The George Inn is owned and run by landlord Michael Patten. Michael bought this old Kentish inn, built in 1715, in 2006. At the same time, he was running the oldest and, arguably, the busiest pub in Canterbury, known as Simple Simon’s (now The Parrot). In 2008 he moved into The George, a Grade II listed building. The following five years were spent on repairs and restoration, and making peace with the resident ghosts.
One such ghostly visitor, the story goes, is dressed in 18th century clothing and sits, drinking at a corner table in the bar. Rumour has it he utters a foul curse as he knocks over his mug of mead. And, on the darkest of winter nights may be heard the muffled sound of hoof beats as a band of knights ride past on Stone Street. Could it be those same four knights who, at the behest of Henry II, were riding to Canterbury Cathedral intent on the murder of archbishop Thomas Becket? It was December 29th in 1170, when Reginald FitzUrse, William de Tracey, Hugh de Morville and Richard le Breton rode up Stone Street to attack the archbishop. Three stabbed him with their swords and the fourth cut off his head, scattering his brains around the cathedral.
Another visitor, in the flesh, arrived at The George more recently, looking for the place his grandfather allegedly came to, for a drink, having survived the crash of an American bomber near Six Mile Bottom during World War II.
The George also boasts a Grand National runner, stabled in what is now The Long Room at this old coaching inn, in the late 1940’s. Photographic records show Celtic Cross apparently enjoying a pint with the locals in the bar! And, when Stone Street was much quieter than today, The George was the meeting point for the local hunt. At one time much of the land around the pub was owned by Mackeson’s Brewery, in Hythe. The barley grown would have been used to brew their famous stout.