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The story of Royal Victoria Bull Hotel. This is almost certainly Dartford’s oldest inn and was probably owned by Dartford’s Priory. The ‘Bull’ in the name refers not to the animal but to ‘bulla’ – a seal, or a papal edict secured by a seal. Indeed the Inn’s early name was the ‘Holy Bull’ – the holy seal or holy edict.

The Inn was rebuilt in 1703 with a gallery overlooking the yard, into which stagecoaches and carriages would enter through an entrance twice as wide as it is today.

The open yard was glazed over by the landlord in 1826 to provide a sheltered corn exchange. Over 100 years ago (1906), the workmen digging in front of the Royal Victoria and Bull Hotel at Dartford High Street in order to lay paving discovered the remains of the old town of Dartford. Unfortunately, the workmen did not realise the importance of their find and damaged most of the materials. The items that survived are now in Dartford Museum.

Historic significance of the Royal Victoria Bull Hotel

The Dartford Borough Museum also contains information about the Battle for Bull Centre. This was a clash between the local Salvation Army and town officials. The area opposite the hotel was traditionally used as a meeting place for religious and political groups. However, these meetings were ruled to be causing an obstruction and therefore local religious figures were imprisoned.

The hotel today

The Bull Hotel is a popular pub which also offers guest rooms on a B& B basis. Food is served daily in the bar. The hotel is located in the centre of the town. It is the ideal place to stay for a long weekend in Dartford. Near the hotel are cafes and restaurants, banks and shops. For a city experience, central London is just 18 miles away. Visitors can also enjoy country manors and green spaces by heading to the outskirts of the town.