Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust

Cobham History

The Old Bear Inn

The (Old) Bear was built as farm house in the 15th or early 16th century and became a public house during the 18th century.

The Old Bear c2007The earliest recorded reference to the Bear is in a deed dated 1719 when Mary King of Cobham, widow, and John King her eldest son conveyed to Robert Patten of Ham, near Kingston, yeoman, 'All That freehold Messuage or Tenement or Inne situate and being in Coveham also Cobham aforesaid commonly called or known by the Signe of the Beare in or neare a certain street there called Church Street '. At this time, Joseph Jacob occupied the Bear. Two years later Richard Bear, son of a stroller or actor, born in the Bear, was baptised at St. Andrew's church.

Although the building was until recently thought to have been built in the late 16th centruy as a "central chimney stack" type of house that became common when bricks became cheaper and more readily available, further investigation has now shown it to be a least 100 years older. It started life as an "open hall" house in the medieval period when there would have been an open hearth in the centre of the building with the smoke finding its way either out through the roofing or through a "gablet" at one end. This new discovery adds to the building's importance especially as Cobham has only a few of such properties.

In the late 16th century a brick chimney was inserted and the old hall floored over. Basically the design was to build a brick chimney stack with four fireplaces heating the two rooms on either side of the chimney both on the ground and first floor. Access to the property was way of a central "baffle entry" immediately opposite the side of the chimney. The staircase would have been on the opposite side.

This building is fortunate in that, despite, later additions, the original plan and design of this medieval property has remained intact. It is an important part of Cobham's precious legacy of historic houses.

by David Taylor

25 Sep
Cobham Heritage Open Meeting
25 Sep 2019 8:00 pm
28 Sep
Cobham Farmers Market
28 Sep 2019 9:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Fresh produce farmers market held in Hollyhedge Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 3DG (4th Saturday of each month)

6 Oct
Cobham Heritage Litter Pick - Stoke D'Abernon
06 Oct 2019 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Please join us on Sunday 6th October at 2pm meeting at the corner of Stoke Road and Station Road in Stoke D’Abernon.

Please bring gloves and we will supply high-viz jackets and litter pickers.

Become a Volunteer with Cobham Heritage

The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust is a local charity which relies on vounteers to help run the Trust, promote local history and conservation issues and organise fund raising events such as our annual Cobham Heritage Day. If you think you might like to join us, visit our Volunteer Vacancies page to find out which roles you might like to get involved with. We always try to make it fun.


Some of Your Comments

" We had a great day (despite the weather) and have 2 new recruits from the day who joined us last night!” - Army Cadets - Heritage Day Stallholder"

Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Riverhill Greenflag Award

Green Flag Award

Open Spaces Award

Open Spaces Award