DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Saturday, 12 February, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1828-

Bull's Head

Open 2020+

Rushmore Hill

Pratts Bottom

Orpington

01689 639233

https://whatpub.com/bulls-head

Bull's Head 2006

Above photo 2006 by Dr Neil Clifton Creative Commons Licence.

Bulls Head 2015

Above photo circa 2015.

Bulls Head inside 2015

Above photo 2015.

Bulls Head sign 2015

Above sign 2015.

 

I have also seen this addressed as Pratts Bottom Chelsfield.

 

Kentish Gazette, 2 January, 1779.

To be sold by auction, on Friday, 29th of January, 1779, at the house of Thomas Hall, known by the sign of the "Bulls Head Inn," at Spratt's Bottom, in Kent, between the hours of 4 and 6 of the clock in the afternoon, subject to such conditions as will be then and their produced.

All that Messuage or Tenement, with the Barn, Stable, Yard, Garden, Orchard, and Appurtenances; and also several Pieces or Parcels of Land, containing 14 Acres or thereabouts, situate in Chestfield in the said County; now and the occupation of Henry Whitehead, as tenant at will.

The Tenant will show the Premises, and further Particulars may be had by applying to Mr. Woodgate, in Sevenoaks.

 

Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Thursday 11 May 1893.

Property sales.

The freehold fully licensed premises known as the "Bulls Head," Pratts Bottom, Chelsfield, together with 4 and a half acres of meadow land and four cottages and Wesleyan Chapel adjoining, forming lots 1 and 2 of the Mans's estate, and a pair of semi-detached villa residences, known as Osborne and Vernon Villas, and a farmhouse known as Homestead Farmhouse, together with building land adjoining, forming lots 1 and 2 of Haswell's estate, recently submitted for sale by auction by Messrs. Baxter, Payne and Lepper, withdrawn, have since been sold by private treaty. The prices were very satisfactory.

 

West Middlesex Herald, Wednesday 29 November 1893.

A former Farnham landlady in trouble.

At the Bromley (Kent) Petty sessions on Monday, Kate Jeal, wife of a Billingsgate fish monger, living in Camberwell, and lately in business as a publican in Farnham, was charged with disorderly contact, and refusing to quit the "Bulls Head," Pratts Bottom, Chelsfield.

The Bench imposed a penalty of 40s. 1 9s. 6d. costs of prosecution, and 11s, 6d. costs, or 28 days hard labour, and in the event of failing to find bail in 10 to keep the peace for 6 months to serve a further one month.

Her husband, who was present, declined to be bail for his wife.

 

Above information taken from their web site, January 2017.

BULL'S HEAD/PRATT'S BOTTOM HISTORY.

The village of Pratt's Bottom gets its odd name from the Pratt family, who lived in the valley from the 14th century onwards. The village was unremarkable until it became a key stopping off point for stagecoaches on the toll road from London to Hastings or Tunbridge Wells. The "Bull's Head" has stood on its current site for roughly 400 years, so was perfectly placed to take advantage of passing trade.

The stagecoaches were a unique selling point, but also had negative consequences, as the village soon became the haunt of smugglers and highwaymen. It is even rumoured amongst locals that the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin frequented the "Bull’s Head Inn" until he was caught horse stealing in 1739 and hanged for his crime. Local folklore has it that he slept in Pear Tree Cottage in the village, and moved between it and the pub through a tunnel which was long since bricked up.

The pub suffered a series of disastrous image changes, from trendy wine bar in the late eighties/early nineties to dowdy old boozer throughout the latter part of the 90's with as many as 10 different Guvnor's coming and going. Then in early 2003 ex headmaster and long time thespian Vernon Leese took over the reigns, and turned the pub into a village meeting point, and a wonderful place to come for a drink, until selling the pub's lease to two locally based businessmen who loved the pub so much, they got together to buy it. So, in mid August 2013 Matthew Coady and Andy Harding literally took the Bull by the horns, and bought the place. The "Bull's Head" is currently getting a much needed refurb, repaint, and rebrand.

And so, another chapter in the Historic life of the village pub has begun.

The name is first recorded as Spratts Bottom in 1773 and by 1791 it had changed to the present form. The meaning is likely to be valley of a family called Pratt. (One or two Pratt's are certainly still in the village.. The Ed.)

It formed part of the ancient, and later civil, parish of Chelsfield in Kent, and was part of the Bromley Rural District from 1894. The parish was abolished in 1934 and the village became part of Orpington Urban District In 1965 it was transferred to Greater London, to form part of the London Borough of Bromley.

A tollgate stood in the village for many years. The turnpike cottage was demolished in the 1930s but is still seen as emblematic of the village, so much so that it is the basis of the recent village sign placed on the green. Local Historian, and super nice lady Sue Short has written a book about the history of the village titled Pratts Bottom: A Journey Through Life.

You can still pick up a copy, and its certainly worth a read. Find out more about the village at:

www.prattsbottom.co.uk

From the https://www.mylondon.news By Ellie McKinnell, 6 January 2020.

Historic Pratt's Bottom village pub in Bromley closes for huge refurbishment.

The plans for the renovation look very exciting.

Bull's Head bar 2020

The Bull's Head will keep its village pub charm (Image: Star Pubs & Bars).

There's no better way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon or weekday evening after a long day at work than sat in a quaint village pub sipping a pint of beer alongside a huge plate of fish and chips.

One such pub is The Bull's Head, the only pub in Pratt's Bottom on the outskirts of Orpington, in Bromley - but stop before you head out there for a visit.

The pub, on Rushmore Hill, closed on Sunday, January 5 for a major 334,000 refurbishment that'll see the outside get a significant facelift, the inside get redecorated and a new pizzazz given to the food and drinks menu.

But have no fear, you'll be able to visit the newly rejuvenated pub in time for Valentines Day, and good news for locals is that there will be 10 new jobs on offer after the huge investment.

The plans aim to keep the character of the much-loved country pub while bringing it into the 21st century, so that it not only caters for the locals but appeals to people across South London.

Legend has it that infamous highwayman Dick Turpin frequented The Bull’s Head until he was caught horse stealing in 1739 and hanged for his crimes.

Local folklore has it that he slept in Pear Tree Cottage in the village, and moved between it and the pub through a tunnel which was long since bricked up.

When the work is complete, the exterior of the pub will turn a gorgeous redcurrant shade and will get a new sign. The current beer garden will be grown so that it can seat 60, and feature a new outdoor bar and barbecue area.

Bull's Head plans 2020

The pub will get a complete facelift (Image: Star Pubs & Bars)

The inside will get a similar treatment, with wood panelling being installed, beams stripped back and fireplaces getting a renovation.

The number of seats will almost double, and the tables and chairs in both the bar and restaurants will be replaced and refreshed.

There will also be a new kitchen and new menu offering classic pub grub, such as fish and chips, a Ploughman's sharing board and a traditional Sunday roast.

The drinks list will also be getting an update, with craft beers available for the first time, as well as a huge wine list and a choice of 25 different gins.

The plan is for there to be live acoustic music on Sundays and Sky Sports to be shown on TVs in the bar.

 

LICENSEE LIST

HALL Thomas 1779+

BROOKER Robert 1828 Pigot's Directory 1828-29

TIBBS George 1828-32+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

PEACOCK William 1841+ (also Farmer age 40 in 1841Census)

LOVELL John 1851+ (age 45 in 1851Census)

STOCKWIN Sarah Mrs 1858+

NIGHTINGALE Mary Ann 1871-74+ (widow age 55 in 1871Census)

NIGHTINGALE William 1881-82+ (age 35 in 1881Census)

CAPON Alfred 1891+ (age 57 in 1891Census)

WEATHERLEY James 1901-03+ (age 28 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

HORNSBY Edgar 1911+ (age 25 in 1911Census)

BAILEY Arthur H 1913-22+

KING James 1930+

RUSSELL Ernest 1936-38+

COURTNEY Joe 2022+ (also the "Summerfield Tavern")

https://pubwiki.co.uk/BullsHead.shtml

 

Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

CensusCensus

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:-

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