Page Updated:- Sunday, 11 December, 2022.


Earliest 1818-

Bull Hotel

Closed 2015

High Street


Bull Inn

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.


Above photo, circa 1880. I think the old Bull is to the left. This must be the one that preceded the present one. The timbered house to the right is the Old Palace

Bull 1901

Above photo, circa 1901.

Bull Hotel 1908

Above postcard, date 1908, kindly submitted by Mark Jennings.

Bull 1950

Above postcard, date 1950, kindly submitted by Mark Jennings.


Above postcard, date unknown, kindly submitted by Mark Jennings.

Bull 1940

Above photo, circa 1940, from Colleen.

Bull Hotel 2012

Above photo 2012 by Nick Chadwick Creative Commons Licence.

Bull Hotel 2011

Above photo 2013 by Nigel Chadwick Creative Commons Licence.

Bull 2017

Above photo, 2017, kindly sent by Steve Glover.


The building was granted a Grade II listing on 24 August 1990.

The current building is not however the original, I am informed that the original was unfortunately destroyed by fire around about 1880.


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 11 December 1818.


Nov. 30. at Brenchley, Mr. Manwarring, miller, to Miss Barton, of the "Bull Inn," Brenchley.


Kentish Gazette, 9 January 1844.

Brenchley. Caution to the Public.

On Friday evening a young man of rather respectable appearance called at the "Bull Inn," and offered for sale some waistcoat pieces, razors, &c. He had also some trumpery machines to weigh sovereigns with, for which he asked 1s. 6d. each. A young man named Ellis being present, asked him to weigh a sovereign for him, which he took from his pocket. The request was quickly complied with by the sharper; he said it was rather too light and carefully returned it to Ellis. A bystander knew the imposter (whose name is William Agent, commonly called "pretty Agent,”) and asked Ellis if he had taken back the same sovereign which he gave to be weighed. On looking he found that he had got in return a pocket piece, having the Queen's head on one side and on the reverse a gentleman on horseback racing with a dragon, with the motto "To Hanover," and having very much the look of a sovereign. Ellis immediately gave Agent into charge of the constable (Mr. Wells,) who took him before the magistrates at Tonbridge Wells on Saturday. Their decision was that they could not commit Agent, as the pocket piece was not a counterfeit sovereign. As they had lately had similar cases before them, they had consulted the authorities of the Mint, who also refuse to prosecute in those cases. The magistrates recommended Ellis to settle the matter, which Agent was willing to do. He therefore paid Ellis a sovereign and the expenses. Agent had two companions with him at the "Bull," named Griffith and Standing, both of whom, we hear, are well known to the Maidstone police. Similar tricks have been attempted at other houses in this vicinity, and as the magistrates refuse to commit, the press offers a useful and indeed the only means of putting the public on their guard, which we now beg to do.


From the Sussex Advertiser, Tuesday 19 July, 1859.

Henry Burgers, of the "Bull Inn," was charged with permitting drunkenness in his house at Brenchley, on the 11th ult.

Superintendent Dance went to his house about 11 o'clock on the 11th of June. There was a great noise in the house, and singing. Found from 30 to 40 persons in the taproom; and a great many of them were the worst for liquor, and one man was so drunk that he could not stand. They were jugs of beer on the table. The landlord said the people came drunk from other houses.

P.C. T. Hoper found men, women, and children in the tap room. He gave corroborative evidence.

Defendant called Alexander Joy, parish constable, who said he was in the house to assist in keeping it quiet. A young man named Harris came in. When he came in it was not thought he was drunk, but after he drank a pot of cider it was found that he was a little drunk. There was no noise, and only one singing. Witness was not, however, in the tap room.

William Joy, bricklayer, gave similar evidence. There about 20 persons in the taproom, and 14 in the bar.

J. Cheeseman, bricklayer, corroborated.

The Chairman directed Mr. Dance to bring this case forward on the licensing day. Defendant was liable to the fortitude of his license.

He was find 50s. And the costs.

In the case of Burgess, Mr. Rogers here said he had been instructed, since the case was heard to give notice of appeal against decision. He therefore asked that a payment of the penalty and costs might be allowed to be made at the end of the week, so that he might give notice to the interval.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 26 September, 1873.


Mary Brown, a hopper, was charged with being drunk, on the 20th inst., at Brenchley.

I.C. Holman said that on the night in question he saw a crowd of about 150 people round the door of the "Bull Inn." There he saw the defendant in a half-nude state, drunk and inciting the crowd to rescue a prisoner who was in the custody of P.C. Stanford. He was quite sure she was drunk. She had a large wound on the top of her head.

P.C. Stanford said she was drunk.

The woman’s husband said his wife was subject to screaming fits through over-excitement, and had been in Guy's Hospital.

The Bench fined the defendant 1s. and costs 9s. 11d.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 5, December 1873.


John Kenward, of the "Bull Inn," Brenchley, was summoned for keeping open his house for the sale of liquor during prohibited hours, on the night of the 17th Nov. There was also a second charge of harbouring a police-constable while on duty.

Mr Palmer, solicitor, defended.

Instructing-constable Holman stated that on the night of the 17th ult. he arrived at Brenchley village about twenty minutes before twelve o'clock, when he saw a man named Edward Lee go from his own house to the "Bull Inn," which was kept by the defendant. The landlord called out "Who’s there?" and Lee replied "Me, the sergeant," meaning the sergeant of volunteers. Lee was then admitted into the house, and on looking over the blinds witness saw Lee take a small bottle from his pocket and hand it to the landlady, and after it was filled with spirits it was handed back, when Lee paid for it, the landlord giving change. Lee called for two glasses of ale, one of which he drank himself and handed the other to P.C. Stanford, who was in the room at the time and Lee took money out to pay for it. Witness knocked at the door, and in about a minute afterwards he was admitted. Lee said that he had gone to get a drop of gin for his wife. By his watch it was twelve o’clock, but he afterwards found that his watch was five minutes fast.

Supt. Dance said that on the preceding day (Monday) he saw the defendant at Tonbridge, and had some conversation with him about the case. Defendant said Sergt. Lee called at the house for some spirits for his wife who was ill, and he was served. Lee asked for a glass of ale, but he (defendant) told him that he could not draw him any, but as there was some on the table he could have that if he liked. Stanford, the police constable, was in at the time and asked for a glass of ale which was given him. He (Supt Dance) reminded defendant that it was then three-quarters of an hour after time when the man was admitted.

Mr Palmer said that although his client might have broken the strict letter of the law he did so in ignorance. The ale which Lee and the constable drank had been left on the table by some lodgers, and the gin only was supplied on the very urgent request of Sergt. Lee.

Edward Lee, drill instructor at Brenchley, was then called, and Supt. Dance requested that he might be cautioned so that he might not say anything which on a future occasion might be used against him.

The witness then stated that he returned to Brenchley after being away from home all day, and his wife who was ill begged him to go across to the "Bull" and get a drop of gin, and he did so. He paid for the gin but the landlord refused to take payment for a glass of ale.

Defendant was then charged with harbouring P.C. Stanford, K.C.C., while on duty, at Brenchley, on the 17th ult.

The witness Holman was re-called, and made the following addition to his evidence—the landlord handed a glass of ale, which had a good head on, to the constable, and the landlady did not open the door until Stanford had made his escape by the back door. When he went into the house the back door was open. When he knocked at the door the landlady called out "who’s there," and he replied "police."

Cross-examined by Mr Palmer: He was the superior officer of Stanford. A police constable had the power of searching. He saw Stanford that night at twelve o’clock near the public house.

Defendant was called and said he closed at eleven o’clock. He had four lodgers, who worked for Dr. Murray, and they left on the table about a quart of ale. At about a quarter past eleven o’clock P.C Stanford called and was admitted. Stanford said he heard talking, and witness told him that the persons in the house were lodgers, and invited him to go down stairs and satisfy himself. The constable went and satisfied himself that they were lodgers; after which, he trimmed his lamp, and while he was doing that Sergeant Lee called, and asked for a little gin for his wife who was ill. This was supplied, and he did not think he was doing wrong. Lee asked for a glass of ale, remarking that he thought he was entitled to one after being out all day. Witness refused to draw him any, but Lee, on looking round, saw some on the table, and asked if he could not have some of that. Witness told him that he could have a glass of that, and Lee then said, "Give Stanford a drop; he is half a soldier." He handed Stanford a glass of ale, but whether he drank it or not he could not say. The constable was there about ten minutes. He was under the impression that in a case of illness it was his duty to supply a customer.

The Bench, in the first case, fined the defendant 1 and costs 11s. 11d. and in the second, 2 and 10s. costs, and ordered the convictions to be endorsed on the license.

Mr. Palmer asked that under the circumstances the license might not be endorsed with both convictions, and the Bench allowed that the second conviction only should be endorsed.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 12, December 1873.


Sergeant-Instructor Edward Lee pleaded guilty to being on licensed premises at unlawful hours, at Brenchley, on the 17th Nov.

Supt. Dance said they did not wish to press the case heavily. The constable who was found drinking in the house at the time had been reported, reduced from second-class to third, and removed to Hawkhurst, their worships last week thinking that sufficient. Mr Lee was a very respectable man, and no doubt his wife being ill was the reason why he went to the house for the gin. The landlord was convicted for supplying the gin and harbouring the policeman. His instructions were that when the landlord was convicted those in the house should be summoned.

Mr Goldsmid: It was Stanford, wasn’t it?

Supt Dance: Yes, he was found in the house at ten minutes to twelve o’clock. He has been reported, reduced, and removed.

Mr Goldsmid: Is there any evidence that the man drank the gin himself?

Supt. Dance: Yes, he drank some beer.

The Chairman: Although your wife was ill, that is no answer to this case. It might have been different had you gone first to a doctor, and he had ordered you to get some gin. But you drank some beer yourself, and we fine you 1s., and 9s. 11d. costs. We hope this will be a warning to others.

Mr. Goldsmid: If a man's wife is ill and he goes and gets liquor, that is no excuse for him to drink in the house himself.

Defendant: I should have to go three or four miles to a doctor, and by the time I get back a person might be dead.

Mr. Goldsmid: But you see you drank in the house yourself.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, Friday 10 April 1874.

Temporary authority was granted to John Parkes, at the "Bull Inn," Brenchley.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 24 April 1874.


The licence of the "Bull Inn," Brenchley, was transferred from John Kenward to John Parks.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 26 June 1874.

Tonbridge Petty Sessuions. Alleged Assault.

John Parks, landlord of the "Bull Inn," Brenchley, was summoned for assaulting George Avards, at Brenchley, on the 13th inst.

Mr. Palmer defended.

Complainant said that his daughter lived with the defendant, and hearing that she was going to leave, he went to see her. He gave her a shilling, and ask for two-pence, and while he was standing in the passage the defendant came up, called him and old humbug, scoundrel, and scamp, and told him to go out. He told him he would when he had the two pence, but defendant collared him and threw him down. Mrs. Hales called upon defendant to let him go, but defendant kept him down, and tore his jacket.

By Mr. Parmer:- I am a brick-layer. It might be 3 months or 3 years since I last laid any bricks. Have been a beer-house keeper. I never asked for a renewal of the license, so the magistrates did not refuse me. Was not drunk. Mrs. Parks said I ought to be ashamed of myself. I was not abusing defendant's wife. He and his wife were ready to eat me, both of them. I never tried to resist him at all. He did not pull me down. I said I would not go out except through the front door. I did not swear at him. An hour afterwards I saw him taking the sign down, and I told him it would serve him right if I pulled the ladder down and smash him on the pavement.

Ann Sharp, wife of William Sharp, shoemaker, said she saw Avards standing in the passage at the "Bull," and heard Parks tell him to go out. Parks then tried to put him out, and witness then saw Avards down the passage.

By Mr. Palmer:- Could not say whether of Avards was drunk or sober.

Avards was then charged by Parks with being drunk and refusing to leave the licensed premises, at the same time and place.

Mr. Palmer supported the summons.

Mr. Parks said that Avards called at his house in a drunken state, and witness requested him to leave, as he was quarrelsome. Witness told him he would put him out, when he said, "You, you little B______, and then witnessed took him by the shoulders and attempted to put him out the back door. Defendant then twisted his legs round witness, and he fell on his back. Witness attempted to get him up, but he could not, and defendant said that if he was allowed to get out at the front door he would walk out. He went out, and when he got outside he swore at witness. Defendant at one time lodged with witness, but he was so drunk and quarrelsome that he was obliged to turn him away.

By defendant:- You did not say "Let Martha give me the 2 pence, and I'll go. You threatened to throw me off the ladder."

Henry Harris, plumber, said Avards was drunk and refused to leave the house when requested. A scuffle took place in the passage, and defendant was put out. Afterwards defendant threatened to throw complainant off the ladder.

Mr. Palmer said there were other witnesses to call; but the Bench considered they had heard sufficient. They dismissed the assault case, and fined Avards 5s. and costs 19s. for being drunk and refusing to leave the public house.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 30 August 1876.


Joseph Shaw, who did not appear, was summoned for being drunk, quarrelsome, and disorderly, and refusing to quit the "Bull Inn" when requested to do so, on the 21st August.

Mr Parkes, the landlord of the house, proved the case, and the Bench fined the defendant 3 and costs, or in default two months’ hard labour.

Virgil Hickmott, a labourer, was charged with a similar offence at the same house.

Defendant pleaded guilty, and was fined 30s and 9s. coats, or in default seven days’ hard labour, but the Bench allowed him a week to pay in.


Kent & Sussex Courier 16 November 1900.


The following licenses were transferred:- The "Bull Hotel," Brenchley, from Mr. Frank Wadlow to Mr. H. J. Harrison.


Bull letter 1956

Above letter 1956, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe, which says the following:-

Dear Sirs, My wife and I are desirous of an interview with you to discuss several matters concerning the above premises. Trusting you can arrange an early date, Yours faithfully, G Wells


The pub unfortunately closed in 2015.



BROOKER John 1828-34+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

UNDERDOWN John 1841+ (age 63 in 1841Census)

DOWN Elizabeth (widow) 1851+ (age 35 in 1851Census)

EDWARDS ???? 1858+ Post Office Directory

BURGESS Henry 1859+

HENHAM John 1861-62+ (also Blacksmith age 49 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1862

KENWARD John 1873-Apr/74+ Kent and Sussex Courier

PARKES John (Wheelwright) Apr/1874-81+ Post Office Directory 1874CensusKent and Sussex Courier

STAPLEY George F 1891+ (age 38 in 1891Census)

WADLOW Frank to Nov/1900 Kent and Sussex Courier

HARRISON Henry John Nov/1900-03+ Kelly's 1903CensusKent and Sussex Courier

TERRELL Henry Marshall 1913+ Post Office Directory 1913

NEWMAN James 1918+ Post Office Directory 1918

VALDER Albert J 1922+ Post Office Directory 1922

TERRELL Henry Marshall 1930+ Post Office Directory 1930

NEVE Frederick dec'd to Feb/1934 Kent and Sussex Courier

NEVE Laura Albert (widow) Feb/1934+ Kent and Sussex Courier

CHANDLER Charles H 1938+ Post Office Directory 1938

WELLS G 1956+


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

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


Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1918From the Post Office Directory 1918

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938


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