Queens ArmsHartfield Road
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic this pub is currently offering additional services:
Main pub interior bars now back in use but for limited opening hours. See Facebook page for latest details.
See more about this pub on WhatPub, CAMRA's national pub guide.
CHECK PUB FACEBOOK PAGE FOR OPENING HOURS AS MAIN PUB IS OPEN AGAIN. POP-UP PUB / FOOD OUTLET OPERATES TO VARIABLE HOURS IN OUTSIDE BUILDING(S).
This wonderful unspoilt pub has thankfully been saved from the threat of closure in 2014 following the long-serving landlady moving into a care home and her subsequent passing away, and after it being run by a band of locals for nearly 5 years. A rare rural time-warp, in the same family hands since 1913, with the former landlady, Elsie Maynard, taking over in 1973. It was built in 1841 by William Longley of Pound House, the name commemorating the Queen’s Royal West Kent Regiment. The pub has one of the last remaining totally unspoilt rural public bars (on the right) dating from the Victorian era and which, apart from the paintwork, has been almost untouched since the end of the nineteenth century. The front door leads to a tiny lobby with doors to the left and right and another in front of you that leads to the pub's private quarters. On the right is a door with the figure '1' on it leading to the stark public bar having the original panelled (part herringbone) counter with decorative brackets all along it. The black mastic around the base of the bar counter is the position of the spittoon trough that ran along it originally. On top is a set of three hand pumps with the date of 1948 on them that can still dispense exactly half a pint of beer with one pull. There is simple shelving for a bar-back, basic bare benches attached to the dado panelling around the window recess and a two-sided bench at the rear of this small room. The brick fireplace looks as though it may have been changed around 1953. The saloon bar on the left with '2' on the door was originally a very small room that in 1953 was increased to twice its size by combining with a previous private room. It retains its original curved Victorian panelled counter with decorative brackets all painted bright yellow. The rear straight section looks like it is a later addition in the same style but without the brackets and was probably added in 1953? The very spartan room has a bell-push and a sign saying 'please ring for service'; old fireplace; and a ticking clock. At the rear an extension added in 1953 contains a ladies' toilet. The present inside gents' accessed from the public bar replaced outside ones in 1953. A sign on the outside of the pub warns customers 'Lager not sold here' (but rumoured sign has now gone !) and there is no ice and no children's room! There is no till - just a small bowl for coins with notes placed beneath but "contactless" payment by card is now available!. Crisps are stored in tins – all crisps were supplied in tins up to the 1950s and two have been retained – you can just about make out ‘crisps’ on one and ‘cheeselets’ on the other! Note the old Bisset dart scorer - three finger-operated metal dials that change the score; being darts, the numbers come down as you enter the score. After a period of closure of the pub's interior (during which drink and food was available from outside buildings) it re-opened in November 2021, albeit with limited weekend opening hours. Lager is reportedly now sometimes sold here!