A Drink in Westerham Past and Present

Scroll to the bottom of this page to see where they all were on the map

Darenth Cottages & Old House at Home Pub. Originally a tied house to the Swan Brewery of Watkins and Son, when this was bought out and closed by Ben Bushell of The Black Eagle brewery in 1897, 'The Old House' became a purveyor of Westerham Ales. Sited in Quebec Square, The Old House is now a private residence, and the adjoining row of back-to-back cottages are no longer extant.
Red Cow Inn was the pink building on the right in this aquatint photo-postcard. Like the White Horse at Kirkgate, this probably ceased trading in the early 1800s.
Once a Coaching Inn beside the church, but not in living memory, The White Horse Inn at Kirk Gate probably ceased trading before 1850.
The Grasshopper on the Green & shops circa 1902. As can be seen this little Inn was tied to the Croydon Brewery of Nalder & Collyer, and is one of Westerham's oldest public houses, dating from the early sixteenth century.
The Kings Arms in Market Square 2010. Compare the photograph with the one below and see that very little has changed in nearly 140 years.
This photograph dates from the late 1890s when Robert Hyde took over from William Simpson as proprietor of the Kings Arms Hotel. By that time the discrete entrance for ladies had been built between the hotel and William Genge's Ironmongery shop. This allowed ladies staying at the hotel to enter and leave the building without having to walk through the bar.
A 'carte-de-cabinet' engraving from before the days of photography circa 1830, at that time the only form of advertising. Note the inscription above the coach entrance for Barclay & Perkins. Around the time this carte was produced, their Southwark based brewery was the largest in the World! London's great diarist Samuel Johnson had his own room at the brewery, and his favourite chair was kept in the boardroom for some time after his death. The brewery initially produced only porter – a dark style of beer made from brown malt – until 1834, when it introduced pale ale. It was also well known for its Russian Imperial Stout.
The reverse of the 'carte-de-cabinet' informing potential enquirers of the hotel services available in three 'departments'. Note that in the Posting, Job & Ostlery Department, "...only experienced and steady coachmen were employed".
The George & Dragon coaching Inn in Market Square. One of two pubs in the town operated by the Croydon Brewery Nalder & Collyer Entire. With the bunting and flags in evidence, this photograph probably dates to the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902
The Royal Standard in the 1960s. A second-generation Watkins tied house which replaced an earlier Victorian Public House on this site originally called 'The Rifleman', but then changed to The Royal Standard. The pub as shown here was the last to be built in Westerham and the second to be closed in the town in living memory.
The Crown Beerhouse opposite New Street. It is thought that this was independent, not a tied house. This photograph was taken by local photographer Frederick Benson and dates from circa 1890 when Michael Wood had taken over from Henry Pope, beerhouse keeper and hairdresser. The notice above the door reads "Michael Wood Licensed retailer of beer to be drunk on the premises only".
The Warde Arms Inn circa 1904. A popular watering hole on the way to Verralls Corner. Standing outside the Inn is 'The Pride of Westerham', one of several coaches operated by the publican John Townsend who was a gentleman farmer at Covers Farm and also proprietor of a coaching and carting business near the railway station.
Black Eagle Brewery Tap publican John Francis and friends outside The General Wolfe Inn 1898, on their way to the races on Derby day. Note the company trading title above the window as Ben Bushell had yet to clinch the deal of takeover of Smiths brewery at Blighs in Sevenoaks. In 1904 the Company would become 'Bushell, Watkins and Smith Co. Ltd'.
1880 W. F. Watkins Swan Beerhouse, now Castle Antiques. When Watkins relinquished the license on the beerhouse, he retained the building and it became the Swan Coffee Tavern - welcome to abstinence!
The Crown Family and Commercial Hotel was built in 1883, two years after the opening of the Westerham Valley Railway and it is, perhaps, interesting that it was not called the Station Hotel

Pubs Past and Present

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