Our History

Dating back to about 1585 this lovely old pub with its low beams and inglenook fireplace has a wealth of history.

During the 18th Century the Crown Inn became the headquarters of the Groombridge Gang, ruthless smugglers who terrorised the country between the village and the South coast led by Robert Moreton and John Bowra. Using pack ponies they smuggled tea from Pevensey beaches and hid it in secret passages between the cellar and Groombridge Place. After many skirmishes with the Militia they were brought to justice in 1749. John Bowra was released and is said to have built a house in the village and become a cartographer.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, celebrated creator of the detective Sherlock Holmes, lived at Crowborough and was a frequent visitor to Groombridge Place in the late 19th Century taking part in sťances which were popular at the time. He based his book Valley of Fear on Groombridge Place and reported seeing the ghost of Dave Fletcher standing in the doorway of the cottage on the moat. According to Conan Doyle the ghost appeared behind him and his friends as they walked and told them that he had drowned in the moat in 1808. People still report seeing Dave Fletcher today. He was also known to visit the Crown for a tipple.

In 2005 The Crown Inn was a favourite haunt of Keira Knightley and the cast of Pride and Prejudice during filming at Groombridge Place.

In 2006 Hayley Westernra classic singer stayed here while filming for her latest CD. 

In 2009 Jamie Oliver the famous Chef and TV personality voted The Crown Inn one of the Top 100 Pubs in the UK.