Page Updated:- Wednesday, 13 December, 2023.


Earliest 1860-

Old Jail Inn

Open 2020+

Jail Lane

Biggin Hill

01959 572979

Old Jail Inn

Above photo circa 1900, taken from

Old Jail Inn

Above photo circa 1905.

Old Jail Inn

Above photo, circa 1930.

Old Gaol

Above photo, date unknown.

Old Jail 1939

Above postcard, circa 1939. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Old Jail wedding 1969

Above photo showing me leaving my home, which was The Old Jail pub, Biggin Hill, to get married on 2nd August 1969. My father is at my side. He was the Landlord who took over from Leonard Dupere around 1961 until around 1970. His name was Cedric (Bill) Motley. He was only known as Bill. Born 1918 died 2005. The Brewer which owned the pub was Ind Coope. Apart from the chauffeur, the other figures are staff or neighbours; my mother is not in this picture.

Victoria Edge.

Old Jail Inn 1976

Above photo, circa 1976, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Old Jail Inn

Above photo circa 2013.

Old Jail Inn

Above photo taken from

Old Jail sign 1993Old Jail sign 1985

Above sign left, 1985. With thanks from Brian Curtis

Sign, June 1993, kindly sent by Roger Pester.


Also known as the "Old Jail Inn," with the American spelling, and addressed as Cudhum, but I'm sure its correct address is Biggin Hill.

The brewery Fox and Sons at Green Street was closed in 1908 and the pub here was sold off by auction on the 15th June 1909, and bought by Truman, Hanbury & Buxton.

The premises was formerly two cottages as can be seen in the top photo by the two front doors. The name probably originates as prisoner from London travelling to Maidstone were often houses here over night before their trials or indeed executions.

This venue was a popular haunt for the fighter pilots from the nearby aerodrome during WW2. In his book The Blue Arena Bob Spurdle a Kiwi who flew in the Battle of Britain with 74 Squadron - under the famous 'Sailor Malin' - writes of discovering the "Old Jail Inn" and becoming something of a regular. In fact he more or less dedicates an entire chapter to the pub - and the goings on therein.

From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 25 February 1860. Price 1d.


The plaintiff, a shoe-maker at Brasted, sought to recover from the defendant, who keeps the “Old Gaol” beer-house, Cudham, 2 10s. 6d., for goods, &c. It appeared that the plaintiff held a shoe club at the defendant's house, and as the defendant had had some trouble with a previous club, he arranged to receive the money from the members and account for them. In the account were also included some charges for work done for the defendant's family, and for carriage hire.

Defendant denied this liability, and said that he had nothing whatsoever to do with the club.

The court was occupied a considerable time in examining various documents, and judgement was ultimately given for 1 18s. 6d.


South Eastern Gazette, 26 June, 1860.

CUDHAM. Sudden Death.

On Wednesday last. Mrs. Lewis, of the "Old Gaol Inn," in this parish, suddenly expired. She complained of a violent pain in her head, just previous to her death, otherwise she was considered in robust health and strong frame. The coroner did not deem it necessary to hold an inquest.


From The Standard (London, England), Thursday, August 11, 1892; pg. 10; Issue 21248.

Preliminary Announcement. - By Order of the Mortgagee.

Fully-Licensed Freehold Inn.

Messrs. Barker, Cathie, and Palmer are instructed to Sell by Auction, at an early date (to be announced in future advertisements), the Valuable Freehold Property, known as the "Old Jail Inn" (fully licensed), Cudham, Kent, together with about eight acres of most productive meadow and market garden land in One Lot. - Auction Offices, 13, Hart-street, Bloomsbury, and (pro tem.) 56, Moorgate-street, E.C.



PRINCE Edmund 1851+ (labourer age 24 in 1851Census)

LEWIS William 1855-61+ (also farmer age 55 in 1861Census)

LEWIS Thomas 1881-82+ (age 44 in 1881Census)

COWLARD Richard 1891-1913+ (also baker age 63 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

DUPREE Leon 1936+

DUPERE Leonard Alfred 1961

MOTLEY Cedric "Bill" 1961-70+



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:-