Sort file:- Sevenoaks, March, 2022.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 06 March, 2022.


Earliest 1828-

(Name from)

Dorset Arms Inn

Latest ????

(Name to)

22 London Road (Dorset Street 1881) (22 High Street 1891)



The pub was once called the "Bull" but I do not know when the name changed.

It has now (before 1987) changed name again to the "Square" in 2008 and "Dorset Steak and Oyster House."


Kentish Gazette, 20 June 1854.

Sevenoaks. Sudden Death.

An inquest was held at the "Dorset Arms," on Tuesday last, before Mr. Wildes, on the body of John Weaver, a labourer. It appeared that the deceased went to his work as usual on Monday morning, and about seven o'clock the same morning, George Ashdown saw the deceased lying on the ground. He went up to him and immediately hastened for medical assistance, but human aid was of no avail. He had for many years past been subject to fits.

Verdict—"Died from a fit of apoplexy.


From the South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 1 September, 1857.


(Before Earl Amhurst, in the chair, W. B. Northey, C. R. C. Petley, and J. Rogers, Esqrs.)

This was the annual licensing day for the renewal of the licenses to the houses in the division. There were no complaints against the houses in the division. There were no complaints against any house but the "Dorset Arms," Sevenoaks, against which certain grave charges were made in anonymous letters, which, however, were not entertained by the magistrates, but as the landlord had been cautioned at the last licensing day, the Superintendent Handley, K.C.C., spoke of the house as a very disorderly one, the license was suspended until the next bench day. All the others were renewed.


From the South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 27 July 1858.

Sevenoaks. Assaulting a Police Superintendent.

Richard Gunter, landlord of the "Dorset Arms" public house, Sevenoaks, was last week charged before C. R. C. Petley and J. Rogers, Esq., with assaulting James Haudley, superintendent constable of the Sevenoaks division, in the execution of his duty. Mr.
Rogers (Tunbridge) appeared for the defendant, and requested that the case might be adjourned, as his client had only received the summons between 5 and 6 o'clock on the previous evening, and there had not been time to prepare the defence or communicate with witnesses whose evidence was material to the case. The magistrates consented to this request.


Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 8th September 1860.

Sevenoaks Petty sessions, Friday.

Ann Dobs, who had been under remand for over a fortnight on a charge of stealing a knife, the property of Richard Gunter of the "Dorset Arms," Sevenoaks was cautioned and discharged.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 25 May 1861.

Sevenoaks. Window Breaking.

Harriet Buxton was charged before W. Lambard, Esq., at the Magistrates' Clerk's office, on Friday, with having broken the sash frame and 6 panes of glass, belonging to a window, the property of Richard Gunter, of the "Dorset Arms," in this town, doing damage to the amount of 10s.

Mrs. Gunter, wife of prosecutor, stated that the prisoner and her husband with a sailor, were in the house drinking on the 16th inst, when the prisoner became excited about 6 in the evening, and while in that state committed the offence with which he was charged.

Prisoner was not quite sober when she first came to the house, and therefore no drink was supplied to her, but the sailor who was with the prisoner and her husband treated her with some drink, and that contributed to her intoxication.

Prisoner stated by way of defence that she had been drinking, and while intoxicated shook the door in which was a window in question, and that cause something inside to fall, which broke the window, but she did not break it wilfully.

The Magistrates, however, was of different opinion, and committed her to Maidstone gaol for 21 days, with hard labour, in default of paying the amount of damage done and costs.

Prisoner said she was without money and was therefore removed in custody.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Saturday 7 July 1866.

Stealing Meat.

John Barrett, 37, carpenter, and Thomas Smith, 28, labourer, were charged with stealing a quantity of beef, value 1 10s, the property of James Reynolds, at Sevenoaks, on the 9th May.

William Reynolds, son of prosecutor, deposed that his father kept a butchers shop in Sevenoaks. On the 9th May last he went to the slaughterhouse, where they had been killing some beasts on the previous evening, and found that one side of a bullock had been taken away. The meat had not been cut by butcher. Witness informed his father, and went to the "Dorset Arms," where Barrett was cooking the meat in the taproom. The other prisoner was at the bar. The meat in the pan was evidently not cut by butcher. Witness asked Barrett where he got the meat from, and he said Smith gave it to him. Barrett pointed out Smith, and witness asked him where he got the meat, when he said he would rather have 12-months and say where he got it from. There was a stable and a loft near the slaughterhouse, and a person could get into the slaughterhouse from the stable. Witness went to the loft with P.C. Matthews, and the constable found in some straw a piece of a sirloin of beef, with a carcass from which some had been cut, and they corresponded. He asked Smith where he had slept on the previous night, and he said at the "Anchor," but Mrs. Gunter, the landlady, said he could not have slept at the "Anchor," as he did not leave the "Dorset Arms" till too late. Witness noticed some straw on Smith's neckcloth.

Mrs. Gunter, landlady of the "Dorset Arms" said that she saw the prisoner at her house on the night of the 8th and morning of the 9th. On the morning of the 9th, soon after 7 o'clock, she saw them in the taproom. She observed a piece of beef on the table, and she thought it was cut in a very queer manner - not cut by a butcher. The prisoners came to the house from the direction of Mr. Reynolds slaughterhouse.

Henry Reynolds, another son of the prosecutor, deposed that about 6 o'clock on the morning of the 9th went to the loft near the slaughterhouse, where we saw two men sleeping. The prisoners Smith was one of them. He had not seen the other man since. He told them and to get off, or his father would have them locked up. The other man went away, but Smith loitered about.

Thomas Matthews, P.C. said that on the morning of the 19th of May he went to a loft adjoining Mr. Reynolds slaughterhouse. He searched the loft, and found 14 1/4lbs of beef and suet. The beef correspond exactly with the beef in the slaughterhouse.

The jury found Smith guilty, and Barrett not guilty.

The prisoner Smith was sentenced to 4 months' hard labour.


Sussex Agricultural Express 01 January 1889.


David Holloway, of the "Dorset Arms," Sevenoaks, pleaded guilty to selling adulterated brandy. - Supt. Waghorn said that the defendant had only been in the house a short time, and had not been used to the business before. - Fined 20s. and costs.


From Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser 30 August 1889.


The houses during the past year have been generally well conducted, with the following exceptions:-

Ale House, No. 40. David Holloway, of the "Dorset Arms," Sevenoaks, fined 20s and costs 9s. on the 28th December, 1888, for selling adulterated brandy.



BLACKMAN Thomas 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

MARTIN Henry 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

SHARP John 1841-51+ (age 30 in 1841Census)

GUNTER Richard 1858-62 (age 55 in 1861Census)

GUNTER Mrs 1866+

KIPPS John 1874-82+ (age 53 in 1881Census)

ISHERWOOD John Richard Ramsbottom to Aug/1888 Sevenoaks Chronicle

HOLLOWAY David Aug/1888-91+ Sevenoaks Chronicle

COTTON Algernon E 1891+ (age 31 in 1891Census licensed victualler)

HICKS Frederick 1903-13+ Kelly's 1903

NEWNHAM Lucy Mrs 1918-22+

Last pub licensee had NEWNHAM Caleb 1930-38+


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

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

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Sevenoaks ChronicleSevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser




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