Sort file:- Tenterden, March, 2024.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 24 March, 2024.


Earliest 1741-

White Lion Hotel

Open 2020+

High Street


01580 765077

White Lion 1900

Above photo circa 1900.

White Lion 1914

Above photo, showing the funeral procession for Admiral Sir Charles Drury, 22 May 1914 , kindly sent by Mark Farrow.

White Lion

Above photo, date unknown.

White Lion 1905

Colonel Holman Stephens, tall man in the centre, outside the "White Lion" in Tenterden in 1905 with a survey party to build the Kent & East Sussex Headcorn railway extension.

White Lion 1932

Above postcard, circa 1932, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

White Lion 1933

Above postcard circa 1933. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

White Lion

Above photo, date unknown.

White Lion

Above postcard, circa 1950, kindly supplied by Tel Terry.

White Lion 1951

Above photo, circa 1951, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

White Lion 1953

Above photo, circa 1953, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

White Lion 1956

Above photo, 1956.

White Lion 1964

Above photo, 1964.

White Lion Hotel 1970

Above painting, date 1970.

White Lion Hotel 2011

Photo taken 23 September 2011 from by Dayoff171.

White Lion sign 1991White Lion sign 2009

Above sign left, March 1991,sign right, September 2009, by Eric Hartland.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

White Lion matchbox

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


Pigot's Directory of 1832 says this was also the Excise Office.

Originally a medieval hall house, it was modified in the 16th century to include an upper floor and a main fireplace. Further modifications took place in the early 19th century when the jettied ends were under built, two storey bay windows added and the new frontage lined with mathematical tiles.

Situated near the medieval Market Hall was the 15th century Wealden hall house named the "White Lion". Originally similar in appearance to the "Tudor Rose", it was much altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today its frontage is decorated with white mathematical tiles.


Kentish Gazette, 8 January 1780.

Watch Lost. Lost, on Saturday, 1st of January, between Rye and Tenterden, a silver watch.

A watch paper in the case, with the name of Owen Jackson, Tenterden, and under that paper the name of John Mepham; a Steel Chain and Seal, and Brass Key.

Whoever has found it, and will carry it to the "White Lion," Tenterden, shall receive half a Guinea reward.


Maidstone Journal, 31 May, 1842.

TENTERDEN. Coroner's Inquest.

On Thursday last the 26th inst., an inquest was held al the "White Lion Inn," before Virgil Pomfret, Esq., Mayor and Coroner, on view of the body of an illegitimate female, which, it is supposed, died from the injuries it had received from the mother in self-delivery. The jury, after the examination of several witnesses and giving the matter due consideration, returned a verdict of Accidental death.


Kentish Gazette, 9 October 1849.

KENT FREEHOLD BREWERY, PUBLIC HOUSES, and LAND, situate in Tenterden, High Halden, Woodchurch, Wittersham, Biddenden, and Old Romney, late the property of Samuel Shepherd, Enq., deceased.

TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, (By order of the Trustees,) BY MR. BENJAMIN HATCH,

AT the "White Lion Inn," TENTERDEN, on FRIDAY, the 26th day of October, 1843, at Four for Five o'clock precisely in the afternoon, (unless previously disposed of by private contract, of which due notice will be given.)

A most substantial and well-fitted BREWERY, with convenient Storehouses, Stabling for ten horses commodious Lofts over the same, BREWER’S HOUSE, ONE HOUSE adjoining thereto, with FIVE COTTAGES, situate in the centre of the town of TENTERDEN, wherein the business of a brewer was for several years carried on by the deceased, and is now continued by his sons.

Also the "CROWN" PUBLIC HOUSE, with excellent Stables, Outbuildings, and TWO COTTAGES adjoining, at Boar's Isle in the parish of TENTERDEN, and on the turnpike road between Tenterden and Ashford.

Also the "CHEQUERS" PUBLIC HOUSE, with the Garden, Stable, Outbuildings, and Land appertaining situate at HIGH HALDEN, on the turnpike road between Tenterden and Ashford, and within three miles, or thereabouts, of the Brewery.

Also the "BONNY CRAVAT" PUBLIC HOUSE, with Garden excellent Stable, Outbuildings, and about two acres and three roods of PASTURE LAND, situate at Woodchurch, within about five miles of the Brewery.

Also the "EWE AND LAMB" PUBLIC HOUSE, with excellent Stables, Coachhouse, and other Buildings, and two acres of ARABLE LAND, at WITTERSHAM, on the turnpike road from Tenterden to Rye, and within about six miles of the Brewery. Also a large MESSUAGE in Three Dwellings, (formerly the old "Ewe and Lamb" public house,) with excellent Garden adjoining, in WITTERSHAM.

Also a well-accustomed BEER SHOP, with Garden, Stable, Outbuildings, and about two acres of PASTURE LAND adjoining, in BIDDENDEN, on the turnpike mad between Tenterden and Cranbrook, and within three miles of the Brewery.

The abovementioned properties are all Freehold.

Also the "ROSE AND CROWN" PUBLIC HOUSE, with the Garden and Land adjoining thereto, situate at OLD ROMNEY, within about nine miles of the Brewery, held for an unexpired mortgage term of 1,000 years, granted 14th April, 1806, redeemable on payment of the principal sum of 626, with a large arrear of interest, at five per cent., now due thereon.

From the large extent of country round Tenterden, the above property, in the hands of an active and enterprising capitalist, presents an opportunity for a vast increase of business, for which it is conceived the present plant and machinery would suffice.

The whole of this compact property will be offered for sale in One Lot.

For leave to view the Brewery apply to Mr. Shepherd, Solicitor, Tenterden, and for inspection of the other properties to the respective Tenants; and further Particulars and Conditions of Sale may be had on application to Mr. Bathurst, Solicitor, Faversham, or to Mr. Shepherd or the Auctioneer, at Tenterden, ten days previous to the sale.


Kentish Gazette, 13 May 1851.

Fatal Effects of Intemperance.

An inquest was held at the "White Lion Inn," in this town, on Saturday last, on the body of a gentleman named Mr. J. Worth, a commercial traveller, from London, who died at that inn on the day previous, after only a few hours’ illness. He arrived at the house on Thursday evening last, and appeared tolerably well; he engaged to take supper with a few other commercial gentlemen at half-past eight. On the supper being served he declined taking any, stating that he felt unwell and would go to bed; he retired accordingly. The landlord or his servants visited him at intervals during the night, and in the morning finding he was worse, the landlord called in his medical attendant, who paid him all proper attention, but without any good effect, for he died soon after six the same evening.

From the evidence elicited by tavern bills found in his possession, together with that of some of the innkeepers at whose houses he had previously stopped, it appeared that he had been drinking very freely, and that his illness was the result of his excesses. The jury, after a short consultation, brought in a verdict of "Died from the effects of excessive drinking."


Kentish Gazette, 20 May 1851.

TENTERDEN. Coroner's Inquest.

On Wednesday an inquest was held at the "Lion Inn," by S. Beale, Esq., coroner, on the body of William Avery, a poor man, about 66 years of age, who was found in a dying state at the "Woolpack Inn," on the fair day, and died the day following. It appeared he was seized with a fit.

Verdict, "Died by the visitation of God."


South Eastern Gazette, 29 November 1853.


George COLLINS begs to return his grateful tthanks for the liberal patronage on him for upwards of thirteen years; and having renewed his lease of the above house, trusts, by strict attention to the Posting business, and to the comforts of his Commercial friends, to secure a continuance of the favours he has so long enjoyed.

N.B. Commodious loose boxes and lock-up coach-houses.

Nov. 14th 1853.


Sussex Agricultural Express, Tuesday 21 August 1883.


On the 14th inst., at Tenterden, Mr. Benjamin Garnham, proprietor of the "White Lion Inn" and formerly of the "Swan Inn," Lewes, much respected.


Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser, Saturday 25 August 1883.

Mr. Benjamin Garnham, of Tenterden, died suddenly on Tuesday morning last. The deceased had been with an excursion to London on the previous day, and appeared in good health.

The cause of death was heart disease.


From the By Rebecca Tuffin, 15 September 2019.

Tom Hardy has lunch with family in The White Lion pub in Tenterden.

Award-winning actor Tom Hardy was spotted with his family in a Kent pub.

The BAFTA-winning actor, who stars in Peaky Blinders, visited The White Lion in Tenterden yesterday afternoon.

Tom Hardy 2019

Tom Hardy with The White Lion chef, Sarah.

He had lunch with his wife, actress Charlotte Riley, two children and some friends, who reportedly live in the town.

Mr Hardy seemed to want to keep a low profile, wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses while eating his pizza.

Only the staff noticed they had a world-famous name under their roof at first, with guests appearing oblivious.

But diners soon caught on and there was a sense of excitement in the pub.

Beverly Paige, who works at The White Lion, which is also a hotel, said: "I wouldn't have known it was him at first. One of the girls told me and I said 'don't be silly, you need to get to Specsavers!'

White Lion 2019

The White Lion pub and hotel. Picture: Google street view.

"But it was him. He asked one of the staff if it was possible to take the food away if they needed to but then he relaxed and looked like he enjoyed his meal.

"Everyone was looking but they didn't make a fuss."

As Mr Hardy got up to leave, chef Sarah dared to ask for a photo with him.

A few customers followed suit and Mr Hardy was polite and accepted the picture requests.

Duty manager Hannah Page said: "I think he might have been out for some early birthday celebrations because it's his birthday today.

"He's been seen around Tenterden today as well."

Since the pub posted the photo of Mr Hardy and Sarah on its Facebook page, it has had more than 1,400 likes and 1,800 comments.

Beverly added: "It has gone mental on social media. We've never seen anything like it!"

This isn't the first time The White Lion has seen some famous faces.

A few years ago, it welcomed Monty Python and Fawlty Towers star John Cleese, as well as broadcaster Richard Baker.



WIGHTWICK Humphrey 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

WIGHTWICK John 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

COLLINS George 1853-61+ (age 48 in 1861Census)

TABRET William Paul 1871+ (age 61 in 1871Census)

EYLAND Rosa 1881+ (age 27 in 1881Census)

GARNHAM Benjamin to Aug/1883 dec'd

DAVIS William Next pub licensee had pre 1890 (for 4 years)

PAVITT Frederick W 1918+

BURBRIDGE Captain  H G W late 1920's-30's (Phone 21)


Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34



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