Page Updated:- Sunday, 27 February, 2022.


Earliest 1851-

Wheatsheaf Inn

Latest 1960+

Sundridge Road / Brasted Road / Hanging Banks / Ashen Cross

Ide Hill


Above postcard, circa 1960, kindly sent by Michael Leigh.

Hanging Banks 1960

Above postcard, circa 1960, kindly sent by Michael Leigh.

Hanging Banks 1960

Above postcard, circa 1960, kindly sent by Michael Leigh.


Nothing known about this pub yet, but I do know there is a Wheatsheaf Hill in Ide Hill, which is what the pub was probably named after.

However, I also know of a "Wheatsheaf" addressed as Riverhead, and I have also seen this also addressed as Sundridge.

From research compiled by Michael Leigh I am informed that there is no mention of the pub in the 1841 census, however, the 1851 census shows a grocer and beershop keeper addressed at Ashen Croft Hanging Bank which we believe is this pub.

William Marchant was living in Chiddingstone in 1841 and died around 1854. He was also the cousin of Ann Marchant who was the wife of Joseph Leigh, known to be running the beerhouse in 1861, so it is assumed he took it over from William on his death.

On 29 September 1866, a group of hop pickers who had been lodging at the Wheatsheaf got into a fight with the locals and a man called Dobson was killed. The incident and the trail were widely reported in the national press where the beer house was referred to as Leighs. (See the report here.)

In the 1881 census, Ann Leigh is the beer house keeper. Next door are Richard Hurton and his wife, the former Mary Ann Lockyer and when Ann Leigh dies in 1883, they take over the running of the pub.
When Richard Hurton dies, his wife Mary Ann takes over and is still running the pub at the time of the census in 1911.

On 22 August 1985 the Kentish Times published an article entitled "Taking the lid off mayhem and murder" which included the following section about riots involving hop pickers in C19th Kent.

"One of the worst incidents was at Ide Hill in 1866, which had already proved a bad year with strikes by pickers and a lot of bad feeling between them and local people. A group from Surrey had been lodging with alehouse keeper, Joseph Leigh, and had been having a few drinks and a bit of fun at his house. They left and had a few more drinks at the "Cock Inn" and were ordered out. A fight broke out between the locals, who apparently started it, and a picker called Dobson was killed."

Reports of the incident, on 29 September 1866, appeared in the Sevenoaks Express and the District Advertiser and the (London) Times on Tuesday 2 October 1866.

Reports of the Coroner's Inquest on 2 October 1866 and the Magistrates' Court on 5 October 1866 appeared in Sevenoaks Express and the District Advertiser on 9 October 1866.

A report of the Magistrates' Court proceedings appeared in the Times on 6 October 1866. All the papers covered the trial which was held on 22 December 1866 - the Times on 24 December 1866 and the Sevenoaks Express and the District Advertiser on 25 December 1866.

The reports which appeared in the Sevenoaks Express and the District Advertiser were more detailed but I didn't make copies. In them, Joseph Leigh's name is mentioned frequently but he wasn't called as a witness. The "Wheatsheaf" is not referred to by that name but always as "Leigh's, Leigh's beer house of beer shop or Mr. Leigh's beer house". The reports also say that the beer house had a skittle alley.

I thought it important to pass on the publication dates in case you or other researchers wanted to look into things further.

I think the first mention I have of the name Wheatsheaf is in 1871.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 31 October 1947.

Filmed in village pub.

Unusual entertainment at Ide Hill.

A film which included shots taken in the bar of the "Wheatsheaf," Ide Hill, with Esmond Knight, the well-known actor starring as a "poacher" was a high spot of Ide Hill Women's Institute concert on Wednesday.

A number of local residents, including councillor J. Lynch, also figured in the film which was presented by Capt. C. W. R. Knight, assisted by Miss. Knight and Mr. Mitchell. Entitled "Wildlife in Rural England," it showed many excellent pictures in natural settings.

The programme - witnessed by a crowded audience - included a play "Shilling Teas," produced by Mrs. D Lynch, in which Mrs. Phillips, Mrs. R. Wood, Mrs. Sheen, Mrs. D. Lynch, Mrs. Farrell and Miss M. Leigh took part. Songs were sung by a quartet comprising Dr. Roffey, Cap. Knight, Mr. Kelly and Mr. G. Alderson, and music was by the local dance bands (Messrs. R. Boakes, H. Boakes, R. Wood, W. Sheen and H. Sheen.)

Proceeds were in aid of Institute funds.


From an email received 6 September 2021.

For the sake of completeness, I have been researching the later part of the history of the Wheatsheaf. I suspect that you will have at least some of this but I am passing it on so you can check:

Ann Leigh ran the Wheatsheaf until her death in 1883.

Richard Hurton then ran it from 1883 until his death in 1895.

On Richard's death the pub/beer house was run by his widow Mary Ann Hurton (nee Lockyer) from 1895 until her death in 1919 [nb Mary Ann Hurton is shown living at the Wheatsheaf in every census from 1861 to 1911; the probate granted on her death in 1919 gives her address as the Wheatsheaf, Ide Hill].

On the death of Mary Ann Hurton in 1919 the pub/beer house was run by her son Richard William Hurton until his death in 1933 [Richard W Hurton is shown as a beer retailer in Ide Hill in the Kelly's directories for 1922 and 1930; the probate granted on his death gives his address as the Wheatsheaf, Ide Hill].

On the death of Richard William Hurton in 1933, the Wheatsheaf passes to Jeremiah Lynch. [In the Kelly's directory for 1934 he is shown as a beer retailer and in the directory for 1938 his address is given as the Wheatsheaf Inn. There was a "war" census carried out in 1939 and in it, Jeremiah Lynch is the licensee, Wheatsheaf Inn. Before running the pub Jeremiah Lynch appears to have been the postman in Ide Hill].

I haven't been able to discover when Jermiah Lynch ceased to be the licensee.

Other Points:-

The 1911 census gives details of the size of the Wheatsheaf. It is shown as having 9 rooms including the kitchen but not counting any scullery, landing, lobby, closet, bathroom, office or shop (ie it was quite large)

"Ide Hill, Past and Present" published by the Ide Hill Society in 2010 has the following entry:

"The Wheatsheaf Inn, which in its later years became the Churchill was rebuilt in the 1930s to replace an earlier inn which was well over 100 years old. Among the attractions of the older Wheatsheaf in its heyday were bacon-and-egg teas served in an upper room that overlooked the valley. The Churchill was demolished in the early 1990s to make way for the building of a private house."

Best wishes,

Mick Leigh.



MARCHANT William 1851-54 dec'd

LEIGH Joseph 1854-75 dec'd (also grocer age 69 in 1871Census) Melville's 1858Kelly's 1862

LEIGH Ann 1875-83 dec'd (widow age 75 in 1881Census)

HURTON Richard 1883+

HURTON Mary Ann (widow) 1911+

LYNCH Jeremiah 1939+ (age 61 in 1939)


Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Kelly's 1862From the Kelly's Directory 1862



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