3-9 Church Lane
The Parrot pub was Simple Simon’s until 2008 but was originally called St Radigund’s Hall, a typical wealden hall house.
This is the oldest pub and one of the oldest buildings in Canterbury, dating from the 15th century and named after the monks of St Radigund at Bradsole near Dover. Virtually nothing of the early history is known, but at some time a first floor was created over the hall and the chimneys added, as with most hall houses. Going back to at least the beginning of the 20th century the building contained seven tenements: hence the pub’s postal address of 3-9 Church Lane. In 1937 it was in danger of demolition as unfit for human habitation, but discovery of many original details led to its restoration. For more details of the 1930s discovery and restoration click here. It was later used as a girls’ club, an annexe to the art college, a burger bar and finally a pub and restaurant.
What to see:
- A typical hall house frontage with jetties at each end, stuccoed on ground floor and tile hung on first, with a recessed centre section for the hall (Image 1).
- The building was once tucked beside the city wall, which can still be seen across the public garden at the front (Image 2).
- Two original doors with peep-holes in them, one with spandrels carved with quatrefoils, the main entrance has a restored 4 centred door with plain spandrels (Image 3).
- From the courtyard the brick infilled timber framework can be seen, together with evidence of another building at right angles to the hall in the alignment of the roofs (Image 4).
- The ground floor interior, including a real grey parrot (Image 5)!
- A fine roof with crown posts and brackets, visible from the first floor restaurant (Image 6).
Access: The building can be viewed externally at all times, but only by customers of the pub inside.
Sources: Scoffham (1993); Quiney (1993); http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-170574-st-radigund-hall-3-9-canterbury