The Ypres Tavern was built in 1861 on a plot of land bought from Rev. George Simpson of Bobbing. He sold the land on a 99 year lease with an agreement that buildings would be put up within the year. Originally the Pub was known as the Railway Tavern.
Thomas Hales was the first licensee when it was a beer house, and the Hales also took in lodgers. Thomas' widow, Ann, continued to run the pub alone in the 1880's after she was widowed.
In the early 1900's it was owned by the Carr family, and later by the Wallington family who were in residence during the Second World War. At some stage during this period, it became a Style and Winch house.
The building has been altered and extended over the years, but originally it had large living accomodation and no less than 5 bars. The saloon and snug bars were accessed from West Street, with the other three accessed from Pembury Street. These three were known as the public bar, the jug and bottle bar and the family bar.
Is is thought that at some time in it's history, the Pub was extended into an adjoining house to form the pub that stands on the site today.
During the Second World War the open space behind the building housed a very large prefabricated water reservoir. This was used to assist the local Fire Brigade and was no doubt vital in putting out fires during the air raid in 1940, when many premises in West Street, Park Road and Dover Street were destroyed. The only damage sustained to the Railway Tavern was that all the windows were smashed.
In 1964 Sittingbourne was twinned with Ypres in Belgium. In honour of this the Pub name was changed to the Ypres Tavern.
In the 1980's when Wally Newell and his wife took over the pub, they started what became a tradition of adorning the front and side of the building with lovely floral displays of hanging baskets. These displays regularly won prizes duirng the 1980's and the tradition is maintained today, and the displays still win the prize most years for the best display in Sittingbourne.
Also in the 1980's a large extension was built to the rear of the original building on what used to be a large open area. This was originally used as a restaurant, but is today transformed into a large Function Room. A corridor from the original Pub building connects this room to the main Pub.
The open area to the rear of the Pub still remains, although not quite as large today, and is used as an outside seating area, most of which is undercover. Of course today, it's primary use is as a smoking area!