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Shepherd Neame buys Rochester's Crown pub

A landmark town centre pub has been bought by Kent brewery Shepherd Neame.

The Crown is at the top of High Street, Rochester, looking out onto the historic bridge and River Medway.

Crown Pub, Corporation Street, Rochester
Crown Pub, Corporation Street, Rochester

The present building dates back to the late 1700s.

It is not known at this stage what the Faversham-based brewery intends to do with it or how much it paid.

But the guide price for the business was £1.1million.

For the past 20 years, father Steve Kray and his eldest son Pete have been manning the pumps.

They firmly believe their hands-on teamwork has helped them survive a series of challenges.

Steve and Pete Kray at The Crownin Rochester High Street. Picture: Chris Davey. (12958306)
Steve and Pete Kray at The Crownin Rochester High Street. Picture: Chris Davey. (12958306)

Steve, 58, has now retired and 35-year-old Pete, who started helping out when he was 15, will continue to work at the pub as manager.

When Steve bought the pub, he closed it for six weeks for refurbishment and reverted the name from the Norman Conquest, adopted by the previous owner, back to The Crown to be more in-keeping with the historic town.

The original pub on the site catered for royalty, including Elizabeth I and King Charles V of Spain, before it was demolished.

Shepherd Neame's director of retail and tenanted operations, Nigel Bunting, said: "We are always looking for opportunities to add high-quality outlets to our estate.

The Norman Conquest before refurbishment (12955838)
The Norman Conquest before refurbishment (12955838)

"The Crown is a great pub in a fantastic location, and we are confident it will prove a valuable addition to our portfolio.

"We look forward to working with Peter and the team to ensure The Crown’s offer continues to go from strength to strength.”

Shepherd Neame, Britain's oldest brewer, has 323 pubs across London and the south east.

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