This General Has Been Demoted To The Ranks

The Havelock

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It is now just the Havelock, the General has been demoted back to the ranks although the ranks did appear to be enjoying singing to the juke box and watching the horse racing on one of the many TVs.

Refreshed and re-opened, this renowned heritage pub has an updated appearance that belies its history and thankfully, the Grade 2 listed and protected tiled pictures that make up one wall have been preserved.

In some ways, the Havelock is more luxurious with its light coloured paint, comfy chairs, carpets and wooden flooring but it is early days and with beer at £2.50 a pint, that pristine gloss may soon disappear.

Thankfully for me, there was an alternative to the lager offerings of the two T-bars and the Doomed on handpump in the excellent Tim Taylor’s Landlord. A pint to enjoy with time to savour the tiled picture of the Battle of Hastings.

8.30pm on a Tuesday night was perhaps not the best time to visit the Havelock for a quiet pint, during the day might be better but those tiled wall pictures and the Tim Taylors were worth the visit.

In the fifteen years that I have lived in Hastings, ownership of this historic pub has changed more than once, and it has been closed two or three times with landlords struggling for profitability amidst rising town centre rents. If a juke box, TVs, a fruit machine and a weekly meat raffle keep the old General alive then I will be happy to include this new Havelock in ‘Beer Notes’ and in ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’.

Follow this link to read my original Blog posted in 2017

https://historywalksblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/the-general-havelock-to-the-pier-and-back/

The Havelock appears in ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’ and in the soon to be published

Beer Notes to ‘Capital to Coast, the Guide to Walking 1066 Harold’s Way’.

This pub guide is a ‘must have’ accompaniment for the discerning walker on ‘1066 Harold’s Way’– the long-distance walk from Westminster Abbey to Battle Abbey and Hastings Castle inspired by King Harold’s epic march to the Battle of Hastings 1066. 

The Havelock will be No 64 and the final entry in the Beer Notes Guide.

www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

CAMRA WhatPub

‘The clean and commodious village ale house’

The Leather Bottle (33)

Cobham Leather Bottle 3

Cobham will always suffer in that it is far too early in the walk to Rochester to stop for a drink or food. However, visiting the historic church and a look over the church wall at the New College took up enough time to enter The Leather Bottle when it opened at 11.30 and marvel at all the Dicken’s memorabilia on display that cover the walls of every room with Pickwick and Edwin Drood taking centre stage.

Dickens called the Leather Bottle ‘the clean and commodious village ale house’ in which stayed the love-lorn Mr Tracy Tupman of the Pickwick Papers after his rejection by Rachel Wardle.

The inn is said to have acquired its name when, about 1720, a leather-bound bottle containing gold sovereigns was found on the premises. At 11.30 in the morning, the Leather Bottle is largely empty of all the visitors and tourists that come to eat, for almost all the tables are set for food – it is after all, the archetypal English Country Inn of undoubted age, black beams, leaded windows and history. At that time in the morning, I had a coffee but Tim Taylor’s Landlord, Black Sheep and Leather Bottle Best were on offer for those in need of something a little stronger on the way to Rochester.

Distance from path:       On 1066 Harold’s Way

Food: Yes  Accommodation: Yes

54-56 The Street, Cobham, Gravesend. DA12 3BZ        Tel: 01474 814 327

Beer Notes will be published in 2019 as a ‘must have’ accompaniment for the discerning walker on ‘Walking 1066 Harold’s Way’ – the long distance walk from Westminster Abbey to Battle Abbey and Hastings Castle inspired by King Harold’s epic march to the Battle of Hastings 1066. The Leather Bottle will be No 33 in Beer Notes

www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

CAMRA WhatPub

The Leather Bottle

Rye in Pictures

Rye Cover Mermaid Street v2

Today, Rye’s ancient character is justifiably one of the jewels of the South-East of England if not the country. 900 years of history unfolds, through words and pictures, in this fascinating guide as it explores medieval Rye and its turbulent history.

Rye is for strolling the many cobbled streets with their proud medieval, Tudor, Stuart and Georgian houses, great pubs, a fine church and all the ancient landmarks that make up this unique town.

Rye in Pictures will act as your unspoken guide in making sense of the history of Rye’s medieval streets and buildings and the people that contributed to the wealth and atmosphere of Rye.

Look Inside

Rye in Pictures is intended to spur your imagination as you explore, discover and immerse yourself in this beautiful Town.

Published 16th September 2019 by History Walks

History Walks, Talks and Books – More than just footsteps on a Path.

For more information visit: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Temptation: The Woodcock Flies Again

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Temptation, that desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise. It can also suggest that it can be a thing that attracts or tempts someone suggesting enticement, seduction, a draw or a pull or equally an invitation.

And that to me sums up The Woodcock, a walk leaders’ nightmare, the pub that no one wants to leave.

But it closed in 2018 and appeared doomed, never to fly again but like a phoenix it has arisen again and it re-opened its doors in April 2019.

On 1066 Harold’s Way, there are still 6 miles to walk to Bodiam Castle, uphill and down dale and across the Kent Ditch. King Harold and his men walked this stretch but The Woodcock wasn’t open then. And when planning Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House, I made sure that the route passed The Woodcock after all, I get to choose the route.

The good and righteous of Iden Green realised what a draw the pub would be and banished it a mile away from the village, down a narrow country lane that led to Dingleden but the villagers I spoke to know the back way – just 5 minutes down this path and on the route of 1066 Harold’s Way, and I followed their admission.

The 2019 version of The Woodcock has been refreshed rather than altered beyond recognition. A couple of walls have disappeared, some of the nooks and crannies have gone, the new bar is sleek and bright, the fire is lit and the floors levelled ready for the success that eluded the Woodcock of old.

Once it felt like an old and comfortable pair of slippers where the slightly dark atmosphere and the warmth of the fire and the conviviality of old men at the bar promised times past until Greene King’s accountants became the owners.

Mind your heads, the beams are low there’s a fire lit and on warm days, there is a garden to enjoy. It is a free house again and beers are Cellar Head Amber, Long Man Best, Harveys Best, all on handpump and well kept.

There is still an old world feel but it is without ornamentation and just a little of that old warmth that catered for the mind, body and spirit has gone – perhaps a wider market beckons for The Woodcock although a television was being screwed to the wall as I left!

But, lunchtime on an Autumn day, sitting around the fire, talking amongst friends, it will still prove hard to leave and continue the walk to Bodiam Castle.

Beer Notes will be published in 2019 as a ‘must have’ accompaniment for the discerning walker on ‘Walking 1066 Harold’s Way’ – the long distance walk from Westminster Abbey to Battle Abbey and Hastings Castle inspired by King Harold’s epic march to the Battle of Hastings 1066. The Woodcock  will be No 49 in Beer Notes

www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

CAMRA WhatPub

The Woodcock

A Little Something for 2020

3Cs Scotney

Explore the history and the industrial past of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on a walk between the four great National Trust properties; Bodiam Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Bateman’s.

Re-walked, revised and updated for 2019, the guidebook takes you on a journey through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty across Kent and East Sussex

“It’s a highly original work and the well-written guidebook is full of interesting historical information including smugglers’ tales, rebellions, industry and murders.” Walk, the magazine of The Ramblers, March 2016.

From History Walks, Talks and Books – More than just footsteps on a Path.

For more information visit: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Spectacular Hastings

Hasting’s beautiful Alexandra Park has been voted the BEST PARK IN THE SOUTH EAST for 2019.

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Alexandra Park stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the best parks in England but you must walk it to find all of the hidden gems.

In Pub Walks in Hastings & St Leonards, Alexandra Park is revealed in all its glory with the added reward of a pint at the North Star and time to reflect on a hidden Hastings.

Strike out beyond the prom to discover Hastings and St Leonards’ best pubs in History Walks Book 6 Pub Walks in Hastings & St Leonards.

History Walks Book 6 – Pub Walks in Hastings & St Leonards.

Hastings in Focus

History Walks, Talks and Books – More than just footsteps on a Path.

For more information visit: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Next Talk– Walking the High Weald

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

3 Castles Rye U3A

Look Inside http://online.pubhtml5.com/uslz/gnfe/

This talk is an engaging account of a walk between four National Trust properties; Bodiam Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Bateman’s, that explores the history and the industrial past of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in this part of Kent and East Sussex.

And such a varied landscape brings together tales to tell of Mad Jack Fuller and Bloody Baker, Admiral ‘Foulweather Jack’ Norris, and Captain Swing. There are tales of smugglers and Mechanical riots, Napoleon’s horse, aliens in Robertsbridge and, of course, that ‘vengeful dragon’ in Angley Wood.  Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House will take you on a picturesque and enjoyable tour of the High Weald – without getting mud on your boots.

From History Walks, Talks and Books – More than just footsteps on a Path.

For more information visit: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Next Talk– Walking the High Weald

Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House

2019 3 Cs Polegate

Look Inside http://online.pubhtml5.com/uslz/gnfe/

This talk is an engaging account of a walk between four National Trust properties; Bodiam Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Scotney Castle and Bateman’s, that explores the history and the industrial past of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in this part of Kent and East Sussex.

And such a varied landscape brings together tales to tell of Mad Jack Fuller and Bloody Baker, Admiral ‘Foulweather Jack’ Norris, and Captain Swing. There are tales of smugglers and Mechanical riots, Napoleon’s horse, aliens in Robertsbridge and, of course, that ‘vengeful dragon’ in Angley Wood.  Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House will take you on a picturesque and enjoyable tour of the High Weald – without getting mud on your boots.

From History Walks, Talks and Books – More than just footsteps on a Path.

For more information visit: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Next Talk – A Walk around Rye

A Town Ramble

2019 A Walk around Rye Hawkinge

Look Inside http://online.pubhtml5.com/uslz/rhbp/

Proud Rye, sat on a hill and Queen of all she surveys.

An island kingdom once surrounded by sea but the winds and the storms won a great battle and the sea retreated leaving the town marooned inland.

Rye, with its medieval airs and cobbled streets, its history as a Cinque Port, the smugglers and its people, has been written about and photographed to distraction, after all, it is one of the most picturesque towns in England.

For centuries, Sussex’s poor roads had isolated Rye enabling it to remain unscathed from the developer’s whims that had changed many other south coast towns. By the time that the Turnpike roads arrived in the late 18th century and the railway in 1851, Rye’s charms within its citadel were secure and soon came to the attention of writers and artists seeking inspiration.

There are museums, remnants of fortifications, galleries, old houses, pubs and coffee shops, literary connections and tales of smuggled brandy, tea and tobacco.

This walk and talk will bring some sense to the orderly and disorderly streets, twitchels, passages and history but, be careful, for when not sailing the Spanish Main, that dastardly pirate Captain Pugwash may be watching you, home for a holiday to visit his creator, John Ryan.

From History Walks, Talks and Books – More than just footsteps on a Path.

For more information visit: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

There is more to St Leonards on Sea than the Promenade

You can now LOOK INSIDE all History Walks Books.

Book 1 Cover new

LOOK INSIDE   (opens in new window)

There is more to St Leonards on Sea than the Promenade.

There is much to admire along the front but hidden away behind the houses, on the very edge of the town, is a history that stretches back at least one thousand years.

Landing places for Duke William’s fleet, a Saxon Manor house, the finest race course in the South-East and a Church hidden away in an ancient wood are all part of the legacy of St Leonards on Sea.

Take your time and embrace the history of St Leonards on Sea.

History Walks Talks and Books by David Clarke

History Walks No 1: A Green Walk around St Leonards on Sea – More than just Footsteps on a Path.