Page Updated:- Wednesday, 21 July, 2021.


Earliest 1615

Ringlestone Inn

Open 2020+

Ringlestone Road


01622 290 300

Ringlestone Inn

Above photo date unknown.

Inside the Ringlestone Inn

Above postcard circa 1950.

Ringlestone Inn business card

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

Ringlestone Inn beer mat

Above beer mat, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Ringlestone Inn 2010

Above photo 2010 by Oast House Archive Creative Commons Licence.

Ringelstone Inn

Above photo, date unknown.

Ringlestone Inn 2010

Above sign 2010.

Ringlestone Arms painting

Painting, date unknown by Eddie Tucker.

Ringlestone Inn 2018

Above photo 2018.

Ringlestone Inn 2019

Above photo 2019.


Information taken from accessed 28 August 2018.

The Ringlestone Inn is an historic public house and restaurant, located in the Ringlestone hamlet near the village of Wormshill in Kent, England. Dating back to the reign of Henry VIII (1509–1547) the current Grade II listed building was constructed in 1533 and retains its original brick and flint walls and oak beams. The interior is unchanged since around 1732 and includes tables crafted from the timbers of an 18th-century Thames barge. An inscription on an ancient oak sideboard still found at the property reads: "A Ryghte Joyouse and welcome greetynge too ye all."

Ringlestone or Rongostone (meaning "ring of stones") dates back to before the Norman conquest of England in 1066 and is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. Confusingly for research into the locality's history, "Ringleton" also cited in the Domesday Book (and appearing in the Kent Hundred Rolls of 1274 as "Ringlestone"), was a manor near the Ringlemere barrow, Woodnesborough. In addition a suburb of the nearby town of Maidstone is also called "Ringlestone".

The present-day inn was originally a hospice, owned by the church for the sanctuary of monks, who are believed to have farmed the land surrounding the inn. In addition other medieval dwellings have been uncovered on the site. Around 1539, the monks are believed to have left (likely imprisoned or executed), following the dissolution of the monasteries ordered by Henry VIII.

The inn is then referenced in a will dated 1588, when a Julius Papworth Quiller directed that "my house at Rongoston and land thereto belonging be sold to pay my debts and legacies".

Accordingly, the property was auctioned off to a Septimus Hepplewhite, a wheelwright and cooper from the Parish of Hollingbourne.

Hepplewhite operated a small cooperage from the site until his death in 1609, following which his wife and eldest son took over the house and cooperage business. Oliver Hepplewhite, under the direction of his mother, introduced the production and sale of ale to the property around 1615.

In common with the times, local breweries (three are listed in the parish of Harrietsham during this period) would fund small drinking establishments to promote their products, such establishments, requiring a licence under the Ale Houses Act 1551, were known as 'ale-houses'.

During the next 150 years, the inn grew in popularity and travellers stopped there for refreshment en route to and from London to the settlements of Kent. Samuel Cooper, a celebrated 17th century miniaturist, is said to have visited the house in 1656. A "Gentleman of the Road" (or highwayman) Elias Shepherd, known to have held up coaches between Faversham and Canterbury, is believed to have frequented the inn (Shepherd was captured at Charing and hanged at Penenden Heath in 1765).

On Friday 1 March 1788, two smugglers, named John Roberts and Francis Whorlow who were both wanted for the murder of two dragoons and the smuggling of five-thousand gallons of genever (or Dutch) gin at Whitstable, were arrested at "Ringleton" and taken to Faversham gaol. In his defence at the Old Bailey, John Roberts provided the alibi that he was visiting his family at "Ringleton" at the time the murders took place. In the face of this evidence both men were acquitted. The owner of the Ringlestone Inn at the time is recorded as "Avery Roberts".

The name Rongoston has evolved since the time the Inn was built. This is believed to be due to mispronunciation over the course of time. In 1822 the house became known as the Renglestone and a sign hung announcing it. The Inn continued to be known as such until 1867 when it was changed, for the final time, to the present-day Ringlestone Inn.

At least from 1901 until his death in 1905, the innkeeper was Henry Brooks Bates. It is not known when he first became innkeeper but from the censuses available it was between 1891 and 1901. In 1913 Charles Alfred Rayfield took over the inn. Rayfield was the father of Charles 'Gunner' Rayfield, the soldier who may have fired the first artillery shot against the Germans in the First World War.

In 1958 Florence (Ma) and Dora Gasking (who were mother and daughter) took over the inn. Building a notorious reputation they were frequently armed with a shotgun, inspecting their clientele and requiring unwanted guests to leave. They are also said to have thrown concrete blocks from the windows and required a speakeasy-style series of secret knocks to gain entry to the pub. Their behaviour is believed to stem from an occasion when the inn was inundated by around 300 bikers.

From the late 20th century to the present day, the inn has largely operated as a public house and restaurant and was purchased by Kent brewers, Shepherd Neame in 2005.

Interior images of the inn were used as locations in the filming of an episode of EastEnders broadcast in the United Kingdom over the Easter 2007 holiday season.


Information from their website.

To be precise, as the inscription carved in 1632 on our impressive English oak sideboard proclaims: "A Ryghte Joyouse and welcome greetynge too ye all".

Ringlestone Arms fireplace

And a "Truly traditional family welcome" is really what awaits you as you step back in time to the unspoilt, medieval, lamp-lit tavern. Ringlestone Hamlet is nestled off the beaten track in the North Downs, yet only five minutes drive from Leeds Castle and Junction 8 of the M20 motorway.

Steeped in History…

Built in 1533, The Ringlestone Inn was originally used as a hospice for monks, but became one of the early "ale houses" around 1615. Much of the inn has changed very little since then, with its original brick and flint walls and floors, oak beams, inglenooks and centuries-old English furniture. Even in the later addition of the Dining Room, the tables were specially made from the timbers of an 18th Century Thames barge. And the history doesn't end there, with many colourful characters running and enjoying the hospitality at the inn over the centuries. The most famous of which were two old ladies who ran the pub in the early nineteen-sixties, and who regularly sent unwelcome visitors packing at the wrong end of a double-barrelled shotgun!

Film and TV location

The Ringlestone Inn is an ancient and atmospheric building, set in a delightful rural location. As such, it has twice in recent years been taken over by film crews and used as a location. In 2005, the Ringlestone Inn appeared as a location in the BBC soap "Eastenders", and in 2011, the pub closed for several days as crews decended on the hamlet to film a horror vampire movie!

The Butcher Brothers (Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores) introduced 'The Hamiltons', the vamp family next door. In 2013 The Butcher Brothers show them becoming ... 'The Thompsons'.

In 'The Thompsons' the returning family members of the Hamilton's played by Samuel Child, Joseph McKelheer and Mackenzie Firgens will be joined Elizabeth Henstridge, Sean Browne, Tom Holloway, Ryan Hartwig, Daniel O'Meara, Selina Giles and Sean Cronin - oh, and of course The Ringlestone Inn! You may also recognise some of the staff, who appear as extras in the film.


In the sequel to 'The Hamiltons', a bloodbath at a US gas station in the desert puts the family on the run, eventually seeing them resurface in the UK under a new identity as 'the Thompsons'. Desperate for protection in this unfamiliar country, the Thompsons seek out the help of a shadowy underground rumoured to be sympathetic to vampires...



Bedfordshire Times and Independent 09 January 1942.


The engagement is announced between Reginald Hemsley-Flint (Royal Corps of Signals), only son of the late Mr. and Mrs. G. Flint of Bower Street, Bedford, and Beryl third daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. Sedge of the "Ringlestone Inn," Harrietsham, Kent.


East Kent Gazette, Thursday 12 March 1964.

And At Sea.

Kent's most famous pub, the "Ringlestone Arms," at Hollingbourne, is rapidly becoming world-renowned.

Colin Davis 1964

Mr. Colin Davis, (above) at present serving as chief electrician on the motor vessel City of Winchester, has sent me a cutting from an Australian newspaper certainly a high coloured story as a going on at the "Ringlestone."

Following on from the Aussie folk song, the writer describes the "Ringlestone" as the pub with no beer - or at least none for any but select group of regulars.

He then goes on to describe the happenings last summer when Ma Gasking and her daughter locked the doors and would not let anybody in.

Mr. Davis, writing while his ship was in port at Osaka, Japan, says that he came across a story while looking through some Australian papers and thought we might be interested.

An ex-apprentice at Kemsley Mill, Mr. Davis, lives with his parents at 65 Bell Road when he isn't sailng the world.

This is his fourth trip to Australia and Japan and he expects to be home some time at the end of April.


Certainly still open in 2015 but I was informed that of August 2018 when it looked like the pub had closed it was under sale for an asking price of 320,000. Evidently the licensee left and the property went to auction. Fate, as yet unknown.


From the  By Alan Smith, 28 March 2018.

Couple to leave Ringlestone Inn.

One of Kent's oldest pubs could close on Wednesday, when the current landlords say goodbye.

Kevin de Young and Christina Warren gave notice of their intention to resign the tenancy at The Ringlestone Inn in Harrietsham to the brewers Shepherd Neame six months ago, but the company has so far been unable to confirm a replacement for them.

Mr de Young said he and his partner intended to take a long holiday and take things easy for a while before perhaps looking for another pub.

Chistina Warren & Kevin de Young

Christina Warren and Kevin de Young are leaving the pub.

They have been at the Ringlestone Road pub for the past 11 years, but it has not all been an easy ride.

Last year, the pair complained publicly about what they considered to be harsh and unfair review comments on social media.

The 56-year-old, who has been in the trade for 40 years, said at the time that the use of social media was a Catch 22 situation.

He said: "We need to be on social media but there has been a definite rise in negativity. People make anonymous complaints and get very personal. It’s not like having a proper conversation with someone."

This week, he confirmed that that their decision to quit was partly because of social media. He said: "The stick we get really doesn't help, but there are a mix of reasons. It's very hard to get people out here, and with a low footfall and rising costs, it's just become too much."

The pub dates from 1533.

A spokesman for Shepherd Neame said the company did have a replacement couple in mind for the tenancy and were hopeful that any closure would be short-lived.


Latest news from John Bates (December 2019) says that it looks like the pub is again open, this time as a free house.


From the Wednesday 21st August 2019.

Popular rural pub The Ringlestone Inn to re-open this week.

Ringlestone 2019

THE Ringlestone Inn will be pulling pints again from Friday after fears that the rural pub near Maidstone might never re-open.

The previous tenants pulled down the shutters last April, when it was tied to the Shepherd Neame brewery.

Now, back in private hands, the free house has been given a fresh coat of paint and a new formal restaurant, while retaining its original features, including candles and open fires that made this such a special 16th century hideaway to visit.

The pub - in the hamlet of Ringlestone, near Wormshill, is in the parish of Harrietsham on Ringlestone Road.

Behind the bar will be Dalton Hopper (27) and Paolo Rigolli (28) takes up the role as head chef. The pair met at catering college in Thanet and set up their own charcuterie business in Cranbrook five years ago. Opening a pub and restaurant was always the next part of their plan. And, after looking at 15 to 20 different pubs across Kent, agreed: “it was love at first sight when we walked into The Ringlestone, it’s a beautiful pub.”

Dalton’s family have helped to restore the pub and the pair plan to move their smoke house on site.

They say all will be welcome, including families, cyclists, walkers and well behaved dogs. They are also looking to work with farmers in the area to extend their cold meat offering.

Customers have responded warmly to the news, with the first night (Friday this week) and Saturday fully booked in the restaurant.

Ringlestone fireplace 2019

Picture: The cosy inside many remember.

From the By Ed McConnell, 28 October 2019.

Haunted pubs in Kent this Halloween.

Kent's colourful history and strong ties to smuggling mean it has its fair share of ghost stories.

As one of the county's oldest ale houses we'd be shocked if not a single ghoul had made this pub home at some point in the past five centuries. It's no surprise, then, that no less than four ghosts have been spotted floating about. The elderly couple seen regularly drinking by the fire place, for instance, aren't among the living, while footsteps of an unknown individual are often heard making their way up the steps from the cellar before stopping, taking off one boot and hurling it down. Mischievous children appear in the inn from time to time and perhaps most disturbing of all is the tale of one of their number, the young son of a previous owner. He was said to have been caught poaching and his father, terrified of the particularly harsh punishment, hid him in one of the walls. One day his parents left the pub, childless.



HEPPLEWHITE Septimus 1588-1609 (only cooper and wheelwright)

HEPPLEWHITE Oliver (son) 1615+

ROBERTS Avert 1788+

SAGE William 1851+ (also farmer age 65 in 1851Census)

GILES John 1858-62+ (also farmer and wheelwright age 54 in 1861Census)

SAGE Thomas 1871+ (age 71Census)

SAGE Elizabeth Mrs 1874+

KITE George 1881+ (age 37 in 1881Census)

DOSWELL John 1891+ (age 28 in 1891Census)

Last pub licensee had BATES Henry Brookes 1901-14/Nov/05 dec'd (also farmer age 70 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

WEBB James 1911+ (age 59 in 1911Census)

RAYFIELD Charles Alfred 1913-22+

HOLLIS Alfred George 1930+

SEDGE Thomas Walter 1938-42+

GASKING Florence & Dora 1958-64+

NEARN Dorelia & Eric ????

DE YOUNG Kevin & WARREN Christine 2007-Apr/18

HOPPER Dalton & RIGOLLI Paolo Aug/2019+



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:-