Above photos taken by Paul Skelton, September 17, 2011.
Photo above is of the St. Crispin in Worth, date
By kind permission of the St. Crispin from a painting of 1992.
Above picture by kind permission of the "St. Crispin," date unknown.
Above picture by kind permission of the "St. Crispin," date unknown.
Taken from a card issued by the pub, date unknown.
One of the original tied houses of Thompson and Sons brewery at Walmer.
This house was, reputedly owned by an 'ale wife' who was married to one of Henry
V's soldiers after their return from Agincourt. Henry's army was supplied
with locally brewed beer from the Deal and Walmer area, under the terms of
the Confederation of the Cinque Ports.
This pub was sold along with another 11 public houses in neighbouring
villages in 1826. The sum was £625 for this house but it is not known from who or to
The following has been take from their web site at the following address
Situate and being in the upper half hundred of Eastry lathe of St Augustine,
lies the parish of Worth, written in Saxon text as Wealth, then later word, or
occasionally Woad. There within the parish boundaries can be found the St
This tenement was built during the reign of Henry V (1413-1422) in the year
1420. It was originally a farmhouse forming part of the estate of the Nebynson
family of Eastry, who came to settle there during the reign of Edward III
(1327-1377). It was here that the Reeve lived. The Reeve was the overseer or
foreman who acted for the Lord of the Manor. The earliest recorded occupant of
the house is one Nathaniel Foysters, overseer and farmer who resided here in
1493. For most of the sixteenth century the house was occupied by tenant farmers
bound to the estate of Nebynson.
In 1625 the property was split from the estate and sold with 7 acres of arable
land to one Clement Gardner, farmer and shipping agent, formerly of Sandwich. He
resided in and owned the property until his death here in 1653, after which it
was transferred by right of descendancy to his nephew Avery Gardner, malt and
hop brewer of Dover. In 1668 he sold the property to his brother Amos, also a
brewer of Dover, for 175 guineas. Included in the sale inventory was a "brewehouse,
5 wassails (drinking mugs) a mare, harness and saddle, and 15 chickens". Amos
Gardner held the property until 1682 whereupon he sold it to one Abraham Skulley,
brewer and common beer-seller of Sandwich. In 1690 he was granted a common ale
and cider licence and the house became a registered but untitled ale house.
In 1712 he sold a now flourishing ale establishment to one Michael Ambrose,
shoemaker and beer seller of Goddington, near the town of Ashford. The family of
Ambrose were for many years shoe-makers at Ashford, so in keeping with
tradition, Michael Ambrose called the house "The Crispin", after Saint Crispin
and Saint Crispinian, who were the patron saints of shoemakers. He registered
the house under this title and, for some reason, omitted the word 'Saint'. This
was not added until 1906 when one Edward Minter became keeper.
In 1767 Joshua Hawkins, keeper of this inn for twenty three years, died. In his
last will and testament he bequeathed the inn, all his chattels and belongings
to his wife Fanny, on condition that she remain a widow for the rest of her
nature life, never remarrying and therefore remaining faithful to the spirit of
her dead husband. This was a strange request for, when he died, Joshua Hawkins
was 74 years old and his wife 73. She remained a widow and died here in 1772.
Worth, though only a small parish, extended then as far as the coast line -
notorious for smugglers, who were known to have used the Crispin. Reward posters
were often hung in the inn as a deterrent against those committing the offences
or as an incentive for those who wished to inform. In 1790, the Crispin became
the post house where the mail was collected and sorted and quite often the task
of delivering fell upon the shoulders of the resident keeper, a tradition that
lasted well into the nineteenth century. Inquests on bodies washed ashore were
held here throughout the nineteenth century. In 1857, a collision occurred
between a barge and a sailing ship, resulting in the loss of sixteen lives. Each
one of the corpses was carried on the shoulders of men from the beach to a lodge
at the rear of the inn, to await the coroner.
From 1850 until the turn of the twentieth century, innkeepers from other inns
and taverns would hold meetings here. They came to discuss business and collect
their spirits, for during this period the Crispin was the spirit wholesalers. A
business set up by one Charles Lepine in 1850. Lepine was for many years the
post master of the parish.
The St Crispin has seen many changes since first it was built, but its character
remains unchanged. So, stay, enjoy the fayre and reflect on those bygone days.
Sussex Advertiser 20 February 1826.
At the sale of the public houses and other estates, situate in the eastern
parts of the County of Kent, which took place at the "Bell Inn," Sandwich,
on Monday last, Messrs. Pott and Denne knocked down the following lots, at
the sums affixed to them, viz.:—
The "Bull," at Eastry, £1,190.
"Three Colts," Tilmanstone, £500.
"White Horse," Eythorne, £575.
"Red Lion," Frogham, £455.
"Rose and Crown," Womenswould, £166.
"Duke of Cumberland," Barham, £910.
"Charity," Woodnesborough, £710.
"Three Crowns," Goodnestone, £620.
"Admiral Harvey," Ramsgate, £1,150.
"Ship," Ramsgate, £1,250.
"Red Lion," St. Peters, £1,100.
"Crown and Thistle," St. Peters, £705.
"Crown, or Halfway-house," Sarr, £940.
"King's Head," Walmer Road, £425.
The "Duke of York," Walmer Road, £310.
The sale-room was most numerously attended.
We understand that the "Ship," at Ash, and "Crispin," at Worth, have since
been sold by private contract, the former for £750, and the latter for five
From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury,
29 May, 1869. 1d.
J. KIDDER. CRISPIN INN, WORTH
Begs to announce that he has taken the above Old-established INN and
trusts by attending assiduously to the comfort of his guests, and
keeping a first-class article always in stock, to receive a share of
Good accommodation for TEA PARTIES, Bowling-green, Stabling, &c., &c.
From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich
Mercury, 24 March, 1900.
MALTREATING A LANDLORD
John William Hinchcliffe and Robert Atkinson were charged with
assaulting William Ward, landlord of the "Crispin," Worth, on the
The prosecutor said the two men had been working at Worth for the
last week. He returned home about 5 p.m. the previous day and found them
at his house. They were served with beer in the tap-room. Witness went
to his tea and afterwards returned to the tap-room, as the men were
using bad language. He remonstrated with them, and Atkinson then
threatened him and wanted him to fight. He continued to use bad
language, and prosecutor took hold of him and put him out of the door.
The man then turned and tried to strike him. Hinchcliffe also left and
both returned and burst open the door. Atkinson again struck out at him
and Hinchliffe encouraged him, and eventually the latter took up a pint
glass and threw it at prosecutor, striking him on the head. He received
wounds in five places, and had to be attended by Dr. Chidley.
William Michelthwaite corroborated the prosecutor's evidence. He said
when the latter returned to the tap-room the men asked for more beer and
the landlord refused to serve them, and as they continued to use the
same filthy language Mr. Ward put Atkinson outside. The prosecutor then
bolted the door and the men kicked it and burst it open. They came
inside and Atkinson again struck Mr. Ward and Hinchcliffe threw a pint
glass at him. The glass caught a slanting piece of partition and broke,
the pieces striking the landlord's head. The latter was led to the
kitchen, and witness bathed his head.
The Magistrates sentenced each to 14 days with hard labour.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 4
WINGHAM PETTY SESSIONS
Mr. A. M. White, of the "Crispin," Worth, applied for an extension
from 10 to 12 p.m. on the 17th inst, on the occasion of the annual
dinner of the Horticultural Society. - Granted.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7
September, 1923. Price 1½d.
The licensee of the "St. Crispin," Worth, was granted an extension
for a harvest supper on September 20th.
The following four photographs have kindly been sent by Chris Excel, who
says they are his ancestors and friends enjoying Thompson Walmer Ales at
the St. Crispin at Worth in the 1930s.
From an email received 16 July 2014.
As far as I know the Solly family
and the Solley family famed for their dairies were not related.
I was interested to see the name Mary Elizabeth Solly as I thought
her name was Elizabeth, (I only knew her as Granny). All the postcards
and envelopes addressed to her that I have from her maiden days were
addressed to Elizabeth Pilcher.
Frederick Thomas Excell died of cancer and his wife ran the pub on
her own for about a year, at that time breweries did not allow widows to
carry on for more than a year, I think the term used was something like
the Widows Grace. She married Douglas Solly and continued at the pub but
I think the licence was then in the name of Douglas Solly.
For interest I attach a picture of the tombstone of Frederick Thomas
Excell which is at Worth Church, and a newspaper cutting of the obituary
of Douglas Solly. I don’t think the Excell’s could have had much money
because it was the customers who paid for the tombstone that is
Mr. Douglas Solly, of 32 Laburnum Avenue, Sandwich, died in Faversham
Hospital, aged 78, exactly eight weeks after the death of his elder
brother, mr. R. H. Solly, of Mill Wall Place, Sandwich.
Born in Sandwich, Douglas Solly was in his youth a very useful cricketer
and was a keen member of the old Sandwich Cricket Club in 1905. About
1907 he entered the accounts office of messrs. Warboys' Brewery in
Cambridge, of which his cousin, the late Mr. T. S. Colman, of Ash, was a
As a change from his sedentary occupation his hobbies were helping to
train greyhounds for coursing matches and visiting Newmarket to watch
the training of potential winners of the derby and other horse races and
passing on useful "tips" to friends!
At the outbreak of the 1914-18 War he joined the Royal Army Service
Corps and was placed in mechanised section as he was already an
experienced motor driver with a good technical knowledge of the inner
working of cars.
He served in France for over four years, driving the heave lorries
containing either food supplies or ammunition up to the firing line.
In 1920 with his war-gratitude he bought a fairly large fruit plantation
at Worth. For some years he worked at this successfully, but eventually
on medical advice he had, reluctantly, to relinquish it. Like so many
lorry-drivers of World War 1 who went for days and nights without sleep,
particularly during 1918 spring when the Allies were nearly defeated,
his health suffered as the years went by.
After selling the fruit plantation he became, for some years, "mine
host" of the old "St Crispin Inn" at Worth. Later he lived in London and
Sussex before returning to his home town permanently.
He was a widower with no family.
Behind his quiet reserved manner was a lot of good-nature and a keen
sense of humour. he had many friends in the district.
The cremation service at Barham was conducted by the Rev. Canon R. O.
Mourners, Mr. and Mrs. R. Solly (brother and sister-in-law). Miss Maxton
(niece) Mr. and Mrs. G. Excel, Mrs. F. Excel (also representing Mr. F.
Floral tributes were from: Bob and Dickie; Margaret, Lorna and Hazel;
Meg; Ted, Mary and Bill; Mrs. Marsh, George and Rose; Fred and Kitty.
Mr. E. W. Solly (brother) and Mr. and Mrs. W. Sage (nephew and niece)
were unable to attend.
From the Dover Express, Thursday 10 February, 2005.
SHOPS AND PUBS REWARDED FOR EXCELLENCE
The ancient inn of St. Crispin at Worth, near Deal, has won the
annual competition to find the best pub for tourists in the Dover
The result of the competition, run by the White Cliffs Country Tourism
Association, were announced this week.
St. Crispin Inn has recently changed hands, but when the
association's team of judges secretly visited Jane and Terry O'Brien
were in charge.
Two months ago plumber and heating engineer Tyrone Mayes acquired the
lease of the pub. The building is owned by Enterprise Inns.
Mr. Mayes, who continues to work as a plumber, said: "I had been
drinking as a customer at St. Crispin for 20 years."
He liked the place so much he bought the lease.
The attractive property, once a farmhouse, was built in 1420 and is
believed to be haunted.
In joint second place in the competition were the "King's Head" in
Beach Street, Deal, and the "Crown Inn" at Finglesham.
About 20 pubs were nominated by customers and were visited by
From the Dover Mercury, Thursday 17 February, 2005.
Historic Inn is 'best for tourists'
THE ancient inn of St Crispin at Worth has won the annual competition
to find the best pub for tourists in the Dover district.
In a secret visit, the White Cliffs Country Tourism Association
judges agreed it was the finest in the area.
St Crispin Inn, which is also a restaurant, has changed hands and
when the WCCTA team visited the public house Jane and Terry O'Brien were
But plumber and heating engineer Tyrone Mayes bought the 21-year
lease of the pub. The building is owned by Enterprise Inns.
Mr Mayes, who continues to work as a plumber, said: "I had been
drinking as a customer at St Crispin for some 20 years." He liked the
place so much he acquired the lease.
The property, once a farmhouse, was built in 1420 and some say
it is haunted.
In joint second place in the competition were the King's Head in
Beach Street, Deal, and The Crown Inn at Finglesham. About 20 pubs were
nominated by customers and were visited by the WCCTA judges.
From the Dover Mercury, 18 August, 2011.
NEW OWNERS AT VILLAGE INN
FAMILY BUSINESS: sisters Siobhan and Chantal Heard at the "St
Crispin Inn" in Worth.
The "St Crispin Inn" the beautiful traditional 15th century pub in
the village of Worth, is now under new ownership.
Mike Heard always liked the public house in The Street and has lived
in and been associated with the community for more than 25 years.
So with a long-time ambition to buy an inn to run as a family business,
his dream has now come true, with a little help from daughters Siobhan
Siobhan said: "I am managing the "St Crispin" and my younger
sister works at the pub too, so this is very much family run.
The "St Crispin" is on the edge of the village, with plenty of
parking at the front and back, a large garden, as well as six en suite
bed and breakfast rooms.
It is also the ideal place for a wedding or function, with a big
marquee in the garden that can cater for up to 100 people.
Since the family took ever at the end of June it has already
successfully hosted three marriages as well as a 30th birthday perty.
Siobhan has worked in pubs before so has a wealth of knowledge about
She said: "Running the business is a new and exciting venture for me,
we want to promote the "St Crispin" as a top venue for weddings and all
sorts of functions.
"We have just introduced a new a la carte menu for evening meals. We
have an impressive bar menu for lunch times and we also do special
senior citizens, meals.
"We only serve the best local produce which is all home-cooked. On
the real ale front we promise at least three different guest ales too."
The family has lots of plans for the "St Crispin" and lots of ideas
for its future.
Visit their web site at
I am informed in January 2015 that the pub is temporarily closed and is up for
Opened again under new licensee in March 2015.
GARDNER Clement 1625-53
GARDNER Avery 1653-68
GARDNER Amos 1668-82
SKULLEY Abraham 1682-1702 (registered as beer-house in 1690)
AMBROSE Michael 1702-14 (finally named The Crispin)
DYKE Elias 1714-27
LANCY (to be updated)
HAWKINS Joshua 1744-67
HAWKINS Mrs Fanny 1767-72
DURBAN James 1847+
LEPINE Charles 1850+
KIDDER J June/1869+
SMITH Richard 1882
ELLIS Edward 1899+
WARD William 1900+
MASTER Edward 1900-Nov/1908
BANKS to Sept/1904
MINTER J T Sept/1904+
WHITE Arthur W Nov/1908-10+
EXCELL Frederick Thomas 1913+
SOLLY Mary Elizabeth to Oct/1933
JACKMAN bernard Joseph Oct/1933+
TUCKER Cyril to Apr/1953
GOODGER Charles Apr/1953+
MANDER Cyril J 1974+
Owned by Cyril J Mander
LENHAM Geoff & Randy date unknown
MAYERS Tye & CHECKSFIELD Diane 2005+
HEARD Mike & Siobhan Aug/2011+
BLOWN Jason & WALFORD Peter Mar/2015+
From the Post Office Directory 1882
From the Post Office Directory 1913
Bagshaw Directory 1847
the Kelly's Directory 1899
Library archives 1974
From the Dover Express
From the Deal Walmer & Sandwich Mercury