Page Updated:- Tuesday, 06 July, 2021.


Earliest ????

New Inn

7 Nov 1940

(Name to)

School Lane


New Inn bomb damage 1940

Above photo November 1940, showing the bomb damage.


The Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser of 10 February 1881, stated that this Beer House.

The pub was destroyed by a bomb on 7th November 1940.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser 22 July 1867.


In the County Court of Kent, holden at Sevenoaks.

In the Matter of James Perch, of the "New Inn," Plaxtol, in the Parish of Wrotham, in the County of Kent, beershop keeper and general dealer, adjudged bankrupt on the 30th day of January, 1867.

An Order of Discharge will be delivered to the Bankrupt after the expiration of thirty days from this date, unless an appeal be duly entered against the Judgement of the Court, and notice thereof be given to the Court.

W. F. Holcroft,



Maidstone Telegraph, Saturday 11 September 1869.

Applications for Spirit Licenses. The "New Inn." Plaxtol.

Mr. Rogers apply for a licence for Mr. Jenner for the "New Inn," Plaxtol.

Mr. Hoar, of Maidstone opposed on the ground that there was no necessity for another house in the neighbourhood.

The licence was refused.


Maidstone Telegraph, Saturday 10 September 1870.

Mr. W. Jenner, of the "New Inn," Plaxtol, applied for a spirit licence. No solicitor appeared for the applicant. Mr. E. Hoar was instructed to oppose the concession of the licence.

In answer to the bench applicant stated that his house was on the old road from Wrotham to Tunbridge. He had no memorial to support his application. He had one last year and therefore did not think another was necessary this year.

Mr. E. Hoar contended that the applicant had brought no new facts forward to support his claim, which had been rejected twice previously by the bench.

The licence was refused.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 26 September, 1873.


William Jenner, inn keeper, (New Inn) of Sevenoaks Weald, and Mark Hills, of the City of Westminster, police constable, were summoned for being drunk, violent, quarrelsome, and disorderly in the "Blue Anchor" beerhouse, Leigh, on the 12th inst., and refusing to quit when requested to do so by the landlord, Richard Gasson.

Mr. Palmer supported the case, and said the charge against Hills had been withdrawn.

Caroline Gasson, the daughter of the landlord, said that on the night of the 12th inst., at about eight o’clock, the defendant Jenner and a man named Hills were in the house, and the defendant called her mother very bad names. Her father told him to be quiet and go out, when the defendant threw his arms about and swore he would kill her father in his own house. He was again requested to leave but he refused to do so, and was very violent. The other man Hills remained in the house for an hour and a half.

Mrs. Caroline Gasson, the wife of the landlord, said she saw the defendant call at the house, and she corroborated her daughter’s statement. She also added that on Thursday evening she saw the defendant with P.C. Irwin, when he said it would be her worst day’s work if ever she went against him, he would ruin her.

P.C. Irwin said he saw the defendant, when he accompanied Mrs. Gasson to him, and then he said it would be the worst day's work she ever did if she went against him.

Defendant denied that he was drunk, or said the words imputed to him, or that he was ordered to leave. When they went in his friend called for a pint of beer, but when he made his appearance they took it away.

The Bench fined the defendant 2 and 19s costs, and added that the defendant’s conduct in this case had been most outrageous. He, a man keeping a public-house himself to go to another public-house, was, they thought, extremely disgraceful. Not only that, he had threatened the parties in the case to do them harm, and they considered the case a bad one.

The case against Hills was withdrawn, it was stated, by the consent of Major Scoones, Mr. Palmer suggesting 'because he was a policeman.’


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 15 January 1898.


At the West Kent Quarter Sessions, on Thursday, before Lord Medway, George Poile, a constable in the Kent County police force, was indicted for stealing various articles from the premises of John Hammond, landlord of the "New Inn," Plaxtol, between the months of October and December. Accused, who was stationed at Plaxtol at the time of the robberies and received reports of the same, was convicted, and sentenced to 18 months' hard labour. No evidence was offered on other charges.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 15 November 1940.

The Countryside Is Taking It.

More Murderous Enemy Attacks On The Villages.

Crowds see German Heinkel brought down. After it had attacked a hunt meet raiders wreck a public house and a spoil a game of crib. Houses damaged but few casualties.

With monotonous regularity except on those occasions when weather conditions and our bombers have so hampered them that their activities have been confined to small raids - enemy activities have been concentrated on routes leading to the metropolis, with the result that the countryside has once again been subjected to some hammering. They have, however, been surprisingly few casualties.

On Thursday night 10 head of cattle and a horse were killed when 16 bombs were dropped across a village which has previously been visited. One fell near a Messerschmitt which had been brought down some days before.

There was plenty of excitement over a south-south town on Friday when there were some sharp ariel encounters with the enemy resulting in some of the raiders being brought down. People in the streets or some amazing "sky writing."

On Saturday morning a German Heinkel bomber made an attack on the meet of a famous hunt. Those attending the meet were bombed and machine gunned, but there were no casualties. Shortly afterwards a Hurricane dived out of the clouds, got in a couple of bursts, and the raider fell. Two of the crew baled out, and one was seen to descend by parachute. This airman landed in a coppice, and when rescued was found to be shot through the legs. The machine crashed miles away.

Dozens of houses were damaged, an inn demolished, and valuable stained glass at a parish church smashed, when a Nazi night rider dropped eight high explosive bombs on a little country village on Thursday night, but there was only one minor casualty. There were many people in the inn, workers were temporarily cut off from their beer supply, and an exciting game of crib was suddenly terminated. "The blighter would choose our pub," moaned one of the company who walked out quite unperturbed.

Houses damaged about a month ago on a council's housing estate on the outskirts of another town were damaged again on Sunday. Three people were injured by the flying glass.

There was a deliberate dive bombing attack on the residential area of another town, resulting in damage to property and the death of one resident, and some remarkable escapes.

In another district of farmer was killed on going out to see if he's cattle were alright.

Two houses in a third town were completely wrecked, and of the several casualties some were fatal.

It was estimated that anything between 100 and 150 high explosive bombs were dropped over one corner of Kent during the night on Thursday. In the main the result was further disfigurement of the countryside and the slaughter of cattle, but in some parts they were casualties and more extensive damage. At one farm, which is in close proximity to a picturesque little church in an equally pretty village, the house escaped serious harm when it came in the line of fire of 16 bombs. After one had fallen near a hedge behind which was a wrecked Messerschmitt, another fell at the bottom of a haystack, turning it upside down.

The fencing around it was blown into fields, slates were dislodged from the nearby sheds, and the roof of the farmhouse also suffered, but it was under two clumps of trees not many yards further away that the main damage was caused. below the first clump of trees were five milking cows which had been killed by a hail of shrapnel. The sight was a repulsive one. near a hedge lay a chestnut horse that had to be destroyed lying in agony some hours. It is stated that the farmer telephoned for a veterinary surgeon to come and put an end to the animal's misery, but after waiting and waiting, another surgeon was telephoned for and the animal destroyed. It had its nearside foreleg broken in three places. Under a further clump of trees were another five cows. These, too, had been killed by shrapnel. Prior to this attack anything between 8 and 16 bombs had been dropped in the same locality without doing damage.


Hurricane Swoop Down On A Heinkel.

On Friday people in the streets in the same South-east town had a perfect view of some 60 year 80 'planes, raiders and Spitfires and Hurricanes, doing battle over a wide area. Flying at a tremendous height they passed through fleecy clouds into the clear blue sky like rockets with long white trials of smoke. They did some fantastic turns which left the sky adorned with a mass of streaks which fascinated the crowds that watched. In this battle the enemy lost several of their fighters.

There was more excitement on Saturday morning. Business was proceeding as usual without any interruption from the sirens when suddenly a German Heinkel and two other raiders were seen to dive out of the clouds. Then as if from nowhere there appeared a Hurricane which swooped down like a hawk on its prey. Before the Heinkel pilot became aware of the presence of the British fighter the Hurricane had giving him a couple of bursts and he was sent downwards to his doom. Simultaneously there were four loud explosions, to as though bombs had been released, and two as though the machine gun fire from the Hurricane and either hit the bomb rack or the petrol tank.


German Pilot Wounded.

The 'plane went diving to earth and two of the crew were seen to bale out, but only one came down alive. The one descending by means of a parachute took some time to get down. When he landed he found himself at the top of a tree in a coppice only a mile or two from the town where people in the streets had been thrilled. When rescued from the tree by the police and taken to hospital it was found that the pilot had been shot through the legs. The 'plane crashed near Bethersden. Almost as soon as the crash had taken place an official entered into a room of a South-east town where the Mayor was holding a reception and acquainted the company that a Heinkel had just been brought down. The toast was "The Royal Air Force.


Unpleasant Experience.

It was this Heinkel that had dived out of the cloud to find that a meet was taking place of a famous hunt. Just as the meet was congregating 'planes were heard overhead, and then a moment the pilot took in the situation and let loose a number of bombs and at the same time machine gunned those attending the meet. All threw themselves to the ground - including a well-known Marques and Marchioness - and all escaped injury. The Hunt had met in a lane, and there was little covering under which to take shelter. The hounds, which will further down the lane, also escaped injury.

An onlooker said it was an unpleasant experience. "We heard the plane all planes overhead," he said, "and then we heard the whistle of the bombs as they came down and crashed a short distance away. There could be no mistake that it was a deliberate attack. There was a shout to take cover, but all we could do was to fall flat. The horses behave magnificently. They weren't disturbed the all by the explosions."


Bombs Rain on Kent Village.

Inn gets direct hit but customers walk out unharmed.

Dozens of houses were damage, an inn half demolished, and valuable stained glasses at the parish church smashed when a Nazi night raider dropped 8 high explosive bombs on a little country village on Thursday. But in spite of the damage there was only one casualty - Mr. F Barham, who was cut on the head by a piece of flying glass.

Customers at the "New Inn," which stands on a corner of the centre of the village, had an amazing escape from injury when a bomb fell directly on it, demolishing the upper part of the building. In addition to the landlord, Mr. Sellens, and his wife and 12-year-old son, there were four people on the premises. Ten minutes before the adjourning bar, which was wrecked, had been full, but the customers present at the time were all in the public bar and had no more than bits of ceilings fall on them. Upstairs a sitting room and a bedroom were wrecked and the furniture was destroyed.


Spoilt A Good Crib.

Mr. W. Cunningham told how he was sitting by the window playing a hand of crib with another customer when the crash came. "The first thing I knew was that there was a terrific bang, and before I had time to do anything a piece of ceiling came down on my back. I had heard a Jerry going over here, but didn't think anything about that, and I didn't hear the bombs coming down, so I didn't have time to get a bit of cover. It didn't upset me though," he added, "but that finished my beer and as it wasn't very comfortable I walked home.

Mr. Sellens has been licensee of the "New Inn" for only a week, but he is undaunted, and on Saturday while workmen were clearing away the wreckage, a notice stood outside the door reading "Open." And nailed to the board was a horseshoes!


Wife's Photo Intact.

This same bomb wrecked the windows and roof of a butcher's shop belonging to Mr. F. S. Barham, which is directly opposite. It was Mr. Barham's son who was injured as a shop window came crashing in. So violent was the explosion that a bomb splinter cut clean through an iron framework, through a sheep and finished up in the back room. In a sitting room above the shop all the furniture was demolished. "The only thing left is a picture of my wife," said Mr. Barham.

Windows at a nearby forge smashed, and a piece of the bomb cut clean through a thick branch of a yew tree standing outside. Windows and roofs of a row of cottages adjoining the inn were also damaged.


Another Church Suffers.

Blast and splinters from another bomb did considerable damage to the beautiful old parish church. Practically every window on one side was wrecked, and some valuable stained glass was shattered by the Nazi vandals, while many tiles were knocked off the roof.

Ashenden, a house which had been damaged previously, was hit at the back and a garage was demolished and a car inside wrecked. Another bomb fell in the middle of the road, where it made only a small crater, but the explosion uprooted stout iron railings set in stone and left bent and twisted metal.

Three bombs fell around the house known as, Cobb Orchard, smashing the greenhouse, windows and tiles and blowing down fencing and trees.


Houses Twice Damage.

Damaged by bombs which fell about a month ago and only just repaired and made habitable again, some houses on a Council's housing estate on the outskirts of a South-eastern town were again hit early on Sunday morning. Altogether some dozen bombs were dropped, but fortunately the greater number fell in a wood. No house was directly hit, but two fill in the roadway, and one landed on an oak tree and it was the blast from this which one which so severely damaged the houses. All the inhabitants were in bed at the time and because of this there were no serious casualties. Only three people were injured, two by flying glass.

Altogether some 40 houses were damaged, about half of them badly, and many of the families had to find other accommodation. The St. Saviour's Hall was used as a rest room and canteen, and this was opened and functioning within an hour of the incident.

Those who received injuries necessitating treatment were Pearl Green, aged 13 years, who was sent to hospital with abdominal injuries caused by falling debris; William Richard Reed, aged 76 years, who had cuts on forehead, and Henry Shoebridge, aged 19 years, who also had small cuts on his forehead.


Farmer Killed.

Pursuing his usual practice of going out to see if his cows were all right whilst enemy bombs were dropping on Friday evening, Mr. H. Welfare, a farmer, was himself instantaneously killed. High Incendiaries fell on two sides of the farm, which is situated in a hamlet on a main road between two towns in the South East of England, and the same bomb that killed Mr. Welfare also destroyed live stock. His daughter, Miss G. Welfare, who was in the house, was dazed by the concussion, and was afterwards conveyed by car to a friend's house. Mrs. Welfare has been a patient in hospital for some time.

Neighbour's say that several bombs were dropped, which shook their houses. Damage was caused to Mr. Welfare's house and farm buildings, and the windows of a Methodist chapel across the road were shattered. One of the bombs almost struck the kerbing on this side of the road.

Some pedestrians related how they threw themselves down when they heard the bombs falling, afterwards picking themselves up covered in mud.

During Friday's air fighting cannon shells fell and exploded near a South East Village, and a small boy receives slight injuries.


Deliberate Dive Bombing.

Outskirts of the town suffer, but the flag was kept flying.

A deliberate dive bombing attack on a residential area on the edge of a South-eastern town on Friday resulted in damage to property and the death of one resident, but a number of people have remarkable escapes.

The resident, with his wife and her sister were upstairs at the time when they heard a plane approaching. The ladies started to make their way down stairs, when the house received a direct hit from one a stick of bombs.

"The next thing I remember after starting for down stairs," said the lady of the house, "was finding myself, with my sister, on a heap of bricks in the hall."

They were both suffering from bruises.

"I at once called out to my husband," she continued, "but as I got no reply I realised what must have happened."

Her husband, who had no time to make his escape from upstairs before the bomb fell and laid half the house in ruins, was killed instantly.


Help Came Quickly.

This lady paid tribute to the speedy help available. "Help seemed to come very quickly, she said, for as soon as we had made our way out there were already A.R.P. workers and neighbours in the road.

Damage was also caused to the house next door, but fortunately none of the occupants were injured, but a member of the staff of the school nearby who was in the roadway at the time suffered concussion and a fractured leg.

The sports pavilion of a well-known school for boys was wrecked by a direct hit, with debris being scattered over the playing fields. Other bombs severely damaged the rugby pitches, other parts of the playing fields and the private road leading to the fields. Amid the wreckage of the pavilion a mirror hung unbroken on the wall of one of the badly damage dressing rooms.


The Old School Flag.

Next morning, when the boys went to survey the damage, one of them lost no time in hoisting the school flag on a flagpole at the pavilion. The flag, with its emblem symbolical of British toughness, waved gay defiance to the enemy!

Near the pavilion stands the house of a prominent official in the town and here the kitchen wall was badly cracked, while damage was also done to the garage and two windows and roof tiles of the house.

This official said they were all in the lounge on the side of the house away from the bomb and no one was hurt.

"But," he added, "my daughter was just about to leave the house, then stopped have a glass of sherry, otherwise she would have been outside just as the bombs were falling, and would most probably have been killed or injured.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 15 November 1940.



There were several casualties, a number of them fatal, when a large bomb fell between two detached houses in a small South-Eastern town on Sunday evening. These two houses were demolished, at least five others of a similar type were very severely damaged, and many more received minor damage to a greater or less degree.

Except for two cases of quite minor injury, all the casualties occurred in the two houses which were demolished. A well-known local gentleman and his wife had an amazing escape from death in one, though both were treated in hospital. The lady, who was extricated from the ruins in a matter of minutes, was in the kitchen of her home when the bomb fell. She suffered only from shock.

Her husband was seated at a table in the drawing room, and when the house collapsed the table was wedged and took a good deal of the debris, and probably saved his life, though he received somewhat severe injuries to one arm.

He was, however, fully conscious, and able to direct rescuers to other people who had been in the same room with him. Unhappily some of these—one of them a lady who had been seated beside the fire at the time the bomb fell—were dead when they were found.

Other fatal casualties occurred in the adjoining house, which was also completely wrecked. Rescue workers were at first uncertain how many people were in this house, but it was eventually ascertained that two ladies—one of them elderly—and a little girl were trapped. It was not until some hours later that the body of the elderly lady was recovered.

The bomb spread devastation over a wide area, and there were many remarkable escapes, from serious injury, and apart from the occupants of the houses directly concerned there were only three people hurt—two ladles and a schoolboy. They were all in houses nearby, and none suffered from more than minor injuries.

Many plate glass windows in the shopping area, some little distance away, were shattered, and other buildings which suffered similarly included the local police station.


The story of Mr. Stanley Brockese, whose house is directly opposite those which were wrecked, speaks for itself.

"We heard nothing," he said, "but a sudden 'swish' followed by a tremendous explosion and the sound of falling masonry. My two children had the most amazing escapes. One was asleep in an ante-room downstairs and the other was upstairs. Our ten-months old baby's cot was simply covered with rubbish and in the wall downstairs, quite near the little one's bed there was a gaping hole in the wall. Actually it was only with difficulty that I forced my way into the upstairs bedroom.

"Still, I am thankful, for apart from the house, and perhaps 60 worth of damage to our personal property, we have lost nothing. None of us were hurt, except my wife, who had a cut upon the temple and bruises to her legs. No one, in fact, could fail to see the hand of God in our escape.

"Once or twice in my life,'' said Mr, Brockes. "I have seen his hand stretched out to protect me and mine."


Mr. C. Nightingail, who lives only two doors from the affected houses, told how providentially he and his family chanced to be under cover.

"I have had a concrete shelter erected in my garage." he said, "But we have only used it for this last three nights. We have had bunks put in, and my wife and I were both in the shelter hearing our little girl say her prayers when the crash came. There had been very heavy gunfire just before, and we knew nothing of the bomb until it exploded."

Mr. Nightingale's house was badly damaged, and the doors of the garage, a few inches behind the shelter, were torn off by the blast. An evacuated schoolboy staying with him was upstairs at the time. He received slight injuries to his arm. Mr. Nightingail mentioned that his own home had been deprived of none of the essential services—he was even able to use the telephone a very few minutes afterwards—and he spoke also of the promptitude with which the various services were on the scene.

As to this, let a warden speak. This gentleman, the manager of a well-known local hotel, was due on duty a few minutes afterwards.

"I was standing at the door of my office." he said, "When I heard the bomb falling. It seemed to be released from behind me and to come rushing down over my head I heard the glass fall from some of our windows and when I saw the pall of smoke I thought at first the bomb had fallen in the Recreation Ground opposite.

Tribute to Rescue Workers.

"It was remarkable the speed with which the various services turned out. The Rescue and Demolition Squad, whose depot is not far away, were on the spot even before they could be summoned. The Fire Brigade had to deal with a small fire—probably caused when the grates of the houses were blown out—and they were equally prompt. Although it was the first call they had had in this neighbourhood, the rescue workers seemed to know exactly what to do, and worked with wonderful method. Helped by some soldiers who were passing, they tolled like blacks, with no thought of their own safety. As soon ss there was a little cavity, down went one of the workers to investigate and see if anyone beneath needed succour- absolutely heedless that the debris might fall back upon us.

"An officer who came upon the scene told me afterwards he thought it marvellous that such a small place should have such a fine gang of men.''

Another bomb which fell at almost the same time landed in open country and caused little material damage.



A mother and her five young children were sheltering in the passage of their bungalow on Friday when their dwelling was shattered by one of a string of bombs dropped by a Nazi raider on a hamlet in South-East England. Apart from a few bungalows, the only building anywhere near is an institution and it was due to the prompt action of an officer from there that the family were all safely rescued.
Although the windows of his own house had been blown in by the same bomb, the officer, Mr. W. Smith, went immediately to aid the trapped people.

"I could hear Mrs. Jeffries calling," he said, "and went out to see what I could do."

"I never thought I could jump," he said, looking round at the high gate which leads to the institution, "but I jumped that gate somehow. By breaking what seemed to be poles. I was able to reach Mrs. Jeffries and release her. She was wonderfully brave, and told me where the children were. They were covered by about two feet of debris, and under that lay like peas in a pod, with the bed clothes covering them.

"Soon others were on the spot, and it was fortunate that there was other help, for by the time I reached the last two children they were in grave danger of being suffocated. To get at them I had to lift two large pieces of masonry, and if I had not had the help of Mr. Mitchell (another neighbour, whose bungalow was also damaged) I should have been in real difficulty, for I dare not move the slabs for fear I might put them down upon one of the children. So as I held them up, Mr. Mitchell drew a child out."

The last of the children Mr. Smith recovered by himself and carried to the institution, where the family were accommodated for the night. "He lay a dead weight in my arms," said Mr. Smith "and I did not know whether he was alive or dead, but as I carried him along one of the corridors he stirred and spoke to me."

Mr. Smith spoke warmly of the presence of mind of all the family, and of the help promptly rendered by those living near. Including Mrs. Pratt and Mr. Mitchell.

Apart from slight cuts to one of the elder girls, there were no injuries, though two bungalows were extensively damaged, and a good deal of damage done to certain buildings at the institution.


Kent & Sussex Courier 14 February 1941.


Pursuant to the Trustee Act, 1925.

All Persons having claims against the Estate of Harry Morris late of the "New Inn," Plaxtol in the County of Kent, who died on the 11th day of August 1940 and whose Will was proved on the 29th day of October 1940 in the Principal Probate Registry, are required to send written particulars to the under-signed by the 23rd day of April, 1941, after which date the Executors will distribute the deceased's estate, having regard only to valid claims then notified.

Dated this 4th day of February, 1941.

Stone, Simpson & Hanson,

21 and 23, Church Road, Tunbridge Wells,

Solicitors for the Executors.


William Knowles tells me that there were ten people in the bar when it was bombed but none of them were hurt. One bar was kept open while it was being rebuilt and the landlord's family moved back in in March 1941.

Anthony Sellens says that his dad lived there and had moved from Seal to be safe, just before the bombing he was being naughty and hid under the kitchen table.

The pub must have been repaired as I believe the name was changed to the "Rorty Crankle" till its eventual closure in 1986.



PERCH James to July/1867

JENNER William 1869-73 Feb/1881 (age 43 in 1881Census) Maidstone TelegraphSevenoaks Chronicle

HENDRY Robert James Feb/1881-91+ (also butcher age 32 in 1891Census) Sevenoaks Chronicle

HAMMOND John 1898-1901+ (age 41 in 1901Census)

MORRIS Harry to 11/Aug/1940 dec'd

SELLENS Mr Nov/1940+


Sevenoaks ChronicleSevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser

Maidstone TelegraphMaidstone Telegraph



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