Sort file:- Canterbury, November, 2023.

Page Updated:- Monday, 13 November, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Rory Kehoe

Earliest 1400s

Saracen's Head

Demolished 1969

72-73 Burgate Street / Lower Bridge Street

St. Paul's


Above advert 1888.

Saracen's Head coin 1666Saracen's Head coin 1666

Above photo of coin dated 1666, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Saracen's Head back 1900

Above photo showing the back of the pub, circa 1900, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Saracen's Head 1920

Above photo, circa 1920, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. The pub was a Rigden's tied pub situated right next to George Beer and Co's Star Brewery offices, shown centre.

Saracen's Head 1936

Above photo, circa 1936, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Saracen's Head courtyard 1941

Above photo showing the courtyard in 1941.

Saracen's Head 1945

Above photo circa 1945.

Saracen's Head 1947

Above photo, circa 1947, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Saracen's Head 1945

Above photo 1945, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Showing a Roman Catholic Easter procession passing from Broad St. into Burgate.

Saracen's Head 1952

Above photo, circa 1952, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Saracen's Head 1961

Above photo, 1961, kindly sent by Tim Timpson.

Saracen's Head 1961

Above photo, 1961, kindly sent by Tim Timpson.

Saracen's Head 1961

Above photo, 1961, kindly sent by Tim Timpson.

Saracen's Head 1961

Above photo, 1961, kindly sent by Tim Timpson.

Saracen's Head 1965

Above photograph by Edward Wilmot in 1965.

Saracen's Head late 1960s

Above photo kindly sent by Robert Smith. Late 1960s.

Depot perhaps 1968

Above photo, circa 1968, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe who says:- I came across this picture, which simply had Bridge Street, Canterbury written on the back.

I know where the building was; it adjoined the "Saracen's Head" garden and faced Lower Bridge Street. This picture was taken facing what's now the St. George's roundabout. I think this picture was taken at the time when the "Saracen's Head" was about to be closed and (as with all the buildings which were in the way of the road-widening scheme) be demolished.

My question is:- "Was this a small George Beer & Rigden office/depot? If not, then what was it?

Saracen's Head 1968

Above photo, 1968.

Saracen's Head licensees 1969

Above photo, January 1969, showing licensees Mr. & Mrs Kebbell pulling their last pint. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Saracen's Head May 1968

Above photo showing the "Saracen's Head" in May 1968. The view above shows a view down Lower Bridge Street looking towards the St. George's roundabout.

Saracen's Head demolition 1969

Above photo, 1969, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Showing demolition in progress.

Saracen's Head location 2009

Above taken from Google July 2009, showing what I think is roughly the same shot.


One of Canterbury's oldest inns, this establishment was a lodging house for pilgrims in the 15th century, standing just within the Burgate, the rear wall being built from flints of the city wall.

Mentioned in the 1692 licensing list and the following year for billeting 6 men.

The inn hosted a Feast of woollen drapers in 1718.

In 1803 the premises was sold to Mathew William Sankey for 1,105.


From the Kentish Weekly Post, 17 May 1741.

Wednesday May 20.

To the worthy FREEMEN of the City of Canterbury who are Interest if Sir THOMAS HALES.


You are desired to meet the Friends of Sir Thomas, tomorrow Morning, being the Day of Election, at either of the following Houses, viz.

The "King's Head," in High Street,

The "Fountain," St. Margarets,

The "Dolphin," Burgate,

The "Rose," St. Georges,

The "Black Boy," Burgate,

The "Flying Horse," Dover Lane,

The "Three Compasses," St. Peter's,

The "Golden Lyon," St. Peter's,

The "Mitre," High Street,

The "Rising Sun," St. Dunstan's,

The "Black Swan," North Gate,

The "White Swan," North Gate,

The "Tolerated Soldier," North Gate,

The "Fox and Seven Stars," St. Alphage,

The "Saracen's Head," St. Pauls,

The "Maiden Head," Wincheap,

The "Two Brewers," St. Mildred's,

The "Seven Stars," St. Alphage,

The "Three Tuns," St. Margaret's.


From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, Saturday, 24 September to Wednesday, 28 September, 1768. Price 2d.



Or Strayed from the Door of the “Saracen's Head,” without Burgate, Canterbury, on Friday Evening, between Six and Seven o'Clock, A Dark Brown Mare, fourteen hands high more or less, Nag-tails with some Silver Hairs, blind of the off Eve and a White streak a-cross her Breast. Who ever will bring the said Mare to Mr. Thomas Boroman, Gardener, at Margate, or to the Printers of this Paper, shall receive Half a Guinea Reward, with reasonable Satisfaction for the keep.

N.B. The Mare had on a Saddle and Bridle, the Saddle almost new.


Kentish Gazette, 28 October, 1780.

To be let, and entered upon immediately, the "Saracens Head."

That old and well accustomed house, and of an easy rent.

For particulars enquiry at Mr. Jackson's Brewhouse in Canterbury.


Kentish Gazette, 28 April, 1781.

Canterbury, April 28th, 1781.

William Nisbet, begs leave to acquaint his friends and the public, that he has taken and fitted up in a neat and commodious Manner, a Public House, known by the sign of the "Saracen's Head," without Burgate.

Those Gentlemen, Farmers, and others, who will please to favour him with their company, may depend on being accommodated with genteel Usage, good Beds, Liquors, and Stabling for their Horses, by their most obliged and most humble Servant.

A good ordinary every Saturday.


Kentish Gazette, Wednesday 29th September 1784.

To be to the best bidder, for the most improved yearly rent, at the Guildhall in the City of Canterbury, on Tuesday, the 5th day of October next, at about 10 o'clock in the forenoon, the following Estates:- On such conditions as shall be then produced.

Lot 1. All that Messuage or Tenements called the "Saracen's Head," and Tenements adjoining, next Burgate, and the Stable, Building and Garden, now or late occupied theirwith.


From the Kentish Gazette 6-10 January 1786

John CARLTON at The Saracen's Head "without Burgate", Canterbury.

Address for applications for a position for a young man.


From the Kentish Gazette 24-27 August 1790


On Tuesday evening last the 24 inst, to Mr. John CARLTON at the "Saracen's Head," Canterbury.

A dark brown aged MARE about 14 hands high, with a long tail. The owner may have her again by applying to John CARLTON as above and paying for her keep and this advertisement."


Kentish Gazette 29 October 1802.


Left at the "Saracens Head," on the 21st August, by Mr. Southby, Riding Master, a small black Pony; if not sent for within 25 days from the date thereof, it will be sold to defray the expenses incurred. Canterbury, October 23.


Kentish Gazette, 29 April 1803.


JOHN CARLTON, Returns thanks to his Friends and the Public in general for their kind favours, during his residence in the above Inn, which (on account of his going into another branch of business) he has declined in favour of William Drury, whom he humbly recommends to their notice.

WILLIAM DRURY, Late Butler to Sir Brook Bridges, bart.

Respectfully informs his friends and the Public in general, that he has entered upon the above Inn, where he has laid in a stock of good Wines and Liquors, and hopes by assiduity and attention to merit their favours.

Good beds, well aired, and stabling.

An ORDINARY every Saturday at One o'clock.


Kentish Gazette, 11 May, 1804.


WM. DRURY, respectfully informs his friends, and the public, his House Warming is fixed for Thursday next, the 17th of May, instant, when the company any Gentlemen will be considered as a particular favour.

Dinner on Table at half past two o’clock.


Kentish Chronicle, 21 April, 1829.

April 14, Mr. John Carlton, aged 90, one of the brothers of St. John's Hospital, Canterbury, and formerly landlord of the "Saracen's Head Inn."


Kentish Gazette, 9 October 1849.


Coroner’s Inquest.

On Wednesday the coroner, T. T. DeLasuux, Esq., was called on to hold an inquest on the body of William Cheeseman, a labouring man, aged 55 years, residing in Burgate-lane, who, with a child, had died early that morning alter a short illness. The jury assembled at the "Saracen’s Head Inn," and on proceeding to the house of deceased, a most appalling sight met their view:- in the lower room of a close and almost unventilated cottage, a boy, aged about 13 or 14 years, was writhing in severe pain before the fire, attended by his severely afflicted mother; and in the chamber above lay the body of the father and an infant child, and near them another child of tender age suffering under the prevailing fatal disease. By the evidence of a neighbour who had attended deceased, it was stated that the father was taken ill on Monday, at which time the child was labouring under the disorder of which both had died; that Mr. Rigden had seen and prescribed for the child, but did not see deceased, who during the night became more severely ill; and early in the morning of Tuesday, Mr. T. S. Cooper was sent for, who attended. Mr. Cooper stated that he was called by the policeman on duty, at about 2 a.m., on Tuesday, to attend deceased, and found him labouring under the symptoms of Asiatic cholera, in its most malignant form, necessary medicines were immediately applied which for a time relieved the severity of the attack, and deceased rallied for a few hours, but ultimately sank under disease. Mr. Cooper had no hesitation in attributing the visitation of the malady in the neighbourhood, under which several other persons are now labouring in the adjoining houses, in a great measure to the unwholesome state of the premises, being badly drained and ventilated, and almost surrounded with slaughter houses, stabling, pigsties, and accumulations of dung and pestilential soil, as described by Spratt the police inspector, who represented that the lane beside stabling had four butchers' slaughter-houses in it, that between the house and a wall some 15 or 16 feet high there was only a space of three feet, very imperfect drainage, and the privies of most of the houses in a very bad state. The jury gave a unanimous verdict of death by malignant or Asiatic cholera, which disease had been accelerated by the unwholesome state of the neighbourhood, and trusted the authorities would see to the abatement of the evils complained of and presented before them by the evidence of the Inspector. At the suggestion of Mr. W. Solly, one of the jury, a subscription was entered into by the Coroner, Mr. Aris, clerk to the. Justices, (who had attended as Guardian of St. Mary Magdalen to watch the enquiry), the Jurors, and others, and the amount presented to the poor widow to aid her in her present severe affliction in the loss of husband and child, with the apparent probability of a still further bereavement.

We have since learned that the poor woman has died, and also another of the children. The remaining children have been removed to the Union-house, and are recovering.

A young woman, of the name of Chapman, who attended on Eliza Cheeseman, has also died of cholera.

Thomas Cheeseman, residing in Ivy-lane (the father of Wm. Cheeseman, upon whom the inquest had been held), died on Sunday evening from an attack of cholera that morning. An inquest was held at the "Sawyers’" yesterday morning, when a verdict of "Died by Asiatic Cholera" was returned.


Kentish Gazette, 12 February 1850.

100 Mutual Assurance Society.

The annual general meeting of this society was held at the "Saracen's Head Inn," Canterbury, (being lately removed from the "Star Inn,") on Tuesday evening last, to appoint the officers for the ensuing year, to receive the secretaries balance and sheet, &c. Nearly the whole of the officers were reappointed, votes of thanks being respectively given to those of the past year. This appears to be one of the most prosperous societies of its kind in this city. During the evening the Secretary reported that there had not been a death in the club for nearly 3 years; that the sum of 200 was at interest, together with a floating balance of 130, making a total balance in favour of the Society of 330. Some vacancies for members were reported.


Southeastern Gazette, 14 June 1853.


May 30, aged 15 years, Emma, daughter of Mr. John Edward Bassenden, "Saracen's Head Inn," Canterbury.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 29 August, 1863.



A gentleman from the office of Mr. Tidd Pratt, the Registrar of Friendly Societies, attended to prosecute summonses charging Mr. Frederick Hobday, manager of the Westgate 10 Burial Club, and Mr. James William Pilcher, secretary of the “Saracen’s Head” 100 Burial Club, for neglecting to forward to the registrar the annual return of the society's accounts, previous to the 1st June last. They pleaded guilty, but Mr. Pilcher said he had usually received a notice from Mr. Pratt to forward such return, and had delayed sending it in consequence of not receiving the same. The agent answered that notices had been sent to all friendly societies in England and Wales. The Mayor told the agent that it was very sharp practice to institute proceedings without sending the parties a reminder that they had not furnished the return, and the Bench would inflict the lowest fines in their power, viz. in Mr. Hobday’s case 1s. and Mr. Pilcher’s 6d, with costs, but including only 5s. for his personal expenses, to be paid by the former defendant.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 2 January, 1864.


Last week the Canterbury City Magistrates were engaged, for a considerable time, in the investigation of a charge of perjury against Charles Dodd, one of the inspectors connected with the Police Force in the city. The magistrates on the bench were Alderman Cooper, Alderman Phillpott, and William Musters, Esq., and as the case excited considerable interest the Court was crowded during the investigation. The charge arose out of a case heard before the Right Worshipful the Mayor (Peter Marten, Esq.), Alderman Austen, and W. Masters, Esq., at the City Police court, on Monday week, when three tradesmen—James Callow, wool stapler, Edward Williams, tailor, and Frederick George, tailor, were convicted of creating a breach of the peace, in Upper Bridge-street, at midnight on Saturday week. The charge against Inspector Dodd was preferred in the name of George.

Mr. Delasaux, in his application to the magistrates to commit Dodd for perjury, entered into a lengthy statement of facts which he said he could prove by the testimony of half-a-dozen witnesses. In the first place he intended to prove that no breach of the peace had been made by the defendants on the night in question; secondly, that they had not loitered near Ivy-lane; and thirdly, that George had not pushed against a woman, causing her husband to take off his coat and offer to fight him. One feature in the case, which tended much to the disadvantage of the defendants, George, Callow, and Williams, at the time the charge against them was being proceeded with, was, that on their desiring to call Mrs. Whing and Mr. Whing—the former being the woman who it was alleged had been assaulted by George, and the latter her husband—a constable who was despatched by order of the Court to summon them to give evidence did not go to them, but to Whing's master, who of course had nothing whatever to do with the affair, and declined to attend. He (Mr. Delasaux) considered that the conviction of the defendants was an illustration of the danger resulting from placing implicit reliance on the testimony of police-constables when not supported by that of other persons, and it was on public grounds that the present proceedings were taken.

The first witness called was Mrs. Jane Whing, who stated that at about midnight on the Saturday preceding, she, in company with her husband, and a Mr. Bennett, was passing from Dover-lane to where she resided in Ivy-lane. On leaving Dover-lane and entering Bridge Street, she there saw George, Williams, and Callow. There was no disturbance that she heard in the street. She saw two policemen. When near George and his companions he wished them “good night.” She was not touched by George, and neither party stopped. Her husband did not pull off his coat, and threaten to fight George, nor did Bennett interfere to prevent his doing so. George did not run against her and push her against the shutters of Mr. Green’s shop.

By the Bench:- She heard no disturbance whatever. George, Callow, and Williams were walking in the road; when she, her husband, and Mr. Bennett passed them.

John Whing, husband of the last witness, having corroborated the former portion of his wife’s testimony, added that he recognised Dodd as being one of the policemen whom he saw in Bridge-street. George wished witness, his wife, and Bennett “good night,” and they “pulled up” and returned the compliment. George did not push against his wife, and she did not fall against the shutters of a shop. The man did not touch her. Witness did not take off his coat and threaten to fight George for insulting his wife, and Bennett did not interfere to prevent his doing so.

Cross-examined by Dodd:— I did not tell P.C. Elvy, on Sunday night that if Bennett had not held me I should have “punched” George’s head. When you spoke to me about the matter I said I knew nothing of it—that is, as to hearing a noise.

Frederick Bennett likewise corroborated Mrs. Whing's evidence. He further stated that Mr. and Mrs. Whing and himself were talking rather loudly in the street, but beyond that there was no noise. George wished them “good night”—that was all. When he first saw George, Callow, and Williams, the policemen were not in conversation with them; but as witness and party walked away he saw the constables join them.

Frederick George was next examined. He deposed that after spending part of the evening on Saturday at the “Saracen’s Head Inn,” he left in company with Callow and Williams, and they walked on the right hand side of the road until they gained the top of the street near the weighbridge, when they crossed the road. Ivy-lane abutted on the other side of the way, and none of the party went near it. They did not stand at the bottom of the lane and create a breach of the peace. When passing along the street a party came towards them, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Whing and Mr. Bennett, and knowing them he wished them “good night.” He did not touch Mrs. Whing, and certainly did not run against her and push her against the shutters or door of a shop. Mr. Whing did not threaten to fight witness for insulting his wife. Witness was on that night taken into custody and locked up in the gaol all night, bail being refused him.

By the Bench:— I did not stop a moment when we came up to the other party. I merely wished Mrs. Whing “good night.”

Mr. Delasaux intimated to the Bench that he was prepared with the evidence of Callow and Williams, which would hear out George's statement in every particular.

The Bench did not deem their testimony essential, and after some consideration called upon Dodd for his defence to the accusation laid to his charge.

Dodd asked for an adjournment till Monday, to enable him to obtain legal assistance, and after some discussion his application was granted; Mr. Delasaux, however, being given to understand that he would be allowed to re-open the prosecution.

Mr. Aris (magistrate’s clerk) reminded Mr. Delasaux that he had omitted a most important part necessary to sustain the charge, viz., in not offering to the Court, in the form of evidence, the depositions taken of Dodd's testimony in the case against George, Callow, and Williams.

Mr. Delasaux said he should certainly obtain that evidence.

The proceedings were then adjourned to Monday.


The examination of Charles Dodd, inspector of police, on a charge of perjury, was resumed, at the Guildhall, on Monday. The magistrates on the bench were the Right Worshipful the Mayor (Peter Marten, Esq.), Wm. Brock, Esq., Alderman Philpott, William Masters, Esq., and John Brent, Esq.

Mr. Delasaux again appeared in support of the charge, and Mr. Allen Fielding for the defence.

On the case being called, Dodd presented himself in court dressed in police uniform, and took up his position outside the bar. Mr. Delasaux applied that the accused should take his place inside the bar, it being the usual practice for all defendants and prisoners to be placed there. The magistrates then ordered Dodd to go inside the bar, and the case was proceeded with.

Mr. Aris, clerk to the Magistrates, sworn, deposed that he was present in the Court as clerk to the Magistrates, on the first instant, and took down the evidence of the prisoner Charles Dodd, in support of on information for a breach of the peace against Williams, Callow, and George, alleged to have been committed on the 20th inst. he produced the defendants deposition, taken by witness, and sworn to and signed by the defendant.

On the application of Mr. Delasaux, Mr. Aris then read the prisoner’s deposition above referred to.

James Callow, wool stapler, deposed:- I live in St. Peter’s-street, at No. 54. On Saturday evening, 10th December, I was at the “Saracen's Head” public house. Williams, George and others were there also. I left the house about twelve o’clock and the others went with me. When we came out of the house, we turned up Bridge-street, keeping on the same side as the “Saracen’s Head.” None of us crossed over the street to the font of Ivy lane. We went as far as the weigh-bridge before crossing over. We then went into Upper Bridge Street. When there I saw some persons whom I did not then know, but who I have since ascertained to be Mr. Whing, Mrs. Whing, and a man named Bennett. They bid George good night. Nothing further took place than George saying, “Holloa, good night.” Mr. Whing said, “Good night, Mr. George.” Mrs. Whing also bid George good night. They did not stop more than a second or so. Whing and his wife and Bennett were on the pavement, and we—George, Williams, and I—were in the road. George did not push against Mrs. Whing and knock her against the door of Mr. Green the gunsmith. He did not touch her. Whing did not take his coat off or attempt to do so to fight with George. Bennett, the other man, did not prevent his doing so. I was not in a state of intoxication. I consider that if any one was drunk, Dodd was. Before I was taken in custody Dodd and another policeman came up, and Dodd said, “Move on.” I said, “What for?” and he said “If you do not I will give you into custody.” One of the parties with me—I think Williams—said “You be ------.” We had done nothing to create a breach of the peace. Dodd said directly “Take them into custody,”" and we were taken to the station. When there I asked Dodd how he came to take us into custody and he said “I have been found fault with for not doing my duty, and I will not be found fault with no more.” I was detained in custody till five o’clock. Dodd refused to take bail. I asked to see the Superintendent and Dodd replied, “I am master here to-night.”

The witness was subjected to a searching cross-examination by the prisoner's attorney, but he firmly adhered to the main facts contained in his original statement.

Edward Williams was likewise examined, and also adduced testimony in corroboration of that of George and Callow.

Mr. and Mrs. Whing were re-called for the purpose of being cross-examined on behalf of the accused. The latter denied that Mr. George had put his foot out prevent her passing.

Bennett and George were also re-called, and, after having their evidence read over, were cross-examined by Mr. Fielding. Nothing material was elicited.

Mr. Fielding, in addressing the Magistrates on behalf of the accused, referred in the first place to one of the grounds on which the charge of perjury against his client, viz., Dodd's statement as to the spot where the disturbance took place, which he characterised as a mere quibble, and not worth the slightest consideration. He then reviewed the evidence of the witness called on the part of the prosecution in support of the case and expressed his belief that the charge was got up out of vindictiveness by the defendants in the former case.

John Richard Harden, a sawyer, living in Oaten-place, was called to prove that on Saturday night week, he saw Callow, Williams, and George (whom he had previously known by sight) standing at the gates near the “Saracen’s Head.” That they were making a noise and insulted him.

P.C. Elvey:- When Bennett took hold of Whing, the latter was in the act of taking off his jacket. Dodd and I were with Callow, George, and Williams, ten minutes or a quarter of an hour advising them to go away before we took them into custody. Inspector Dodd during that time was persuading them to go away. All three made use of bad language towards the inspector. When Dodd refused bail at the police station, Callow said if it cost him 50, he would have his (Dodd’s) coat off. George said he would make Dodd pay for it. On Sunday night week, I saw Whing and told him we were compelled to take the parties into custody for making a noise in Bridge-street. He said “Serve him well right to. If it hadn't been for Bennett, I should have given him a hot one, and knocked him into the street.” Callow had said to him on Thursday, “I freely forgive you men.” I’ve no animosity against you at all.” I said, I’m very much obliged to you, Mr. Callow.” He replied, I know the working of things,” and walked away. He had seen Bennett, in company with Inspector Dodd, he then said in answer to a question that he did not think Whing would have hurt George if he had allowed him to strike him. The witness Harden came to me and inspector Dodd on the night in question, and complained of some men creating a noise in Bridge-street. The first place I saw the persons alluded to was whilst they were standing at the bottom of Ivy-lane. At time they were talking loud. They were taken into custody in consequence of refusing to go away after interfering with the Whing’s and Bennett.

P.C. Ells spoke to being on duty at the station when Callow, George and Williams were brought in. George and Callow were the worse for liquor. Williams was liberated on bail, but the applications of George and Callow were refused on the ground that they were not fit to be liberated. George told Dodd that he should pay for it. He saw Dodd shortly before 12 o’clock on the night in question, and at that time he was perfectly sober.

Mr. Delasaux with great ability replied upon the whole case. He declared that no evidence whatever had given by the witnesses who had been called for the defence calculated to refute the charge of perjury and he asked the Magistrates to send the case for trial by a jury.

The Court was then cleared, and after a consultation with their clerk for about ten minutes, the Magistrates decided on dismissing the case.

Mr. Delasaux enquired on what grounds the dismissal had been decided on.

Mr. Aris replied in consequence of the Magistrates considering the evidence insufficient.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 16 January, 1864.


Mr. T. T. Delasaux, solicitor, attended before the magistrates to apply for a copy of the depositions taken in the case recently beard in which Inspector Dodd was charged with having committed wilful and corrupt perjury, in evidence given by him against Messrs. Callow and Williams, He explained that the persons above-named were much dissatisfied with the decision the magistrates gave not to send the case for trial by a jury, and he had in consequence been instructed to take steps to make an application either to one of her Majesty’s Judges or the Attorney-General, to prefer a bill of indictment against Dodd at the next County Assizes. He (Mr. Delasaux) was aware that he had no legal “locus standi” (In law, standing or locus standi is the term for the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's participation in the case.) at the Court in making the application for the depositions, inasmuch as no conviction having taken place he could not demand them, but must rely on the courtesy of the Bench to concede to his request. He believed, however, that the magistrates would, after due consideration of the nature of the application, feel themselves justified in granting it.

Mr. Aris, the magistrates’ clerk, reminded Mr. Delasaux that the duty of the magistrates was to Administer justice, and that matters of courtesy could not be entertained by them.

After some further discussion, the Bench decided not to depart from the legal course in such cases, and refused the application for a copy of the depositions.

Mr. Delasaux, after intimating his intention to apply to the Secretary of State for an order to obtain the depositions, withdrew, and the matter dropped.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 11 May, 1867. Price 1d.

(Before John Brent, sen. Esq., in the chair; C. Holltum, Esq., and Alderman Aris.)

William Constant was charged, on remand, with stealing a Horse's hood, a rug, and a brush, from the “Saracen's Head” stables, on Wednesday, the 1st inst.

The ostler stated that he saw the things safe in a stable in the “Saracen's Head” on Wednesday afternoon, and did not miss them till P.S. Hayward informed him that he had a man in custody on a charge of stealing a hood, a rug, and a brash, when he went to the stable and found the articles had been taken away. The value of them was 20s.

The magistrates sentenced prisoner, who pleaded guilty, to one month in the city gaol, with hard labour.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 9 April 1870.

The annual dinner held at the "Saracen's Head" took place on Thursday. Mr. George Beer occupied the chair and Mr. Alfred Beer the vice-chair. About thirty sat down to an excellent spread provided by Mr. C. Smith. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given, and altogether a very pleasant evening was spent.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 6 February, 1880.


On Friday evening an inquest was held by T. T. Delasaux, Esq., Coroner, at the “Saracen’s Head Inn.” Burgate street, on the body of Mary Guest, aged 75. Mary Barren, wife of a pensioner stated that she had known the deceased for about twenty years. On the previous day she was sent for to assist deceased in moving her furniture, and went with her to a house in Burgate street, where the deceased requested her not to leave her, as she did not think she would be alive long. Witness sent for Dr. Rigden, who came directly, but deceased expired about five minutes afterwards. The medical testimony went to show that deceased died from heart failure, and a verdict for that effect was returned by the jury.


From Historic Canterbury web site

"F. & W. PILCH,

(Successors W.J. E. Bassenden)




F AND W P respectfully informs their Friends and all the Public general, that they have taken the above OLD ESTABLISHED INN, where it will be their .. to accommodate their Friends and all who may ... them with a visit, is a .. that shall .. their comfort and ... Genuine Superior Liquors of all kinds


Scotch Ales, Bottled Porter, &c, &c

Excellent Well-Aired Beds

Capital STALL STABLING and Coach House.

N.B. Cricket Bats, Balls, Leggings and every requisite for Cricketing."



Later day it offered hotel rooms for 10 up to 1968 but that year the license was suspended following a compulsory purchase  and the pub was demolished in 1969 to make way for the ring road.

This was a celebrated old inn, removed to facilitate the widening of Lower Bridge Street. In the 1840s the licensee was Fuller Pilch, the famous Kent cricketer who is buried in St Gregory's Churchyard.


From Country Life, 19 December 1968.


How many more years will it take us to learn that if a new road involves the destruction of fine old buildings, then the new road is in the wrong place, or is not worth making? Canterbury is shortly to lose the "Saracen's" Head" public house, a large 17th century house with four gables adjacent to Canterbury's city wall; the inn  is to be demolished to make way for stage two of the city's ring road. The Canterbury Society, which has tried for several years to find some way of preserving the house, reports that it has finally had to admit defeat. In recent months the society has tried to interest developers in the idea of re-erecting the building in its original form on a new site, but without the 19th century alterations that disfigured the ground floor; an expert's rough estimate of the cost was 20,000, about the same as the cost of a new building of similar size. The society also urged the city council to provide a site and to undertake re-erection, so that the building could be put on the market and much or all of the expenditure recovered, but the council replied that this would involve sanction for a loan, which would not be forthcoming in the present financial climate.



NISBET William Apr/1781+

CARLTON John 1786-Apr/1803 Edward Wilmot Canterbury

DRURY William Apr/1803+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury

SANKEY Mathew William 1803+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury

WILLIAMS Charles 1824+ Pigot's Directory 1824

WILLIAMS Mary 1828-29+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Historic Canterbury web site

NASH Thomas 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

EPPS Henry Gage 1838-41+ (age 45 in 1841Census) Stapletons GuideHistoric Canterbury web sitePigot's Directory 1840

CAREY William 1847+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847

BASSENDEN John Edward 1853+  Historic Canterbury web site

PILCH, FULLER & WILLIAMS 1858+ Melville's 1858

PILCH William 1861-68+ (age 40 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1862Historic Canterbury web siteGreens Canterbury Directory 1868 (also cricketer)

GIBBS Thomas 1874+ Post Office Directory 1874

ORGER Alfred 1881-84+ CensusPost Office Directory 1882

ORGER T 1888+

CHECKLEY Walter M 1889-1903+ (age 32 in 1891Census) Historic Canterbury web sitePost Office Directory 1891Kelly's 1903

MACKINDER Mrs S D 1913+ Post Office Directory 1913

JOHNSON H 1917+ Historic Canterbury web site

GRITTEN Frederick B 1922+ Post Office Directory 1922

KEBBELL Mr & Mrs to Jan/1969 Next pub licensee had Edward Wilmot Canterbury


Pigot's Directory 1824From the Pigot's Directory 1824

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

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

Stapletons GuideStapleton's Guide 1838

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 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Edward Wilmot CanterburyInns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot, 1988

Historic Canterbury web siteHistoric Canterbury web site



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