Page Updated:- Sunday, 16 January, 2022.


Earliest 1855-


Latest ????

Lenham Heath


Bull 1900

Above postcard, circa 1900, kindly sent by Allan Ward.

Bull Inn

Above photo, date unknown, supplied by the Lenham History Society.

Bull 1919

Above postcard, 1919, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. The sign on the central building says Ashford breweries and shows the buildings of the Chapman Brewery later the Lion Brewery.

Forstal 2010

Above Google image, May 2010 of former Brewery buildings


From the Kentish Gazette, 15 November 1842.

Shocking Accident.

On Wednesday, the 2nd instant an inquest was held before J. Hinde. esq., coroner at the "Bull," Lenham-heath, on the body of Edward Bramwell a lad in the employ of Mr. William Chapman, of Lenham, farmer, who came by his death in the following shocking manner.

W. Ransley deposed that he was bailiff to Mr. Chapman; on Saturday last he and deceased were at plough on Mr. Chapman's farm, with a one-horse plough when on turning a corner the horse suddenly took fright and ran away for twenty or thirty rods; witness and the deceased did all they could to stop the horse, and the deceased in his endeavours to do so, was thrown down, and became entangled in the plough; the horse was a very quiet one, and he could not account for his taking fright.

W. Boorman deposed that he was a labourer residing at Lenham; he saw the horse running away; got over the hedge and succeeded in stopping it, and found the deceased entangled in the plough; he took him out, and finding he was much hurt carried him home to his father's house, and the first witness immediately went for a surgeon; the deceased died the following Monday morning.

Charles Wilks deposed that he was a surgeon at Charing; about twelve o'clock on last Saturday he was requested to attend the deceased; he did so and on examining him he found he was very faint and had a severe lacerated wound on the upper part of the left thigh; dressed the wound and ordered the deceased some wine; was of opinion that the deceased had died from the injuries he had received.

Verdict, "That the deceased was accidentally Killed by a horse running away."


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 8 January 1870.

At the petty sessions on Tuesday, before H. B. Walker. G. E. Sayer, and W. D. Walker, Esqrs., and Sir E. Knatchbull, Bart., a charge of assault against six young men, belonging to Egerton, occupied the attention of the Court for an unusual length of time. The names of the defendants were Robert White, William Bolton, Frederick Maxted, John Russell, James Vane and William Burton. The prosecutor was an elderly man named Richard Stroud, in the employ of W. B. Foster, Esq., of Egerton. Mr. Langham, solicitor, appeared for the prosecution, and Mr. Till for the defence.

It appeared that on the evening of December 24th, Stroud went into the "Bull," at Lenham Heath, and remained there till nearly twelve o'clock. As he was coming out he was set upon by the defendants, who knocked his hat off, hustled him, and spat upon him. Burton kicked him, but not severely, and White knocked his hat off. Complainant went home and about two o'clock in the morning, White, Bolton, Maxted, and Vane, came up to his cottage and threw brickbats at the door, threw his gate off its hinges, and White was pulling down the palings of his pig sty to let his pig out, when complainant, who with his son had been watching to protect his premises, having expected that the defendants when they left the public house would molest him, came and collared him. Burton and Russell then came up, and they abused the complainant and shook their fists in his face. The cause of their animosity was said to be that the complainant had given evidence which had led to Burton being convicted of robbing Mr. Foster. For the defence witnesses were called who denied in toto everything alleged by the complainant and his witnesses, and said no disturbance took place in the public house at all.

The Bench fined Burton, Russell, and White, 1 each, and dismissed the charge as against the other defendants.


From the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Thursday 10 September 1896.


The superintendents report.

Superintendent Johnson presented his report on the licensed houses of the division. This showed that during the past year 3 licence holders have been convicted of offences against their licences, viz., Edward Collins, landlord of the "Bull," Lenham Heath; Alfred Walden, landlord of the "Greyhound" beer house, Wychling; and Alfred Roberts, landlord of the "Pig and Whistle," Boughton Malherbe. In the last case the licence had since been transferred.


From the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Thursday 10 September 1896.


Samuel Burbridge was charged with being drunk on licensed premises on the 3rd of April, at the "Bull Inn," Lenham Heath.

I.C. Hubbard prove the facts. He said that defendant was one of a party of five men who were found drunk on the "Bull" premises on Good Friday. The other men were convicted, but defendant absconded.

The Bench convicted, and imposed a fine of 5s. 12s. 4d. costs, or in default 7 days' hard labour.


From the the Lenham History Society accessed September 2020.

BULL HILL. By Henny Shotter.

The chicken and egg question:

If you are a relative newcomer to Lenham or Lenham Heath you might have wondered (as I did) where the name ‘Bull Hill’ comes from. Some of the ‘real’ locals might remember the Bull Inn. Did the road get its name from the pub or the pub its name from the road?

The research which we were able to carry out so far indicates that neither is true, and the road and the former inn got their name from....the bulls!

1839 Tithe map

The Tithe map of 1839 (Copyright from the Kent Archives) shows several fields with the name of ‘Bull Field’. You might think that these fields were part of the land belonging to the Bull Inn. This could have been true before 1839, but the Tithe Schedule of 1839 shows these fields being owned by various owners.


Bulls have to be kept in their own field away from the cows in their enclosure as they are known to be ‘bullies’. They were prized
animals, not only for the quality of the herd of cattle but also for bull baiting. Bull baiting was a popular animal blood sport in the 16th and 17th century as was bear baiting, a tradition to which another Shepherd Neame pub in Lenham, ‘The Dog and Bear’, bears witness. There is by the way a ‘Bear Field’ on the Lenham Tithe Map. Bears were more expensive and difficult to come by, so bull baiting was more widespread.

Not far from Bull Hill, the former Bull Inn and the Bull Fields is another field which in the Tithe map of 1839 carries a name connected to the popularity of animal blood sports. There is little doubt that a field with the name ‘cockpit’ was an enclosure used for cock fighting. So, even if it is guess work, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to conclude that the name ‘The Bull’ has a connection to bullbaiting.

Early Records.

The earliest record which we have so far of the Bull Inn is the Tithe Schedule. The then owner was Henry Shepherd (of Shepherd Neame brewery), the landlord was a Thomas Collins.

According to the Tithe Schedule, Henry Shepherd also owned the "Chequers Inn" (in Lenham Square) which the Shepherd Family had bought in 1771. If they bought ‘The Bull’ at around the same time (we will hopefully find out), then the ale house in Lenham Heath was in operation at the same time as the Lenham Heath Military Camp and of course the history of the Bull Inn (not necessarily the same building) can go back much further.

The mystery of the cannon.

The proximity to the George III camp on Camp Field in Lenham Heath would explain why a cannon stood in front of the pub, a fact, which most former visitors to the pub have forgotten. When asked their reaction normally is: ‘Yes, now that you mention it, you are right. There was a cannon.’ It is very unlikely that the canon came from 6th Guards Tank Brigade workshop which was also in Lenham Heath in WWII as the workshop repaired tanks.

The question is: where did the cannon come from and where has it gone?

Life in Lenham Heath in the early 20th century.

Some years ago, former Lenham Heath resident Sidney John Tappenden who was then 76 produced a map which gives us a good insight in the farming community of Lenham Heath in the early 20th century. He records many orchards, apple and cherry orchards. He also notes that ‘most holdings kept 1 horse, chicken, ducks, geese, Guinea Fowl and a few sheep and a pig’. Among the merchants in Lenham Heath he recalls is George Chapman, a carrier and coal merchant, who ‘collected morellas in the evening and took them to Maidstone. They were picked in Peck baskets. Most of the heath had a few trees, even in the hedges.’ Other merchants which Sidney John Tappenden mentions, are: Bignaal, the grocer, Fred Chesson for cloths and provisions, Coveney, the butcher, Tappenden the butcher and owner of the slaughterhouse and H. Tappenden, the egg packer and Ernest Chapman who operated a repair shop for steam engines, threshing machines and lorries.

‘Cosy’ and memorable.

Local residents recollect that the Bull Inn was very small inside. It was in those days, together with the "Harrow Inn," supposedly the smallest ale house in Lenham and often full when the men, returning from working on the land, took a small detour to the Bull in Lenham Heath.

The Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser from September 10th 1896 reported that a Samuel Burbridge was charged and convicted for being drunk at the ‘Bull Inn’. The punishment was hard: a 5 shilling fine, in addition to 12 shilling 4 pennies cost or 7 days hard labour.

Fortunately, by the 20th century such practices had ceased and those Lenham residents who remember the bell for last orders at the Bull Inn hopefully do this without regret.



COLLINS Thomas 1841+ (age 31 in 1841Census)

MOORE J 1855+

WALKER A 1857+

WAKEFIELD Richard 1858-61+ (also blacksmith age 46 in 1861Census)

WALKER Alfred 1891+ (age 60 in 1891Census)

COLLINS Edward 1901-03+ (age 63 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

WOOLEY John 1913-22+



Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-