Page Updated:- Friday, 14 April, 2023.


Earliest 1959+

(Name from)

Duck Inn

Open 2020+

Pett Bottom

01227 830354

Duck 1959

Above photo circa 1959, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Duck Inn painting 1966

Above painting, date 1966 but artist unknown.

Duck drawing 1975

Above postcard, circa 1975, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Duck Inn, Pett's Bottom Duck Inn, Pett's Bottom Duck Inn sign, Pett's BottomIan Fleming sign

Photos by Paul Skelton, 5th April, 2010.

Duck Inn sign 1991

Duck Inn sign July 1991.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Duck 2018

Above photo, kindly taken by Rory Kehoe, May 2018.


Built in 1623 and previously called the "Woodman's Arms" this premises first sold beer in 1849 and changed name to the "Duck Inn."

Ian Fleming used to be a local to the pub and had a favourite seat in the garden, where he used to sit and it is said found inspiration to write some of his James Bond adventures. The seat is still in the gardens and the pub bears a plaque commemorating the author.

Ian Fleming's 13th book, "You Only Live Twice," which was turned into a highly successful film, saw British agent James Bond 007 apparently die. His boss, M, sent a death notice to The Times newspaper. The Duck at Pett Bottom is mentioned in the passage.

I am unsure at present whether the pub was still called the "Woodman's Arms" when Ian Fleming wrote "You only Live Twice" and that the mention in that book was responsible for the changing of the name to the "Duck Inn" around the 1950s as it is today, but it is rumoured that the name itself stems from the directive above its low doorway, which advises people to "Duck."

Apparently the pub is famous for the roast duck served in its restaurant and for a collection of pre-First World War port bottles in the tiny bar.


From Ian Fleming's "You only Live Twice" Chapter 21.

The Times

Commander James Bond,

C.M.G., R.N.V.R.

M. writes:--

As your readers will have learned from earlier issues, a senior officer of the Ministry of Defence, Commander James Bond, C.M.G., R.N.V.R., is missing, believed killed, while on an official mission to Japan. It grieves me to have to report that hopes of his survival must now be abandoned. It therefore falls to my lot, as the Head of the Department he served so well, to give some account of this officer and of his outstanding services to his country.

James Bond was born of a Scottish father, Andrew Bond of Glencoe, and a Swiss mother, Monique Delacroix, from the Canton de Vaud. His father being a foreign representative of the Vickers armaments firm, his early education, from which he inherited a first-class command of French and German, was entirely abroad. When he was eleven years of age, both his parents were killed in a climbing accident in the Aiguilles Rouges above Chamonix, and the youth came under the guardianship of an aunt, since deceased, Miss Charmian Bond, and went to live with her at the quaintly-named hamlet of Pett Bottom near Canterbury in Kent. There, in a small cottage hard by the attractive Duck Inn, his aunt, who must have been a most erudite and accomplished lady, completed his education for an English public school, and, at the age of twelve or thereabouts, he passed satisfactorily into Eton, for which College he had been entered at his birth by his father. It must be admitted that his career at Eton was brief and undistinguished and, after only two halves, as a result, it pains me to record, of some alleged trouble with one of the boys' maids, his aunt was requested to remove him. She managed to obtain his transfer to Fettes, his father's old school. Here the atmosphere was somewhat Calvinistic, and both academic and athletic standards were rigorous. Nevertheless, though inclined to be solitary by nature, he established some firm friendships among the traditionally famous athletic circles at the school. By the time he left, at the early age of seventeen, he had twice fought for the school as a light-weight and had, in addition, founded the first serious judo class at a British public school. By now it was 1941 and, by claiming an age of nineteen and with the help of an old Vickers colleague of his father, he entered a branch of what was subsequently to become the Ministry of Defence. To serve the confidential nature of his duties, he was accorded the rank of lieutenant in the Special Branch of the R.N.V.R., and it is a measure of the satisfaction his services gave to his superiors that he ended the war with the rank of Commander. It was about this time that the writer became associated with certain aspects of the Ministry's work, and it was with much gratification that I accepted Commander Bond's post-war application to continue working for the Ministry in which, at the time of his lamented disappearance, he had risen to the rank of Principal Officer in the Civil Service.

The nature of Commander Bond's duties with the Ministry, which were, incidentally, recognized by the appointment of C.M.G. in 1954, must remain confidential, nay secret, but his colleagues at the Ministry will allow that he performed them with outstanding bravery and distinction, although occasionally, through an impetuous strain in his nature, with a streak of the foolhardy that brought him in conflict with higher authority. But he possessed what almost amounted to "The Nelson Touch" in moments of the highest emergency, and he somehow contrived to escape more or less unscathed from the many adventurous paths down which his duties led him. The inevitable publicity, particularly in the foreign press, accorded some of these adventures, made him, much against his will, something of a public figure, with the inevitable result that a series of popular books came to be written around him by a personal friend and former colleague of James Bond. If the quality of these books, or their degree of veracity, had been any higher, the author would certainly have been prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act. It is a measure of the disdain in which these fictions are held at the Ministry, that action has not yet -- I emphasize the qualification -- been taken against the author and publisher of these high-flown and romanticized caricatures of episodes in the career of a outstanding public servant.

It only remains to conclude this brief in memoriam by assuring his friends that Commander Bond's last mission was one of supreme importance to the State. Although it now appears that, alas, he will not return from it, I have the authority of the highest quarters in the land to confirm that the mission proved to be one hundred per cent successful. It is no exaggeration to pronounce unequivocally that, through the recent valorous efforts of this one man, the Safety of the Realm has received mighty reassurance.

James Bond was briefly married in 1962, to Teresa, only daughter of Marc-Ange Draco, of Marseilles. The marriage ended in tragic circumstances that were reported in the press at the time. There was no issue of the marriage and James Bond leaves, so far as I am aware, no relative living.

M.G. writes:

I was happy and proud to serve Commander Bond in a close capacity during the past three years at the Ministry of Defence. If our fears for him are justified, may I suggest these simple words for his epitaph? Many of the junior staff here feel they represent his philosophy:

"I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."


Other peculiarities that can be found at this pub, if indeed you can find it yourself, as it is very secluded, (no wonder Ian Fleming used it as a retreat for inspiration,) are a well outside the doorway and set of stocks just opposite.


Well at the Duck Inn Stocks at the Duck Inn

Above photographs as seen just outside the "Duck Inn," by Paul Skelton, 5th April 2010.


For full history of the pub visit "Woodman's Arms."


John Lang

Above photograph shows previous licensee John Lang, date unknown.

From an email received 16 November 2014.

Dear Paul,

I lived in Bursted Manor (now a major riding centre), less than a mile down the valley from The Duck Inn, from 1950-1964.

In those days the pub was owned by Flat and Hinkie Southworth. She was a great fun hostess, while Flat was rarely seen since his ‘day job' was lead viola with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (hence his name provided by the pub regulars!).

The layout of the pub in those days was significant. Entry via the porch (presumably the same one as in recent photos) gave the visitor the option of Lounge (to the left) and Dining Room (to the right). However the dining room was in fact for the regulars to drink in, quite a classy lot they were too, including ‘county' families such as the Wighams and Neames.

Any passing motorist needing refreshment hopefully went into the lounge. Some would however enter the Dining Room where Hinkie at the small bar would ask ‘Are you dining?' No, ‘Would you kindly use the Lounge.' If yes, ‘I regret we don't do food, would you kindly use the Lounge.' Either way we kept our club bar sacrosanct.

My mother was one of those regulars in the Duck's ‘private club' until 1957 when she remarried in London. I continued to visit my stepfather as an old teenager and was weaned on Shepherd Neame /Fremlins bitter at the Duck. Later I would weekend there, regularly visiting the Duck ‘club' until 1963 when the Southworth's were still in situ and considering having electricity installed. I think Hinkie must have passed on about the same time as my stepfather. It was around 1965 that I read in the Daily Telegraph of the pub being open under new ownership where the landlady specialised in smorgasbords – this must have been Olga the Swedish wife of John-Farquhar-Laing And of course I was stunned to read James Bond's Times obituary in You Only Live Twice. What I do not recall is any mention of Ian Fleming in all those years I used the pub.

I hope this is of interest. I am still a regular pub goer (in my 70's now) but around Bray in Berkshire.

Kind regards

Robin Robins.


From an email received 30 May 2016.

I served as the dishwasher/waiter in the "Duck" in the early seventies, 1972-74 after leaving The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury where I was the Stage Manager for three years, 1969-1972.

John Farquhar Ogilvie Laing and Ulla/Olga his wife 'discovered' me in a pub in Canterbury and offered me the job. John had made the left hand parlour into The Bar very small, with wooden beer barrels against the back wall where there was a grated opening which John told me was for feeding hay to the cows when the bar was a byre, back in the 1600s thereabout.

In the right-hand side dining room there was a refectory table on a dais used for parties. One of which was held for the Rolling Stones and Princess Margaret. The Stones arrived by Helicopter which landed in the field opposite!

I slept in a caravan around the back to the right of the main room/restaurant. John and Ulla lived upstairs. Many a morning John, Ulla and I would sit in the tiny garden at the left for breakfast before beginning the days work.

I remember the Weekends and day trips to Calais and its wine region where John and Ulla had close friends and bringing back crates of French Wines in the back seat of the Bentley.

John was very well-connected and a number of times the Ferry trip was spent on the bridge with John and the Captain chatting about old times!

John told me that the Inn was first used as a "pub" for the estate workers in the 17th century and evolved from there. He also mentioned that it was first granted a brewing beer-only licence soon after it was built. Since it was on a private estate the ale was not for sale and was only for the tenant farmers. My memories may be clouded at this distance, but that's what love does for one as one ages. Long may the "Duck" linger.

Peter Kaukas



Closed from September 2017 for refurbishments, but the rumour is they may be putting in an application for change of use. However, I heard in April 2018 that it had reopened again.



SOUTHWORTH Flat & Hinky 1950-64

FARQUAHAR-LANG John Ogilvie 1965-74+

BROWN Ron & Mavis 1984-98

WINK Martin 1998-2003

KELLY Dan & Nadine 2003-08

PRYNNE Jon 2008-2010+


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