Page Updated:- Tuesday, 11 July, 2023.


Earliest 1779-

Leicester Arms Hotel

Open 2020+

The Village


01892 871617

Leicester Arms 1908

Above photo circa 1908, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Leicester Arms Hotel 1925

Above postcard, circa 1925.

Leicester Arms Hotel

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

Leicester Arms 1926

Above postcard, circa 1926, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Polhill Arms 1938

Above photo, 1938.

Leicester Arms Hotel 1960

Postcard showing "Leicester Arms" in 1960.

Leicester Arms 2012

Photo taken 8 September 2012 from by Jelltex.

Leicester Arms inside 2012

Photo taken 8 September 2012 from by Jelltex.

Leicester Arms entrance

Above photo showing the engraving over the entrance 2014.

Leicester Arms 2015

Above photo kindly supplied by Eric Hartland, 11 January 2015.

Leicester Arms sign

Leicester Arms sign 2013.

Leicester Arms door

Above photo circa 2017.


An account from the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News of 19 March, 1943, stated that the premises had nine bedrooms, and the lounge bar and dining rooms were furnished by those who understood harmonising with the surroundings.


From the Kentish Gazette,14 April 1779.


In pursuance of an order of the Trustees for repairing and widening the road from Wats Cross to Cowden in the County of Kent, and also the road leading from Sevenoaks Common to Crockhurst Hatchcorner, and from Penshurst Town to Southborough the said County, made at the meeting holden at the house of John Hognes, known by the sign of the “Leicester Arms,” in Penshurst Town aforesaid, on Thursday the 8th day of April instant; I do hereby give notice, that the said Trustees will meet at the said house, of the said John Hughes, on Thursday the 6th day of May next, at eleven of the clock in the forenoon, to make an order for erecting a site gate across the lane leading into the said roads, at a certain place called Peyland Gate, and to appoint a collector or collectors of tolls which shall become due and payable thereat; or to authorise some person or persons to erect such gate and appoint such Collector or Collectors thereof. Ate the 9th Day of April, in the year of our Lord 1779.

Thomas Swayne, Clerk to the said Trustees.


Westmorland Gazette 28 July 1821.


The 1st inst. a man named John Wright, who had formerly served as a soldier in India, went to be at the "Leicester Arms," Penshurst; in the night, he dreamed that he was attacked by some of the natives of India, and that he attempted to jump through a cask to escape. So powerfully was the man agitated by the dream, that he actually jumped (still in a state of somnolence) through the window of his bed-room, broke one of his arms, and was so much bruised that serious apprehensions were entertained for his recovery.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier 27 June, 1873. Price 1d.


On the application of Mr. A. Drake of the "Railway Bell," Tunbridge Wells, temporary authority to sell until next transfer day was granted to Mr. David Everest, of the "Leicester Arms Hotel," Penshurst, Mr. Everest being too ill to attend. Similar authority was also granted to Henry Pont, of the "Queen's Head Inn," Brenchley, and to Jane Towner, of the "Primroses," Tonbridge.


Kent & Sussex Courier - Friday 29 May 1874.


D. Everest begs to inform his friends that PENSHURST PLACE is now open for View Daily, except when the Family are at home, when Visitors will only be admitted between the hours of 12 and 1, and from 2 to 6 o'clock in the afternoon.

April, 1874.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 5 June 1874.

Penshurst. The Club Festival.

The most successful club festival that the good people of Penshurst have ever witnessed, is said to be the one which took place on Friday last. Everything seemed to be favorable for a thorough days enjoyment. First and foremost, the weather was everything that could be desired, the members had secured a thorough good band, and after listening to an instructive and not to prosy a sermon, had the satisfaction of enjoying a dinner which fully merited all the high encomiums made in favour of the host and hostess of the "Leicester Arms," Mr. And Mrs. David Everest, late of Hawkhurst and of Tunbridge Wells, whose fame as caterers is known far and wide.

One grey-headed old patriarch, on Friday, gravely assured the Chairman that though he had attended club, and other public dinners at Penshurst for the past 5 and 20 years, he never had partaken of such a splendid dinner as that provided for him by Mr. and Mrs. Everest that day. In the morning the members met at the "Leicester Arms Hotel" and transacted to usual preliminaries. On the arrival of the Tunbridge Wells Rifle Volunteer Band, a procession, with banners and favours flying, was formed, and on the members and band being marshalled into order, the band struck up a lively march and the principal thoroughfares were paraded. At 11 o'clock the members proceeded to church for divine service, in accordance with the time-honoured custom, and here they heard and appropriate sermon from the lips of the Rev. W. H. Perkins, of Langton. After divine service, a move was made to a meadow in the village, where under a spacious marquee, Mr. and Mrs. Everest had provided one of their highly appreciable dinners. The marquee had been tastefully decorated, and the president's chair, which was occupied by the Rev. W. Green, was one massive bouquet of flowers and leaves. The tables were also nicely ornamented with flowers. Upwards of 250 sat down to dinner......


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 11 September, 1874.

Leicester Arms Hotel, Penshurst.

D. Everest begs to inform his friends that Penshurst Place is now open for view daily, except when the family are at home, when visitors will only be admitted between the hours of 12 and 1, and from 2 to 6 o'clock in the afternoon.

April, 1874.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 30 August 1878.

Brewster Sessions.

These sessions were held on Tuesday, before Sir David L. Solomon, Bart. (in the chair,) Viscount Hardinge, Thomson Hankey, Esq., M.P., and C. Powell, Esq. The whole of the licences, with one or two exceptions, were at once renewed.

The licence of the "Leicester Arms," Pensurst, was, on the application of Mr. W. C. Cripps, solicitor, of Tunbridge Wells, temporarily made out in the name of the widow, Mrs. Mary Everest.


Kent and Sussex Courier, 30 August 1878.


On Monday last tribute of respect was paid by the family and friends of the late Mr. David Everest, of the "Leicester Arms Hotel," Penshurst, whose mortal remains were on that day interred in the burial place at Fordcombe. Mr. Everest has been a great sufferer for three years past, which he has borne with great cheerfulness and resignation. The commencement of his illness was an attack of paralysis which took place in November of 1878, and although at times he appeared to rally a little, he gradually became weaker and more feeble, until he was at last confined to his bed. On Monday, the 19th inst., he was observed to be unusually cheerful, and partook of some dinner, after which he was seized with very great pain, so much so that on the following evening, at six o'clock, he died. Mr. Everest has been known as a public caterer and hotel-keeper at Tunbridge Wells, Hawkhurst, and Penshurst for many years past, and he had, together with Mrs. Everest, by their thorough business-like habits and manners, gained for themselves the highest confidence and respect of the public, and especially so has this been the case at Penshurst. The funeral was attended by the family and a few friends whom they had invited. The cortege left Penshurst precisely at eleven o'clock, and it consisted of a new car, on which was placed, uncovered, the coffin. This was drawn by a small pony, and was attended by the bearers. It was followed by three carriages conveying the mourners, who, besides Mrs. Everest and her two daughters, were Mr. Rodwell, Hawkhurst, Mr. Henry Kirby, Norwich, and Mrs Henry Dainton, Tunbridge Wells, the executors, Mr. James Bartlett, Tunbridge Wells, Miss Harbour, &c. The procession slowly proceeded to Fordcombe, where it was met by the curate in charge, who conducted the funeral service in a most impressive manner. The remains were then placed in the grave, when a very beautiful wreath and two crosses of flowers, prepared by Mr. Charlton, of Tunbridge Wells, were placed o the coffin by Mrs. Everest and her two daughters, as the last tribute of affection towards one who had been a most devoted husband, and the kindest and most affectionate of fathers. To show the great respect in which they held deceased, the tradesmen closed their places of business, and the blinds were lowered on all the private houses. The funeral arrangements were entrusted to Mr. Robinson, who carried them out most efficiently.


Sussex Agricultural Express, Saturday 29 July 1899.

Peculiar case from Penshurst.

Arthur Waghorn was summoned for being drunk and disorderly at Penshurst on July 10th.

Defendant pleaded not guilty.

P.C. Douglas stated that at 8.30 p.m., on the 10th inst, he was called to the "Leicester Arms Hotel" to eject the defendant, who was drunk and using abusive language. On the highway, he continue to use filthy expressions, and in his opinion he was mad drunk.

Mrs. Everest, landlady of the "Leicester Arms," testified that the defendant was drunk whilst he was in her house, his language was of an abusive character, and she had to send for the police to eject him.

Frederick George Card said he saw the defendant in the "Leicester Arms." He had been drinking with witness, but was not the worst for drink. He was excited.

Defendant called for his defence Albert William Elphick, who said that he saw Waghorn in the "Leicester" yard at a quarter to nine talking to P.C. Douglas, defendant was perfectly sober, and did not make use of any disgusting language.

The Bench found the defendant guilty, and fined him 2s. 6d. and 18s 6d. costs.

Waghorn was also summoned for being drunk and disorderly and refusing to quit the "Leicester Arms," at Penshurst, on July 10th.

He pleaded not guilty.

Mr. J. H. Diash (Messrs. Cripps, Son and Dash prosecuted.)

Mrs. Everest licensee of the "Leicester Arms," said the defendant came into the house with a companion between 7 and 8. They had some beer. Later in the evening defender became troublesome, behaving disorderly, singing, and wondering about the house. He went into witnesses private room, and when she asked him to leave he said he had a right to go wherever he liked. She had had occasion to speak to the defendant before.

The Chairman:- How much beer did the defendant have?

Witness:- There were four or five of them drinking. I think they had about two quarts between them.

Miss Legg, the barmaid, gave corroborative evidence, stating that she heard Mrs. Everest request defending several times to quit.

Defendant denied that he was quarrelsome, and said that when he was asked to leave he did so.

Walter Seal said that during the time he was in the house defendant conducted himself properly. He left about half-past eight. He did not hear Mrs. Everest ask the defendant to leave.

Defendant handed in a good character from the army, and after a brief consultation the Bench gave the defendant the benefit of the doubt and dismissed the case.

The decision was received with applause in court, which was immediately suppressed.


Sussex Agricultural Express, Saturday 29 July 1899.

Mrs Everest, of the "Leicester Arms," Penshurst, was allowed an occasional licence for the Penshurst Flower Show, to be held at Penshurst park, on August 7th.


Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, Friday 07 October 1938.

Hotel Discoveries. By Ashley Courtenay.

The Peace of a Village.

EVERY city, town, village and hamlet of our island has been concerning itself with Air Raid Precautions. In a great many instances the risk of gas or bombing would be infinitesimal, but it is not surprising that those villages tucked away off the beaten track came into the limelight.

Of all the peaceful, picturesque and praised villages in Great Britain give me Penshurst in Kent for choice. Approach it from Bidborough ridge, Leigh or Chiddingstone (another model village) and one instinctively drives slower. From Penshurst Place down to the little village post office there is charm, character and an atmosphere of contentment. And in its centre, in complete keeping with the environment, lies the "Leicester Arms"—the perfect village inn.

True, it is an hotel to-day—first class in its appointments and its cooking but this has not detracted from its original purpose, the village inn. The four ale bar remains. The spirit of hospitality is ever present. You will be impressed when you first walk into this model hotel. In the house, comfortable chintz-covered chairs and genuine old furniture glowing with polish. In the dining-room, coloured tablecloths, attractive china, sparkling silver. (The whole place shines with cleanliness.) In the simple bedrooms, all those etceteras that make for comfort, even to a writing-desk, and outside there is a garden, picturesque, peaceful.

Like all inns, the "Leicester Arms" at Penshurst has had its vicissitudes, but I am satisfied to-day that under the able and skilled direction of its present lessees, who have been there some eighteen months, you will lack for nothing amidst its hospitable walls.

Eating at the "Leicester Arms" is a delight. One is not tied down to the table d’hote lunch or dinner. A la carte dishes are readily available and if you asked me what the specilite de la maison was I should say their grilled chicken or their omelettes.

Penshurst is six and a quarter miles north-west of Tunbridge Wells, and is an admirable centre for seeing such places as Chiddingstone Castle, Hever Castle, Knowle Park, not forgetting the historic Penshurst Place, immediately opposite the "Leicester Arms."

These apart, Penshurst has much to offer the sportsman, particularly as regards a wealth of golf courses in the neighbourhood.


From an email received 7 February 2020.

I maintain the Archive website of Garton & King Ltd, Exeter, Devon. The Company became one of the first AGA Agents in the country in the late 1920s, early 1930s.

You probably know this but the AGA cooker, when it was first introduce to the public was featured in this article attached and the LEICESTER ARMS, Penshurst apparently was, at that time, equipped with one of these first AGA Cookers according to this newspaper:-

Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser - Friday 18 July 1930.

AGA advert 1930

The AGA Agency is still held by the successors to the family owned business of Garton & King Ltd who trade as Garton King Appliances, Exeter. Garton & King is Exeter's oldest business, its history goes back to 1661. Information about me is on the About Me Page.

I don't suppose the AGA is still for one minute 'In Situ' but I wonder if local historians, or indeed the current Owner is aware of this Earth Shattering News and this bit of 'Claim to Fame' for the establishment!

Here is the AGA page on my website:-

Richard Holliday.



TAYLOR Richard 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

TAYLOR William 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

TAYLOR Harriet 1841+ (age 50 in 1841Census)

TAYLOR William 1851+ (age 66 in 1851Census)

DUKE William 1858+

JONES John 1871+ (age 66 in 1871Census)

EVEREST David 1873-Aug/78 dec'd Kent and Sussex Courier

EVEREST Mary 1881-99+ (widow age 49 in 1881Census)

FRENCH William T 1901-03+ (age 37 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

RUSSELL Thomas Hall 1913+

BEVERLEY U Earle 1918+

TAPPENDEN Sydney Percy 1822+

SCOTT Charles L 1910+

DEWHURST Misses S & LEE M G 1938+


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

Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier



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