DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Sevenoaks, September, 2022.

Page Updated:- Monday, 05 September, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Tessa Leeds

Earliest 1838-

Chequers

Closed 2/Oct/1994

Fletcher's Green (1871Census) / Scabharbour Road

Henhurst Road, West Wood in 1861Census

Sevenoaks Weald

Albert Brooker 1881

Above photo 19 July 1881, showing Albert Brooker

Chequers

Above photo, date unknown.

Chequers 1950s

Above photo circa 1950s, kindly sent by Tessa Leeds.

Former Chequers Inn 2009

Above photo 2009 by David Anstiss Creative Commons Licence.

 

I have reference to another "Chequers" in Sevenoaks. This is not the same pub.

In 1909 there was an advertisement for the sale of the premises that stated the following:- Full licence. Particulars as stated by Vendor.

Rent 20 Let off.

Price 200 all at cash .

Private bars, taproom, large cellars, sitting, larder, four bedrooms, good stabling, coachhouse, Court houses, piggeries, 5 acres ground, outbuildings, large garden, etc.

Death of landlord cause of sale.

 

It is said that licensee Albert Shotter used to keep a fox on a chain outside of the pub. After his wife died he walked out of the pub one day and disappeared without trace.

 

The pub closed in 1994 and is now of residential use.

I have also heard this referred to as the "Chequers Tree."

 

PUBLIC HOUSES OF THE WEALD by Tessa Leeds.

The Weald, like many other villages, once boasted more Public Houses that it does in the present day. The reason for there being so many in the first place was due to the Government passing The Beer Shop Act of 1830. This Act enabled virtually any householder to produce beer on his/her own premises for sale, providing that an annual excise fee was paid.

 

THE CHEQUERS (later Chequer Tree), Scabharbour Road.

Now a private house, this was the oldest established Public House in Weald. It is mentioned in documents of the 1830s but may pre-date that time. Always recorded as an Inn, it held a spirit license. Reputedly a footpath ran through the middle of the property and a chequer tree (service tree) stands in the grounds. In 1901 the proprietor received a card from the Licensed Victuallers' Association suggesting that he close his house between 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. on Saturday 2nd February 'during the Funeral of Our Late Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria'. Estate agent details of 1909 price The Chequers at 200, with an annual rent of 20, the freehold not being up for sale until the break-up of the Goldsmith Estate in 1919. The sale details give the following information: Good bars, taproom, sitting, 4 bedrooms, larder, good stabling, coachhouse, large cellars, fowl house, piggeries, 5 acres ground, large garden, outbuildings. Remembering it in the 1960s I feel a lot must have fallen down in fifty years. Its most remembered publican was Albert Shotter who, in the 1920s, walked out one day and disappeared without trace. The Chequer Tree finally called 'last orders' on 2nd October 1994, the last owners being Sonia and John Pocknell.

Alice, my grandmother told me a story regarding a former publican at the Chequers whose wife was supposed to have left a pint of beer out for him as he passed by on this horse and cart. It was poisoned and he later died. Now she was of very sound mind to the very end. However when pressed for a date or time period she only knew it was in Victorian times and, I realise, is also the well published story of Martha Browne the last woman hung in public in Dorset in the 1860's and which Thomas Hardy based Tess of the Durbervilles on.

Further notes.

The Chequers Scabharbour Road was reputedly a coaching inn, I imagine from a route through to Penshurst, this must have formerly been a quite well used route since the man who paid the poor relief came up from there, Jenny Philips (Turner) gt grandmother told of his passing her by when she had done some midwifery and when babies (Alice and siblings) were registered the fathers walked to Penshurst to do so, saving up the births to make an occasion of it and stopping at Ale houses as a group en route. There was a footpath through the middle of the bar and a Chequer Tree in the field behind. It was later re named the Chequer Tree and run by the Sonia and John Pocknell in the 1980-90 when they left this Grand Met Brewers property, they moved to the coast to run another pub, I think in Hastings. Rupert had worked the bar for a few months in the evenings when he was 18. It is now a private house.

 

LICENSEE LIST

BARBER Richard 1833-58+

BARBER Stephen 1861+ (age 38 in 1861Census)

BEUTLEY William 1862+

BANKS William 1867+ (also blacksmith)

JENNER William 1871-726/Apr/76 dec'd (age 56 in 1871Census)

HILLS Silas 1881+ (age 28 in 1881Census)

FOSTER Henry 1882+

ELFICK Henry 1887+

GOVE John 1895+

CHALCROFT George 1988+

BROOKE Henry Sidney 1901-09+ (age 44 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

JEFREYS William 1911+

COLE Edward 1915-18+

SHOTTER Albert 1922-30+

BUCKLE Sylvester 1938+

POCKNELL John & Sonia 1980s-2/Oct/1994

https://pubwiki.co.uk/Chequers.shtml

http://www.closedpubs.co.uk/chequertree.html

 

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

CensusCensus

 

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

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