Sort file:- Sevenoaks, March, 2022.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 06 March, 2022.


Earliest 1779-

(Name from)

White Hart

Open 2020+

The Common


01732 452022

White Hart 1905

Above postcard, 1905.

White Hart 1906

Above postcard, date 1906, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Taken from Kent a Chronicle of the Century book 3.

March 1955: The seven eponymous oak trees, ceremoniously planted in 1727 next to the "White Hart" public house at the southern entrance to Sevenoaks, have been felled — unnecessarily.

Sevenoaks Urban Council held that they were diseased but when Peter Smith of the Invicta Company took them down they proved to be as sound as other oak trees in nearby Knole Park.

The embarrassed councillors will now plant seven saplings in their place. According to legend seven oak trees have stood on Sevenoaks Common since time immemorial and it was from one such group that the town took its name. Distinction by seniority passes to the seven oaks around the northern perimeter of the Vine Cricket Ground, planted in 1902. Photograph shows the new saplings.

White Hart 1960

Above photo 1960, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe who says he hasn't a clue who they are, but the photo was well referenced.

White Hart 2013

Photo taken 2013.

White Hart sign 1960sWhite Hart sign 1986

Above sign left, 1960s, sign right, November 1986.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


 The "White Hart" was formerly the "Dorset Arms," named after the noble family who once owned Knole Park; and not to be confused, the present "Dorset Arms Inn" was known in 1750 as the "Bull."


The "White Hart" is a fascinating building, its intriguing architecture bearing witness to many and varied stylistic influences in vogue since it was built in the early 17th century. It was originally positioned right next to the Sevenoaks turnpike, and as you'd expect of a coaching inn that has been nourishing and refreshing travellers for over 300 years, you'll find character and charm at every turn.

The Site of The White Hart

The White Hart on Tonbridge Road in Sevenoaks was built high on the Greensand Ridge in the late 16th / early 17th century near to the site of an ancient inn called The Cock.

The legend

A ‘hart' is a male deer or stag, but the white hart took on a mythical quality through its association with Herne the Hunter (pronounced ‘Ern the ‘unter ).

Herne worked for Richard II in Windsor forest, but was fatally injured while defending the king against a cornered white stag. A local wizard restored him to health but, in return, Herne was forced to give up his hunting skills and eventually through frustration and disappointment hanged himself from an oak tree near the castle. Richard II subsequently adopted the White Hart as his crest.

King Richard's White Hart had golden antlers and a golden crown around its neck with a gold chain hanging from the crown. Heraldically, the Hart symbolises peace and harmony, the White denoting purity.

In 1389 Richard passed an Act making it compulsory for pubs and inns to have a sign outside in order to identify them to the official Ale Taster, "otherwise he shall forfeit his ale." Consequently, a great many pubs were named “The White Hart”, after Richard II's own heraldic emblem.

Toll Charges

The first turnpike road in Kent from Sevenoaks to Woodsgate (1709) ran past the White Hart. Passing coaches were required to pay a toll to the turnpike trustees. This included those in charge of the four-horse stage coach, which called at the White Hart three times a week on its long journey from the Nag's Head in Southwark to Rye in Sussex.


Kentish Gazette, 27 January, 1779.

"White Hart Inn," Sevenoaks Common Kent, adjoining his grace the Duke of Dorset's Park.

To be let, and entered on immediately.

That well-known, long-established, and good accustomed inn, known by the "White Hart," on the Sevenoaks common, Kent; consisting of very genteel and convenient apartments in the house, good stabling for 50 horses and 16 acres of land, in excellent condition and adjoining.

The whole fitted up afresh, and put into very good order, within those few years, at a very comfortable expense, and enjoying a very flourishing trade, in the occupation of the late Robert Palmer, deceased; together with which maybe had, if approved of, a very desirable Farm, containing onwards of 100 acres of very good land, in very good condition, and at a very moderate rent.

This Inn is altogether commodious, pleasantly and advantageously situated, being on the Turnpike Road from London to Tunbridge Wells, 12 miles from Tunbridge Wells, 14 from Bromley, 24 from London, and within 1 mile of Sevenoaks Town.


From the Kentish Gazette, 27 June 1848.


In London, on the 17th inst., rather suddenly, Mr. James Walter, of the "White Hart Inn," Sevenoaks Common highly and justly respected.


Kentish Gazette, 19 February 1850.


On Monday evening se’nnight about 9 o'clock, a fire broke out in the buildings of the "White Hart Inn," at the common near this place, in a lodge occupied by Mr. Ring, of Sevenoaks, who holds the farm; the flames soon communicated to the coach-house and granary of the Inn, but there being a good supply of water, by great exertions, and the assistance of the Sevenoaks fire brigade with their powerful engine, the fire was got under after having totally destroyed the granary, a lodge, and a portion of the coach houses; the property which belongs to Earl Amherst, we understand was fully insured. The origin of the fire is involved in mystery.




HARRIS Samuel 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

CHAPPELL Harriett 1874-81+ (also Farmer age 70 in 1881Census)


KEMP George 1903+ Kelly's 1903

KELSO to Nov/1904 Kent and Sussex Courier

WALKER Henry Nov/1904+ Kent and Sussex Courier

MAYNARD Thomas William 1913+

TARVIN Frederick 1918+

COMBEN Richard Edward 1922+

FARRELL John 1930+

MORRIS Joseph 1938+


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:-