A full history of The Royal Oak Public House

Oak Creative isn’t based in an office block – we’re very proud to be working in a historical landmark that has seen its fair share of history.

When The Royal Oak building was a pub the following text was on the back of the menu, it tells the history of the building from 1560.

This inn known by the name and sign of The Royal Oak was built in the 2nd year of Elizabeth 1, in 1560. Though much of this original structure having been altered and modified during the reign of George III, is now engulfed in the present day building.

When first built the property was a farm dwelling and dravers cottage, owned by the estate of one Thomas Finch of Canterbury, who possessed lands and properties in that city, and the parishes of Stanford, Lympne, Hythe and Waltham. He possessed of this property as part of his estate with a farmer in occupation until his death in 1587, whereupon by the terms of his will, his estate passed to his son William, who possessed of the estate until his death in 1618, where after the property and his estate passed to his son Thomas. He in the year 1627 disposed of certain parts of his fathers estate, including this property to one Richard Flynn of Hythe.

In the year 1630, there resided here, bound to the estate of Flynn, one Jeremiah Swyffte, shepherd and drover of Stanford, who resided here with his wife Eliza and six children between 1630 and 1647. Following this period there lived here one Edgar Datchett, farmer and grazier with his wife Mary and Four sons until 1653. In 1672, there resided here one Thomas Wyffen, farmer and drover and his family. By this date Richard Flynn, had died and the property with the residue of his estate had passed to his children Robert and Elinor, in whose decendents it continued down until at length it came into the possession by marriage of Geoffrey Symons esq. of Hythe, in 1708.

In 1715, Geoffrey Symons sold off part of the estate, including this house and its land, which then totaled 12 acred, to one Philip Marsh of stanford. In that same year Marsh disposed of eight acres of land belonging to the house to Reuben Black, yeoman of Stanford, and in 1721, he sold the house and its land with two cottages at newingreen and three at Hythe to one Amos Farley, yeoman of Hythe. He in 1730 transferred the deeds to his property and others to one Michael Dormans, a nephew by his sisters marriage, who possessed it until his death in 1761, where after it passed to his son, also Michael. He in 1775 sold this house to one Caleb Buss, a farmer and brewer of Hythe.

In 1776, Buss was granted a licence to sell ales and ciders from the premises on certain days and between certain hours. The ale that buss sold was probably his own home brewed beverage. The house at this date remained an untitled beer house with buss registered as its keeper, or beer seller or tapster. He died in 1789, whereupon his wife anne was granted the licence. She ran the house until her death in 1797, whereupon her son Thomas took over the house, and upon doing so, applied for a wine licence which he was granted in August of that year. He then registered the house under the title of the “Royal Oak” the origin of which dates back to the reign of Charles II, and the restoration of the crown, and his escape from the parliamentarians by hiding in an Oak Tree.

Thomas Buss died in 1823, whereupon the executors of his will sold the inn to the Hythe Brewery. In that same year William Rignden took over the licence of the Inn. He stayed until 1838 when one Thomas Barley took over, who upon his death in 1845, was succeeded by his wife Martha, who remained here until her death in 1866, when in that year one John Casey took over the house. In 1873, one Thomas Divers came here to keep the Inn. During the whole of the period he was here, until his death in 1902, he carried on his original trade of a coal merchant as well as running the inn. Unpon his death his wife Jane took over the house, she left in 1908 and was replaced by William Tunbridge, he in 1918 by Edward John Carrington Russell, he in 1922, by Ernest H. Cox, heby Herbert E. Tree in 1929 and in 1936 one Edward Robert Auckland held the licence and continued to do so for the duration of the war years.

In 1823 the Inn was sold to the Hythe Brewery which was owned by a several people until in 1953, when the Royal Oak Motel was constructed, reputed to be the first motel in the UK. The Royal Oak Motel closed in 1989.

Holiday Extras bought the site in 1999. Two years later Oak Creative moved into the pub, and in 2009 we moved into the old horse stables at the rear of the pub, converting it into our new design studio.

If you can contribute any information or even images of the Royal Oak Building it would be greatly appreciated – either email Caroline on caroline@oakcreative.net, or call us on 01303 812848.

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