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The Chequers on the Green

The Chequers Pub High Halden

The present Georgian façade conceals the original timbered structure, for it was thought that this Inn was built in the 14th century, when the Weald was covered by oak forest. Shipbuilding took place at Smallhythe and it is said that when the man-of war-ships completed their service for the Crown, they became the property of the original shipbuilder and were used for the construction of houses and barns. It is possible, even likely, that oak from an old sailing ship that saw service in the Indies, was used in The Chequers.
Originally the building was a large hall with an open fire in the centre, there were no chimneys and just a few unglazed windows. The roof at the time was thatched. The smoke from the open hearth would drift carelessly upwards and hopefully disappear through the slat-ted windows. This however would only occur if the wind was in the right direction, one can imagine the unpleasant atmosphere if it were not. There was a ledge over the ends of the hall which provided sleeping quarters.
It was during the Tudor period that a floor was constructed right across the hall to provide further accommodation and a central chimney built. It was not until the 18th century that the end chimneys were added.
chequers-oldApart from offering weary travellers refreshment and accommodation, The Chequers was very much a meeting place for villagers. It is known that a shoe club met at the Inn in the winter months, a subscription of sixpence 2½ p) was collected at each meeting and a raffle took place, the winner being entitled to a new pair of shoes. His feet were duly measured by the village bootmaker and by the following week he was wearing his prize.
Various clubs and societies held their annual dinners at the Inn, the High Halden Mutual Benefit Society chose May and we read in the Parish Magazine of the time that the Soci-ety ‘will hold their annual Dinner at the Chequers Inn on Mon-day 29th May 1876, divine Service at 10.30 o’clock. W.B. Stavely will preside. The 3rd Cinque Ports Volunteers Band with professional singers will be in attendance. Dinner on the table at 2 o’clock’.
Another fact worthy of note is that the Chequers once housed the only public clock in the village (before the church clock was installed) and it is said that parishioners came from all corners of the village to check the accuracy of their clocks and watches.”
The Chequers remains an important part of village life and is still a meeting place for villagers and long may it be so.

Address: Ashford Road, High Halden, Ashford, Kent. TN26 3LP Tel:  01233 850503 for reservations .
Official pub website with menus and further information.


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    • James on May 28, 2016 at 11:19 am
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    What a great place to eat, the service is top class, staff are happy and very very helpful, the manager if your not careful will be headhunted , one of the best I have meet,
    Have eaten there about ten times now what dose that tell you ?
    I will say I did have a complaint about one dish but this was delt with in the manor it should have been.
    The owners need to praise there staff for there hard work,

    • Debbie on December 18, 2014 at 9:50 am
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    We have had several fantastic meals both here and in your sister pub in Bearsted . We love the soft lighting it adds to the whole ambience of the setting . Keep doing what you are doing , the food , the service is all fantastic and I am very fussy when eating out .

    • Geoff Hilton on November 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm
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    Yes, everyone who goes there complains about the lighting. Maybe they bought a batch of ten watt bulbs in error and don’t like to waste them? You can always spot the regulars. They are the ones wearing miners’ lamps!

    • Sylvia on November 6, 2014 at 12:09 am
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    Found the place to be a little dark, cramped and a tad expensive but needs must! However, the service was excellent and the food sublime – suffice to say we went back the next day – best food we have found in the area – just a pity you don’t serve it up in Newcastle!See you next time we are in Kent.

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