Sort file:- Canterbury, December, 2022.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 17 December, 2022.


Earliest 1741-

Seven Stars

Open 2019+

1 (6) Orange Street

St. Alphege's


01227 786934

Seven Stars 1948

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

Seven Stars

Above photo, date unknown.

Seven Stars

Above photo, date unknown.

Seven Stars sign 1968

Above sign 1968, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Seven Stars sign

Above sign left 1987. Other photos taken by Paul Skelton, 19 May 2012.

Seven Stars sign 1990Seven Stars sign 1994

Seven Stars sign left August 1990, right November 1994.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Seven Stars 1965

Above photograph by Edward Wilmot in 1965.


A passage in the Kentish Weekly Post dated 17 May 1741, mentions both the "Seven Stars" and also the "Fox and Seven Stars" both being in the parish of St. Alphage, so these indeed are different houses.

The pub is obviously a lot older than that and in 1660 this was one of the four houses in Canterbury that had the privilege of selling wine as well as beer in the City, each year between 1660 and 1685 changes were made to the select few and at a maximum there was only 9 that were granted this licence. This was one of them and the licence was granted to Kathering Gill in the parish of St. Alphage.


From the Historic Canterbury web site

"Under a statute of the reign of King Edward VI., only four innholders within the City could enjoy this privilege at the same time. Between 1660 and 1685 the following inns received a licence. The Crown in St. Mary Bredman, the Sun in St. Alphege, the Chequers in St. Andrews, the Red Lion (formerly the Lion at Hoop) in the High Street, where the licensee is described as a Surgeon; the Three Kings in All Saints, the White Heart in St. Margarets, the Seven Stars in St. Alphege, the Saracen's Head in All Saints and the Rose in St. Andrews"


The licensing lists of 1692 show this premises Open 2014+ although a good deal of other houses had list their licenses due to disorderly conduct and the following year the house was billeting 8 soldiers.

The Inns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot's,1988, mentions a document, date circa 1945 that gives the description of clientele at the pub as being "Commercial and visitors."

An entry in Fremlin's 1950s publication called "Where shall we go," indicated the following:- Phone number - Canterbury 3774. Parking accommodation - Car Parking. Coaches to Coach Park. Lunch - 40. Tea - 40. Remarks - 1 minute Cathedral, centre of City and shopping. Accommodation. Hot and Cold. Coaches and Teas by arrangement.


From a passage from web site Historic Canterbury web site

Register Number 321 - United Kentish Briton's Friendly Society - Registered Office of the Society, Seven Stars Inn, Orange-street, Canterbury, established 1807, number of members 500, total assets, 7,715, total receipts (benefit fund) 1877 - 1,018.


South Eastern Gazette 13 November 1838.

From the Kentish Gazette, 13 November 1838.


Nov. 6, Edward Berchett, eldest son of Mr. C. Shrubsole, of the "Seven Stars," Orange street, Canterbury, aged 3 years and 10 months.


From the Kentish Gazette, 18 June 1839.


June 14, in St. George's-lane, Canterbury, Mr. Thomas Strand, late landlord of the "Seven Stars," Orange-street.


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, 10 October 1843.


Oct 7, after a long illness, Mr. John Port, aged 47, landlord of the "Seven Stars," Orange-street, Canterbury.


Kentish Gazette, 16 January 1844.


Jan. 9, at Barham, Mrs. Elizabeth Port, aged 43, widow of Mr. John Port, late landlord of the "Seven Stars Inn," in this city, after a long illness borne with fortitude and resignation, universally beloved and respected by all who knew her.


From the Kentish Gazette, 11 February 1845.

Ancient Order of Druids.

Yesterday the Canterbury Lodge of this ancient and highly respectable order opened their new lodge room at Br. Laming’s, at the "Seven Stars Inn." The room was splendidly decorated with valuable paintings encircled with evergreens. The paraphernalia of the lodge was renovated and re-gilded for the occasion, and the Appearance of the Lodge-room was highly imposing. A company of the brethren, to the number of upwards of forty sat down to a profusely supplied and well served dinner, presided over by P. N. A. Jacobs. The lodge was subsequently opened in due form. Several new members were announced for initiation, and the remainder of the evening was passed in a spirit of rational conviviality.


From the Kentish Gazette, 1 December 1846.

Ancient Order of Druids.

The Brethren of Lodge 98, of Canterbury, celebrated their anniversary yesterday, by dining together in the Lodge Room, at the "Seven Stars Inn."

M. N. G. Br. Cullen presided on the occasion; and a numerous and respectable party of the brethren and their friends partook of the good cheer of the worthy host, served up in first rate style. The day was passed in true fraternal spirit, and every one departed to his home delighted with the rational entertainments of the meeting.


Kentish Gazette, 26 October 1847.


Burgess:— Oct 13, on the Dane John Grove, Canterbury, Mrs. Ann Burgess, formerly of the "Seven Stars," Orange-street, aged 75.


Kentish Gazette, 7 December 1847.

Order of Druids.

The brethren of this highly respectable and flourishing order, in Canterbury, held their annual celebration yesterday evening se’nnight, at the lodge-room, "Seven Stars Inn." An excellent supper was served up, and a large body of members were present, who passed the evening in harmony and rational conviviality.


Kentish Gazette, 3 December 1850.

The ancient order of Druids celebrated their anniversary at the Lodge-room, at the "Seven Stars Inn," yesterday week. About forty members partook of an old English repast, served up in excellent style by the worthy host, Mr. Laming, and the evening was passed in the true spirit of harmony and good fellowship.


Kentish Gazette, 25 November 1851.

Ancient Order of Druids, 98th Lodge.

Last night the anniversary of this lodge took place at the "Seven Stars Inn." A numerous company were in attendance, to partake of the good cheer provided for the occasion.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 19 September, 1863.


A donation of 1 has been paid to the funds of this Institution from the Coal Club, “Seven Stars Inn,” Orange-street, Canterbury, by Mr. William Laming


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 23 September 1882.

Assault on a Constable.

Daniel Murdoch, a soldier, was charged with being drunk and with assaulting a Constable in the execution of his duty.

Police constable Pysden said that shortly before 11 o'clock on the previous night he was on duty in Orange Street. He saw prisoner, who was drunk and seeking to gain admittance to the "Seven Stars Inn." When witness requested him to go away, prisoner pushed him and afterwards threw him down on the ground. Prisoner then went quietly to the station.

The office present said prisoner had been 8 years in the army and bore a good character. He was now employed as a saddle tree maker. If he were fined the consequence would be most serious to him, as he would be sent back to his regiment and would probably never be promoted again.

After deliberating for sometime the Bench discharged prisoner with a caution.


From the Whitstable Times, 16 December, 1944.

Sequel to Public House Scene.


A brawl in a Canterbury public house had a sequel at a special sitting of the Canterbury Magistrates' Court on Monday when three youths, all aged 18, were fined for causing unlawful and malicious damage to plate glass windows at the "Seven Stars," Orange Street, on Saturday evening.

They were Dennis O'Brien, merchant seaman, of 30, Telham Avenue, Newington, Ramsgate; Harry Riley, haulage hand, 56, King's Road. Aylesham, and Alfred Vincent Edwards, M.N. assistant steward, of 117, Cornwallis Avenue, Aylesham.

The case for the prosecution was that at 9.25 p.m. on Saturday defendants went into the "Seven Stars" and had three pints of bitter. After being served they became argumentative and the landlady refused to serve them with any more, giving one of the youths his money back. Asked by the manager, Kenneth Loughlin to leave, the three youths said they would not do so. The police were telephoned and in the meantime defendants were ejected by another customer after a scuffle in the doorway.

Then a soldier, Sergt. Frederick Brackstowe, R.A., heard glass being broken. It was too dark to identify the three men who were smashing the glass with their hands, but he recognised the voices as those of the youths in Court. He pulled one away and then, thinking his intervention useless, went to find a policeman. He did not find one so returned. The three had finished smashing the glass.

Defendants made their way to the High Street traffic lights, accompanied by Sergt. Brackstowe, who reported the matter to P.C. Prentis whom they met as they were turning by the "Foresters' Hall."

Mr. Loughlin gave evidence in Court that the damage amounted to 20 and included the breaking of the glass in the double swing doors, the glass door in the public bar and an eight foot glass door in the dining room.

P.C. Prentis stated that at 9.55 p.m. he went to the "Seven Stars" in consequence of a complaint received at the Police Station. He corroborated the extent of the damage. In consequence of what Sergt Brackstowe told him witness took defendants to the Police Station where O'Brien and Riley were given first aid for cuts to the hands and arms. Riley was then sent to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital. When formally charged with the offence all said: "Not guilty."

Giving evidence on his own behalf. O’Brien said someone else in the "Seven Stars" started picking on Riley and Edwards because they came from Aylesham. He started the fight. They decided after a bit to finish their drinks and go. But they were not given time to drink up and were forced into the street. Someone struck him; he lost his tamper and smashed the glass.

Mr. J. A. Godley (Magistrates' Clerk): Anything else?

Defendant: Yes: I’d like to know who hit me.

Defendant said they had been to other public houses; they had had one or two pints at the "Man of Kent" and four—as far as he could remember—at the "Castle." Then they went to the "Foresters' Hall," but came out straight away.

The Chairman: Did you pay to go in?

Defendant: No, that’s why we came out.

Riley said he could not remember having his money back. They were in good order right up to the "Seven Stars." Another man in that public house started an argument with Edwards and himself about miners. The landlord said it was time for them to go home. Somebody struck Edwards. The next he could re-member was being in hospital. He did not remember cutting his hand or breaking the glass until the police told him. They had also had some whiskey.

Edwards corroborated this and said that after someone "took a swipe" at him the next thing he could think of was being out in the street with the others. He heard the glass go but did not remember breaking it.

After retiring, the Bench convicted.

Nothing was known about O'Brien or Edwards but it was stated that Riley had been bound over on three occasions for housebreaking, stealing from a gas meter and stealing pears.

The Chairman (Alderman C. Lefevre) told defendants they were equally guilty. Their behaviour had been not only very foolish but of an intolerable nature. The penalty would be a 3 fine in each case, plus 6/13/4 towards the damage, or two months’ imprisonment. Riley and Edwards were allowed to pay their fines and costs at the rate of 1 per week.

The penalty could have been three months' and/or 20, said the Chairman.

Alderman Lefevre warned all three that they had no need of all that drink at 18. They had not been clever, it had not been good for them and the licensee did not want it.


From the By Jack Dyson, 19 April 2020.

Coronavirus Kent:

Landlord of "Old City Bar," "Black Griffin," "Seven Stars," "Dolphin" and "Thomas Becket" in Canterbury racks up 115k debt amid pandemic

A city pub magnate has described his finances as “critical” after already racking up 115,000 of debt since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Businessman Charles Smythe is faced with the hefty bill after being left unable to pay rent or invoices from big suppliers while his five Canterbury bars are closed.

Charles Smythe 2020

Charles Smythe says his outstanding bills already total 115,000.

And the 50-year-old - who runs the "Old City Bar," "Black Griffin," "Seven Stars," "Dolphin" and "Thomas Becket" - believes his outstanding payments could rise above 200,000 in the next two months.

Despite this, the tavern tycoon insists he will not close any of his watering holes.

“I won’t get rid of my pubs,” he maintained. “Cash flow is pretty critical.

“My outstanding debt at the moment is 115,000 - and that’s going up each week.

“I’ve paid off my little suppliers - like my cleaners and butchers.

“But with the big companies - like the breweries and major suppliers - I’m saying to them, ‘you’re not getting any money until I get some in’.”

Brewery Shepherd Neame, which owns the "Old City Bar," has suspended rent for its licensees during the Covid-19 crisis.

But Mr Smythe says the landlords of his four other pubs want him to pay all outstanding rent in full once he is able to restart trading.

“Lots of them have not cancelled the rent,” he said.

“Punch Taverns and EI Enterprise still want the full rent, but they want to collect it after we’ve reopened.

“If the rents aren’t waived, my debt will be over 200,000 in the next six to eight weeks.”

In addition to this, Mr Smythe says he has a total of 8,000 of opened and unopened beer stored in casks in the cellars of his pubs.

Despite being able to claim back duty on out-of-date beverages from the government and send a selection of untouched barrels back to breweries, he expects this to leave him more than 5,000 out of pocket.

Meanwhile, Wetherspoon says its entire stock of beer across its sites in the area is sitting in cellars unable to be used.

Spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “The pubs closed without warning, so there was no opportunity to do anything with their beer supplies.

“The pubs are closed and locked up, so the state of the beer is not a major concern.”



BURGESS G 1824+ Pigot's Directory 1824

MILES John 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

HEARNE Thomas 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34 ("Fox and Seven Stars")

HAYWARD John Saffery 1838 Historic Canterbury web site (coach builder, saddle and harness maker)

SHRUBSOLE Charles 1838-39 Stapletons GuidePigot's Directory 1840

STRAND Thomas to June/1839 dec'd

PORT John to 7/Oct/1843 dec'd age 47

LAMING William 1847-68+ (age 61 in 1861Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1862Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

ALCHIN Henry Thomas 1874+ Post Office Directory 1874

MUNNS John 1881-91+ (age 47 in 1881Census) Historic Canterbury web sitePost Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891

HARRIS Walter David 1903+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

JENNINGS Mrs Beatrice 1913+ Post Office Directory 1913

CLARKE John W 1922+ Post Office Directory 1922

COATES Mrs Violet 1930+ Post Office Directory 1930

WHITCOMBE Donald Richard Clarence 1938-65- Post Office Directory 1938Edward Wilmot Canterbury

WHITCOMBE Mrs (widow) 1965+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury

SMYTHE Charles 2020+


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

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

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:-