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28th November 2023

Shepherd Neame reopens its Rochester riverside pub as The Royal Crown after a refurbishment fit for a king

Britain’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame has reopened historic Rochester pub, The Crown, after a stunning £1.2 million transformation – and reinstated its former name The Royal Crown.

The Grade II Listed building, situated near Rochester Bridge on the High Street, a short walk from Rochester Castle, dates back to the 1860s, but there has been an inn on the site since the 1300s.

It was previously known as The Royal Crown Hotel, and in honour of King Charles’s Coronation earlier this year – and in a nod to King Henry VIII’s historic visit to the town in 1539 to meet his fourth bride, Anne of Cleves – the pub’s relaunch has been marked with a return to the regal moniker.

During the past three months, the pub has undergone an extensive internal and external renovation, with care taken to retain and enhance its historic features while introducing a contemporary look and feel.

A new entrance lobby has been created, and customers can relax by the new feature gas fire which has been added in the main bar area after an unused fireplace was reopened. All new furniture and décor has been introduced throughout, while retaining traditional features such as original wood floors and dado panelling.

The first floor has been remodelled to create a spacious new feel, with a former storage room now part of the bar and restaurant area, and a previously boarded window reclaimed to allow stunning views of the River Medway. There is also a new private dining area overlooking the river, which can accommodate up to eight guests, named the King’s View.

Sport will remain at the heart of The Royal Crown, with the first floor area offering seven TV screens showing Sky Sports and TNT Sports, and further screens in the ground floor bar and restaurant.

It will also continue to cater for functions, with the first floor area, which can accommodate up to 100 people, available to hire. Further improvements to the facilities include a new accessible toilet on the ground floor, while the other toilets have been moved to the basement to free up more space, along with a unisex toilet on the first floor.

Customers will be able to enjoy a delicious new menu of light bites and traditional pub classics with a contemporary twist, served every day. Booking is advised for the pub’s popular Sunday Roast with all the trimmings, which will be making a welcome return, and young diners are in for a tasty treat, with the introduction of a tempting new Menu for Minis.

A selection of award-winning craft ales and lagers will also be on offer, along with a wide range of premium wines and spirits. And, exclusively at The Royal Crown, the pub will offer two of Shepherd Neame’s Classic Collection draught keg beers: Double Stout and Bishop’s Finger.

The team at the pub, which reopened to customers on Saturday (November 25), will continue to be led by General Manager Tom Crackett.

Managing Director, Pubs, Jonathon Swaine, said: “We are delighted to unveil The Royal Crown’s new look and offer. Our team have worked incredibly hard during the past months to revitalise this historic building while also preserving its unique character and features.

“The pub boasts an amazing riverside location in the heart of Rochester, and we are sure that following this stunning transformation it will continue to go from strength to strength.”

You can find The Royal Crown in Rochester High Street, ME1 1PT, by calling 01634 814874 and by visiting


About Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire Amber, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.

Shepherd Neame is not responsible for the content on third party websites.

For further information please contact Senior Communications Officer Angela Cole on 01795 542142 or email or visit

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