Sort file:- Hythe, November, 2023.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 19 November, 2023.


Earliest 1475

White Hart

Open 2020+

71 High Street


01303 238304

White Hart

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

White Hart 1948

Above photo, 1948, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

White Hart

Above postcard, date unknown.

White Hart 2007

Above photo 2007 by Kevin Woolterton Creative Commons Licence.

White Hart 2017

Above photo 2017.

White Hart sign 1991White Hart sign 2010

White Hart sign Left March 1991. Sign right, 2010.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

White Hart cardWhite Hart card 1953

Above card issued March 1953. Sign series 4 number 49.

White Hart garden

Above postcard, 1949, showing the garden of the "White Hart."


Full name for this is the "White Hart Commercial Inn and Family Hotel."

This pub has no cellars, which gives rise to the possibility that the house was a waterfront tavern, before the sea moved away and left the town high and dry. In 1670 the landlord, John Bassett, issued his own tokens as small change, when official copper coinage was in short supply. When the Town Hall was built next door, the Mayor rented a room in the inn for use as a robe chamber.


White Hart History.

This inn known by the name and sign of the White Hart was built in the 18th year of Richard II, in 1395. Though the original structure is contained mainly in parts of the interior the building exterior has changed, having undergone extensive alterations down through the centuries, particularly in the late 17th century when the present facade was erected and again in the 18th.

When first built the property, then a dwelling house was part of the estate of one Thomas Fordred gent of Lympne, in whose descendants it remained until the Year 1468, when at length it passed by sale to John Frenche esq. of Newingreen parish, and it was whilst in his possession and with his consent, that the governing body of the port of Hythe, granted a licence to the house and to one Francis Burley, a fisherman and ale house keeper of Folkestone. It was in the same year, 1475, that the house came to be registered under the title of the White Hart though at the time of registration it was written as the Whytte Harte and in later years as the Whyte Hearte.

In 1580, the executors of the Fynche estate sold the White Hart to Thomas Hart gent. of Sellindge. At this date one Thomas Hobday, saddler was keeper here. He kept the inn until his death in 1610, at which he is described as an Austlar at the Whit Harte. After his death the house came to he kept by his daughter Jane. It was around this date that the Mayor and Jurats of Hythe assembled here at the inn, and dined after electing new members of parliament for the port. In 1625, a letter from the Duke of Buckingham recommending his parliamentary choice was read out. After giving the matter consideration the Mayor and Jurate elected their own choice, drafted a reply to the Duke and dined at the White Hart.


Kentish Gazette 24 July 1773.


Begs Leave to inform his Friends and the Public in general, that he has taken the Post-House and Excise-Offices, the Sign of the "White Hart" in this Town, where Gentlemen and Ladies may be accommodated in the best Manner, and their Favours gratefully acknowledged.

N.B. Neat Post-Chaise to any Part of England.


Kentish Gazette, 21 August 1773.

Lost, from Hythe, about 10 days for a fortnight since. A white spaniel dog with red ears, answers to the name of Toss.

Whoever will bring the said dog to the "White Hart," at Hythe, shall receive half a Guinea Reward.


Kentish Gazette, 2 January, 1779.

White Hart Inn, Hythe. Post and Excise Office.

John Petley, (successor to Mr. William Tritton) humbly solicits the commands of the public in general, and particularly those gentlemen and ladies who dealt their favours to his predecessor; assuring them that nothing shall be waning to merit the continuance of their obligations, which will be ever gratefully acknowledge by the dutiful and most obedient humble servant.

Neat post chaises and able horses; good beds, good wines, and excellent larder.


Kentish Gazette 2 March 1802.

On Tuesday se'nnight was found hanging in a stable, at the "White Hart Inn," Hythe, John Smith, servant to Major Dalton, of the West Kent militia.


Kent Gazette Reports 10 December 1805.

White Hart, Hythe.

S. FOREMAN is thankful to his Friends for the encouragement he has received in the above situation for many years past, and respectfully informs them, he has now on sale A large Stock of Choice Old Spirituous Liquors OF ALL SORTS, which he purposes selling, (for the convenience of small families) in any quantity, (not less than a bottle,) upon as low terms as it is possible to he sold by any of his competitors.

N.B. Bottled Ale, Porter, Cider, and Foreign Wines of the best quality.


Kentish Gazette, 24 June, 1806.

Fire at Hythe.

Saturday evening, about 11 o’clock, a fire broke out in the stables of the "White Hart Inn," Hythe, and in a short time entirely consumed them. At the breaking out of the fire, there were eleven horses in the stables, seven of which were got out in safety, by the exertions of the Landlord, and his Grace the Archbishop’s Coachman, who ventured into the stables at the hazard of their lives, and cut the halters. Of the remaining four (which were the Archbishop’s) we are concerned to state, that two were consumed in the flames, another was so severely burnt, that it was found expedient to destroy it immediately it was got out of the stable, and the fourth was much scorched, but hopes are entertained of its recovery. About five tons of hay, straw, &c. were consumed, together with the harness belonging to his Grace’s horses, whose loss, it is supposed, will amount to nearly five hundred pounds. Too much praise cannot be given to the inhabitants of the town, to Quarter-Master Rhine, and a party of the 12th light dragoons, and the picquet guard of the 52d regt. which attended on the first alarm, with the barrack engine, and by their united and active exertions stopped the further progress of the fire, which would have probably extended itself to the inn, and to that part of the town immediately adjoining. The building was insured for a trifling sum, in the Kent Fire Office, the remainder of the property was not insured. The cause of the fire has not yet been ascertained.


Kentish Gazette, 24 June, 1806.

S. FOREMAN, "White Hart Inn," Hythe, impressed with gratitude, returns his warmest thanks to the inhabitants of Hythe, and the gentlemen of the army, not only for their very active assistance at the unfortunate fire on his premises on Saturday evening, but also to the former for their liberal offer to him of accommodation for guest horses, till he can get his stables rebuilt; which obligations he will ever gratefully acknowledge.

Hythe, June 23, 1806.


From the Kentish Gazette, 18 February 1840.


(The following was in response to Queen Victoria's recent marriage to Prince Albert on 10 February 1840. Paul Skelton.)

The day was ushered in by the ringing of bells. A dinner was prepared at the "Swan Inn" at five o'clock, which was attended by the mayor and principal inhabitants. In the evening the band paraded the town, and several houses were illuminated. The children of the National Schools were plentifully regaled with plum cake and wine, to drink the health's of the illustrious Queen and Prince. A numerous party also assembled at the "White Hart Inn;" the evening was spent with the greatest cordiality, and many loyal and patriotic toasts were drunk.

Kentish Gazette, 2 March 1847.


Hills:- Feb. 21, at Hythe, Adelaide, daughter of Mr. John Hills, of the "White Hart Inn," aged 16.


From the Folkestone Herald, 9th May, 1931.

W G Humphreys 1931

Above photo showing Mr W G Humphreys, of the "White Hart Hotel," Hythe, whose death occurred last Saturday. Mr. Humphreys had taken over the hotel only three weeks ago.


The pub closed for a time in 2008 but reopened again in 2010.


From the By Sean Axtell, 19 December 2017.

Rowdy behaviour sparks White Hart's New Years Eve cancellation, says landlord Ben Wilson.

An historic high street pub says it will close on New Year’s Eve following “rowdy behaviour” at previous events.

Ben Wilson 2017

Ben Wilson’s family has run the White Hart on Hythe High Street for seven years.

Explaining the decision, he said: “It’s just the typical rowdy behaviour from lads on a night out. And because it falls on a Sunday it made the decision easier to make.

“We’re not the kind of pub that promotes hardcore drinking, we don’t do shots or live music.

“We never have trouble in here, we’ve only seen it on the last two New Years Eves and it can get you down.”

Mr Wilson and his parents have transformed the red-brick pub, dating back to 1395, into an intimate tavern and restaurant.

Mr Wilson says he was disheartened when the restaurant cleared out early last New Year’s Eve.

“Last year we were nowhere near as busy. All our restaurant clientele left, we closed before half ten,” he said.

It comes as the "King’s Head" pub, about a hundred metres away in the High Street, announced it would also shut its doors so staff can relax.

Kendra Lennon, the pub’s chef, said: “We will only be open until 4pm that day, we always shut on New Year’s Eve. It gives staff a chance to have a rest.”

But other landlords are determined to open on one of the pub trade’s busiest nights of the year.

They include Paul Thomas, boss of the "Red Lion" in Red Lion Square and Nicola Ewart-Plane, of the "Globe Inn," just opposite.

Mr Thomas said: “We’ll be open for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, we don’t ever get any trouble.

“I keep it very tidy here, I like a nice, clean and tidy bar.”

Ms Ewart-Plane added: “It has fallen quite strangely because we’re not normally open on a Sunday.

“We will have live music from 9pm. Yes, we are going to be open every day – we will be open both Christmas and New Years Eve.”


From the Dover Express, Thursday 1 August 2019.

White Hart 2019

WHERE: High Street CO-OWNER Ben Wilson, 37, took over this historic pub nine years ago with parents Peter and Gilly Wilson. Mr Wilson, who employs, four chefs and 15 staff in all, says he is a great believer of evolving and change.

From redecorating regularly, to bringing in a selection of different menus, Mr Wilson said this is the key to keeping customers on board. That, and fresh, hearty food served to his guests' tables.

Ben said: "Business has changed slightly over the years as more people come to live here. I will be honest, I think we have lost a bit of custom through the Harbour Arm in the summer months, we have lost footfall.

“But it is up to me to keep people coming in, we cook everything fresh, we have a pizza oven.

"Before the Harbour Arm we had some really good summers, where we had our peak, but you have always got to keep your finger on the button.

"But Hythe has a great variety, everyone is having a go. As my dad says, you can't drag them in, you need to entice them in off the streets."

He paid tribute to the variety in Hythe and said many punters come into the bar for a drink before heading out for a meal.

“Give everyone an equal chance," he said.

"Hythe is a beautiful place, there is a lovely feel to the high street."



BURLEY Francis 1475+

HOBDAY Thomas 1580-1610 dec'd

HOBDAY Jane (daughter) 1610+

BASSETT John 1670+

TRITTON William 1773-Jan/79

PETLEY Mr Jan/1779-85+ Kentish Gazette

FOREMAN S 1805-06+

HILLS John 1832-47+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

KEY George 1851-62+ (age 53 in 1861Census)

FISHER John 1871-74+ (age 50 in 1874Census)

COBAY John 1881-99+ (age 35 in 1881Census)

HUMPHREYS W G Mr to April-May/1931 dec'd

HUMPHREYS Selina A Mrs May/1931-34+

WILSON Gilly, Peter & Ben 2010-19+


Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette

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



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