Page Updated:- Sunday, 01 August, 2021.


Earliest 1839-

Robin Hood

Open 2020+

346 Common Road

Blue Bell Hill

01634 861500

Robin Hood 1920

Above photo, circa 1920, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Robin Hood 1949

Above photo, circa 1949, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Robin Hood 1978

Above photo 1978, from by Ben Levick.

Robin Hood

Above photo from

Robin Hood 2018

Above photo kindly taken by Karen & Barry Holt in 2018.

Robin Hood sign 1950Robin Hood sign 1964

Above sign left, 1950 sign right, 1964.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Robin Hood 2019

Above photo, May 2019, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Robin Hood 2019

Above photo, May 2019, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.


The "Robin Hood" Pub, though not actually in the village of Burham itself, but resides on the North Downs above the village within the bounds of the parish. It is very much an isolated country Inn, which probably came in very useful in the past when (so rumour has it!) it indulged in joint smuggling operations with the "Watermans Arms" public house in the neighbouring village of Wouldham.

The building is Grade II listed and about 700 years old although I do not know when it first started serving beers. It is reported to be one of the oldest in England and was visited by pilgrims on their journey along The Pilgrims Way.

Many characters from ballads and folklore have given their names to pubs, and Robin Hood is one of the most popular. In the past the following verse was often inscribed on the pub sign for Robin Hood pubs (although I'm not sure if it was ever on this one):

"You Gentlemen and yeomen good,

Come in and drink with [or to] Robin Hood,

If Robin Hood be not at home,

Come in and drink with Little John."

Hopefully their beer was better than their rhyming!

The pub, was at one time involved in the smuggling of liquor, along with the neighbouring "Waterman's Arms" in Wouldham.

The 1881 census referred to this as the "Robin Hood and Little John" beerhouse.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, 29 January, 1839.

Sporting intelligence.

We understand that the offices of Chatham garrison, under the patronage of Colonel Warre, proposed having a steeplechase, to come off on Wednesday, 30th inst., (subject to weather) over two miles and a half of well selected ground near the "Robin Hood," Bluebell Hill, the following horses are already entered:- Mr Bringhurst's The General; Mr Corbet's Coeur-de-Lion; Mr Scot's Hop-o'-my-Thumb; Mr Doxant's Jenny; and Mr Leicester Smith's Monarch.


From the Sevenoaks Chronicle, 9 June 1882.


George Thompson, licensee of the "Robin Hood and Little John," Burham, was summoned for opening his house for the sale of beer, on Sunday, May 14th. Mr, Bassett, of Rochester, appeared for defendant.

It appeared that on the day in question two constables, attired in labourers' clothes, concealed themselves in a wood at about 9.30 a.m., and from that time to eleven o'clock they saw five different men enter defendant's premises. Several other persons visited the house. The defendant asked where they came from, and upon their replying from Malling, they were served with ale, which they drank. While doing so a party of seven men had two more quarts of ale. For the defendant, Mr. Bassett, contended that the men served by defendant were believed by him to be bona fide travellers, and he wished to conduct his house in the best way possible. Defendant was called in support of this statement.

The Bench dismissed the case.

Defendant was then further charged for permitting drunkenness on the 16th May. Instructing-constable Taylor deposed to visiting defendant's home in the evening, when he saw eleven men and women all the worse for drink, one of them being very drunk, and the house being in a great uproar. Police-constable Dalaine corroborated. The Bench fined defendant 3 and costs 11s. 4d.

Defendant was also summoned of selling adulterated gin, but Superintendent Hulse said that if defendant paid the costs he would withdraw the prosecution.

Mr. Bassett applied for the transfer of the defendant's house to the defendant, but Superintendent Hulse stated that he must oppose the application as the defendant had not had the house long, but he had heard several complaints which caused him to send a constable there in plain clothes.

The Bench refused the application.


William Martin was fined 10s. and 9s. costs for being drunk on the premises of the former defendant on the 16th May.



GLOVER Joseph 1881+ (age 57 in 1881Census)

THOMAS George 1882+

BOND Henry 1891+ (age 48 in 1891Census)

PARRIS Amos 1891-1901+ (age 46 in 1891Census)

SMITHERMAN Isabel M 1901+ (manageress age 41 in 1901Census)

SMITHERMAN John 1903+ Kelly's 1903 ("Robin Hood & Little John")




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