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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  1. Debbie

    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 .

  2. Geoff Hilton

    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!

  3. Sylvia

    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.

  4. Liz and Adrian

    Had a wonderful meal last night, staff were very friendly, food was fantastic, we will be back for more!!!!

  5. marchant

    Had a lovely meal with 2 friends , the food was brilliant staff great and the steak was the best we have had for ages.
    Am now going to book for a sunday .

    1. Alex Bensley

      These comments are very reassuring, thank you and I promise I will not rest on our laurels but keep trying to improve.
      We are currently applying for permission to extend the parking area so any support shown on the Ashford council website would be very, very much appreciated as a lot depends on this as far as future investment plans for the Chequers on the Green.
      I am landscaping the pond and hope to have a classy, heated terrace ready soon!
      I would like to add that so far I am extremely gratified with the amazing local support thank you.

  6. Sonia Lassnig

    Had a meal with friends last night. The place was packed tight. Took a torch based on the last review and definitely needed it to read the menu. The food was very good, fresh and wholesome, lots of it too. Average prices in case anyone is wondering. For 4 people, just having a main course each, coffee and a couple of drinks, came to £80.

    Well done to the owner, lets hope the support continues.

  7. Beverley Gray

    Had a delicious meal here, lovely staff, good service. Wasn’t that keen on eating just by candlelight though, bit like eating in a 15th century Inn. Had to use the flashlight on my phone to read the menu!! Think my age and dodgy eyes may not have helped but couldn’t see how much seasoning I was sprinkling on my food.. Still will definitely recommend to friends.

  8. Sam lefort

    Had 2 meals there so far and how lucky we are to have such lovely food and ambience right on our doorstel – well done Alex

  9. Geoff

    I hear the pub freehold has now been sold? Anyone know who to?

    1. Jack

      Alex Bensley has brought the free hold

      He currently owns the old mill in Ashford, the oak on the green and the fish on the green both in bearstead

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