Page Updated:- Monday, 31 December, 2018.


Earliest 1606

Farriers Arms

Open 2019+

The Forstal



01233 720444

Farrier's Arms 1955

Above postcard, 1955. Kindly supplied by Rory Kehoe.

From and www.kentonline

Villagers reopen Farriers Arms pub in Mersham and

BBC South East's Bryony MacKenzie reports on the first pint of Farriers 1606.

By Luke Hollands. November 26 2009

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A village pub is set to reopen after locals clubbed together to save it from closure.

When pub-goers in Mersham heard the "Farriers Arms" was about to close they embarked on a plan to save the historic inn, which has been a key part of village life for more than 400 years. They decided to buy it.

Local businessman Richard Bishop banded together with more than 90 locals who each bought a share in the pub. Between them they helped stump up £430,000 for the purchase of the building from Punch Taverns Ltd, plus an additional £200,000 to pay for the renovation.

But as well as money, the new owners have invested their time and skills, including carpentry and plumbing.

Now after months of hard work the new-look "Farriers Arms" is to on Saturday.


By Bryony MacKenzie 23 November 2010

An abandoned east Kent village pub is celebrating its first year back in business with its own brew of bitter.

The "Farriers Arms" in Mersham, near Ashford, reopened in November 2009 after it was bought collectively by a group of villagers in April 2009.

It is now owned by 121 local shareholders and is making a profit.

The pub's bitter is brewed in what used to be the village forge. It is called Farriers 1606, named after the year the pub first opened.

Farriers 1606 is made from local east Kent hops. Everyone working at the micro-brewery is a volunteer.

Head brewer Richard Dixey said: "It was exciting but I was quite anxious at the same time.

"As it turned out I think we've brewed a very good pint of beer. Hopefully we'll sell a few more and we'll continue to make this particular brew our flagship."

The pub's shareholders hope that if the Farriers 1606 does well they will be able to extend their licence to sell it to other pubs.


Farriers Arms

Above photo kindly sent by Peter Moynahan, date unknown.

Farrier's Arms

Image by D G Seamon, published under the Creative Commons Licence.

Above image shows a line drawing of the "Farrier's Arms" taken from the Stone Green Farm website.

Farrier's Arms sign 1986Farrier's Arms sign 1991

Farriers Arms sign right April 1986, sign right July 1991.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Farriers Arms sign 2014

Above sign 2014.



In the hundred of Chart and Longbridge and ancient parish of Mersham, can be found the inn known by name and sign of the "Farriers Arms".

It was built in the 3rd year of Elizabeth I, in 1606. The water mill that lies behind the inn is mentioned in the doomsday survey, compiled in 1086. When first built the property was a farm dwelling forming part of the estate of one Simon Tindle of Ashford. In 1632, whilst still in the hands of Tindle the blacksmith's forge and stables were built. The earliest recorded blacksmith to occupy the forge and cottage is one Elias Wheeler, Farrier formerly of Bilsington. He occupied the property with his family until his death in 1673 whereupon his son Thomas took over the family business. In 1678, Thomas Wheeler, his wife Anne and his mother Martha are all recorded as blacksmith's.

In 1683, the property was owned by Richard Tindle, nephew of Simon who died in 1667 with no apparent heirs and so his estate passed to Richard by right of descendancy. The Wheelers were still in occupation and operating their business. In 1694, Thomas Wheeler, purchased the freehold of the property from the executors of the Tindle estate. He died in 1716 and left it and the business to his sons James and William. William Wheeler died in 1742 and James became the sole possessor. He died in 1761 and left everything to his son Thomas, who possessed of the property until 1772 when he sold the property to one Johnathan Epps and moved to Aldington and carried on a smithies business there. Years later, his son Thomas Junior, was convicted of smuggling and deported to Tasmania, along with other members of the infamous Ransley gang.

On the 19th April 1780, a man named John Back, who was probably the owner at the time, left the house in his will to his wife. The premises may have been referred to as the Blacksmith's Arms at that time. Records state that one Edward Back at the "Farrier's Arms" Uphill from 1800 to 1810 was living in Bell House.

John Epps worked the forge until 1802 when his son John Junior took over the business. John Epps Senior died in 1816. In April 1806 John Epps Junior married Mary Ransley. She was the sister of William and James Ransley who in 1800 had been hanged at Maidstone for highway robbery, and the cousin of George Ransley who later led the infamous Aldington gang of smugglers.

John Epps Senior and his son were both known to have taken part in the brewing of ales, and at one time the house may have been an unlicensed "tap" or "Blind Pig" as they were often referred to. In 1828, John Epps Junior sold the house and forge to one William Prebble, farrier and common beer seller, who in 1829 was granted a licence to sell ales and ciders from a premises at Mersham. He called these premises the "Farriers Arms".

On 14th January 1884, Miss Mayan Poulter sold the premises to a John Newman Longley, who was already a tenant, for the sum of £600. He sold it two years later on 28th October, 1886 to Alfred Smith, who was a brewer.

The inn has seen and undergone many changes over the years. It probably stood host to George Ransley and his gang of smugglers, before it became a licensed house. Many of its early keepers through-out the nineteenth century were smithies and still worked the forge as well as running the inn. In 1855 Richard Chamberlain, farrier, held a licence here and did so for many years to come. However nothing has changed the character of the inn. So stay, enjoy the fayre and reflect on those bygone days.


From the Telegraph 15 Sep 2010

Farriers Arms


The "Farriers Arms" was built in 1606 and unfortunately closed in 2008, after being run down for years and was likely to have been another lost village pub to add to the list, but the locals decided to do something about this trend and clubbed together to buy and run the pub themselves.

It is estimated that about 121 locals and interested parties put their money, time and enthusiasm together, bought the grade 2 listed building and are now running it as a thriving business and hub of the community.

Extensive renovations have taken place and the locals converted the pub from almost derelict to what it is now in just 6 months and reopened on 28th November 2009. There is even a solid brass brass foot-rail – from former premises of The Mariners' Mission in Hong Kong!

Excellent new toilets with marble tiling throughout have been added. A completely new bar area was constructed in English oak by one of the excellent local tradesmen. A new kitchen and forty seat restaurant has been added to the existing small but cosy dining room now called 'The Anvil Restaurant'. The garden and patio areas have been completely reconstructed using reclaimed materials. All the above work was been carried out by local trades people and other community members, for the most part free of charge. Five acres of land at the rear of the pub are also being used for various village functions.

Many functions have been held at the pub including a fireworks party of November 5th and a beer festival in 2011 in which the locals are saying it was one of the best they have even attended, with the organisers really knowing their beers.

They should do actually, as the pub also houses their own micro-brewery housed in what used to be the old forge next door, and brew such as their flagship "Farriers 1606," a 3.7% beer named after the year the premises was built. To date, other beers also produced on the premises include Bishops Brew stout (special), Christmas Ale (special and currently enjoying its second outing), Summer Gold and Harvest Plenty, and they say others will follow as time progresses.


Farriers beer lables

The pub also put on other entertainment during the year and one local says the following:- "The beer and music festival was fantastic; such a great atmosphere with the very young up to the not so young members of the village, and people from outside who love to come to the pub and are made to feel so welcome." They hold an annual village fete in their garden which also has a trout stream running through it with a bridge across to a private field where children play and other functions can take place including their new Pétanque/Boules piste. 

The pub is also reputed to be haunted but I have heard no stories relating to this as yet.


From the Kentish Gazette, 16 July, 1850




On Tuesday, the 23rd of July, 1850, at Four o'clock at the "Royal Oak Inn, Ashford, and old established FREEHOLD PUBLIC-HOUSE, called the "Farriers' Arms" situate in the parish of MERSHAM, in the county of Kent, with a substantial and compact Brewhouse, Store rooms, and Lofts, large Yards and Sheds, two three-stall stables and Chaishouse, a capital Graden, well stocked with fruit trees, bounded by the river Stour, and now in occupation of Mr. W. Prebble.

The purchaser may have immediate possession.

These premises offer many advantages for carry on the business of a brewer, as well as a licensed victualler. There is no beer-shop or other licensed house in the parish, nor any within a distance of 2 miles. If purchased by a brewer, the outbuildings may be easily converted into cottages.

For further particulars apply to Messrs. Furley and Mercer, Solicitors; Mr. John Williams, Wine Merchant, New Street; or the Auctioneers, Ashford.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 3 March 1900. Price 1d.


Charles Reuben Ring, landlord of the “Farriers' Arms,” Mersham, was fined £5 and £1 10s. 8d. costs for selling adulterated rum, whisky, and brandy, in January. The accused was that Mrs. Ring in “breaking down” the spirits had made a mistake.


From the Whitstable Times, 6 September, 1902.

Matilda M. Lankstead, landlady of the “Farriers Arms,” Mersham, pleaded guilty to selling brandy, gin, and whisky, below the standard required. She said their was but small sale for the spirits and she had neglected to put in proof spirit to make up for evaporation. Superintendent Bailey handed in certificates which showed that the brandy was 4.4 degrees below the limit, the gin 6.2 degrees and the whisky 7.83 degrees. Fines of £2, £8, and £5, in respect of the three spirits, with 10s. costs in each case were imposed, a total of £18 10s.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 21 March 1903.

George Manuel, landlord of the "Farriers' Arms," Mersham, was fined £2 and 10s. costs for selling gin 3.5 per cent, below the legal limit. He stated that the gin in question was some that was left in the house when he took it. All the other spirits had been replenished by himself, and these turned out to be pure.


Farrier's Arms business card 1955

Above business card circa 1955.

From the By Vicky Castle, 18 January 2017.

CCTV picture released after suspected burglary The Farriers Arms Pub, in The Forstal, Mersham.

CCTV images have been released of a man wanted in connection with a burglary at a pub in Mersham.

Cash, champagne and keys were reportedly stolen from The Farriers Arms Pub, in The Forstal, on Monday, December 19, between 2.30am and 10.15am.

Burglar 2017

Police said the suspect was wearing a light coloured jacket, dark trousers, dark trainers, a light coloured back pack and a hat.

Police released this image of a man they wish to speak to in connection with the burglaryPolice released this image of a man they wish to speak to in connection with the burglary.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 01843 222289 quoting reference ZY/046015/16. Alternatively contact Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.



WHEELER Elias to 1673 (Blacksmith)

WHEELER Thomas 1673-1716 (Blacksmith)

WHEELER James & William 1716-1742 (Blacksmith)

WHEELER James 1742-61 (Blacksmith)

WHEELER Thomas 1761-72 (Blacksmith)

EPPS Johnathan 1772-1802 (Blacksmith & brewer)

EPPS John Jun. 1802-28 (Blacksmith & brewer)

PREBBLE William 1828-50+ Pigot's Directory 1840 (1829 "Farrier's Arms")(age 40 in1841Census)

CHAMBERLAIN Richard 1855-71+ Melville's 1858 (age 64 in 1871Census)

RICHARDSON John 1882-84+ Post Office Directory 1882

LONGLEY John Newman 14/Jan/1884-86

SMITH Alfred 28/Oct/1886 (Brewer)

HUNTLEY George 1891+ (age 52 in 1891Census)

RING Charles Ruben 1900+ Whitstable Times

OLIVER George 31/Mar/1901+ (only listed as lodger and general labourer age 68 in 1901Census)

LANKSTEAD Maltida 1902-03+ Post Office Directory 1903

MANUEL George 1903+

KING Henry 1913+ Post Office Directory 1913

Bushell Watkins & Smith Ltd 27/Jun/1918+

COOK Reg 1954+ (Black Eagle Brewery, Westerham)

Ind Coope, London Ltd. 31/Aug/1961+

STANFORD Mick & Shirley Mar/1992+

BAKER Michael Sept/2011+


Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald



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