Village pubs are decreasing in number and this booklet recording those in Eynsford could well be copied by other small towns and villages. Sometimes, but not always, the name of the pub is of sufficient antiquity to indicate an ancient site. For example malt had been produced on the site of the 'Malt Shovel' in Eynsford nearly 250 years ago. The chapter entitled 'Through the years' describes the development of home brewing as well as alehouses of different types. The regulations governing drinking means that records were kept and many have survived. It is interesting to note that men applying for licences often gave other occupations, such as John Staples a small farmer. It is thought that keeping an alehouse was a means of supplementing income rather than a change of occupation. A map of the long main street of Eynsford precedes the chapters on five of the local pubs. It is useful to note the diversity of information sources. The Castle Hotel was once The Harrow, first noted in a directory of 1829 and had quite a stormy history. The Five Bells is first noted in a title deed of 1745. The Malt Shovel appears first in a will of 1743, described as a messuage and malt house. The first mention of the Plough was found in a notice of an auction sale of 1818. The Red Lion, now a private house called 'The Priory', was found by chance when John Durling was listed as keeper of an alehouse called the Red Lion in Eynsford in 1707.
Adapted from the review in J. Kent History for September, 1991 p.18