The Seven Stars Inn

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Seven Stars Inn
Seven Stars Inn - - 1447300.jpg
The inn from the northwest
Location34 High Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex TN32 5AJ
Coordinates50°59′09″N 0°28′29″E / 50.9858°N 0.4747°E / 50.9858; 0.4747Coordinates: 50°59′09″N 0°28′29″E / 50.9858°N 0.4747°E / 50.9858; 0.4747
Builtc. 1400
Architectural style(s)Medieval
Listed Building – Grade II*
Designated3 August 1961
Reference no.1275146
The Seven Stars Inn is located in East Sussex
The Seven Stars Inn
Location within East Sussex

The Seven Stars Inn is a 14th-century public house in Robertsbridge, East Sussex, a well-preserved example of a medieval building and a typical Sussex village pub. It is associated with historical events, both real and rumoured. As of at least autumn 2016, it was closed for business.


Built in about 1400 as a Wealden hall house in traditional Wealden timber frame, the building is Grade II* Listed.[1] It was altered in the 16th century and re-faced in the 19th century. It has a recessed centre, with curved timber brackets supporting the eaves. The first floor oversails on brackets, and has a Crown-post-supported roof.[2] Owned by Harveys, a brewery in Lewes, since February 2002,[3] the pub has existed in its current form for at least 300 years.


Medieval Robertsbridge was granted a market charter in the 13th century,[4] and quickly became prosperous. The Seven Stars dates from this era of early prosperity. The earliest surviving building in the village is only 10 years older.[5]

Folk history surrounding the building has rumoured that Charles II is said to have been confined there for a time[6][7] during his escape from England following the Battle of Worcester. This is unlikely as Charles eventually escaped by ship from Shoreham, having travelled from the west.


Robertsbridge was within the area controlled by the Hawkhurst Gang, a criminal organisation involved in smuggling between 1735 and 1749.[8][9][10] John Amos, a prominent member of the gang, lived in the village. The gang's influence extended from Kent to Dorset and they operated freely enough to use as many as 500 pack-horses to carry contraband, raiding a government customs house[11] to recover captured goods.[12] Robertsbridge itself was the site of a famous ambush. Thirty smugglers assembled, fortified with alcohol, and ambushed a wagon-load of seized contraband tea on Silver Hill, killing a customs officer in the process.[8]

Member of Parliament Horace Walpole reported a miserable journey that ended at Robertsbridge in one of his letters to Richard Bentley, dated 5 August 1752.[13] Arriving in "Rotherbridge" after passing Silver Hill, they found only one available bed, "all the rest were inhabited by smugglers".


According to a local newspaper, the building has been named as one the top ten most haunted pubs in the country. In July 2013, it was reported that Hidden Worlds Paranormal Support Group would be investigating to help the owners deal with an alleged poltergeist and other ghostly activity.[14]


  1. ^ "Wealden Hall Houses :: Geograph Britain and Ireland". 2009-04-18. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1275146)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  3. ^ Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2008. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Robertsbridge origins and history". Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  5. ^ "Timber framed buildings in Robertsbridge". Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  6. ^ "Britain's Top Ten Haunted Pubs". Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  7. ^ [1] Archived December 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ a b "Smuggling gangs of East Sussex and their inland bases". Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  9. ^ Platt, Richard (2007). Smuggling in the British Isles. Tempus Publishing Ltd. pp. 224pp. ISBN 978-0-7524-4249-5.
  10. ^ "Smugglers - Smuggling 1300 to 1833 - VillageNet History - History effecting Kent & Sussex". 2012-05-15. Archived from the original on 2012-01-21. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  11. ^ "Terror of the Hawkhurst Gang". Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  12. ^ [2] Archived December 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 2 by Horace Walpole - Full Text Free Book (Part 5/16)". Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  14. ^ Bid to uncover truth behind haunted pub

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