Dating back to the 16th Century, The White Horse Inn is an old coaching inn, previously a predominant stop along the old A2 between London & Dover. Leaving Canterbury by the Dover road, you will come after three miles to Bridge, and there in the centre of the village The “White Horse” stands to welcome you. This inn was once a ‘baiting’ or halting house, hardly distant enough from Dover for a full stage but convenient for a change of horses.
The White Horse Inn
It is neat and proper that the forge should be next door, thus providing yet another example of that happy English disposition to live by taking in each other’s washing. Shoeing the horses changed at the inn would be hot work and the pint of Kentish ale literally at the elbow a pleasant means of returning patronage; and so, no doubt, both smith and innkeeper prospered through the centuries until the New Iron Age. The “White Horse” is old, as may be seen from the Tudor fireplace in the large bar with its moulded beams above. Dimly seen in the background of the cellar behind the bar are many barrels with neat linen covers, waiting to be broached, for here all beer is drawn direct from the wood.
On the lintel of the great fireplace may be seen the remains — now, alas, almost indecipherable — of a white horse painted long, long ago; surely a rare place to find an inn sign!
The front of The “White Horse” is Regency, or very early simple Victorian. There is a car park and, behind, the kind of garden only Kent can produce — but then it is in the heart of the Garden of England and Bridge is surrounded by orchards, parks and the seats of the gentry and nobility, most of whom, one is glad to hear, are content to share their wide domains, temporarily at least, with those who can appreciate to the full the beauties of nature.