Page Updated:- Saturday, 10 September, 2022.


Earliest 1794

(Name from)

Freemason's Arms

Open 2020+

267 Malling Road

Ham Hill


01634 240211

Freemason's Arms 1908

Above photo by kind permission Eric Hartland.

Freemason's Arms

Above photo date unknown, by kind permission of Eric Hartland.

Freemason's Arms 2014

Above photos, 22 March 2014, taken by Eric Hartland.

Freemason's Arms 2022

Above photo August 2022.


Project 2014 has been started to try and identify all the pubs that are and have ever been open in Kent. I have just added this pub to that list but your help is definitely needed regarding it's history.

As the information is found or sent to me, including photographs, it will be shown here.

Thanks for your co-operation.


From the By Amy Tregenna, 10 September 2022.

The Freemasons Arms is last pub standing in Snodland, Malling, as The Monk's Head closes its doors.

A town has been left with just one pub after an historic haunt closed its doors.

The "Monk's Head," in Snodland, has recently closed indefinitely, and left the "Freemasons Arms" as the only pub.

The Monk's Head, in Constitution Hill, is reportedly closed long-term as of June this year, although no time-frame has been given for a possible re-opening.

The pub dates back to the 1860s, when a man named George Barden moved to Snodland from a pub in Larkfield, which was also named the "Monk's Head."

The pub was used to host the Hearts of Oak Benevolent Society, which was a medical club in the town, recorded in 1869.

Men from across the village would pay an entrance fee to join the club, and would then receive benefits in the event of sickness, death, or a wife's death.

The pub also hosted, in 1876, a branch of the Odd Fellows Lodge, an international fraternity similar to the Freemasons.

Barden's successor, Alban Burgess, was the landlord until 1893, when he moved to the "Bricklayers Arms" until his death in 1915.

Frank Victor Vickery was the landlord from 1970 to 1974, and had previously been the licensee at the "Papermakers Arms," just down the road.

Now that the penultimate pub is closed indefinitely, the "Freemasons Arms" in Ham Hill is the only place for locals to grab a pint.

As Snodland's last pub standing, the Freemasons Arms has accomplished quite a feat.

The pub began its life in 1753, (I have traced it back to 1742, Paul Skelton) but it was known as the "Bell" until 1794, when its landlord John Herbert renamed it the "Freemasons Arms."

Ambrose Gowar, the landlord here from 1854 to 1881, came from a family of pub landlords. He was the son of Richard Gowar, who became landlord of the "Rising Sun" at Holborough in 1847.

And Ambrose's nephew, also named Richard Gowar, was the landlord at the "Bull," from 1878 to 1894.

Ambrose's widow Maria, then continued running the place after he passed away in 1882, until 1887.




HERBERT John 1793-1794

HERBERT Mary 1795-1824

EDMEADES James 1825-1841

WICKINGS James 1842-1853

GOWAR Ambrose 1854-1882 dec'd

GOWAR Maria 1882-1887

HOMEWOOD Alfred 1888-1903

LANGRIDGE Robert (junr.) 1903-1914

COSTEN John Charles 1915-1927

FULLER Sidney 1928-1941

BENSON John W 1942-1945

THURSTON Thomas Edward 1946-1951

GILLARD William Edward 1952

HUME Robert Francis 1953

TAYLOR Cecil Stephen 1954

LAMBERT Bertie Stanley 1956-1961

ROSSITER Walter 1962

LEARY William Alfred 1962-1965

SUTTON Edward Clive 1966-1971

HOLMES Thomas Albert 1972-1974


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