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Vigo Inn

(formerly Upper Drover 1471-1732)

Gravesend Road
Fairseat
TN15 7JL

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Premises Status

This pub is permanently closed.

About the Pub

An ever-present GBG entry for most of CAMRA's lifetime, this iconic roadside pub closed its doors for the last time on 31 October 2014. Despite widespread local opposition, Tonbridge & Malling BC subsequently granted planning permission for conversion to residential accommodation, thereby consigning 500+ years as a welcoming and idiosyncratic hostelry to the history books. Yet again a priceless community asset has been sacrificed on the altar of individual selfishness and greed.

The Vigo first opened its doors to the public in 1471 as the Upper Drover (there was a Lower (Kentish) Drover at the foot of Vigo Hill for many years). Much altered over the years, it was renamed in the early 18th century to commemorate the Battle of Vigo. A former sailor, who had saved the life of Sir George Rooke, the Admiral of the Fleet, during the battle was given the pub as a reward!

The pub was tied to a succession of different brewers during its more recent history, including Leney’s and possibly Fremlin’s, eventually ending up in the hands of giant combine Whitbread. In 1965 it became a free house, and offered an excellent range of real ales at a time when heavily processed, characterless keg beers were sweeping the nation. The pub was noted for being one of the last strongholds of real mild in the county, and was home to an ancient daddlums (miniature skittles) table long after these had disappeared from other pubs.

Thanks to www.dover-kent.com for use of the archive images.

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Vigo Inn, Fairseat

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Vigo Inn

Gravesend Road
Fairseat
TN15 7JL

Sat Nav Reference

51.325397, 0.341208

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