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One in Wadhurst.

A short stay in Sussex with my sister sadly showed me several southern bygone boozers in Wadhurst. Fortunately the Greyhound was still open, with a couple of fires, some nice Harvey's Sussex Best and full of folks enjoying their Friday tea-time pint, Shiraz or whatever. However, the same could not be said of the the former Castle Inn.

Standing on Station Road in Wadhurst, pretty close to the station in fact, I can find no reference to it before William Atwood makes an appearance as a beer retailer at the Castle Inn in the 1861 census. The railway station opened on the 1st September 1851 so it was probably built some time in the intervening decade to serve the hoards of visitors who no doubt descended on the Sussex town as, no doubt too, was the now-flattened Railway Inn, latterly the Rock Robin, which I might drone on about in a future post.

In the early 1970s the Castle underwent a name change. In the July 1971 telephone directory it was listed as the Castle Inn (H.J.Lally) - Wadhurst 2252 but by the time that the following year's version was produced, in the September, there was no Castle mentioned. There was, however, the Four Keys - still Wadhurst 2252. Why the name change? I'm not sure. It might have something to do with a Peter Keys who set up a brewery at the pub which was in existence from 1982-6. Perhaps he lived there with his wife and two kids. Maybe he had an Alsation called Honey, too.

The Four Keys Motel and brewery. ©1984 John Law

Quite when it shut I don't know. It was certainly closed when Mr. Google's car drove by in October 2011 and looks like it'd been shut for a while. A Wadhurst History Society update of June 2004 uses the phrase "...what was the Four Keys..." so it presumably had stopped serving by then.

The bay windows had gone by 2011 but the front door was still in existence, as can be seen in the shot below, but that too is no more, with an arch window now in its place. I'm not sure if it is inhabited at the moment, but its days as a pub certainly seem to be over.

14th Feb 2012

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