Page Updated:- Wednesday, 15 March, 2023.


Earliest 1642-

Black Horse

Open 2020+

The Street / Maypole Lane in 1851Census


01233 840668

Black Horse 1904

Above postcard, postmarked 1904, by Chris Cleave.

Black Horse 1905

Above postcard, 1905, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Horse sign 1906

Above postcard, circa 1906, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Horse Hotel

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly submitted by Mark Jennings.

Black Horse 1931

Above postcard, circa 1931, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Horse 1940

Above postcard, 1940, kindly sent by Garth Wyver.

Black Horse 1957

Above postcard, circa 1957, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Horse 1977

Above postcard, 1977, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Horse 1988

Above photo, 1988.

Black Horse 2009

Above photo 2009 by Oast House Archives Creative Commons Licence.

Black Horse 2011

Photo by Nigel Chadwick 2011 from

Black Horse cardBlack Horse card

Above card, date and series unknown.

Black Horse sign 1967Black Horse sign 2014

Above sign left, 1967, sign right, painted by local Sign Artist, Peter J Ordreive, date 2014.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Black Horse 2019

Above photo 2019.


The Black Horse was once a farmhouse with its own moat, and then the bailiff's house from which the Dering Estate was managed. A delightful fifteenth century building, the pub has a poltergeist, nothing unusual in a village with as many ghosts as Pluckley claims to have.

The Black Horse was the family emblem of the Dering family who owned much of Pluckley and surrounding areas.

Dering windows are found in Pluckley and surrounding areas, and named after the Dering family. They are identified by their round tops above each casement.

It is said that during the civil war (1642-1652) one of the Royalist members of the Dering family escaped through one of these windows. Considering them lucky, Sir Edward Cholmeley Dering had all the windows on the estate (which included much of the village) replaced with the same style windows.


Salisbury and Winchester Journal 27 November 1820.

Two very large turnips were lately grown on land at Surrenden, in the occupation of Mr. Peter Richards, of the "Black Horse," Pluckley; one of which weighed 17 lbs and measured three feet two inches in circumference; the other weighed 16 lbs. and measured three feet in circumference.


From the Kentish Gazette, 28 November 1843.


A PIGEON SHOOTING MATCH for a FAT HOG, weighing 40 Score, by 20 Subscribers, at 20s. each, will come off at the "Black Horse Inn," PLUCKLEY, within a mile of the South Eastern Railway Station on THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28, 1843. Charge of Shot limited to 1 1/2 ounce. Names to be entered by Thursday, December 21st, and the Money to be paid in advance.

For further Particulars, &c., apply to R. Rose, Bread and Biscuit Baker, Pluckley, Kent.


Kentish Gazette 13 February 1849.


A few evenings since, the landlord of the "Black Horse Inn," Pluckley, on crossing the road at about nine o'clock, saw a person lying on his back, with his arms extended. He (supposing the person to be intoxicated) went to assist him by placing him on his legs, when to all appearance he was asleep, but on taking him into his house, with the assistance of other parties, it was discovered that he was dead. He proved to be Mr. Firman, late of the "Walnut Tree Inn," Aldington, who had arrived at the Pluckley station, and was on his way to Charing, where he resided. He had a considerable sum of money on his person.


Kentish Gazette 5 September 1865.

Mischievously Drunk.

A foolishly talkative old fellow, belonging to Pluckley, named John Lennard, was charged with unlawfully damaging a certain harness, the property of John Hills, of Ashford, baker.

It appeared that Hills and a man named Spicer, are in the habit of travelling about the country with fish. On Saturday evening week, they stopped at the "Black Horse Inn," Pluckley, with their cart, and while Spicer, who is known as “Folkestone Billy,” went into the house to sell the fish, Hills remained outside holding the horse by the head. Several idlers outside began playing tricks with the cart, and the defendant undid the breeching, &c. On being remonstrated with, he said "If Hills did not like that, he would cut the harness," and he did in fact cut the reins and belly girth with a garden knife. He was the worse for liquor, and some of the parties hoisted him up in the cart, where he sat till "Billy" came out.

The defendant said he did not cut the harness; two young men named Pile and Buss placed him in the cart, and then cut the harness that he might be tipped out. The Magistrates fined the defendant 10s., the amount of damage to the harness, 1s. penalty and 11s. costs, or one month’s imprisonment with hard labour.


From accessed 17 June 2015.


The village, reports claim, as being the most haunted in the country. At one time in village history, people said there were 12 ghosts haunting Pluckley. These included a phantom coach and horses, black dogs, White Ladies, a Red Lady, with a man who screams. When an earlier Lady Dering died, a gravedigger buried her body in three coffins to keep her young and beautiful forever. However, she escaped the coffins, she is said to manifest in the church with a red rose in her hand. The ghost of another, Lady Dering, witnesses see, wandering looking for a child that she had lost giving birth. Some years ago, a taxi driver reported picking up a fare at the side of the road in Pluckley. However, when he turned around to ask the passenger for his destination, the man had disappeared. At the "Black Horse," there are reports of articles being spirited away on a regular basis, only to be replaced in much the same position later. The proprietor of the "Walnut Tree," Aldington, said that a woman he knew was working at the "Black Horse," who put down her handbag and cardigan in the same place every day. On one occasion, they went missing, and, two years later to the day, there was a thunderous knocking at the back door. When one of the kitchen staff opened the door, there was no one to be seen. Shortly afterwards, the cardigan and bag, people found, where they had been left previously. The poltergeist in residence is a woman called Jessie Brooks who expired in the skittle alley. She is also seen wandering, searching for a child she had lost, according to the legend.


From the By Ed McConnell, 28 October 2019.

Haunted pubs in Kent this Halloween.

Kent's colourful history and strong ties to smuggling mean it has its fair share of ghost stories.

Pluckley's title of England's Most Haunted Village means, according to the owner's of the "Black Horse," that it must therefore be one of the most haunted pubs in the country and at the very least the most haunted in Kent, and who are we to argue? Back in 1989 the people at Guinness World Records awarded the picturesque rural settlement Most Haunted status and officially recorded it as being home to 12 ghosts, although some claim there are 16. It's unclear exactly how they settled on the lower figure but the list includes the spirit of an old lady who, drunk on gin, inadvertently torched herself while trying to flog watercress (The Watercress Woman), a highwayman reportedly pinned to a tree by a sword and a screaming man who fell to his death at a brickworks. The pub itself was built in the 1470s and has since collected two ghouls. One poltergeist is known for moving glasses and belongings which can go missing "for days on end", while punters have also felt and seen the presence of a small boy. It is, however, hard to find much back story for either.


From an email received 16 November 2020.

I am writing to share some information about the “Black Horse” pub in Pluckley.

I have recently discovered that there have been sightings that others have also witnessed. All this time I thought I was going mental after my encounter and the understanding that what I saw wasn’t real. However I can still remember exactly what I saw.

Me and my Friend went to Pluckley, we’ve both always wanted to look around for ourselves, we took a walk around everywhere and spent most of the day there.

As we were about to leave to return home, we were in the car and both noticed the curtain in the top middle window of the pub was moving as if someone was there, so we sat there watching this go on for some time until it stopped. We looked away momentarily and on looking back saw this little boy holding open the window just staring at us, with a dead look in the eyes. Everyone else was just walking past and didn't seem to noticed him. He was very very pale, his hair swept to the side and he appeared to be wearing Victorian clothes, like a chequered blazer with a white top. We drove off and right up to turning the corner his eyes appeared to be following the car. We’ve not been there since.

Macy Cooper.


From an email received 30 July 2021.

We visited the Black Horse in Pluckley a few weeks ago. I was sitting with my mum having a wonderful lunch together and my mum had a cold shiver running down her and I was making fun of there being a presence behind her (safe to say she was not amused). About 20 minutes later I, for some reason, looked to my left and saw a small boy with Sandy hair and a white shirt and jacket. He was just standing there, staring at me. The owner walked by a couple of seconds later and he was gone. Safe to say it freaked me out and I told my mum about what just happened. I managed to talk myself out of it and we returned to our holiday cottage in Whitstable.

However my mum went on a search to see if anyone else had seen the same thing and lo and behold your website has someone with the same ghost. I am a creative person and my imagination does get away with me but the vision of him standing there was as clear as day and exactly how the other person described him. The only difference being I was in the building. I can still see him in my head a few weeks later standing there as he looked so helpless and sad.

Yours faithfully,

Abi Porter.


As the information is found or sent to me, including photographs, it will be shown here.

Thanks for your co-operation.



RICHARDS Peter 1820+

SMITH Nathaniel 1841-71+ (widow age 69 in 1871Census)

SMITH Robert (son) 1881-91+ (age 45 in 1891Census)

KEELER Harry 1901-03+ (age 40 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

FIDLER William Joseph 1911+ (age 48 in 1911Census)

STAUNTON Drew & Peggy pre 1970s Next pub licensee had


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903



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