Page Updated:- Sunday, 12 September, 2021.


Earliest 1709-

(Name from)

White Hart

Latest 1972

(Name to)

Bo Peep Corner


White Hart 1900s

Above photo, 1900s, kindly sent by Michael Mirams.

White Hart

Above photo, date unknown.

White Hart 1950s

Above photo, 1950.


Having just ventured into what is now Greater London, but which was part of Kent before 1965 I have just started to add information for this area.

The name has now been changed to the "Bo Peep," in 1972.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 24 September 1861.

The licence of the "White Hart" public house, Chelsfield, which was adjourned on the complaint of Superintendent Coleman, was renewed, as that officer has said that he had caused the house to be visited several times during the fortnight, and he believed that Brooker was now determined to be master of his own house.


Information taken from their web site accessed 4 December 2018.

(Previous) Our we know it.

This is the history as it was passed on to us.

In the year of 1709, one Joshua Hickmutt, purchased the property and registered it under the title of "The White Hart".

During the mid eighteenth century this part of Chelsfield became known as "The Bo Peep", and is still shown as such on some recent maps. The name was derived from the nursery rhyme penned by smugglers of the period, known as "Owlers", infamous for their illicit trade in wool smuggling, much of which took place from a small cove near Hastings known as "Bo Peep".

Smugglers were known to frequent Chelsfield using the labyrinth of caves and tunnels the area was once abound with, as hiding places or "drops" for London bound contraband. One such tunnel is reputed to have run from "White Hart" and came up in a disused well in a garden at Crockenhill. From this the ale house was known, to the locals, as "Bo Peep".

"The White Hart" often came under the scrutiny of Customs’ Riding Officers and in 1783 the inn was mentioned in a statement made by one John Kelly, a Riding Officer, to his superiors at Hastings. It reads:- "We are in possession of sufficient facts to know that smugglers are taking every method to improve their trading and also conveying immense quantities of spirits to London. They have warehouses at proper distances on the roads. One such place of hiding is a dense wooded area near Orpington called "Bo Peep". My men and I have been watchful of a drinking house there called "The White Hart".

In September 1785 Riding Officer Kelly was shot and killed when with other Riding Officers and a company of dragoons ambushed a gang of smugglers near Battle, Sussex.

In 1815, the inn was purchased by a Henry Brooker and a Wine License obtained. Then in 1868 during the reign of Queen Victoria a full spirit license was granted to another Henry Brooker, grandson of the aforementioned. England was involved in many parts of the world during the following years while "The White Hart" continued to serve the farming community with little change. The hop pickers were paid their wages here, in tokens and an annual cake bake was held but the origin and reason for the latter were not recorded.

(to continue)



HICKMUTT Joshua 1709+

HICKMUTT Naomi 1727+

COLLINS James 1728+

FARMER Robert Noel 1733+

BURCH Thomas 1741+


YODEN Thomas 1765+

YODEN Benjamin 1786+

YODEN Mercy 1788+

HADLOW John C 1798+

TWINER Jonathan 1806+

BROOKER Henry 1815+

BROOKER Robert 1828-29+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

BROOKER Marther 1852+

ENGLISH Henry 1851+ (age 43 in 1851Census)

BROOKER Henry 1855-61+ (also fruit grocer age 42 in 1861Census)

GREAVES Richard 1874+

GREAVES/GROVES Mary Ann 1878-81+ (age 55 in 1881Census)

CHARMAN Jonathan 1890+

MARCHANT John 1891+ (age 66 in 1891Census)

SALMON Corrie 1893+

CHARMAN John 1901-11+ (age 37 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

CHARMAN Alice 1919-39+ (age 75 in 1939)

PRITCHARD John 1945+

STEVENS John 1960+


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

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:-