Sort file:- Westerham, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 1700s-

King's Arms Hotel

Open 2020+

High Street / Market Square


01959 562990

King's Arms 1836

Above photo taken outside the King's Arms in 1836 when the circus came to town.

King's Arms 1870

Above print 1870. Kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

King's Arms card

Back of above card.

King's Arms Hotel

Above photo date unknown.

King's Arms

Above photo date unknown.

King's Arms 2010

Above photo 2010.

King's Arms 2013

Above photo 2013.

King's Head sign 1986

Above sign, February 1986.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Westerham map 2018

Above map 2018.


It is said that the Kings Arms has tunnels underneath but they are not related to this building.

The site used to be the site of a pretty cottage called Paynters a hundred years before that it was owned by a monastery. Friars from Limpsfield. Before that it was given by Henry VIII to his bow bender.

The building is a charming 18th century former coaching inn. In 1924, the Churchills moved to Chartwell and while the place was being renovated for them, tradition has it, the family frequently dined at the "King's Arms Hotel." It wouldn't have been much of a walk for them: the Chartwell estate bounds the inn yard .


Kentish Gazette 10 April 1773.


A well accustomed Public-House, known by the Sign of the "King's Arms," with a large Garden, Yard, Stables, Outhouses and Appurtenances thereunto belonging, situate, lying, and being in Westerham in the County of Kent; and now in the Occupation of Robert Holden.

For further Particulars apply to Thomas Durrant Punnett. Attorney at Law at Maidstone.


From the Kentish Gazette, 4 January 1846.


A meeting was held at Kidder’s hotel, Westerham, on Wednesday last, at which a very large assemblage of the gentlemen, farmers, &c., of the neighbourhood, attended to ascertain the views of the vicinity as to starting a coach from this place to Croydon and back. Dr. Thompson having been called to the chair, Mr. P. Pawley, of the "Royal Hotel," Sevenoaks, explained to the company, that he, amongst others, had been called upon by a number of gentlemen in the neighbourhood of Westerham, seeing that every coach was off the road, to place them in something like a position to be able to reach the metropolis. He had great pleasure in saying that the call had been responded to, and he now stood before them as the contractor for such a conveyance. Two coaches started on the 24th, one from Sevenoaks in the morning, and one from Croydon Railway Station, each performing a double journey. He felt assured they should meet with encouragement; he had been over the ground, and certainly if ever there was a conveyance wanted it was here. Westerham, Brasted, and Sundridge, required something like accommodation, to say nothing of Sevenoaks. Mr. Pawley made several other apposite observations, and it was ultimately arranged that these conveyances should be recommended to general support.


Sussex Advertiser, Saturday 20 February 1864.

Westerham. Welcome to Captain and Mrs. Board.

A general meeting was held at the "Kings Arms Hotel," on Monday evening last, to consider the best manner of welcoming Captain. J. and Mrs. Board home on their return from their wedding tour. Mr. C. R Thompson in the chair. A committee of eight volunteers were appointed to undertake the arrangements, and they proposed erecting a triumphal arch, and meeting the young couple in procession, headed by the rifle band, and getting up a ball in the evening, but nothing is decided at present.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 6 September 1912.

Mr. H. R. Williams, of the "King's Arms," Westerham, applied for a temporary transfer to Mr. Claude Herbert Hooper. This was granted.


From the Tatler, Wednesday 15 January 1930.

Sir Campbell Stuart and the Right Hon. F. G. Kellaway at the Wolfe Dinner

Sir Campbell Stuart and the Right Hon. F. G. Kellaway at the Wolfe Dinner.

The annual birthday dinner in honour of the hero Abraham Hights, Quebec, was this year held at the "King's Arms," Westerham.

Sir Campbell Stuart is Director of the Times Publishing Company, and the Right Hon. Frederick Kellaway is the Managing Director of Marconi's.

The Right Hon. Winston Churchill, Lord Stanhope and Captain Warde

The Right Hon. Winston Churchill, Lord Stanhope and Captain Warde.

This snapshot of Mr. Randolph Churchill, Mr. Winston Churchill's son, were taken at the Wolfe Society Birthday Dinner at the "King's Arms Hotel," Westerham. Captain Warde of Squerreyes Court, president of the society, presided, and Vice-Admiral Sir William Fisher, Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff, was the guest of honour. Major-General James Wolfe, the here of Quebec, died in the field of battle in 1759.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 18 March 1927.


Approval was given to plans for alterations to the "George and Dragon," Westerham, and a music and dancing license granted the "King's Arms," Westerham.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 20 February 1948.


Harry Kenneth Fenn, of the "King's Arms," Westerham, in applying for a supper hour extension, said he served some 400 main meals each month, and there had been a substantial demand for suppers.

The application was granted.


From the By THE INSPECTOR, 17 January 2010.

Hotel review: An Inspector Calls (unfortunately) at... The King's Arms Hotel in Westerham, Kent.

'Good luck,' said the taxi driver as he dropped us outside The King's Arms Hotel. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of this coaching inn, which occupies a prime spot in the small town of Westerham, Kent. It was obvious from the grubby carpet near the entrance that things could end up a little messy.

No complaints about the staff. They were all friendly in a hapless sort of way. 'Julie, come over here 'cos your nails might be able to cope with the machine better. I can't get the food up,' called out our waitress after taking our order, but failing to punch it into the till.

We were here to treat a friend, who lives nearby, to a birthday dinner and it seemed sensible to stay the night, not least because from its website The King's Arms looks half decent - described as 'beautifully presented' with a 'fine restaurant offering modern international cuisine'. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We were given the Henry VIII room (so named because Henry used to pass this way en route to visiting Anne Boleyn in Hever) and even a four-poster bed couldn't redeem it. If the weather hadn't been so treacherous, we would have gone elsewhere without a second sniff. The room stank of stale cigarette smoke, the mattress was as hard as the frozen pavements outside, the emaciated duvet was nothing more than a padded sheet and the lighting was Prozac-reachingly depressing.

One wall seemed to feature a hideous ghostlike figure, half human, half marine-life, rising out of a raging sea.

But let me tell you about dinner. Two of us had starters, one of us just opted for a main course - but all three arrived at the same time. My smoked salmon tasted of cellophane, while my wife's prawn cocktail tasted of nothing at all. Our guest was too polite to say anything disparaging about his rib-eye, but he left most of it untouched. And then we waited for the two remaining main courses. We waited so long that eventually I went and banged on the kitchen door and scrowled through the window. We should have cut our losses.

The birthday boy left - lucky chap - while we went upstairs.

There was no soap apart from a plastic bottle bolted inside the stand-alone, plastic shower cubicle. This meant we had to squirt soap from the shower contraption into a plastic mug and then take this slimy sample to the bath.

While my wife had a soak, I dared to peep into the cupboard and came across various items of women's clothes on hangers. I didn't tell my wife about that. And I didn't tell her about the note in a folder reminding guests to drink responsibly. 'It is within the power of any staff member to refuse to serve you and ask you to leave the bar area if it is felt that you and your guests are behaving in an irresponsible way. . . any threats or violent acts towards our staff will be followed up by a prosecution.' Charming.

Turning out the light was like having a general anaesthetic. You just hope you'll still be alive after the operation. Which we were - but the lack of heating in the dining room at breakfast didn't help our recovery. The chef came out in a bid to fix it, but failed dismally before leaving us with a cheery aside: 'It would probably be warmer if we just opened the doors into the garden.' So we sat in our overcoats and drank coffee, before paying our bill and promising never to return to this 'beautifully presented' hotel ever again.

Room rate: Doubles B&B from 89

Inspector Rating: 0/5



HOLDEN Robert 1773 Kentish Gazette

KIDDER James 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

KIDDER Robert 1832-47+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34 (also & Fly and Posting House age 40 in 1841Census)

CRIPPS George Fuller 1858-62+ (age + 32 in 1861Census)

PARKER W 1868+

WOODIN W 1870+

CLARK Fred E 1871+ ( age 39 in 1871Census)

JOHNSON Henry 1874+

HADLEY Pearce M 1881+ (age 51 in 1881Census)

SIMPSON William 1891+ (age 47 in 1891Census)

EDMUNDS Sarah Ann Dec/1989+ Maidstone and Kentish Journal

EDMUNDS George to Feb/1899 Sevenoaks Chronicle

HYDE Robert Feb/1899- Nov/1901 (age 63 in 1901Census) Kent and Sussex CourierSevenoaks Chronicle

WILLIAMS Harry Richard Nov/1904-Sept/12 Kent and Sussex Courier

HOOPER Claude Herbert Sept/12-1913+

PURSLOW Celia E Mrs 1934+

FENN C H 1938+

FENN Harry Kenneth 1948+


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

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

Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier

Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette


Maidstone and Kentish JournalMaidstone and Kentish Journal


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