Page Updated:- Sunday, 29 January, 2023.


Earliest 1828-

Running Horse

Open 2020+

Chatham Road

Sandling (Boxley)

01622 752975

Running Horse 1890

Above photo 1890. Showing license William Ward.

Running Horse 1909

Above photo circa 1909. The "Red Lion" stood close to the posts on the right.

Running Horses 1923

Above photo, 1923.

Running Horse

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

Running Horses

Above photo showing a close up of the new pub being built behind the old, photo from John Hakeman.

Running Horses

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Chris Murray.

Running Horse

Above postcard, date unknown, by kind permission Roy Moore,

Running Horse foundations

Above photo, circa 1938, showing the foundations being laid for the thatched building, kindly sent by Chris Barlow.

Both Running Horses 1939

Above photo, circa 1938 showing both Running Horses.

From Barclay, Perkin's Anchor Magazine. Vol XVIII, No.10, October 1938. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Thatching in Progress.

Running Horse thatch 1938

The roof of Messrs. Style & Winch's new "Running Horse," near Maidstone, now in course of construction, is to be thatched and the work is seen here in progress.

Thatching is of course a very ancient craft and was dying out, owing to the greater speed of tiling and slating. The thatched roof is warm in winter and cool in summer and is once again being employed where extra comfort and greatly enhanced appearance are sufficient compensation for the increase in time and therefore, cost, involved.

Thatching is not in itself waterproof but is laid, as can be seen from the picture, with the individual reeds sloping outwards and downwards, so that the rain, although it may penetrate an inch or so, is eventually thrown off.

The sub-contractors employed at the "Running Horse" have been in the trade at Salthouse, Norfolk, for over 200 years - the oldest in England - the work being taught by father to son, including besides thatching, wattle and reed garden fencing and baskets and hurdle making.

The reeds are harvested in February or March on the Norfolk Broads and are five to six feet long. They are dried in the sun and receive no other treatment until they are sprayed with a fireproofing liquid just before laying.

As the work progresses, the appearance of the "Running Horse" is receiving very favourable comment in the district.

Running Horse thatching 1938

Above photo, 1938, by kind permission of Eric Hartland.

Running Horse 1947

Above photo, 1947.

Running Horse

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Jeffrey East.

Running Horse 2013

Above photo, May 2013, by kind permission of Eric Hartland.

Running Horse 2013

Above photo, May 2013, by kind permission of Eric Hartland.

Running Horse matchbox 1974 Running Horse matchbox back 1974

Above matchbox front and back, circa 1974, kindly sent by John Gladish.

Running Horse sign 1978

Above sign 1978.


 The "Running Horses" recalls the wild horses that once roamed freely in the area.  Although this thatched pub appears ancient, it was actually built in 1938 to replace the old inn.

The original building was still standing whilst the new one was being built in 1938, and I believe demolished as soon as the new one was completed. At present I do not know whether Edward Charles Dickens was the licensee in both.

The building was again refurbished in 1987 and was converted into a Harvester Steak House.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 13 March 1849.

Tithe Commission. Notice.

The Tithe Commissioners for England and Wales hereby give notice that a Copy of the Draft of Award of the Rent-charge to be paid in lieu of Tithes, in the district, comprising the whole of the parish of Boxley, in the county of Kent, (except the Court Lodge Farm and Park House Estate,) has been deposited at the "Running Horse Inn," in the said District, for the inspection of all persons interested in the lands or tithes of the said district.

And the Commissioners further give Notice that, pursuant to the Act for Commutation of Tithes, a Meeting will be holding for the purpose of hearing any objections to such Draft of Award, by any persons interested as aforesaid; and that such meeting will be held at the "Bell Inn," Maidstone, in the said county, on Tuesday the 3rd day of April, 1849, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon.
Signed by order of the board.

9, Somerset place, J. E. Hovenden. Somerset House, London. Secretary.


Kentish Gazette, 18 January 1876.


An inquest was held on Monday afternoon at the "Running Horse Inn," Sandling, before J. N. Dudlow, Esq., coroner, touching the death of an old man, named Jonah Elcombe, whose body was taken out of the Medway on Sunday, by Abraham Vane, the Allington lock-keeper. The deceased was a native of East Malling, and it was stated that he was in the service of the Emperor Napoleon while a prisoner at St. Helena. He was last seen alive about three weeks ago at West Malling, and nothing was afterwards heard of him until he was picked out of the Medway, as stated. The body was identified by Robert Grayland, son-in-law of the deceased.

The jury returned an open verdict of "Found drowned."


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 21 April 1877.


On Thursday last the body of Lewis Browning, aged 21 years, a horse coper belonging to Maidstone, was discovered floating in the river Medway, near the "Malta Inn," and was taken out by a labourer named Welch. The deceased in the early part of March resided at the "George Inn," Gabriel's Hill, and at that time he appeared to be melancholy. He suddenly disappeared; it was thought he had gone to London, and nothing more was heard of him. At about the time of his disappearance, a person was heard either to jump or fall into the Medway from the High Level Bridge, and although the drags were got out nothing could be found. An inquest was held at the "Running Horse Inn," Sandling, on Saturday, before J. N. Dudlow, Esq , when an open verdict was returned.


From an email received 23 December 2014.

Re the name of the pub, I always assumed it was because of the trotting track which was in the paddock opposite the pub.

I remember my father delivering hay from Boarley farm for the horses that were kept there.

As I remember, the owner was one ‘Gypsy' Smith.

I was born in Tyland Lane, but have been in New Zealand since 1970. My interest was aroused by a Christmas card I was sent by a friend in Maidstone, with a painting of the old house on the trotting track property. Looking at Google Earth, I see that the road is now much closer to the house, and the track and paddock have gone.


Ken Mitchell.


Local knowledge, further pictures, and licensee information would be appreciated.

I will be adding the historical information when I find or are sent it, but this project is a very big one, and I do not know when or where the information will come from.

All emails are answered.



MURPHY William 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

STREATFIELD George 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

GROVER William 1840-51+ (age 45 in 1851Census)

GROVER Ann 1861-62+ (age 50 in 1861Census)

WARD William 1871-91+ (age 74 in 1891Census)

LOCKS William 1901-Dec/1904 (age 57 in 1901Census) Kent and Sussex CourierKelly's 1903

HARROD Joshua Dec/1904-11+ Kent and Sussex Courier (age 50 in 1911Census)

THOMPSON Walter 1913-22+

LISTER John 1930+

DICKENS Edward Charles 1938+

COX Edward pre 1960s



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


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:-