Page Updated:- Monday, 30 August, 2021.


Earliest 1842-

Freemason's Arms

Closed 1980

Queen Street


Freemason's Arms 1940s

Above photo circa 1940s.

Former Freemason's Arms 2020

Above photo 2020, kindly sent by Paul Narramore. Who says that the building is now called Orchard House.


Said to predate the arrival of the railway in 1842.


Kentish Gazette, 7 February 1854.

Yalding. Curious Circumstance.

About two years since, a coroner's inquest was held at Paddock Wood, on the body of Mrs. Mitchell, who was found drowned in a ballast hole, near the railway station. There was great excitement, but no evidence to prove how the poor woman came into the water. From that time, her husband (Thomas Mitchell), who is a native of Brenchley, and till lately, proprietor of a small farm, known as "Rats Castle" has been in a very unsettled state, and evidently has drunk to excess, and when in liquor, he frequently spoke of his deceased wife's death by drowning, often saying. "Ah, that will be my path no doubt some time."

This unfortunate man was on Thursday evening, drinking at Mr. H. Barden's beer-shop, Brenchley, till a late hour; he left very tipsy, and was troubled to walk, and on the next morning, was found dead in a ditch, near the house where he lived.

An inquest was held on the body on Saturday, before J. N. Dudlow, Esq., coroner. Mrs. Pope, daughter of the deceased, deposed, that he lived with her and her husband, but did not always come home at their bed-time. On Thursday evening, he was not at home when witness went to bed. On Friday morning, when she was hanging out some clothes on a hedge in the garden, she saw the hand of her father above the water, in a ditch, close to the footpath, where he used to walk up the garden to the cottage. The water was stagnant, and only just covered his face. There was a great deal of mud in the ditch, and only a slight willow hedge between the path and the ditch. Her father no doubt was in liquor, and fell in the ditch, and was there suffocated in the mud and water. The deceased was nearly 60 years of age.

A verdict of "Accidentally drowned," was returned.


Kent & Sussex Courier 15 December 1876.


At the Tonbridge Petty Sessions, on Tuesday, Thomas Darling was summoned for being drunk and disorderly, at the "Freemason's Arms" beerhouse, Paddock Wood, and refusing to quit the same when requested so to do, on the 5th inst.

The case was allowed to be withdrawn.

(I am assuming this is the house in a village called Queen Street which is near Paddock Wood and Brenchley, Paul Skelton)


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 30 August 1878.

Our public houses.

The following report was laid before the Justice's on Tuesday by Superintendent Kewell:- Kent County Constabulary, Tunbridge division, 27th August, 1878.

The "Freemason's Arms" beer house, Brenchley, kept by John Barden, who January, 1878, was fined 5s. and 20s costs.


Kent & Sussex Courier 13 February 1948.


Arthur James Goodyear, Freemasons' Arms, Paddock Wood, was granted a wine license.


From accessed 13 August 2018.

The Lost Pubs around Paddock Wood: Part One.

“The Hostelries of Paddock Wood”

Starting with the area known as Queen Street, the "New Inn" was situated on the boundary with Yalding parish.

Further along the road towards Paddock Wood was the "Freemasons Arms." In the 1841 census the pub was listed as the "Kings Arms" and the landlord was Henry Barden but sometime prior to 1851 the pub must have changed its name to the "Freemasons Arms" as that is how it is described in the census of that year. Henry Barden remained as landlord until 1871 when his widow Susannah took over the tenancy. She in turn was succeeded by her son John who remained there until the mid-1880s when the tenancy passed to George Collins. He must have had a liking for the area as he continued as landlord until the mid-1920s. The last recorded landlord of the "Freemasons Arms" was Alf Parker who took over in the 1950s and was noted for the frequency with which he ran out of beer, hardly a recommendation in itself. Like other pubs in the area the landlord would not trust the seasonal hop pickers with glasses so a charge was levied which was returned when the glass was handed back. The pub closed sometime around 1980 and is now a private house.


Although this is addressed as being in Brenchley, Paul Narramore tells me that it is in fact one mile away from that village and is now regarded as being part of Paddock Wood in a hamlet known as Queen Street.



Last pub licensee had BARDEN Henry 1841-1871- (also grocer farmer age 35 in 1851Census)

BARDEN Susanna 1871+ (widow also grocer age 53 in 1871Census)

BARDEN John 1878-85+

BARDEN Mrs to Jan/1889 Maidstone and Kentish Journal

COLLINS George Jan/1889-1925+ (also grocer age 39 in 1891Census) Maidstone and Kentish Journal

GOODYEAD Arthur James 1948+

PARKER Alf 1950s-80s



Maidstone and Kentish JournalMaidstone and Kentish Journal


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