The Elephant and Hind


(Picture Courtesy of Eddie Chard)


The Ellie is the latest incarnation of a line of hostelries that have stood on this spot for over 300 years.  The picture above was taken in 1983.  The old market hall can be seen to the right - now mostly demolished and re-built in its original role as a museum.

No. 18 Market Square traded under the sign of the Butcher's Arms from as early as 1690 to the 1820s.  In 1835 it was renamed the Duchess of Kent, with a sign showing the Duchess wearing a turban.  This house, like many others in the town, used to open at 3.30 a.m., a privilege that was renewed in 1874 and again in 1900.

Along with its next-door neighbour, the Walmer Castle (formerly Hare and Hounds), it had the distinction after the outbreak of war in 1914 of being one of only 4 licensed premises (the other 2 were the buffets at the Town and Harbour stations) allowed to serve alcoholic drinks after 9 p.m.

In 1962, planning permission was granted to merge the Duchess of Kent and the Walmer Castle into a single establishment, named the Elephant and Hind.  The sign was a combination of the trademarks of the two brewers, Fremlins (the elephant), owners of the Castle, and Mackeson (the hind) owners of the Duchess, who held equal shares in the new pub.

Affectionately known by the locals as the Ellie, this was an obvious choice of name when the premises were modernised a few years ago and re-opened as a cafe bar with continental-style seating outside.

Information on this page taken from Smith (1991)