Page Updated:- Sunday, 06 March, 2022.


Earliest 1864-

Bird in Hand

Latest 1914

Stone Street


Bird in Hand 2015

Above photo, 2015, showing the "Bird in Hand" cottage next to the Tea Rooms.

Former Bird in Hand 2015

Above photo, 2015, showing the back of the premises.


The building is said to be sixteenth century and gained a Grade 2 listing on 20 June 1967. Originally an Inn and later operated as an Alehouse and common lodging house


From the Sussex Advertiser, Lewes, Sussex, England. 6 February 1864.

PETTY SESSIONS Thursday Feb. 4.

Jesse Mercer, landlord of the "Bird-in-Hand" beer-shop in Stone-street, Cranbrook, was charged by Superintendent Ovenden, with having kept his house open for the sale of beer before twelve o'clock on Sunday morning the 24th of January.

P.C. Jordan said that he entered defendant's tap-room about five minutes past eleven o'clock on the morning of Sunday, the 24th of January, and he there saw three persons, one of whom was a young man named Tompsett. On looking under the seat he found nearly a quart of ale in a pot. Defendant came into the room at the time, and said he had stood one pint of the beer and the other belonged to a lodger.

Superintendent Ovenden said the house had been open from seven in the morning until the time Jordan and himself entered about eleven, and when he went up to the tap-room window someone gave a whistle which seemed to be understood by the landlord. He said the beer was found under the seat when they entered the room.

Defendant said the three persons were lodgers, and seemed to entertain an opinion that he might sell beer to lodgers before twelve o'clock on Sundays.

In reply to a question from the chairman, the superintendent said the defendant's house was very badly conducted, and had been for some months past. Spies were placed in front of the house to watch the approach of the police, so that it was with difficulty the defendant could be detected.

The Chairman said he was sorry to find a Cranbrook house so badly conducted, but as there appeared to have been no prior conviction the bench would not inflict the full amount of penalty, viz. 5; but he hoped that the defendant would let this case operate as a caution, and that in future no complaint would arise in reference to the manner in which he carried on his business. He would be fined 40s., and 13s. costs. The money was paid.


Maidstone Telegraph, Saturday 31 December 1870.

Farley, East. A Man Frozen To Death.

Much painful excitement was occasioned in this village on the the morning of Christmas Day, by the discovery on the road side of the body of a man whose death had evidently resulting from exposure to the attempts cold of the previous night.

The deceased, Samuel Kinnairde, a carpenter, 45 years of age, had been for some little time residing at Farleigh, and was believed to belong to Cranbrook.

On Saturday night he drank heavily, at the "Bird in Hand," Coxheath, and on leaving, at about 12 o'clock, was observed to stagger. He went on his way, however, and was not seen or heard of till 7 o'clock on the following morning, when he was found dead as already related. From marks in the snow near the spot where the body was lying, the unfortunate man appears to have reeled, to have made an inefficient attempt to retain his footing, and then to have fallen to the ground. He does not seem to have endeavoured to rise again, and the probability is that, overcome by the effects of the drink he had taken, he fell asleep, and the extreme cold deprived him of life.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 6 February, 1914.



At these Sessions yesterday. Mr. W. B. Tylden-Patterson (in the chair) and a full Bench of Magistrates, Supt Fowle presented his report, stating all the houses had been well-conducted, and there was a decrease of drunkenness by 11 compared with last year. The Chairman announced that the following four houses would be deferred to to the next Court for consideration on the ground of redundancy:

The "Duke of York," the "Paper Makers' Arms," the "Bird in Hand," and the "Prince Albert." The whole of the other licenses would be renewed.



MERCER Jesse 1864+

MIDMORE Benjamin 1881+ (age 67 in 1881Census)

WHATMAN Edgar 1891-1901 (age 45 in 1901Census)

VANE Thomas Vane 1901-03+ (also lodging keeper age 65 in 1901Census)

FRANKS George William 1911-13+ (also stoker & engine driver age 40 in 1911Census)




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