The Anchor Inn History
The Inn known as The Anchor became a pub during the reign of Charles I (1625 – 1649) in the year 1645.
Records show that it was originally two farm cottages, part of a larger estate. Extensive works were carried out in the early eighteenth century and the two cottages were made to form one. It was during this period that the house became an ‘Ale House’.
‘Ale Houses’ became popular in the eighteenth century, though they are recorded as far back as 1200. Their popularity was due to the vast growing number of small independent breweries opening up all over Kent who sought extra outlets to retail their ales and ciders.
By the mid eighteenth century, greatly improved highways, faster coaches and the steady growth of a regular postal service brought about the needs for a stage post house in Wingham. The site of the ‘Ale House’, now The Anchor, was chosen, and a stage post room was set up where mail was collected and sorted before being taken by post boys to outer lying areas.
To accommodate the post boys a room on the first floor of the Inn was sectioned off into cubicles and fitted with small cot beds. There the post boys would remain until called upon to carry out their duties. Each was supplied with a post sack and post horn.
In 1760, a licence was granted and the house became The Anchor and a sign duly hung. The significance of the sign and the anchor dates back to the Pilgrim Fathers and is a religious sign of hope.
The first recorded landlord of The Anchor was one John Puttock, a farmer of the parish of Wingham.
The inn today gives out the same generous glow of warmth and hospitality that it has done for over two centuries, so stay, enjoy the fare and reflect on those bygone days.
In August 2012 when Michelle & Kevin Abbott took on The Anchor, they had no experience of running pubs, just drinking in them. When they arrived the Anchor was a tired and troubled place and in need of some serious TLC. Five years on, the Abbots have transformed The Anchor into a wonderful village pub, restaurant and music venue, winning a string of awards along the way. In 2013 they were awarded ‘national best newcomers to the licensed trade’ at the ‘Publicans Morning Advertisers Great British Pub Awards’ (considered to be the oscars of the licensed trade). A year later they picked up the GBPA ‘Best Entertainment Pub’ award and have been national finalists every year since. The Anchor was national runner up in the PRS 2017 music makeover, (a highly coveted music industry award). In addition to this landlady Michelle was awarded The ‘Jack Jolly award for her services to the community of Wingham by the parish council in April. The Anchor has also received the Trip Advisor ‘Certificate of Excellence’ for 2018 and was DDA CAMRA runner up for Pub of the season.
The Anchor was a national finalists for the 2017 Great British Pub awards for not one, but two categories. ‘Best Entertainment Pub and Best Pub Garden’. In 2018 The Anchor was a finalist in the Great British Pub Awards for best Entertainment Pub. The Anchor was also CAMRA Pub of the season (Spring/Summer)
“The last six years have been a bit of a whirlwind for us”, said Michelle “ it’s been really hard work but very rewarding too, we recieve kind words from our customers every day but to be consistently recognised by the trade in this way has been a real boost for us, I sometimes have to pinch myself to check it’s not all just a dream”.
So what is the Key to The Anchors success? “Nothing you can really put your finger on” said Licensee Kevin, “We just wanted to create the type of place that we would enjoy visiting ourselves, a friendly community pub with good quality ales and wines, affordable but high quality homemade food, great music, somewhere the whole family can come to enjoy themselves”.
There’s always something going on at The Anchor, Sunday afternoon live music sessions, Jive Classes, Tai Chi, Quizzes, Open Mic’s, Acoustic Jamming sessions, Music Festivals, the list goes on and on and on!!!
In the Spring and Summer The Anchor offers a large family garden with tables that seat up to 12 people. Petanque, Bat and Trap and an outside stage for music festivals and special events such as Weddings and Barbeques.
In the Autumn and Winter, a cosy bar and separate restaurant area with roaring log fires in both. Frequent live music and quizzes, as well as a Dartboard and Bar Billiard Table for those that want some traditional pub entertainment.
Upstairs is a large fuction room, capable of seating 60+ which is frequently used for parties, celebrations, concerts, dance classes and meetings. It has a roll in/roll out stage with a state of the art sound system and lighting and has hosted many top acts from all over the world.
For more details of the packed events programme, menus, facilities and history of The Anchor go to www.theanchoratwingham.com or visit their face book page The Anchor at Wingham. For Bookings etc phone 01227 720392 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org