There are great expectations for a pub made famous by Dickens... after it was bought at auction.
The successful bidder - known only as Mr Singh - hopes to inject a new lease of life into the Crispin and Crispianus in Strood, after he paid £92,000 for it.
The historic pub on Strood High Street could now be restored it to its former glory to preserve the town’s history.
Mr Singh, who paid £22,000 more than the predicted sale price, said: “I wanted it as a piece of history as my family used to go there every weekend going back as far as 40 years.
“It is the only historic landmark left in Strood and I want to preserve that for future generations.”
"it’s not every day you get a piece of history at that price" – pub buyer mr singhIn the pub’s heyday, Dickens, who lived in Medway as a child and returned to the area in his final years, was a regular.
The novelist was said to sit in the corner drinking ale and people-watching, hoping to find inspiration for his characters.
It featured in his book The Uncommercial Traveller, where he described how travelling workers would stay there, and the pub had a brass plate next to Dickens’ favourite seat.
Despite its history, the 17th century pub had run into difficulties and served its last orders in September 2010.
In March it was ravaged by a fire and has been a boarded-up eyesore ever since.
It is now highly unstable and Medway Council carries out regular inspections as it is feared it could deteriorate and threaten public safety.
Mr Singh, who hasn’t yet seen inside the pub to survey the damage caused by the fire, said: “I’m looking forward to it and I don’t see it as a challenge.
"It’s not every day you get a piece of history at that price.”
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.