The Castle Inn or Five Bells, Chiddingstone, Kent

I recently was able to associate an oil painting in my collection to a location. The painting is unsigned and undated but bears an artist dealer stamp on the verso. It is stamped Winsor & Newton, 38 Rathbone Place, London W. Winsor & Newton were founded in 1832 and continue to trade to this day. They were colourmen selling artist paints and prepared canvases and panels. The panel I have is 11 1\2 ” x 8 1\4″ (293mm X 211mm). The image begins 1\4″ or 5mm in from each side.

The image of a gentleman on his horse which is being fed by a young lady in front of an inn. This inn, I have now placed as #TheCastleInn,Chiddingstone,Kent. The pub is now owned by The National Trust. The inn is first mentioned as early as 1420 although by a different name. This lovely village has appeared in numerous films including ‘Room with a View’ and ‘The Wind in the Willows:Mr Toads Wild Ride’. The town has cobbled pathways and buildings with half timbered sides with red tiled roofs and the town even boasts a castle.

The Castle Inn (Five Bells), Chiddingstone, Kent – oil on panel by unknown artist @ 1870/90

One can see in the painting the beauty of the buildings the cobbled pavements. The Castle Inn was once called the ‘#FiveBells’. The name change occurred around 1779.

The painting, I believe, comes from around 1880/90 but may be earlier and shows the architecture and makeup of the inn and it’s surrounding buildings. A superbly crafted piece and visually historically accurate.

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