Page Updated:- Monday, 01 April, 2024.


Earliest 1768-

Bull Inn

Latest 1937-

Stone Street


Bull Hotel

Above photo, 1896.

Bull Hotel 1913

Above postcard, postmarked 1913.

Bull 1919

Above photo circa 1919, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.


Known as the "Bull Family and Commercial Hotel."

I am informed that the "Bull Hotel," Stone Street was pulled down to provide a petrol forecourt for Cranbrook Engineering Works in 1937. I am not sure when it closed.


Kentish Gazette 19 November 1802.

On Tuesday last was found hanging with a handkerchief, in a parlour at the "Bull," Cranbrook, ------- Haywood, daughter of Mr. Samuel Hayward, of Gofoot, Cranbrook.


Kent Gazette Reports 28 May 1805.


On Friday the 21st day of June, 1805, between the hours of three and six, at the "George Inn," in Cranbrook (unless in the mean time disposed of by private contract) of which notice will be given.

A Most desirable and valuable FREEHOLD ESTATE, together with a compact and convenient common brewery, and three public inns, known by the names of the "George," the "Bull," and "Duke's Head," now in full trade, and calculated for extensive business. Also a neat and substantial Dwelling House, lately built with substantial offices, garden, orchard, barn, stable, oast and lodgings, and about 30 acres of rich meadow, arable, and hop grounds, pleasantly situated in the town of Cranbrook, in the county of Kent, late the property of Mr. Stephen Wilmshurst, deceased; which will be sold in separate lots. Printed particulars of which may be had at the Auctioneer's general Agence Office, or the executer, Messrs. Wilmshurst, Buss and Elliott, Cranbrook, who will treat for the same, or by letters post-paid.


Kentish Gazette, 2 June 1820.

On Thursday last an Inquest was held at the "Bull Inn," Cranbrook, before James Ottaway, esq. Coroner on view of the body of John Powell, aged 60, a labouring man, residing in that pariah, who on the Monday preceding, during the absence of his wife, hanged himself upon a tree in his garden. He was discovered by a neighbour who happened to pass the house—the deceased was instantly cut down, and medical assistance procured, but all efforts to restore animation were unavailable. It appeared from the evidence that the deceased had been subject to fits of derangement
and had before attempted to destroy himself.

Verdict Insanity.


From the Kentish Gazette, 10 April 1838.


March 23, aged 46, Mrs. Taylor, wife of Mr. Barnabas Taylor, of the "Bull Inn," Cranbrook.


From the Kentish Gazette, 14 January 1845.


An inquest was held on Friday, the 27th ult., at the "Bull Inn," Milkhouse-street, by C. Willis, Esq., coroner, on the body of Amos Willard, an itinerant vendor of sweetmeats, who, about three o'clock on Thursday, had taken a quantity of arsenic. The poor man, who was always considered an eccentric character, had latterly become in a desponding state; but up to the time of his suicide, no apprehension was felt by his friends that he would commit such an act. On the morning of the day on which he took the poison, he obtained some arsenic by stating that he wanted it to kill rats with, as they were constantly eating his sweetmeats. He had been well known by the person who supplied him, as a well conducted man for many years; and was duly cautioned before he obtained the poison. As soon as it became known that he had taken the article, Mr. Corke, surgeon, of Cranbrook, was sent for, who made use of every means that medical skill could suggest, but without effect, as he died a few minutes after twelve o’clock at night. The jury without hesitation, gave their verdict "that the deceased committed suicide, being at the time in a state of insanity."


From the South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 14 April, 1846.


On Wednesday last the Guardians of this union sat down to a most recherché collation and dessert provided by Mr. B. Taylor, of the "Bull Inn," in this well-known superior style. The Hon. L. W. King, Capt. R.N., very ably presided on the occasion, supported by many of the most influential gentlemen in the neighbourhood, among whom were T. L. Hodges.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 18 February 1851.


We feel glad to state that at the suggestion of a few benevolent individuals in this town, a penny subscription list has been commenced at the "Bull Inn," for the twofold purpose of aiding, and expressing a kindly sympathy for, that ill-used girl, Jane Wilbred.


Kentish Gazette, 4 November 1851.


Miss Ann Taylor, of the "Bull Inn," Cranbronk, (a young lady only twelve years of age), has collected the sum of £10 for the widow of the unfortunate porter, who was run over and killed at this station. We think such praiseworthy kindness ought not to be passed over without notice; it shows a good heart and sympathising disposition, worthy of imitation. This added to what, the superintendent of the station (Captain Jackson) had already collected, makes a sum of £24 for this unfortunate woman and her two children.


Southeastern Gazette, 6 September 1853.

CRANBROOK. Petty Sessions.

Thursday. (Before T. L. Hodges, Esq., C. T. Pattenson, Esq., G. R. Stevenson, Esq., the Rev. F. Barrow, and the Rev. J. Deedes).

Jackson v. Weller.

This was an information laid by complainant, a constable at Rolvenden, against defendant, a labourer. Complainant stated that on Sunday, the 14th August, he found the defendant intoxicated and very noisy at the "Bull Inn," and recommended him to go quietly home, when the defendant heaped vollies of abuse and set complainant at defiance. Complainant then went for his staff, and on his return found defendant had left the inn, and was in the village, abusing every person who passed, and on complainant making his appearance he shook his fist in his face and challenged him to fight.

Defendant's story was that the complainant first struck him with his staff, and on his lifting it to strike him again he put his arm up to save himself. Under these circumstances the bench did not consider the case proved, and defendant was cautioned as to his future conduct especially on a Sunday.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Saturday 9 May 1857.


On Wednesday the foundation stone of a new congregational church was laid by Peter Carstairs, Esq. The building, when completed, will accommodate about 400 persons, is of Gothic architecture, and is situate in High Street. The builders are Messrs. William Knowley and George Boorman. A large party took tea together at the "Bull Inn" after the ceremony. In the evening some appropriate addresses were delivered to the company by Dr. Massie, the Rev. H. Cresswell, and others. The attendance, both at the laying of the stone and at the tea party, was numerous and respectable.


South Eastern Gazette, 30 October, 1860.


At Queen’s-road, Dalston, aged 40, Mr. Barnabas Taylor, eldest son of Mr. Taylor, of the "Bull Inn," Cranbrook, deeply regretted.


Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 15 December 1860.


The annual audit of A. J. B. Beresford-Hope, Esq., of Bedgebury, was held at the "Bull Inn," on the 3rd inst. The tenants sat down to an excellent dinner, provided in first-rate style.


Sussex Advertiser, Saturday 15 September 1866.

Cranbrook Annual Licensing Day.

On this occasion Mr. Taylor, of the "Bull Inn," provided in his usual style for the accommodation of his "brother bungs" and their friends. Among those present was Mr. Hanson, of Newenden, ("White Hart") who attended for the 60th time. Our friend, who is 86 year-old, was driven by his ostlety, aged 72, in a carriage too old for anyone to imagine the date, and which was drawn by a "colt," only 27 years old.


Sussex Agricultural Express, Saturday 8th January, 1898.

Extension of time for New Year's festivities were granted to the proprietors of the "George" and "Bull Hotel," Cranbrook.


Kent & Sussex Courier 25 March 1938.



There are people in Cranbrook to-day who can well remember when a first-floor extension was added to the 400-years-old "Bull Inn" in Stone-Street, forming an archway which is now the entrance to the Cranbrook Engineering Works.

Mr. L. N. Green's plans for the improvement of his premises have necessitated the demolition of the ancient building and its more modern wing, and many have sighed over the gradual disappearance of an old landmark, though as Mr. Green points out, it is only in the natural order of things that an up-to-date garage and filling station should take the place of what was once a posting inn.

Mr. J. Odam, a Cranbrook builder, who is in charge of the demolitions, made an interesting discovery on Wednesday morning while at work on the two rooms which constitute the extension.

Concealed under the floor was the short end of a deal plank bearing the following inscription in pencil:-

"November 22nd, 1887 Mr. William Brooks, Contractor. This job was carried out by Mr. John Frederick Gosby as Forman of the works from beginning to end.

The following are the workmen: Carpenters, Samuel Wraight, William Strike, Herbert Saxby, James Burgess.

Plaster, Mr. Piper, the one eye man.

Bricklayers, George Sibun, Nephew to Mr. Brooks. (Here follows an unprintable comment upon Mr. Sibun.) Frederick Puxty.

Labourers, Frederick Piper, Tedd Apps, Frederick Shephard, William Barden, William Wickham, James Penfold.

Mr. Savage (he was landlord of the "Bull Inn" at that time gave the workmen a dinner for the job, a jolly good man is he. No more this time.

Witnessed My Hand this 22 day of November. William Strike, Workman."


If either of the four William's or the three Fredrick's, or any of the seven others who were engaged on this job are alive to-day it would be interesting to hear from them.

Most of the names of course are well known in Cranbrook, and the men who bore them must have been the fathers or grandfathers of people who perhaps are following the same trade today.



TAYLOR Barnabus 1832-Aug/1871 dec'd (age 62 in 1851Census) Pigot's Directory 1832-34Maidstone Telegraph

TAYLOR Ann (widow) Aug/1871+ (age 57 in 1871Census) Maidstone Telegraph

SAVAGE William K 1881-87+ (age 38 in 1881Census)

BONE W K 1896+

HOOD William Albert 1913+

Last pub licensee had POPE Frank to Dec/1916 Kent and Sussex Courier

POPE Mabel Dec/1916+ Kent and Sussex Courier

LEVETT Ernest 1918+

QUICK Walter 1922+


Maidstone TelegraphMaidstone Telegraph

Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier


Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34


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