Page Updated:- Monday, 31 December, 2018.


Earliest 1711-


Open 2019+


St Mary in the Marsh

01797 362139

Star 1983

Above photo 21 August 1983. Kindly supplied by Chris Excell.

Star Inn sign 1985

Above sign, May 1985.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Christmas inside the Star

Above postcard, date unknown, show a Christmas scene inside the Star. Date unknown.


The building dates back to the late 15th Century as thatched farm dwelling, with the earliest sale document dated 1542 when the property was sold for 18. In 1711 the property passed to Anthony Jessup, a farmer and brewer who had moved to the Marsh from nearby Ashford. In the same year Jessup registered the building as an ale house and was granted an ale and cider licence, however it was not until 1732 that the house became The Star.

During the latter half of the 18th and early 19th Centuries The Star provided shelter for shepherds and their sheep during the lambing season.

In the early 20th Century Noel Coward rented The Star Inn cottage whilst looking for a house to buy. It was during his stay that Coward became acquainted with Edith Nesbit, author of The Railway Children, who lived nearby and is buried in the churchyard opposite. It is believed that Coward wrote his first successful play whilst staying in the cottage.


The Inn known as "The Star" was built during the reign of Edward IV (1471 - 1483) in the year 1476. The same year that William Caxton set up his first printing press at Westminster.

When first built, the house was a thatched farm dwelling. The earliest recorded occupant of the property is one Isaac Coats, Yeoman of the parish of Tenterden who is mentioned in a sale document of 1542 when the property was taken over by one Thomas Bealey. The property, which was described as:- "One messuage, with attached kitchen, barn, 18 acres of arable land held by Walter Goden previously held by Isaac Coats purchased by said Bealey", was sold for the sum of 18 pounds. The sale included two stock horses purchased by Bealey at 1 guinea each.

Over a century later in 1658 the property was in the hands of one Amos Dunstare a farmer and harness maker of Ashford. Dunstare resided here with his wife Maudistly and five children. In 1687, Maudistly Dunstare is recorded as a widow, still in occupation here with three of her children remaining.

In 1711 the property was purchased by one Anthony Jessup, a farmer and brewer, previously residing in Ashford. In the same year Jessup was granted an ale and cider licence and the house was registered as an ale house. At this date no title was given to the inn. In 1732 one Thomas Kemp came and resided here and named the house "The Star" the origin of which dates back to the eleventh century when inns and taverns stood within the precincts of parish churches and many of them were given titles bearing religous meaning.

The Star is mentioned in the will of one Jonathan Titmas drawn up in 1763. Titmas a former shepherd decreed that:- "upon mye passinge mye tenemente situate and lyinge within St Marys, knowne bye nayme and sine of "The Star", with its lande and cattle theretoe belonginge be tayken up bye mye wiefe Charlotte and lete nothinge contrarie to this the trewe menainge of this mye laste will and testamente".

During the eighteenth century when tithes were collected from the parish, the rector held tithe suppers at The Star. Easter Vestry meetings were also held here and on the odd occasion when attendance at the church was thin the rector held sermons here.

During the latter half of the eighteenth century and early part of the nineteenth centuries fires burned continually at The Star during lambing season, as a sign to shepherds tending their flock to come and take shelter at the inn. Many came, bringing sick lambs with them.

In the earlier days of his career the eminent playwright Sir Noel Coward lived in the cottage adjacent to the inn. It was here he wrote his first successful play.

The author and poet Edith Nesbit, famous for her book "The Railway Children" is buried in the gaveyard at St Mary the Virgin Church, St Mary in the Marsh.

The Star has seen and undergone many changes since it was first built but its historic character remains unchanged.



LESTER Henry 1858+

HINDS Thomas 1918-22+

BARTON Douglas 1930+

PRITCHARD John 1938+


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