Page Updated:- Tuesday, 17 August, 2021.


Earliest 1860-

Old Plantation

Closed 2015

33 Plantation Lane


Plantation 1920s

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


Above photo, date unknown.

Old Plantation 1930

Above postcard, 1930, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Old Plantation

Above postcard, date unknown.

Old Plantation 2008

Above photo 2008 by David Anstiss Creative Commons Licence.

Old Plantation 2015

Above photo 2015 by Chris Whippet Creative Commons Licence.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, 12 December 1901.


On Thursday evening there was a large and enthusiastic gathering of friends at the "Old Plantation Inn," to bid farewell to Mr. W. Vousden, who is leaving the district for Sutton Valence. Mr. A Bromley occupied the chair, and Mr. Price the vice-chair. After supper, Mr. Price presented Mr. Vousden, on behalf of the subscribers, with a handsome silver mounted meerschaum pipe and tobacco pouch.


From the by Ed McConnell, 18 November 2014.

Planning application by Heritage Designer Homes Ltd to transform The Old Plantation, Plantation Lane, Bearsted, into homes.

A Grade II listed pub which has been operating in Bearsted since at least 1860 will be transformed into homes if a planning application is approved.

Proposals would see The Old Plantation Inn, in Plantation Lane, Bearsted, replaced by three residential dwellings, with one built in place of the existing building and two new two-storey properties constructed in other areas of the 0.24 hectare site.

The application, submitted to Maidstone Borough Council by Heritage Designer Homes Ltd who bought the building a year ago and is based in the village, also proposes demolishing just over a third of the current structure on the grounds that it is poor quality and not in keeping with the rest of the building.

Additionally the existing 30-space car park would be reduced in size to accommodate just six vehicles.

The freehouse is currently open to the public but is set to close after Christmas as the owners no longer see it as a viable business.

A campaign has been launched by Stephen Coomber to save the premises on the grounds that the arguments for the change of use are inaccurate.

Mr Coomber, of Willington Street, Bearsted, who has worked with previous managers of The Old Plantation, said: “The pub used to be a traditional meeting place where everyone from builders to barristers would go to drink.”

The 56-year-old business advisor, who has visited the pub since he moved to the village 22 years ago, added: “The applicant's suggestion that the pub provides no different service to any other in the area is untrue. Only recently has it started moving towards food but it has always been very successful as a drinks-based business which makes it unique.”

Responding to suggestions the pub is not a viable business he cited the low tenancy cost and previous high turnover, adding: “I'm sure I could find a dozen people who would jump at the chance to take on the tenancy.”

Stephen and Cathryn Coomber 2014

Stephen and Cathryn Coomber campaigning to save The Old Plantation pub in Bearsted. Above picture: Gary Browne.

Sue Nutting, who lives opposite the pub and has launched a petition to save it which will be presented to MBC, said: “Perhaps surprisingly, many of those in the immediate vicinity want the pub to remain as a public house. Large numbers of other Bearsted residents have also indicated their support.”

Mother-of-two Sally Stuart said: "The pub is one of the only ones left in the village to offer a safe and decent outside environment to take children, with a bit of work it could be hugely successful."

The 40-year-old from Port Close, Bearsted, added: "The figures provided for how much the pub has made in the past 12 months are not reliable as it is only open half the time."

Steve Swift, a director of Heritage Designer Homes, said: “We engaged Porters Chartered Surveyors, a reputable Maidstone-based company which specialises in the valuation and sale of all types of licensed premises.

“It prepared a detailed report on the viability of The Old Plantation Inn and have carried out an assessment of the trading history of the premises for the period 2007 to 2011 and the most recent period from October 2013 to July 2014.

“The report concludes that the premises has not been trading profitably for some time and the most recent accounts that it operated at a loss of over 10K this excludes drawings, payments by the licensee and the fact that the rent has been reduced by 65% in order to keep it running for the short term.

“Whether or not planning permission is granted the pub will be closing after Christmas because it is no longer viable.”


From the by Ed McConnell, 3 March 2015.

The Old Plantation Inn, Plantation Lane, Bearsted, closes after controversial Heritage Designer Homes Ltd planning application

An historic village pub has closed after the landlord decided it was not making enough money.

The Grade II listed Old Plantation Inn in Bearsted had been at the centre of a planning row since an application was lodged by Heritage Designer Homes Ltd in November to transform it into a house and build two others on the 0.24 hectare site.

Now, Steve Swift, who owns the development company and the Plantation Lane premises, has confirmed the pub has closed.

Mr Swift said: “I was informed this week that the pub has been closed for good after the landlord struggled to make enough money. Initially he was planning to keep the pub open until the end of the month.

“I have had one person approach me regarding taking the lease but discussions regarding that are in the early stages. We are expecting a planning decision in April and depending on the outcome may advertise the lease again afterwards.”

The pub, which has been operating from its location since at least 1860, was boarded up on Tuesday morning.

Mr Swift has previously stated he would lease the pub to anyone willing to pay the going rate.

The landlord, Mr Daoudi, could not be reached for comment.

Old Plantation regulars 2015

Local residents objecting to the applications on the grounds that it is a viable pub Sue Nutting, who lives opposite the freehouse, said: “We are surprised that it has closed but we are hoping that someone will take Mr Swift up on his offer of taking on the lease.

“In the meantime we will continue to campaign to secure the future of the pub.”

Mrs Nutting's petition was presented to Maidstone Borough Council within the window for public objections, with a second online petition garnering more than 600 signatures



The building is said to be 15th century although more probably 16th and 17th and gained a Grade 2 listing on 25 July 1952.

I'm not sure when the "Old" was added, but it was known as simply the "Plantation" in the 1901 census.

An entry in Fremlin's 1950s publication called "Where shall we go," indicated the following:- Phone number - Maidstone 87906 Parking accommodation - Pull-in for coaches, Lunch - Snacks (2 days notice).



BURDEN Daniel 1881+ (age 29 in 1881Census)

BOULDEN Dennis 1901-Dec/04 (age 38 in 1901Census) Kent and Sussex Courier

HODGES William Dec/1904-11+ (age 40 in 1911Census) Kent and Sussex Courier

HODGES Emily S Mrs 1938+ (age 66 in 1938)

DAOUDI Mr to 2015


Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier



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