Historic Pub Fire

Police and fire investigators say a fire that destroyed an historic Kent pub was started deliberately.

The Crispin and Crispianus in Strood, which was once a favourite of Charles Dickens, went up in flames on the evening of March 26.

Fifty firefighters, from Medway, Strood, Rainham and Gillinham, spent several hours trying to bring the fire under control.

The blaze destroyed the timber roof of the 19th century, grade II listed building. Most of the interior was also badly damaged. It is not know what will happen to pub which is now being supported by scaffolding.

It had been boarded up since September last year, and is believed to be owned by a property and estate management company based in Greater Manchester.

Dickens used to visit the Crispin and Crispianus on walks from his home in Higham. The author would apparently sit in a corner opposite the fireplace, and drink ale or brandy and water.

The bar featured a plaque, marking the spot.