the benefit of themselves and the rest of the creditors of the said Edward Palmer. Notice is hereby given, that the Deed of Trust will lay for signature by the Creditiors at the house of the said Samuel Brown, in Appledore, aforesaid, until the 8th day of October next, and after that period at the Office of Messrs. Fowle and Stringer, of New Romney, at either of which places the Creditors are requested to call and execute the same on or before the 1st day of November next, or they will be excluded from the benefit thereof, and at the same time to bring them the particulars of their respective demands.

27 Sept. 1815.


From the Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal, 20 February, 1818.

On Saturday evening last a Coroner's inquest was held on the body of Mr. Richard Foord, or Warehorn, who was found dead in a ditch between that place and Sandgate, early the same morning. It appeared that the deceased had been to Lydd the day previous for medical advice, and not finding the Doctor at Lydd, he came by Brookland on his way home, at which place he got intoxicated, and left about half-past five o'clock - at six he was found by W. Stace, lying on his back in the middle of the road near Brenzet, and with difficulty conveyed to the "Red Lion," at Snargate, the landlord of the house, Mr. S. Tolhurst, particularly requested that he might take care of him; the deceased however left there about half-past eight - and melancholy to relate, did not produce more than a mile before he fell into a ditch and was drowned. The Jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."

The deceased was a respectable farmer, and was upwards of eighty years of age.


From the Kentish Gazette, 9 April, 1833.


At Snargate, April 2, Mr. Stephen Tolhurst, many years landlord of the "Red Lion" at that place, aged 77.


From local paper, date circa 1971.

87 and landlord Alf still rides a motorbike

MR. ALFRED JEMISON, aged 87, who has been running the "Red Lion," Snargate, for the past 60 years, is believed to be Kent's oldest landlord.

A carpenter by trade, he moved from Appledore to Romney Marsh after his marriage and took over the 300-year-old pub in 1911.

Since the death of his wife 12 years ago, he has run the pub with its small bar and tea room single-handed.

"I couldn't see any sense in moving," he said. “It's a very friendly place down here. In winter it gets a bit lonely, but I don't take any notice of that.


“There's a great summer trade — that's why we made the tap room into a tea room," he added.

Besides the old marble-topped bar and obsolete brass pumps, is another tacit reminder of bygone days.

Alfred Jemison behind the bar

In the cellar, next to the empty tea room, Mr. Jemison smiles at one of his most treasured possessions — a Silver Prince motorcycle he has had for 50 years.

With enthusiasm he says: “It was made in Birmingham and only six were made. I've only ever seen one other. I started to take it to pieces to do it up, but I've given up for a while.”

Alfred Jemison and his bike

Until fairly recently Mr. Jemison rode the 'bike (top speed 40 mph) everywhere to see Ashford FC play, but bad weather and cold have kept him at home.



TOLHURST Stephen 1815-Apr/33 dec'd

TOLHURST Peter Apr/1833-51+ (age 50 in 1841Census)

BOURNE John 1847-51+ (age 46 in 1851Census) (Listed as White Hart in 1851Census)

MORGAN John 1858+

NORMAN William 1861+ (age 49 in 1861Census)

WELSTEAD Stephen 1871-74 (age 31 in 1871Census) Post Office Directory 1874

HAYTER William 1891-1903+ (age 66 in 1891Census) Kelly's 1903

EADE Alfred 1911+ (age 45 in 1911Census)

JEMISON Alfred James 1911-60 Post Office Directory 1913

JAMISON Alfred (son) & Doris 1960+86

JEMISON Kate & Doris 2013+


Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913



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



LINK to Even More Tales From The Tap Room