Shepherd Neame pub reopens after £1.2m revamp

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Holy spirit: The Dean of Rochester blesses the pub as it reopens
Holy spirit: The Dean of Rochester blesses the pub as it reopens

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Shepherd Neame has reopened its historic pub the Royal Crown in Rochester, Kent, following a £1.2m refurbishment.

The pub company paraded a steam wagon to the streets of the town from the historic dockyard to the Grade II-listed pub.

The building overlooks the River Medway and is a short walk from Rochester Castle.

It has undergone a renovation which has retained its historic features while introducing a contemporary look and feel.

Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame presented representatives from the Medway Queen Preservation Society and the Rochester City Centre Forum with donations of £1,000 each.

Neame said: “We are delighted to officially celebrate the reopening of The Royal Crown, after what is undoubtedly a remarkable refurbishment.

“Our team have worked incredibly hard to bring this project to fruition, revitalising a building steeped in history, which is now serving today’s customers with a warm welcome, in a stunning setting.

“I am certain that the Royal Crown, led by General Manager Tom Crackett, will continue to go from strength to strength.”

The Dean of Rochester Cathedral Philip Hesketh pulled the first pint and the pub before blessing it with a specially-written blessing.

The dean also blessed a hop garland, provided by William and Caroline Alexander of Castle Farm in Shoreham.

He added: “I was delighted to bless the first pint in the beautifully renovated Royal Crown – just a stone’s throw from Rochester Cathedral.

“It was also heartwarming to see Shepherd Neame giving back to the community with its two generous donations to local groups.”

The refurbishment of The Royal Crown has included the creation of a new entrance lobby, a new feature gas fire in the main bar area, all new furniture and décor with original wood floors and dado panelling retained.

The first floor has also been remodelled to create a spacious new feel, and there is now a new private dining area overlooking the river, named the King’s View.

Rochester and Strood MP Kelly Tolhurst said she had many fond memories of the pub.

She added: “I, of course welcome the investment by a local company, Shepherd Neame that has provided the Royal Crown with a new lease of life.  Just in time to enjoy plenty of Christmas cheer!”

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