Sort file:- Canterbury, December, 2023.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 19 December, 2023.


Earliest 1970

(Name from)

Thomas Becket

Open 2023+

21 Best Lane


01227 464384

Thomas Becket Thomas Becket sign 2012Thomas Becket sign 1975

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

Thomas Becket sign right May 1975.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Thomas Becket card

Above Whitbread card, 1973 and series unknown.

Thomas Becket inside 2012

Photo taken 24 April 2012 from by Jelltex.


The house can date back to as early as 1775 when it was registered as a Trade Club for bricklayers and was known as the "Bricklayer's Arms." In 1970, 800 years after the murder of Thomas Becket, it's name changed to what we know today.


From the Kentish Gazette, 10 August, 2000.


Regulars of a Canterbury pub held an impromptu street party on Friday to celebrate the Queen Mother's 100th birthday.

It was the idea of Cllr Richard Parkinson, who lives in Best Lane, where it took place.

Refreshments were served to regulars and passers-by from the "Thomas Becket" pub.

Licensee Jill Ward said: "It was an impromptu celebration and it was good fun."


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.”



WARD Jill 2000+

SMYTHE Charles 2020+


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