Gunston or Goodnestone Alehouses

The following information about the alehouses of the old parish of Goodnestone, sometime Gunston, came to light some twenty or more years ago whilst I was researching the alehouses of Nonington and was therefore not pursued in any great detail and is in note form. The information was obtained in the main part from the Wingham magistrates annual licencing records held at the Kent County archives at County Hall, Maidstone, which is now the Kent Archives and History centre, and from documents held at the now closed KCC archives at Whitfield. I hope this information will be of interest and, hopefully, some help to other local historians and family researchers


The Redd Lyon .

On the licencing rolls of 1674, and later, John Manvill/Manvell is shown as the holder of the victuallers licence of premises in Goodnestone, no sign is shown, believed to be the husband of Elizabeth Manville.

1705: Elizabeth Manville recorded as the license holder at the Redd Lyon in Goodnestone.

The Redd Lyon premises in Goodnestone Street.
In 1717 Elizabeth Manville, widow, sold the following to John Nash: “Messuage or tenement, malt house, mill house, barn, lands, hereditaments and premises.  Abutting Gunston St. To the west, lands of the late Wm. Pain, now Brooke Bridges, to the north and lands formerley of Thos. Wanstall and now Jn. Ratcliffe to the east and south”.  The Redd Lyon would appear to have brewed its own beer in some quantities as it had its own malt house and mill.  The Redd Lyon is not listed as licenced premises after this sale, although the malt house was still operating as such when Sir Brooke Bridges bought the premises in 1810.


The Three Crowns.

This premises appears to have opened not long after the Redd Lyon closed as it occupies a different site on the other side of the street. I have no information as to who owned The Three Crowns premises before Bradley’s the brewers.

When the alehouse was purchased by Sir Brooke Bridges in 1826 from its then owners Bradley’s, brewers from Sandwich who went bankrupt, it was described as having “the Kings highway to the east, the Church yard to the south and Sir Brooke Bridges land to the west and north”.

This is the site of The Fitzwalters Arms. 


Nov 1718. Johnathan Cornwall-license issued.

1730.   James Dixon.

1737. Jane Dixon, widow.

1756. James Dixon. jnr.

1773.   details not known until

1825. Job Morris.

1826. On the 13th February, 1826, The Three Crowns was one of several public houses sold at auction at The Bell Inn at Sandwich by Messrs. Pott and Denne on 13th February, 1826. It was “knocked down” for £620.00 to Sir Brooke Bridges Bt. of Goodnestone Park.
The Three Crowns had been part of the estate of Bradley’s, brewers from Sandwich who had gone bankrupt. Amongst the other Bradley’s premises sold at the auction was The Red Lion at Frogham, which sold for £455.00, and The Rose and Crown at Woolege in Womenswold parish which only realized £166.00.

1829. Job Morris

1830.William Raynor

1839 still as above

The Bridges Arms.

1845 Wm. Raynor (the name had now been changed to The  Bridges Arms).

1866 -1911. James Clements, in 1887 also shown as a local carrier.

No details after 1911.


  • Paul Plumptre

    The Red Lion at Frogham rings a bell. 1) was the purchaser for £445 in 1826 John Plumptre. (I recall he died one year later; his heir being John Pemberton Plumptre.) 2) The Red Lion of Frogham was evidently the Plumptre’s preferred local ale-house (well, for the servants, the family would not frequent such haunts much). 20 years ago, I am sure I saw in a drawer at Fredville, a ticket for a free meal at the Red Lion Frogham, to celebrate the victory of John Pemberton Plumptre MP in the famous ‘Reform Bill’ election of 1833 for the Canterbury seat. Bribery via a free meal was an accepted part of elections in those days. 3) I believe the Red Lion had become the Phoenix pub by the 1950s; my father demolished it in the 1960s.

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