Page Updated:- Sunday, 17 March, 2024.


Earliest 1847-

Leather Bottle Inn

Open 2020+

54-56 The Street


01474 814327

Leather Bottle card

Above taken from the Illustrated London News Sept 10 1887.

Leather Bottle drawing

Above drawing, date unknown.

Leather Bottle engraving

Above engraving, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Leather Bottle 1904

Above postcard, circa 1904, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Leather Bottle 1905

Above photo, 1905, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Leather Bottle 1906

Above photo, circa 1906, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Leather Bottle 1906

Above photo, circa 1906, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Leather Bottle 1906

Above postcard date 1906.

Leather Bottle postcard

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Leather Bottle

Above postcard, date unknown.

Leather Bottle

Above postcard, date unknown.

Ye Olde Leather Bottle

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Jan Remy.

Leather Bottle

Above photo taken from "The Pickwick" Series of 12, number 1. Circa 1907. The passage below says:- "Mr Tupman here sought retirement from the world, after the elopement of Miss Rachel Wardle with Mr. Alfred Jingle. Dickens enjoyed taking his friends to the "Leather Bottle," rendered famous by the "Pickwick Papers."

Leather Bottle 1907

Above photo, circa 1907, kindly supplied by Rory Kehoe.

Leather Bottle 1910

Above postcard, 1910, kindly sent by Kathleen Hollingsbee.

Leather Bottle 1910

Above postcard circa 1910.

Leather Bottle watercolour 1911

Above watercolour, 1911, by Ernest William Haslehust.

Leather Bottle painting

Above painting, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Leather Bottle 1920

Above photo circa 1920.

Leather Bottle 1920s

Above photo, circa 1920s.

leather Bottle

Above photo, date pre 1923, with kind permission of Eric Hartland.

Leather Bottle

Above postcard, date unknown.

Leather Bottle Inn

Above postcard, date pre 1923.

Leather Bottle postcard date unknown

Above postcard date pre 1923.

Leather Bottle

Above postcard, date unknown.

Leather Bottle

Above postcard, date circa 1923. Kindly supplied by Rory Kehoe.

Leather Bottle 1927

Above photo, circa 1918, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Leather Bottle 1928

Above photo circa 1928, from Medway Council web.

Leather Bottle 1929

Above postcard, circa 1929, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Leather Bottle

Above postcard, date unknown.

Leather Bottle

Above photo, date unknown.

Leather Bottle 1930

Above postcard, circa 1930. Kindly supplied by Rory Kehoe.

Leather Bottle 1930

Above postcard, circa 1930.

Leather Bottle 1936

Above postcard, circa 1936, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

leather Bottle 1939

Above postcard, circa 1939, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Leather Bottle 1939

Above photo from a copy of the Radio Times, 1939.

Leather Bottle Inn

Above photo showing the Leather Bottle, date unknown.

The Tatler, Wednesday 17 August 1949.

Leather Bottle painting 1949

Immortalized by Charles Dickens as the refuge where Pickwick discovered the love-lorn Tracy Chapman drowning his sorrows, the "Leather Bottle" is the weekly resort of the Dickens Sunday Morning Club, and has a Dickens Room filled with pictures and relics associated with the great Victorian novelist. Twice enlarged in recent times, the inn preserves much of its original 15th century character and timberings. Above the inn, a leather bottle, and ancient receptacle for containing wine or beer, hangs in juxtaposition to a sign showing the great-hearted gentleman Samuel Pickwick. Famous inn signs and their interesting lore are among the delights which John Boyd Dunlop introduction of the pneumatic tyre has conferred upon the motoring community.

This picture was specially painted by E. Boye Uden for the Dunlop Rubber Company Ltd.

Leather Bottle inside 1950

Above postcard, circa 1950, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Leather Bottle 1960

Above postcard, 1960.

Leather Bottle 2010

Photo taken 13 November 2010 from by Glen.


Charles Dickens is said to have frequented this 17th century inn and featured the village of Cobham in the book Pickwick Papers.


Leather Bottle Dickens Room

Above postcard kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Leather Bottle bar

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Leather Bottle garden

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Leather Bottle inside

Above postcard, date unknown, with kind permission from Eric Hartland.

Leather Bottle inside 2012

Above photo, 2012. By Eric Hartland.

Leather Bottle sign 1993Leather Bottle sign 1993

Above signs, June 1993.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Leather Bottle sign 2003

Above sign 2003.

Leather Bottle Wills cigarette card Leather Bottle Wills cigarette card

Above images taken from Wills cigarette cards, Old Inns series, number 22.

Leather Bottle match box

Above matchbox, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Leather Bottle business card

Above business card, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Salt-glazed tankardSalt-glazed tankard

Above images showing a pint salt-glazed tankard, produced by J. Stiff & Sons, London, circa 1900.

Leather Bottle plate

Above plate, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Leather Bottle Vintage Shell-craft Plaque

Above Vintage Shell-craft Plaque, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.


I am informed by Peter Greenland that the pub changed from having a rendered outside wall to exposed beams in about 1923.


Kentish Gazette, 28 May 1850.

COBHAM. Robbery or a Benefit Society’s Box.

In the early part of last week the box of a benefit society was stolen from the "Leather Bottle," at Cobham, where the society usually held their meetings. It appears that on the previous meeting of the society they deposited their box, containing 117, in the hands of the landlord, for security, as heretofore. The society met on Wednesday, and the box, as usual, was called for, and it was some time before it could be produced, it having been taken from its usual depository (the landlord’s bed-room), but was ultimately found in an obscure corner of a room in the house, broken open, and rifled of its contents. The consternation of the landlord and the society at their loss may be readily conceived, and the more especially as we understand no correct idea can at present be formed when or by whom the robbery was effected. The landlord, of course, is answerable to the society.


Gravesend Reporter, North Kent and South Essex Advertiser, Saturday 3 September 1887.

The Olde Leather Bottle, Cobham.

This venerable Inn, so famous in the annals of Pickwickian History, and one of the most historic in Kent, is again open to the public, after being restored from the late fire. Mr. Tupman's room, with its Chippendale furniture, old paintings and prints, including two of the immortal Dickens, once his own property; likewise, the grand Photo of Mary Anderson (her gift to the room) may be seen in their places, as before the fire took place.

There is every accommodation for Visitors. Luncheons, Dinners, Teas, &c, served at Moderate Charges. Choice Wines and Spirits, combined with cleanliness and civility.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 1 September 1894.

Faversham Corporation Outing.

The third annual outing of the members of the Town Council and Borough officials took place on Thursday last. The party, numbering fifteen, started in a saloon carriage by the 9:02 train for Chatham. On detraining the excursionist preceded in a four horse covered break, through one of the loveliest drives in Kent to the "Leather Bottle," Cobham, and but for incessant rain the journey would no doubt have been greatly enjoyed. At 12 o'clock lunch was partaken of at the well known hostelry. Whilst this was in progress a telegram was received from Alderman Anderson, who is sojourning in Switzerland, wishing his colleagues a happy day's outing, an acknowledgement of which was in due course dispatched. By the time the Church and College had been visited, the rain had somewhat abated, and the party were driven to Gravesend. At 5:30 they met at the "New Falcon Hotel," where dinner was served, the mayor (Jabez Smith, Esq.), taking the chair, and a town clerk Mr. F. F. Giraud the vice chair. After dinner several toasts were drunk. By 8:15, the rain had entirely ceased and the drive to chat and was much enjoyed. A saloon was again placed at their disposal, and the time during the journey down was pleasantly wiled away with conversation, songs, and recitations.


Chatham News, Friday 10 February 1939.

Henry John Bretton was granted a certificate of suitability for a supper extension in respect of the "Leather Bottle," Cobham.


From the By Nicola Jordan, 1 July 2017.

Dockside Outlet death: Tributes paid to Cobham 'murder victim'

The village where tragic Molly McClaren grew up is in mourning over her untimely death.

The university student, who was fatally stabbed in the car park of Chatham's Dockside Outlet Centre, was much-loved in Cobham where she lived with her parents.

Joshua Stimpson, from High Street, Wouldham, appeared in court on Friday afternoon charged with the 23-year-old’s murder.

Molly McLaren 2017

Molly McLaren wrote a blog after battling with anxiety and an eating disorder.

Molly worked part-time in the popular Leather Bottle pub in The Street, where staff are said to be devastated at her passing.

Owner Susan Treleavan said: “A beautiful life has been taken away. All of my staff were so close to her and have been deeply affected. It’s a small village and we are in shock.”

Pub manager Sara Saunders, who has lived in the village for 17 years, said she offered Molly an interview for a job behind the bar when she bumped into her at the Cobham Community Stores where her mother Jo worked as a volunteer.

She said: “The customers loved her. She was beautiful, lovely natured, kind-hearted, just perfect.

“I have a daughter of her age. I just cannot imagine what her family are going through.”

A barman, who did not wish to be named, said: “All I can say was that she was lovely person.”

Her mother has worked at the community shop in The Street for three years and Molly was a regular customer.

A shop worker, who spoke anonymously, said: “She was full of life. I don’t think anyone could say a bad word about her.

“They are a lovely family and our thoughts are with them.”

Molly’s family did not wish to comment at length.

Dad Douglas said: “It goes without saying she was a wonderful daughter.”

Meanwhile, the University of Kent has released a statement paying tribute to the popular student.

It said: “We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Molly McLaren following her sudden death.

“She was a popular student in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

“Fellow students and staff are being offered any counselling they require to help them at this difficult time.”


From the By Rachel Dixon, 28 May 2019.

MollyFest in Cobham in memory of Molly McLaren was a huge success.

A musical extravaganza marked what would have been Molly McLaren’s 25th birthday.

Molly was murdered in June 2017 at Chatham Dockside, aged just 23. The Molly McLaren Foundation was set up in her memory to help people with eating disorders, as Molly had battled bulimia.

Last year, to mark her birthday, the group arranged a festival at the Leather Bottle pub in Cobham where Molly used to work.

Mollyfest team

The Molly McLaren Foundation team who organised MollyFest. Picture: Tony Jones.

It was such a success, it was back this year and hundreds turned up.

Trustee, and Molly’s friend Amy Lee said: “The number of people there exceeded our expectations, At one point people leaving were donating their wristbands so we could resell them to people queueing to get in.

“We had live bands and DJs, stalls and a children’s area. A friend from Co-op funeral care has been growing lots of tiny sunflowers, so people bought them to take home. It’s the charity logo and has become really synonymous with Molly.”

Ambassadors from eating disorder charities BEAT and Re-write Your Story were there so supporters could learn how their donations are helping.

Amy said: “We’re about to sponsor a second person’s eating disorder therapy. We’ve also got a new project called BEAT on the ground, which will educate teachers and staff in Medway schools on how to spot eating disorders.

“We want people to remember the person Molly was, not what happened to her.”

Molly, who lived in Cobham, was studying at the University of Kent Medway campus when she died. She had also previously attended Mayfield Grammar School in Gravesend and North Kent College in Dartford.


From the By Katie May Nelson, 20 April 2020.

Coronavirus Kent: The Leather Bottle in Cobham sets up JustGiving page.

A pub landlady says she has made the tough decision to set up a fundraising page to support her pub.

Sue and Bryan Treleaven have been running The Leather Bottle in Cobham, near Gravesend, for the past 10 years.

Leather Bottle 2020

The Leather Bottle in Cobham.

The couple say they fear their pub may not survive the ongoing coronavirus crisis, despite the help offered by the government.

After furloughing their team of more than 20 employees, the pair say they are desperate to support their staff and keep their business afloat.

Sue said: "Because we have a rateable value of 54,000, we don't get any grants, any loans.

She said they had been turned away from banks who cannot offer them financial support due to pubs being deemed "high risk" businesses.

"We have been on the phone for hours," she explained.

Leather Bottle Mollyfest 2018

The Leather Bottle hosted MollyFest, a fundraiser for the Molly McLaren Foundation in 2018. Picture: Steve Crispe

"The staff were going into panic mode about their futures. We had no choice but to start a fundraising page.

"It was really with a heavy heart that we did it. It's been quite a hard thing to do to ask people to donate any amount, however small, and hopefully this can keep the staff employed."

The pub does a lot of fundraising, particularly with the Molly McLaren Foundation which raises awareness of eating disorders, and to raise funding for charities which can provide direct support to sufferers of eating disorders.

Molly used to work at the pub. She was just 23 when she was murdered in 2017.

Sue said: "We do lots of charity work. We have worked with MollyFest for a couple of years. We don't want to lose the pub we don't want the staff to lose their jobs."

The couple estimate they need a minimum of 10,000 to keep their business going.

The money raised will go towards paying outstanding bills and support staff beyond the furlough scheme.



DASHWOOD Henry P 1847-61+ Census

TOMLIN Richard 1871+ (age 53 in 1871Census)

APPS Henry W 1871+ (age 32 in 1871Census) Licensed Victualler

MARWICK Horace 1881+ (age 38 in 1881Census)

TURNER Frederick George 1882+

SMITH George 1884+

SMITH Anthony James 1899-1913+ (age 52 in 1911Census) Kelly's 1903

HUTCHINGS Alfred C 1934-38+

BRETTON Henry John 1939+

TRELEAVAN Sue and Bryan 2010-20+


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:-