Page Updated:- Tuesday, 19 December, 2023.


Earliest 1739

Hook and Hatchet

12 June 1973

(Name to)

Walderslade Road / 1 Boxley Road 1851Census



Above photo taken in 1866.

Hook and Hatchet 1901

Above photo circa 1901.

Hook and Hatchet

Above postcard, date unknown.

Hook and Hatchet

Coloured postcard obviously from above.

Hook and Hatchet

Above postcard, date unknown.

Hook and Hatchet cardHook and Hatchet card

Above aluminium card issued 1950. Sign series 2 number 6.


The Licensing Records 1872 stated the premises held a Full License and was owned by Edward Winch of Chatham.


From the Kentish Gazette, Friday, 25 April, 1788.

On Sunday morning last as a man was going to cut some green broom, in a wood beyond the "Hook and Hatchet," at Luton, in this country, he discovered a man in the thick part of it with his throat cut, and a razor and handkerchief lying by him. He proves to be a sergeant of the 60th regiment, lying at Chatham Barracks. On Monday the Coroner's Inquest sat on the body and brought in their verdict Insane.


Kentish Gazette, 15 January 1850.

Sudden Death.

On Thursday se’nnight, Mr. John Tester (better known by the name of Bensted), farmer, residing near the "Hook-and-Hatchet," on the Chatham Boxley-road, was found dead, lying beside his horse and cart, opposite the gate of his farm-yard. It appeared on the inquest, that the deceased left home on Wednesday afternoon with his horse and cart, in apparent good health; he called at the "Blue Bell," and proceeded on to the "Hook-and-Hatchet," where he continued drinking till ten o’clock, when the landlord assisted him into his cart, being "rather the worse for liquor," and he left for home. At one o’clock the following morning, his son became uneasy at his absence, and sent James Smith, the under-bailiff, to look after him, who on going out of the gate saw the horse and cart standing close by, and his master lying in the road. He immediately called his son, and they together removed the body into the house. The son immediately despatched a messenger to Chatham for Mr. Steddy, who, on his arrival, pronounced him dead. Vardict, "Died of Apoplexy." The deceased was 71 years of age, and of eccentric habits.


From the Maidstone and Kentish Journal, Monday, 28 May, 1866.


Messrs. Cobb have received instructions from the Executors of the late Mr. Joseph Ashley, to sell by auction, in the month of June, at the "Sun Hotel," Chatham.

The Valuable Freehold and Leasehold Public Houses, Beer Houses, Trade Premises, Dwelling Houses, &c., viz:-

The "Hook and Hatchet," Chatham.


Further notice as to time, &c., of sale, will shortly be issued.

Particulars in the meantime may be obtained of Messrs. Acworth and Son, Solicitors, Star Hill, Rochester; of Messrs. Morris, Stone, Townson, and Morris, solicitors, Moorgate Street Chambers, Moorgate Street; and of Messrs. Cobb, surveyors and land agents, 26, Lincoln's-inn-fields, London, and Rochester, Kent.


From a publication 1893.

Hook and Hatchet public house, Chatham, Kent.

Messrs. Seymour and Waring are directed by Major Best to sell by auction, at the "Sun Hotel," Chatham, on Tuesday, 27th of June, 1893, at 7 o'clock precisely, in one lot.

That compact freehold property, comprising an old-fashioned fully licensed public house, known as the "Hook and Hatchet," containing small cellar, scullery, kitchen, bar, pleasure room (40 by 18,) parlour, 4 bedrooms, and 3 garets, with 0a. 2r. 36p. of garden; also 2-roomed cottage, now used as school; together with for 4a. 2r. 20p. of Meadow land opposite.

The whole in the occupation of Mrs. Baker, at a yearly rental of 29.

Particulars and conditions of sale may shortly be obtained by Messrs. Winch and Sinch, solicitors, Chatham; at the "Sun Hotel," Chatham; "Bull Hotel," Rochester; "Star Hotel," Maidstone; and of the auctioneers, 46, Earl Street, Maidstone.


Information taken from

In the recently republished book 'Walderslade - The Wooded Valley' there is a chapter on the "Hook and Hatchet." The settlement around that area is older than Walderslade village itself and there are references to the area going back to 1670. The oldest reference to the "Hook and Hatchet" is from 1739 and it seems to have been rebuilt around 1777.

It was sold to Major Best in 1866 at auction for 480 and was auctioned again in 1893. There was a fire in 1903 and it was rebuilt the same year. The picture below is dated 1901 and the building shown is definitely not the current one.

Hook and Hatchet 1901

The fire in 1903, however, contradicted by another book, 'Dewponds & Doodlebugs", which was published by Walderslade Library a few years ago. This refers to the fire being around 1920. Perhaps there were two fires? It also gives the date of the name change to the "Poachers Pocket" as 12 June 1973.

As for the reason for it being there, I gather that the area around the pub was a popular destination for walkers, particularly in the period where people took their holiday in days rather than weeks. There were two popular walks ending at the "Hook and Hatchet" - up the valley from Luton or along Delce Way from Rochester and across the fields where St Williams Hospital stands.

Moving on to Browns Hill, this seems to have led from Snodhurst Ave to Horsted Farm. A late 19th century book mentions a thatched cottage and I have another postcard below which I believe shows the cottage as it is referred to as being close to the "Hook and Hatchet."

Hook and Hatchet cottage

Browns Hill Farm later became a slaughterhouse. I wonder if the people who now live in Brownhill Close realise that!

I think someone asked about the name of the road. I did some research into this using the Kellys Directories in Chatham Reference Library before it was demolished to see when the houses were built. The earliest copy I found was from 1919 and this listed the road as "Hook and Hatchet" Road from the junction with Maidstone Road to somewhere between King George Road and Chestnut Ave. It was then Hook Road until the junction with Victoria Road (now Princes Ave) where it became Boxley Road, which then continued into the present Boxley Road. If I'm reading my notes correctly, then the name changed to Walderslade Road in 1927. My research covered 1919 to 1932 and throughout this time, the landlord of the pub was shown as Robert Goodban. A Hook and Hatchet cottage is listed from 1920, when the resident was Edward Harris, changing to Alfred S Simmons from 1922 to 1932. Seven John Jarret (of the previously mentioned Jarrets) kept the nearby shop.


Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 13 October 1903.

The "Hook and Hatchet," a well-known country hostelry in Dickensland, near Chatham, was destroyed by fire yesterday.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 17 October 1903.

The "Hook and Hatchet Inn," near Chatham, made famous by Charles Dickens, has been destroyed by fire.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 17 October 1903.


The "Hook and Hatchet," situated on the Walderslade Road, three miles from Chatham, was totally destroyed by fire late on Sunday night. The outbreak was caused through the accidental overturning of a paraffin lamp in the bar. Efforts were made by the landlord, Mr. Fitch, to beat out the flames but without success, and so quickly did they spread that the tenant and his family had barely time to escape from the building. Mr. Fitch and his family lost all their belongings. They were, however, insured.


The name changed to the "Poacher's Pocket" 12th June 1973. Reason being as it was being confused for the "Hook and Hatchet" in nearby Hucking.



LINES Prentis 1841+ (age 30 in 1841Census)

MEEK John 1851-61+ (age 47 in 1861Census)

HOLLANDS W 1867+ Post Office 1867

BAKER James 1872-91+ (also farmer age 41 in 1881Census) Licensing Records 1872Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882

FITCH Mr 1903+

GOODBAN Robert 1913-30+ Post Office Directory 1913


Post Office 1867From the Post Office Directory 1867

Licensing Records 1872Licensing Records 1872

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882


Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913


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