Page Updated:- Wednesday, 10 May, 2023.


Earliest 1841-

Dering Arms

Open 2020+

Station Road


01233 840371

Deering Arms 1909

Above postcard, circa 1909, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Dering Arms

Above postcard, date unknown.

Deering Arms hop pickers 1930

Above photo showing hop pickers in 1930. Kindly sent by Marion O'Connor who says her grand father is in the top row, middle, and bottom row, right, her mother and bottom row left one of her uncles.

Deering Arms circa 1987

Above photo circa 1987.

Dering Arms 2006

Photos taken on 26 August, 2006 from by John Law.

Dering Arms sign 1982

Above sign 1982.

With thanks from Roger Pester


Pluckley has two pubs connected with the Dering family, squires of the village until the First World War. At the "Dering Arms," a former family hunting-lodge which retains its ostler's bell, the resident ghost is an old lady who sits at a table in the bar, dressed in the clothes of a century ago. The apparition has been seen by several ‘regulars', and usually before they had a drink!


Dover Express 01 January 1859.


On Monday a public meeting of planters and others interested in the subject of the hop duty, took place at the "Dering Arms," Pluckley. It was the first of a series to be held in various parts of Kent, for the purpose of pressing upon the attention of the government the necessity of taking their claims into consideration. They ask at the hands of the government a remission of 50 per cent. leviable in respect of the crop of 1858; and they ground their request, first, on the poverty of the planters; secondly, on the large receipts from the duty of late years by the government; and thirdly, on the precedent laid down by the government in 1854, for an occasional adjustment of the tax. A similar meeting was held on Tuesday at the "Saracen's Head," Ashford; on Wednesday at the "Ship Hotel," Faversham; and fourthly yesterday at the "Music Hall," Canterbury.


From the Anchor, (house magazine for Barclay, Perkins Anchor Brewery Volume X, No.1, January 1930.

Swan, Charing.

Among those present at a recent Meet of the Mid-Kent Staghounds at the "Swan Hotel," Charing, was Lt. Col. G B Winch, one of our Directors and Chairman of Style & Winch Ltd. He is seen third (mounted) from the right and we are pleased to report he has made a good recovery from his recent accident in the hunting field. There are hunt stables at the "Dering Arms," Pluckley and the "Railway Hotel," Headcorn.

Swan 1930

By Rory Kehoe:- The Winches, of Boughton Monchelsea House, were a classic "beerage" family, closely connected not just to Style & Winch in Kent but Wells & Winch of Biggleswade, Beds and Soulby, Sons & Winch of Louth, Lincs.


From accessed 17 June 2015.


Folks built this imposing inn as a hunting lodge for the Dering family. There is still the ostler's bell for those arriving by horse. They have their own ghost in residence, an old woman sitting in the bar in Victorian garb. On a recent visit to Pluckley by the Paranormal Society, curious events occurred when the investigators saw and recorded psychic activity at the church and the "Dering Arms." An assortment of phantoms manifest around the inn. One is a highwayman, who was pinned to a tree by a sword when his victim refused to stand and deliver. This outlaw still rides along the road near Fright Corner. A gypsy watercress woman was burned to death when her straw bedding in a nearby barn caught fire. Her cries haunt the village still. The sounds of a screaming man who fell into a mixing trough at the local brickworks are also heard on nights of a full moon. There are accounts that a phantom fife and drum band has been witnessed marching through one of the village houses on numerous occasions.


As the information is found or sent to me, including photographs, it will be shown here.

Thanks for your co-operation.


From the By Tom Parker Bowles, 7 October 2017.

A spookily good lunch a pub brimming with spirit in England's most haunted village.

The Dering Arms. The Grove, Pluckley, Kent.


We don’t make it to the Screaming Woods, or Fright Corner, despite their being in easy chain-rattling distance from lunch. Nor do we bump into the Red Lady, ghostly monk, phantom highwayman or miserable gypsy.

Nope, our trip to Pluckley, once named ‘the most haunted village in England’ by the Guinness Book Of Records, is disappointingly spectre-free. The only spirit we tackle is a glass of calvados, and the only thing dying, that emaciated corpse of British summer.

But The Dering Arms, with its reassuringly solid flagstone floor, stuffed pheasants, mounted antlers, whirring clocks and sporting prints, is the sort of pub in which time doesn’t so much fly as saunter and stroll.

Dering Arms inside 2017

The Dering Arms, with its reassuringly solid flagstone floor, stuffed pheasants, mounted antlers and whirring clocks, is the sort of pub in which time doesn't so much fly as saunter.

A sturdy Victorian hunting lodge, it’s named after Sir Edward Dering, MP, supporter of Charles I, owner of the Dering Manuscript (Henry IV parts I and II, and the oldest known extant Shakespearean manuscript), and, apparently, my great grandfather, to the power of 11. Well, that’s what Wikipedia says anyway.

Now before you accuse me of ancestral nepotism, I knew nothing of the connection. Honest guv. Not a bloody clue. Russell, fine restaurateur, friend and new Pluckley resident, said I should come down.

‘It was famous for being a great fish restaurant back in the Nineties,’ he told me. ‘And it’s the sort of place where the owner, on hearing that there were no taxis to get me home, drove me himself in a lovely old Bentley.’

I like those sort of places. It’s a proper pub, with locals wandering in and out for a pint, a sandwich, a gossip and chat. Dried hops adorn the bar, and crown the doorways, while a fox’s head (not exactly the pinnacle of the taxidermist’s art), snarls down from on high.

Specials, mainly fish, are scrawled on the blackboard beside the bar, while oysters, ‘to take away,’ are available at 90p each. We order half a dozen, firm and sweet, and wallow in the civilised silence, punctuated only by the whisper of fellow guests, the soft tread of our waiter’s approach, the hum of the fridge and the tick-tock of the mantle clock.

The cooking here is old-fashioned hearty, and blessedly free from any modern affectation. Food arrives on white plates, dairy is deployed with reckless abandon and the only foam is found atop the local beer. Hurray. Chicken livers, cut small and still pert, are smothered in litres of cream, a nip of brandy and piled high on toast.

It’s gloriously, unashamedly rich, but does cry out for a dribble of lemon and drop of Tabasco to cut through that heavy lactic embrace. Sussex smokies, or chunks of good smoked mackerel, are blanketed in still more cheesy, creamy mustard-spiked goo, bubbling and blistered brown by the grill. The bowl is polished clean by wads of good bread.

Fish is more hit and miss. Skate is as good as you’ll find anywhere, great luscious strands falling off those gelatinous bones. With a sharp, nutty, caper-studded brown butter sauce. Sardines are gleamingly fresh, but have spent a moment too long under the grill. So the flesh loses that ephemeral sweetness, and turns towards the dry. The same goes with a generous tranche of halibut meunière, nothing ruinous but just edging towards the overdone. Fried oysters, though, are a welcome addition, as is a mound of butter-ravished spinach.

Scallops, sliced in half for some reason, are well cooked but woefully under-seasoned. And sit upon a glum, watery sludge of crushed peas and mint. It may be based upon the Rowley Leigh classic, but lacks essential sweetness. No such problems when it comes to pudding, sticky toffee in particular.

The batter is light, bouncy and studded with dates, the butterscotch sauce bold and bountiful. Then a lemon posset that just manages to stay on the right side of overwhelming. We reckon it’s made with clotted cream, a fine addition, but one that desperately requires the lemon’s tart bite.

The wine list is short, but well-chosen and priced too. Although the local Dering Arms ‘Champagne’ is certainly an acquired taste. Service is lovely, and it’s the sort of pub where lunch could turn, all too easily, into dinner.

So yes, there are a couple of piscine mishaps. But somehow, it doesn’t seem to matter. This is generous, well-priced country pub cooking with occasional flashes of inspiration. A final glass of calvados is not so much indulgence as essential medicine, a ‘trou Normande’ to burn through all that heft.

We totter out into the weak September sunshine, and skip the few yards to the station. In the distance, something catches my eye, white, spectral and fluttering in a seemly supernatural fashion. I grab Russell’s arm, and point with shaking finger. He smiles and shakes his head. It’s a Tesco bag, caught high up in a tree. Hey ho. No ghosts today. But the Dering Arms has spirit to spare.



COOMBER Stephen 1841+ (age 50 in 1841Census)

HUGHES William 1858+ (also Posting House)

ALLARD Daniel 1861+ (age 50 in 1861Census)

PALMER John 1871+ (also grazier age 36 in 1871Census)

HILLS Charles George 1879-May/1881 Next pub licensee had

GREEN Francis 1881-91+ (age 38 in 1891Census)

PARSONS George 1901+ (age 37 in 1901Census)

COLLINS Percy Everard 1903-13+ (age 35 in 1911Census) Kelly's 1903


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:-