Page Updated:- Friday, 07 June, 2024.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Lionel Cole

Earliest 1779-

(Name from)

Castle Inn

Open 2020+

Bower Beach


01892 870371

Castle Inn 1880

Above engraving 1886.

Castle painting 1890

Above painting by F. W. Burton, circa 1890.


Above postcard, date unknown.

Castle Inn

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Castle Inn

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Castle Inn 1900

Above postcard, circa 1900. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Castle painting 1907

Above painting by William Biscombe Gardner 1907.

Castle 1907

Above postcard, circa 1907, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Castle beagling 1909

Above photo circa 1909. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Castle 1910

Above photo, 1910, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Castle Inn 1910

Above postcard, circa 1910, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Castle Inn

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Castle 1924

Above postcard 1924 kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Castle 1925

Above postcard, 1925.

Castle 1939

Above postcard 1939, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Castle Inn

Above postcard, date 1941. Kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Castle 1947

Above postcard, 1947. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Castle 1960

Above photo, circa 1960, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Above photo circa 1968. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Castle 1986

Above photo, 1986.

Castle 2006

Above photo, circa 2006, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Castle Inn 2013

Above photo 2013.


The "Castle Inn" is first mentioned in 1420 and was known as Waterslip House. One Thomas Weller, who gave his name to Wellers Town, which consists of two rows of cottages about a mile away, bought the inn in 1712. Weller and his brother started the inn in about 1730 calling it The "Five Bells." It is believed that there were at least two inns in Chiddingstone before this, started as they were in the parlours of private houses.

I do have mention of a pub being called the "Castle" from an auction that took place at the "Royal Oak," Sevenoaks in 1779, so it must have changed name some time before this year.

Originally the street of houses continued past the "Castle Inn" and on to Chiddingstone Castle, which was then known as High Street House, thus called before the original manor house was made into a mock castle. At this time half the village was demolished and the Navvies, who were here building the railways, dug out the lake that had previously been the kitchen garden. The village street was diverted round the lake, which in turn required the removal of another house which sat opposite the "Castle Inn." The remaining houses with their mullions and casement windows, picturesque roofs and projecting upper storeys are attractive examples of 15th and 16th century domestic architecture.

The Streatfeild Rent Book shows that Edward Leigh took the "Castle Inn" etc. for a rent of 31-10s a year from 1782. The previous tenant was Mrs Whapham .She paid 10 for the Castle Inn, also 4 for a field, 6-6s for an orchard and 4 for a stable, total 24-6s.

Henry Leigh, butcher, licensed at the "Castle Inn," tenant of Henry Streatfeild 1813-41. He owned a butcher’s shop at Bough Beech and died in 1841. He was succeeded by his son George Leigh 1842 to at least 1851.


From the Maidstone Journal. 16 October, 1841.

To be sold by auction or to Mart on Monday October 25th 1841 at the "Castle Inn," Chiddingstone by order of the proprietor, Mr. Daniel Punter (he having finished his contract on the Dover line of railroad board.)

1. A brown cart mare, 15 hands 2" high, 6 years old. Violet

2. A grey cart gelding, 15 hands 3" high, 7 years old, Bozer.

3. A brown cart gelding, 14 hands 3", 7 years old. Turpei.

4. A grey cart gelding, 16 hands 2" high, 7 years old, Drummer.

5. A grey cart gelding, 16 hands high, 6 years, Farmer.

6. A brown cart gelding, 15 hands high, 6 years old, Sergeant.

7. A brown cart gelding, 14 hands high, 6 years old. Tommy.

11. A capital strong tram-made cart with belly goods and ridger.

12. Strong chain harness, bit and collar. 13-15 ditto.

16. A strong collar harness.

17. A mans saddle and Bridle.

18. Four nearly new headstall halters, with chain leads.

19. Three ditto.

20. Sundries.

Mr. Hart begs most respectively to invite the public attention to the above valuable stock which have been taken great care of, and will on inspection be found worthy of notice.

May be viewed the Saturday previous to the sale, which will commence precisely at 12 o'clock.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser 14 June 1869.


At the Magistrates' Clerk's Office, Tonbridge, on Wednesday, before Major Scoones, a man, named Thomas Carter, and a woman, named Elizabeth Carr, were remanded to Tuesday's Sessions, on the charge of stealing an earthenware mug and destroying thirty-three gallons of oil, the property of Henry Bavey, landlord of the "Castle Inn," Chiddingstone, on the 7th inst.


Kent & Sussex Courier 06 December 1907.


It is with very great regret that we have to announce the death, on Monday last, of Mr Henry North Bavey, of the "Castle Inn," Chiddingstone, at the age of 78 years. Mr Bavey had been ailing for some time past, but his condition had caused no serious apprehension, and had not compelled him to keep to his bed. On Monday last, he got up at his usual hour, but upon coming downstairs he complained of feeling unwell, and was seized with a fainting fit, and remained in a semi-conscious condition until his death in the evening. Mr Davey began his career in the neighbourhood in the capacity of butler to the late Col. Streatfield, whom he was with for many years. He held his last license at the "George and Dragon," Speldhurst, where he was for about twelve months, before coming to the "Castle Inn," on June 19th, 1868, and no greater tribute can be paid to his qualities as landlord than by stating that he never had a single complaint with regard to the management of his house. He was a man of indomitable energy, one who believed in early rising, and he sustained this up to the very last, and it may be fairly stated that he died in harness. He was very highly esteemed by the inhabitants throughout the locality and had justly built up a big reputation as a Host, his catering leaving nothing to be desired. He was a keen sportsman, and always ready to assist an any philanthropic movement. Mr Bavey had been as Overseer for ever 35 years, and his loss will be very keenly felt. The funeral will take place on Friday (to-day) at Chiddingstone, at 3 o'clock.


Kent & Sussex Courier 23 May 1913.


When visiting this very quaint and unique old-world village do not fail to see the "Castle Inn Tea Gardens." Luncheons and Teas always ready. Board residence. - Proprietor: W. E. Chamberlain.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 13 March 1936.


The "Castle Inn," famous hostelry of the old-world village of Chiddingstone, was threatened with extinction shortly after midnight on Sunday, when fire broke out in the smoking room.

The inn was unoccupied except for the proprietor and his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Wood, who had gone to bed, where they were listening to the wireless.

Mr. Wood thought he detected a smell of smoke, and on going downstairs to investigate found thick smoke was pouring up the stairs.

He and Mrs. Wood groped their way out of the hotel in their night attire, and while Mr. Wood tried to find out where the outbreak was, Mrs. Wood went for help. Before long a bucket chain was formed and by the time the Edenbridge Fire Brigade arrived the blaze was well under control.

The Edenbridge Brigade received the call at 12.30 pm., where they found that an arm chair in the smoking room and the mantelpiece were badly charred, while considerable damage had been done to the interior of the room by water.


From the by Sigrid Sherrell, Thursday, 6 April 2017.

Chiddingstone's famed Castle Inn reopens for business.

The historic "Castle Inn" at Chiddingstone has been brought back to life again this spring after being restored to its former glory.

The much-loved local pub, located in a Grade II* listed building at the heart of this National Trust owned Tudor village, had been closed since April 2016.

However, it has now reopened its doors following a sympathetic facelift with new furniture and fittings throughout.

Castle Inn reopening 2017

Cutting the ribbon: Colin Pilbeam, Jo Naismith, Annie Gilbert, Nick Naismith, Dave Hayward.

“We have made the most of the lovely historic features while also giving the inn a fresh, welcoming feel,” said proprietor Nick Naismith, who lives locally and also owns the "Wheatsheaf" at Bough Beech.

“It was very important to us to respect the incredible heritage of the building, so we have preserved all the fireplaces, tiled floors and oak panelling but have also redecorated throughout.

“Visitors can look forward to new furnishings and fabrics on a traditional theme, as well as a contemporary garden dining room to the rear, with lighter-coloured stripped furniture, and new washrooms.

“We also have a fantastic garden here, which now has new tables and chairs, new planting and a newly-revamped outdoor bar just in time for the summer.”

The reopening of the pub was marked by the cutting of a ribbon by local resident Annie Gilbert who has lived next door to the pub for 30 years. A longtime fan of the inn, she would visit even before she moved to the village.

“In the days before I lived in Chiddingstone we used to drive down from London on a Friday night just to have dinner at the pub,” said Annie. “It’s such a stunning building, in such a beautiful setting, and everyone was devastated when it closed as it’s such a major part of the village.

“Needless to say, we are over the moon to see it open again and can’t wait to try the new menu. We wish Nick and the team all the very best with the reopening.”

A prime example of a traditional English village pub, the food will be traditional pub classics, with locally-sourced ingredients all cooked fresh. This will be complemented by an excellent range of beers and lagers from the award-winning Westerham Brewery, Larkins in Chiddingstone and Harvey’s in Lewes.



WHAPHAM Henry 1737+

HUMPHREY John 1741-

WHAPHAM Henry 1751-81

LEIGH Edward 1782-1804 dec'd (age 53)

LEIGH Elizabeth (widow) 1804-12

LEIGH Henry 1812-41+ (age 40 in 1841Census)

LEIGH George 1842-July/66 (also butcher age 44 in 1861Census) Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

LEIGH Mrs July/1866+

Last pub licensee had BAVEY Henry North 19/June/1868-Dec/1907 (also butcher and farmer age 61 in 1891Census) Kelly's 1903

CHAMBERLAIN William Ernest 1913+

KING William 1918+

HARMAN George 1922+

EMMS Leonard Arnold 1930+

WOOD William 1938+

NAISMITH Nick 2017+


Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

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:-