Page Updated:- Thursday, 18 May, 2023.


Earliest 1891-

(Name from)

Cricketer's Inn

Latest 2011+

(Name to)

Open 2023+

Wrotham Road


01474 812163

Cricketer's Inn 1896

Above photo between 1896 and 1897.

Cricketers 1910

Above postcard, circa 1910, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Cricketer's 1920s

Above postcard, 1920s, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Cricketer's Inn

Above postcard, date unknown.

Cricketers 1943

Above photo, circa 1943, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. People and film as yet unknown.

Cricketers 1943

Above photo, circa 1943, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Cricketers outing

Above outing, date unknown, taken from

Cricketers 1950

Above photo, 1950, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. names as yet unknown.

Crichketer's 1950

Above photo, 1950, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Cricketers sign 1950

Above photo, 1950, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Cricketer's 1954

Above postcard, circa 1954, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Cricketers 1960

Above photo, 1960, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Cricketers Inn 1971

Above postcard, 1971, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.


Above photo from the book, 1975, Pubs of Meopham by Jim Carley.

Cricketer's Inn match box

Above matchbox, 1984, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Cricketers 1985

Above photo, circa 1985, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Cricketers 1990

Above postcard circa 1990. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Cricketer's Inn 2011

Above photo 2011.

Cricketer's sign 1950

Above sign 1950.

Cricketer's sign 1967Cricketers sign

Above sign left 1967, sign right, date unknown..

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Cricketers sign 1985Cricketers sign 1992

Above sign left, May 1985, sign right, September 1992.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Cricketer's Inn sign 1999Cricketers sign 2023

Above sign left 1999. With thanks from Roger Pester Sign right 2023, from Ian Goodrick.

Cricketers Inn sign 2001

Above sign 2001.

With thanks from Roger Pester

Cricketer's Inn 2016

Above photo, 2016.

Cricketers 2019

Above photo 2019.

Cricketers 2023

Above photo 2023, kindly taken and sent by Ian Goodrick.


In 1799 the Amicable Society established to assist members in times of need, meeting at the "Cricketers."

Originally known as the "Eleven Cricketer's" pre 1880 and at one time included amongst its activities feeding and watering of the inmates of the Village Lock Up situated on the Green. I believe it is now called the "Long Hop."

By 2019 it looks like the pub has reverted back to the "Cricketer's! again.

There have actually been two pubs with this name, the original one being closed and became Basque Cottage in 1794. This is the current one.

in 1955 the "Cricketers Inn" sign changed from whiskered cricketers to depictions of Sir Jack Hobbs, Herbert Strudwick, Leslie Ames and Frank Woolley.


Gravesend Reporter, North kent and South Essex Advertiser, Saturday 16 August, 1890.


We regret to have to record the death of Mr. James Buggs, of the "Cricketers," Meopham, who was widely known and esteemed. For the last 9 months deceased's health had been failing, and he expired on Saturday last about noon. The funeral took place on Wednesday, deceased's remains being interred in the family grave at Meopham churchyard.


From ‘A Precis of Meopham’s pubs, past and present.’ By James Carley. Date Unknown.

The Cricketers.

Having completed what had no doubt been his ambition for many years, Richard Buggs sold the pub and some land to a Rochester brewer, Thomas Stevens, and passed the license over to his son, Phillip Buggs. The family continued to serve there until at least 1895 and so can claim at least 130 years of service to the village. It was early in the 19th century that Henry Buggs, Grandson of Richard, built what was described as a dwelling house and club rooms adjacent to the earlier building. They are the right hand portion of the somewhat incongruous pair of houses which form the present pub. Quite probably internal connections were made, thus rendering the whole structure useable as one. The rear of the new building is shown on some plans as “Coach House,” and in the ceiling there are still some rings which it is thought were at one time used for tethering horses. The property had its own well, originally in the back yard but this was later covered over, to form a kitchen. The position of the well can be defined by tapping on the floor. The pub has been noted for various collections. Starting in about 1914 a collection was made of visiting cards, match boxes, train tickets and other items from many countries. During the second world war there was a large Army camp in the south of the village, now the site of Vigo Village. Patronage by the soldiers led to the formation of a large collection of military badges. It reached a peak of over 300 items, but regrettably some were stolen. Matchboxes were next to joint he collection (emptied of their contents), followed by coins and notes. Most valuable was the collection of pewter jugs, mugs and measures. Most of them are engraved “J. Buggs, Cricketers Inn, Meopham.” Among them are some jugs, fitted with spouts, which were used by customers to fill up their friends glasses. Finally there was an interesting collection of swizzle sticks, from all over the world. This was unfortunately taken down and burnt by a manager after the pub came under management in 1971.

Nearly opposite the pub there used to be a parish lock-up, and when this was occupied, it was the duty of the licensee to provide food and drink. He was allowed 2s. 6d. a day to supply three meals. Another duty was to provide facilities for inquests. Like the George, the Cricketers had a sick benefit club, but a very much older one. It was established in 1799, and the rule book is on display in one of the bars. The Oddfellows also had close links with the pub, and photographs exist of their outings there.

After the era of the Buggs family, nine subsequent licensee have been traced, up to 1971, when Mrs. Phyllis Broomfield (whose husband had earlier held the license) retired. The brewers then placed the house under direct management.


From accessed 17 June 2015.


Built between a fabulous old windmill and village green this is understood to be the oldest formal cricketing inn still existing in the country. It took its name when the Meopham Cricket Club was formed in 1776, when this pub was their headquarters. As early as 1735, cricket was well established in the village and there was a pub called the "Eleven Cricketers." This is the earliest reference to any pub name connected with the game. The "Cricketers" exhibits ghostly manifestations. These include a woman who hanged herself when her Napoleonic Wars soldier husband returned with a French mistress. The ghost of the abandoned wife typically appears in the public bar. She also haunts a nearby lane, wearing an orange tinted silk dress that rustles as she walks. A local miller, Bob Bennett, who had been a regular at this inn, hanged himself in the 19th century. The ghost of Bennett has been observed on the green opposite the "Cricketers," with wearing flour covered clothing.


From the By Secret Drinker, 27 January 2020.

Secret Drinker at The Cricketers pub, Meopham.

It must be getting on for 10 years ago that I sold my old dining chairs on eBay and a very nice chap, who was doing up The Cricketers at the time, left me a lovely message.

When the pub reopened, just for fun, I popped into Meopham and visited the latest addition to the Whiting and Hammond business empire so I could sit on my old chairs.

So, all these years on, I decided it was high time I returned to this family-friendly Wrotham Road boozer which sits right on the village green – hence the name.

But, even before I pulled into the car park I noticed the "Kings Arms," sitting just across the road, looked dark and uninviting.

A quick check on its website revealed a single line: ‘Unfortunately the "Kings Arms" restaurant is closed, this is something that was out of our control. Sorry for any inconvenience.’

Whether it’s due to this ‘uncontrolled closure’ isn’t clear, but I can tell you that, for a weekday lunchtime, The Cricketers was heaving by 1.30pm.

There was hardly an empty table and the place was bustling with a whole mix of different folk. There were tables full of chattering kids with mums and dads happy that their offspring were amusing themselves, the grey brigade was also well represented and there were several drinkers enjoying an extended lunch away from the office.

This, combined with the open fires, a cheery welcome from the chappy behind the bar and getting in out of the rain left me with a lovely warm feeling this would be a great pub visit.

Mrs SD and I slotted ourselves into a nice little two-seater table and chatted about the last decade – there was certainly no chance to check if our dining chairs has survived, the place was far too busy for that.

To keep my fans of ‘real beer’ happy, I made a start with a pint of Bexley’s Own Beer, a pale ale clocking in at 4.2%, which could hardly be more local. An easy drinking, smooth ale, it has a balanced flavour without being overpowering. Probably not one to stop you in your tracks, but certainly not one to avoid.

Cricketers posters 2019

The walls are packed with pictures, posters and other items of interest.

There were a number of young waitresses on duty and we got our food order for a ham and cheese toastie and starter-sized chicken caesar salad in early as well as ordering more drinks.

This done, I took stock of our surroundings. There are roaring open fires in each room and they are set up a bit higher in the walls, which I particularly like. There also seemed to be a cute dog competition taking place as there was an attractive furry friend lying obediently under most tables – another big plus in my book.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of the pub is set out for dining, but a decent bar-style area has been retained on the right hand side. It was far too wet for anything but the most ardent of smokers to venture outside, but there was a decent-sized, lovely looking patio area at the back.

The toilets are found at the top of an attractively tapering staircase which is lit by an unusual wine glass chandelier. I also liked the fact they had taken the trouble to light the wine store.

The toilets had recently been cleaned and were well presented and fresh – you’ll find a great view of the green on your way out.

By now the food had arrived and the pressure of a busy service was beginning to tell on the waiting staff, as demonstrated when Mrs SD politely requested a little parmesan cheese for her caesar salad.

The first waitress ignored her, the second said she had never heard of parmesan, but did return to say the kitchen didn’t have any.

Five minutes later she was back again and plonked a pot of parmesan on the table without saying a word and scurrying away.

Cricketers wine glass lights

Mrs SD pronounced this the second best use she’d seen for wine glasses.

The cheese debacle was unfortunate as, other than this, the food, whilst expensive, was tasty and well-presented and the service was friendly and efficient.

There is much to commend The Cricketers and it’s a shame a little gloss was taken off this visit as the pressure showed on the waitresses.

So, after warming ourselves by the fire and bidding our friendly barman farewell, we headed back into the horizontal rain.

The pub is part of the growing Whiting and Hammond chain that includes several Kent pubs such as the Little Brown Jug at Chiddingstone Causeway, The Chaser at Shipbourne plus the Rose and Crown at Green Street Green.

There’s live music on a Friday and breakfast is served from 9 to 11am.

Cricketers wine stoer 2019

The wine store is not only packed, it’s also well illuminated.


From the By Alex Langridge, 6 November 2022.

Two men stabbed at Cricketers Inn, Meopham, and two arrested with murder.

A man has died following a double stabbing with two men arrested for murder.

Officers were called to the Cricketers Inn pub in Meopham just before 9.15pm last night following reports a man had been assaulted.

They attended with paramedics where they found two men had been stabbed.

A man in his 30s was pronounced dead at the scene while another was taken to a London hospital, where he remains in a stable condition.

A 29-year-old and a 50-year-old were later arrested on suspicion of murder.

The men involved are all believed to be known to each another and, at this stage, police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation.

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are continuing to make inquiries.

The A227 Wrotham Road is currently closed in both directions at Meopham Green.

Cricketers stabbing 2022

The Cricketers pub in Meopham where a fatal stabbing took place last night. Pic: UKNIP.

Neighbours told KentOnline that the road has been closed since around 9.30pm with forensics officers on the scene this afternoon.

A Wrotham Road resident who did not want to be named said: “I only saw flashing blue lights going up and down the road.

“There was lots of marked and unmarked cars going up there.

“The first thing I knew was at 4am this morning when I woke up. I saw some flashing lights.

“It’s not one of the things you want to happen on your door step. It is a shame.”

Neighbour Michael Clark said: “We came back from our friends' house and got stuck in the queue of traffic for an hour.

Cricketers stabbing 2022

Forensics officers outside the Cricketers pub in Meopham following the fatal stabbing. Pic: UKNIP.

“They were not letting anyone through. [It seemed like] there were hundreds of police and police cars.

“We gathered there was a major incident.”

Nearby public house the "Kings Arms" is also shut following the incident. The team put out a statement this morning to tell customers.

It read: "Due to unforeseen circumstances and completely out of our control we have been instructed to close our pub today whilst police investigate a crime in our village.

"This unfortunately means we cannot go ahead with today's reservations but we do look forward to welcoming you all back very soon."

Anyone who witnessed what happened or has any information is urged to call police on 101, quoting reference 05-1226.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or by using the online form on their website.


From the By Sam Honey Wednesday 9 November 2022.

Man charged with attempted murder after Cricketers Inn Meopham double stabbing.

A man has now been charged with attempted murder after a man was stabbed to death in a Meopham pub. Kent Police and the South East Coast Ambulance Service were called to the scene after a disturbance at the Cricketers Inn on Saturday (November 5), shortly after 9pm.

Two men were found after being stabbed at the scene. Craig Allen from Marden, 35 was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man, a 50 year-old from Meopham, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. He was then later arrested on suspicion of murder, and his since been discharged and taken into custody while enquiries continue.

Several hours after the incident, officers arrested a second man, Miguel Batista, 29, who is alleged to have attacked the 50 year-old. Now, he has been charged with attempted murder and is due to appear at Medway Magistrate’s Court today (Wednesday, November 9).

The men involved are believed to be known to each other and, at this stage, police are no longer looking for anyone else in connection with this investigation. Officers are continuing to seek witnesses to the incident to aid enquiries.

Anyone who witnessed what happened or has any information is urged to call Kent Police on 101 quoting reference 46/215074/22. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or by using the online form at


From the Story by Sam Honey, 11 Nov 2022.

Meopham pub reopens after double stabbing as 'shocked owner issues statement.

Support has poured in for a Meopham pub after owners issued a statement following a double stabbing. Kent Police and South East Coast Ambulance crews were called to the scene at the Cricketers Inn on Saturday, November 5 shortly after 9pm.

Here, two men were found after being stabbed. One of the men, Craig Allen from Marden, 35 was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other, a 50 year-old from Meopham, was taken to hospital with serious injuries and was later arrested on suspicion of murder. He has since been discharged and released pending further investigation, as enquiries continue.

A second man was then arrested several hours later, 29-year-old Miguel Batista, who is alleged to have attacked the 50-year-old. He was charged with attempted murder and appeared before Maidstone Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 9 November.

He was remanded in custody until his next hearing on 7 December, at Woolwich Crown Court. The men involved are believed to be known to each other and, at this stage, police are no longer looking for anyone else in connection with this investigation.

Pub owner Brian Keeley-Whiting has since issued a statement, confirming the reopening of the pub this weekend. The statement reads: “The Cricketer Inn will reopen this weekend 11th November.

Cricketers 2022

The incident occurred at the Cricketers Inn in Meopham.

“We have all been shocked by the unfortunate events last weekend and our team fully supported the police investigation. You will appreciate that we are unable to talk about any aspects of the incident as this is all now subject to a police investigation.

“We have worked hard over the week to support our staff and get ready for business again. We are a family owned pub and we are proud of the reputation we have gained over the last 15 years. I would like to thank all who have sent their best wishes to us, and we hope to see you here soon.”

The pub has seen a wave of support since issuing the statement, with numerous commenter's wishing the establishment well following the tragedy. Michelle Moore wrote: “Look forward to welcoming you all back and look forward to our nice glass of wine after a long dog walk. Best wishes to you all.”

Linda Banwell added: “Wishing you all the best at this really difficult time.” Dave Monk commented: “Love to you all and your team please all talk to each other and be open my best wishes and I will be seeing you all soon.”


From the By Paul Hooper, 16 May 2023,

Alex Batista sentenced for attempted murder of Cricketers Inn pub landlord in Meopham after Craig Allen died in pair’s ‘revenge attack’

A cocaine-fuelled barman who plotted to kill a pub landlord in jealousy and rage has been jailed for 27 years.

Alex Batista, 30, was convicted of attempting to murder David Brown in revenge for losing his job at the Cricketers Inn in Meopham on Bonfire Night last year.

Miguel Batista

Miguel Batista, 29, has been convicted of attempted murder after an incident at the Cricketers pub in Meopham.

Today he refused to leave his prison cell and was sentenced in his absence at Maidstone Crown Court.

Mr Justice Jay said Batista's defence that he struck the South African pub boss with a spade in self defence was ridiculous.

"This was an offence born out of jealousy and rage,” he said.

The judge said the Portuguese barman had been married for a year and worked at the pub with his wife but there was a dark side to their volatile relationship.

The jury heard how during one episode he pushed his wife Cara downstairs but she was caught by the general manager who prevented injury.

Cricketers forensics 2022

Forensics at the Cricketers Inn pub in Meopham where Miguel Batista, known as Alex Batista, tried to murder pub landlord David Brown. Picture: UKNIP

Another incident led to the break-up of their marriage and Mr Brown then sacked Batista on October 30 last year.

The judge said: "In a relatively short space of time you lost your wife, your job and your home. You became desperate and angry and bent on revenge."

By November 5 Batista recruited his brother in law Craig Allen and the two acquired weapons including a spade and two knives.

"Craig Allen had nothing to gain for his part in this and you could have called this off at any stage, " he added.

But Batista believed his estranged wife and Mr Brown were getting too close - and plotted revenge.

After arriving at the pub, Allen saw Cara talking to Mr Brown, told Batista and his "jealousy was ignited”.

Cricketers police 2022

Police at the Cricketers Inn pub in Meopham where Craig Allen was killed. Picture: UKNIP.

They made their way to the pub and to Mr Brown's room, and armed with two knives knocked on the door.

"What happened after the door was opened was as rapid as it was horrific, you stabbed him in the left thigh and Allen stabbed him in the throat, just missing the jugular vein,” said the judge.

“You then whacked Mr Brown on the crown of his head with the spade.”

At some point, Mr Brown made a dash for freedom after grabbing Batista's Rambo knife and in the melee, Allen was struck with a knife and died from his injury. Batista escaped in his wife's car.

Mr Brown had earlier told the court how he feared he would never see his children again.

The judge praised Durban-born Mr Brown for acting in "reasonable self defence” adding "but for his quick thinking and his physical and mental strength he would surely be dead”.

Alex Batista

Alex Batista.

Detective Inspector Adam Marshall of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “The assault was premeditated and stemmed from a grievance Alex Batista had with the victim, with whom he used to work for.

“Batista had every intention of murdering his victim and arrived at the premises armed with multiple weapons. He then launched a ferocious and brutal attack as soon as entry was gained into the upstairs area of the pub.

“The victim was repeatedly stabbed and beaten, in a struggle which ultimately had tragic consequences and led to the death of another man.”

Brian Keeley-Whiting from WH Pubs said: “We would like to express thanks to the court and to Kent Police for all their support during the last 6 months.

“For this to happen at such a well-loved and welcoming venue was a shock for the whole team.

“Sadly this happened because one of our pub managers was trying to protect a female member of the crew from domestic violence.

“He endured an unimaginable and undeserved ordeal as a consequence of Mr Batista’s actions that night.

“We are grateful that our crew at the Cricketers Inn at Meopham have been supportive to the manager and have gone about their work in a professional manner.

“We also want to express special gratitude to our fantastic customers for their loyalty and support while this case was being investigated.

“I know personally that David has found this to be of great support to him. The Cricketer’s Inn is a beautiful family pub and clearly this was an isolated incident which has now been brought to a close”

An inquest into the death of Craig Allen is scheduled for June 1.



BUGGS Henry 1847+

BUGGS James 1855-Aug/90 dec'd (widower age 59 in 1881Census)

BUGGS Henry 1891+ (age 35 in 1891Census)

BUGGS Phillip to 1894 (new building)

PARKHURST David 1899-1905+ (age 43 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

JONES Arthur 1911-13+ (age 27 in 1911Census)

JONES Louisa E Mrs 1918-22+

DOUST Frederick George 1930+

FURNELL Cyril George 1934+

CROUCHIE Robert 1938+

BROOMFIELD Phyllis to 1971


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:-