Sort file:- Canterbury, December, 2022.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 17 December, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Rory Kehoe

Earliest 1741-

White Swan

Latest 1941+

(Name to)

45 Northgate Street (44 in 1832)


White Swan 1928

Above photo circa 1928, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

White Swan 1930

Above postcard 1930, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

White Swan 1930

Above photo showing the "White Swan" next to St. John's Hospital, circa 1930. Taken from the Historic Canterbury web site.

Swan Curiosity Shop

Above photo, date unknown.

Carriage outside the White Swan 1946

Above photo, circa 1946, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Carriage outside the White Swan 1946

Above photo, circa 1946, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

White Swan 1958

Above photo, 1958, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Just before the development of the bombed site opposite.

Former White Swan 2009

Above image from Google, July 2009.

White Swan 1941

Above showing the premises in 1941.

White Swan Tudor bedroom

Above showing a Tudor Bedroom inside the "White Swan." Image appeared on a postcard, date unknown.

White Swan inside

Above postcard, date unknown.

Bedroom corner

Another postcard of the same era, showing the corner of a bedroom at the "White Swan."


Built in 1084 this building known as the "House of the White Swan" has functioned as a guest house and inn and is now addressed as number 48.

I have managed to trace it to date from 1828, but it is obviously much older and may have been serving as an inn much longer than that.


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.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 12 June 1849.


Important sale of the extensive Brewery

 of Messr's Flint, including 30 old established Inns and Public Houses, and other valuable property.

Mr. V. J., has received instructions to sell by auction, at the "Fountain Hotel," Canterbury, on Tuesday and Wednesday, 26th and 27th of June, at 12 o'clock each day, (in consequence of the death of the senior acting partner and the retirement of the surviving partners,) the valuable property known as Messrs. Flint's Brewery, in Stour Street, Canterbury, and the Inns, Public Houses, and other valuable property connected with theirwith. The first day sale on Tuesday, 26th June, 1849, will comprise the following property in and near the city.

Public houses.

Lot 1. The "City of Canterbury," situate on the road to Whitstable. Freehold.

Lot 2. The "George and Dragon," Westgate without, leasehold under Hind's charity for 17 years unexpired.

Lot 3. The "Three Compasses," Westgate within. Freehold.

Lot 4. The "Bell Inn" and Coach Office, in the High Street. Freehold.

Lot 5. The "Prince of Wales," St. Alphege Lane,. Freehold.

Lot 6. The "Weavers Arms," Broad Street, freehold and partly leasehold.

Lot 7. The "White Swan," Northgate. Leasehold under St. John's Hospital for a short term, at a ground rent.

Lot 8. The "Kings Head," Northgate. Freehold.

Lot 9. The "Swan Inn," at Sturry (close to the railway station). Freehold.

Lot 10. The "Ship," St. Martins Hill, freehold.

Lots 12. The "Star Commercial Inn and Tap," St George's, close to the Cattle market and Dane John. Freehold.

Lot 13. The "Blue Anchor," Old Dover Lane, near the Cattle market. Freehold.

Lot 14. The "Fleece Inn," High Street, opposite to the Corn market. Freehold.

Lot 28. Three neat Cottages opposite the Brewery, with large gardens extending to the river.

Lot 29. The "Two Brewers" public house and Spirit Warehouse, adjoining the last lot.

Lot 31. The "Black Dog" public house, Castle Street.

Lot 34. The "Duke's Head" Public House, Wincheap Street.

Lot 35. The "King's Head," Public House, Wincheap Street.

Lot 37. The "Royal Exchange," public house, Stour Street.

Lot 38. The "Kentish Arms," public house, and 5 cottages in Jewry Lane. Leasehold for a short term at a low rent.

Lot 40. The "Duke William," at Ickham, abiout five miles from Canterbury. Freehold.

Lot 41. The "Royal Oak Inn," at Deal. Freehold except a small portion.

Lot 42. The "King's Arms," Beach Street, Deal, and Cottage in the rear. leasehold for a short term, at a Ground rent.

Lot 43. The "Fleur De Lis," near the Railway Station, Dover. Leasehold for a term of 6 years, at a Ground rent of 3.

Lot 44. The "Two Brewers," Limekiln Street, Dover. leasehold for a term of 46 years, at a ground rent of 3.

Lot 45. The "Fountain Inn, adjoining the Market place at Dover. Freehold.

Lot 46. The "Lord Nelson," Radnor Street, near the harbour, Folkestone. Freehold.

Lot 47. The "Bricklayers Arms," Fancy Street, Folkestone. Freehold.

Lot 48. The "Castle Inn," at Sandgate. Leasehold for a short term, at a ground rent of 7s. 6d.

Lot 49. The "King's Head Hotel and Tap," at Margate. Freehold.

Lot 50. The "New Inn," at Elham, on the road to Hythe. Freehold.

Lot 51. The "King's Arms," at Milton near Sittingbourne. Freehold.

The Public Houses are for the most part in the occupation of unexceptionable tenants, and the majority of them are doing trades, both in beer and spirits, considerably above the average run of Country houses. (None of them have been beer shops; they're all old Licence Houses, with connections of long standing, thereby affording ample security for the permanency of the trade). The Premises generally are in a superior state of repair.

Particulars and Plans, price 1s. each, may be had of Messr's. Furleys and Mercer, Solicitors, Canterbury; at the "Fountain Hotel;" and of Mr. V. J. Collins, 3, Moorgate Street, London.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 23 May, 1863.


About nine o’clock on Tuesday evening some clothes were put down before the fire to dry in the kitchen at the “White Swan Inn,” Northgate, Canterbury. No notice was taken of them until about half-past ten, when the landlady found that they were all on fire, as also the mantle-piece, the hearth rug, and the chimney. Through the prompt assistance of the company they were speedily extinguished.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 05 June 1897.



George James, labourer, Canterbury v. H. Rylett, landlord of the "White Swan," Northgate Street, Canterbury.

This was a claim for 1. 5s., sick pay from a benefit club.

Plaintiff stated that he paid 2d. a week into the "White Swan Club," and was to receive 5s. a week when he was ill. They were also to share out at Christmas and start afresh. On the 19th March he was taken ill and went to Dr. Wacher, who said he was not fit for work and advised him to go to the hospital. He declared on the club on the 19th March and remained on it for five weeks and two days. The club paid him the first two days and then disputed it as they said he had only got a cold.

Defendant said he could not part with a halfpenny until he received a certificate signed by the secretary and person making the application. The club refused to pay plaintiff because he was seen out in all weathers.

Edwin Whiddett, president of the club, stated that they had a meeting and came to the conclusion that plaintiff was imposing upon the club. They agreed to pay him back every penny he had put in. Witness saw him out in all weathers.

His Honour said plaintiff paid the money into the club and was entitled to receive the benefit therefrom. There would be judgement for plaintiff by 5s. a week.


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald 15 February 1913.

Miscellaneous—Articles for Sale and Wanted, etc.


The Olde Northgate Curiosity Shope ("The White Swan"), St. John's, Canterbury.

Valentine Sinclair offers for sale a large collection of Jacobean beds, refectory tables, old monk's chairs (16th century); also 16th century wrought iron scroll gates with railings to match, and lacquered wardrobe in beautiful condition, with three drawers under, set Chippendale chairs; famous house for old brasses and copperware; all good authenticated; best price given for antiques; distance no object.



After being closed as a public house for many years, I am led to believe that it became a restaurant and later a handicrafts shop, but dates of these as yet unknown, the building opened up as the "Thomas Tallis" in 2016.



WELBY Charles 1824-32+ Pigot's Directory 1824Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Historic Canterbury web site

WELBY Jemima 1838-51+ (age 57 in 1851Census) Stapletons GuideHistoric Canterbury web sitePigot's Directory 1840Bagshaw's Directory 1847

ADAMS George 1858-74+ (also cooper age 45 in 1871Census) Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1862Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Post Office Directory 1874

McCONNELL Henry 1881-82+ (age 59 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

SHAW/SKAM Charles 1891+ (age 33 in 1891Census)

FREEMAN William 1891+ Post Office Directory 1891

RILETT Herbert 1903+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

SINCLAIR Vincent 1913+


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

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

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

Historic Canterbury web siteHistoric Canterbury web site

Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1868


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