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The Oxted Inn

Discover the history of Oxted.

Units 1–4, Hoskins Walk, Station Road West, Oxted, Surrey, RH8 9HR

Named after the town it is in, this pub stands on the site of extensive railway sidings. The many clocks above the bar indicate the time in various cities around the world, a reference to Oxted’s exact location on the Greenwich Meridian.

Text about The Oxted Inn.

The text reads: This Wetherspoon freehouse stands on part of the large area of land, adjacent to Station Road West, once occupied by railway sidings. The many clocks above the bar inside these premises indicate the time in various cities around the world, a reference to Oxted’s exact location of the Greenwich Meridian. 

A print and text about Barn Theatre.

The text reads: The Barn Theatre, in Bluehouse Lane, first opened its doors in 1923.

The theatre was launched as a joint stock company, with 4,000 shares issued at £1.00 each. Among those on the Board of Directors were Charles Hoskins Master, of Barrow Green Court, and Granville Charles Gresham Leveson Gower of Titsey Place.

The project had been proposed by the Oxted and Limpsfield Players. It was needed both to provide themselves with a venue, and to both accommodate visiting companies and provide a hall for local social activities. Early visitors were the July Players in 1924 who boasted Tyrone Guthrie and Flora Robson, both in their early twenties, amongst their number.

From the ranks of the Oxted and Limpsfield Players one major theatrical talent to emerge was Christopher Fry.

Fry combined being a schoolmaster with local theatrical activity, until in 1932 he accepted the appointment as director of Tunbridge Wells Repertory Players. Thereafter he was a full time man of the theatre.

He began to write plays before the war, and after serving time in the army he embarked on a series of major dramatic works, all in free verse, with a mystical flavour. Best known are A Phoenix too Frequent and The Lady’s not for Burning. He also produced translations of the French playwrights Anouilh and Giraudoux.

Above: Christopher Fry.

Prints and text about Joseph Firbank and the railway.

The text reads: Joseph Firbank was born in a Durham miner’s cottage in 1819, and started work in the pits aged seven. In 1837 he started railway work in the Bishop Auckland district. By educating himself at night school, and learning all he could by day of mining, railways and managing labour, he was able to bid for his first construction contract in 1841.

Honesty, the ability to complete work on time, and commercial sense, enabled Firbank to survive and prosper. By the 1860s he was working in this area for the LBSCR. He was one of the better Victorian employers, paying his navvies five times the wage of an agricultural labourer. In return he demanded hard work and keeping to deadlines.

Thomas, the eldest of eight children, took over running the business after Joseph Firbank had ‘died in harness’ in 1886. Thomas received a knighthood in 1902, but soon after suffered a decline in his health and his business. Nevertheless Firbank’s had proved one of the longest lived of all railway contracting firms.

Above: DI 04 2T auto train near Hurst Green.

A painting of a John Harrison timepiece.

A photograph of Station Road West, Oxted, c1910.

A photograph of the railway station, Oxted, 1910.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: