~ THE RED LION INN ~
HIGH STREET, CANTERBURY
Was located beside the Guildhall, taken down c. 1806?
"In 1520 we find the following charges for entertaining the ambassadors sent by the Emperor Charles V. to Henry VIII. in the city of Canterbury:"
"Item, xth day of September, paied for a turbot 11d, and a trought 2s, given to the Emperour's ambassadours at the Rede Lyon, summa 2s 11d. Item for perys (pears) 4d. Item for grapys 2d. Item for 2lb. of sucket* 20d; for one pound of comfitts** bought at Master Rutlondes 16d."
The Gentlemen's Magazine 1845 (On the Municipal Archives of the City of Canterbury. By Thomas Wright, Esq. M.A. F.S.A. &c.)
AD 1719, the Aldermen were paid 40s. each towards holding the courts at their respective wards. A.D. 1700, "Accounting Day" being ordered to be held at Alderman Wilson's house, called the "Red Lion," the Aldermen were allowed twenty pence each only for their dinners, and a quart of wine for two. Canterbury in the Olden Time, John Brent
..."But of this fair hall it is now difficult to find the place; perhaps it was pulled down to furnish materials for the Red Lion Inn, in our HIgh Street (which belongs to the owner of the monastery) for the wainscotting of the great parlour is said to have been brought from the hall of St. Augustine's, and very probably was so, having been painted with pieces of scripture history, as hanging up in frames; but some years ago an attempt to clean and recover one of these pictures having failed, the whole was battened to resemble pannel work, and painted over of one colour." A Walk in and about the City of Canterbury, William Gostling
"An Inn still standing, called the Red Lion, entertained the ambassadors of Charles V. in 1520." ?? (I question this, as still standing in 1872, unless a new one was built with this name)
The Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, Vol. I. 1872
"Though the Dover road was still one of hte best in the kingdom, the Dover flying machine, carrying only four passendgers, took a long summer's day to perform the journey. It set out from Dover at four o'clock in the morning, breakfasted at the Red Lion, Canterbury, and the passengers ate their way up to town a various inns on the road, arriving in London in time for supper." Lives of the Engineers
According to Walter Cozens (1906) "When the old Red Lion Inn disappeared from the High Street in 1806, in order to open the new thoroughfare we call Guildhall street, it is very probable that the Medical Hall was built."
The Red Lion Inn, a large building that formerly adjoined the Guildhall, having been pulled down, a new street (called Guildhall street) has been opened from the High-street into Palace street, being the direct road to Margate, Ramsgate, &c. At the entrance of this street stands the side front of the Guildhall, immediately opposite to which a very compact range of buildings have been erected, originally fitted up as an inn and tavern, and called the Guildhall Tavern, for which purpose part is now occupied, and the remainder has been converted into a Bank and other offices. The old established Catch and Glee Club*, so frequently visited by strangers passing through Canterbury on Wednesdays is also held under this roof. Near this has lately been erected, a handsome edifice for philosophical purposes, where lectures are given. It contains a library and museum, which are highly creditable to the projectors and members. Ward's Canterbury Guide, 1843
*George Neame Esq. President of the Catch Club Canterbury (Dover Telegraph 1850, Oct 5)
There is a book called "Minutes of the proceedings of a general court-martial, holden at the Red-Lion Inn, Canterbury, on Thursday June 11, 1795 against Major James Manely." Printed and sold by W. Bristow, also to be had of Mr. Debrett, Piccadilly
*a sweetmeat **comfit - a caraway seed coated with sugar (help digestion), or a piece of fruit, seed or nut coated with sugar
© T. Machado 2007