Page Updated:- Friday, 14 April, 2023.


Earliest 1623

Woodman's Arms

Latest 1959+

(Name to)


Pett Bottom


I have also seen this pub addressed as being in Bridge and also Lower Hardres.

Information below, kindly taken from information at the "Duck Inn." This public house changed name to the above around the 1960s.


This Inn known by the name and sign of the Duck was built in the 20th year of James I, in 1623.

When first built, it was and remained for many years a farm dwelling, forming part of a considerable estate, though at the turn of the 17th century, the house was altered to form two dwellings, for records show that from this period until the mid 19th century, two families occupied the property at the same time.

At its date of founding, the property and the estate was owned by one Isaac Clinton, esq. of the City of Canterbury, who possessed the mortgages on lands and properties in that City and within the parishes of Stelling, Petham, Hardres and Bridge. He possessed it until his death in 1647, whereupon it passed, by the terms of his will with the residue of his estate to his son Samuel of Petham, who possessed it until his death in 1701.

In his will drawn up in August that year he decreed, "to mye son Robert, my messuages cawled wodelands, situate and lying nere Bridge, with yts landes theretoe belonginge and mye messuage at Petham with its lands theretoe his house at Canterbury, to another son Joseph, a house at Stelling and his newest mare, to his daughters Sarah and Naomi he left 50 shillings each to be given to them on the day of their marriage."

Robert Clinton possessed this property with its land then totalling 7 acres of arable and pasture with other lands and property until his death in 1732. In occupation here in one cottage, at this date, was one Clement Foxearth farm worker, with his wife Amy and seven children, residing in the other was one Richard White, farmer, his wife Eliza and five children.

By 1759 these families were no longer recorded as living in the parish and at this date the dwellings were numbered 1 and 2 Woodlands cottages. Residing in No.1 was Thomas Steere, farm labourer and family, and in No.2 was one William Collins, his wife Louise and eight children.

By the year 1780, the property, still part of an estate was in the hands of one Thomas Dack, a descendant by marriage of the Clintons, in that year however, he disposed of 5 acres of land belonging to the property to one William Buss, yeoman of Bridge, and in 1785 sold these cottages with the remaining land, and two other cottages with land nearby to one Ruben Clare, yeoman of Petham. He possessed of them with tenants in occupation until the year 1793, when he disposed of parts of his estate, including the property to Henry Corner of Canterbury, who owned the mortgages on a number of the properties situated in and around Canterbury. In 1806 he sold this property to Michael Price, wheelwright and horse dealer of Bishopsbourne. He possessed and remained in occupation here until his death in 1831, whereupon the property passed to his son Neville, who in 1842, sold the house to one Thomas Goodman, Grocer of Bishopsbourne. He in 1849 was granted a licence to sell ales only from these premises called Woodland, where he also conducted a grocery and provision business.

The Property remained a grocers shop with its owners in occupation until the late 1890's. It had three more keepers after Thomas Goodman, in 1862, one Thomas Sergeant, grocer and beer seller was here. In 1874, William Newell, grocer and beer seller and by 1900 Thomas Needle grocer and beer seller. By this date the property was registered as a general store and beer house, and was now again a dwelling.

In 1904 one Thomas Steupples was granted a full licence and upon being so he registered the house under the title of the “Woodmans Arms”. He left the house in 1906 and was succeeded by John Sutton, tavern keeper. He kept the house until his death in 1917, whereupon his widow Jane took over the licence. She stayed until 1933 when in that year she was succeeded by John Bristol, who stayed until 1937, when one Frank William Cowder took over, and he held the licence for the duration of the war years.

The Inn has seen and undergone many changes since it was first built. Today it is called the “Duck Inn”, a name it was given in the 1960's. But through all these changes the house has retained its historic atmosphere. So stay, enjoy the fayre and reflect on those bygone days.



GOODMAN Thomas 1849-62

SERGEANT Thomas 1862-74

WILSON William 1881+ (widower and retired beer house keeper, age 84 in 1881Census)

WILSON James 1881+ (beerhouse keeper 1881Census)

NEWALL William to 1900

?NEEDLE Thomas 1900-04?

STUPPLES Thomas 1901-06 (widower age 60 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

SUTTON John 1906-1917 dec'd

SUTTON Jane 1917-33 Post Office Directory 1918

BRISTOL John 1933-37

LOWDER Frederick (Frank) William 1937-45+ Post Office Directory 1938


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1918From the Post Office Directory 1918

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938




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