The building you see today stands on the site of the original Fox & Hounds Public House which had served the drinkers of Chislehurst since the late nineteenth century.
On 1 October 1940, Mary Stephen, who was then 24, was walking down Chislehurst High Street with her 3-year old daughter Barbara in a pushchair. She was approaching the Fox and Hounds Public House when the sirens on top of the Police Station sounded indicating an enemy attack. A bomb suddenly struck the building, reducing it to rubble and trapping Mary and Barbara under the debris.
Fortunately for them, a shop keeper of Cullen’s the Grocers, across the road (now Cafe Nero) saw the accident happen and rallied round some people to dig them out of the rubble. Mary and Barbara were then taken to Queen Mary’s Hospital at Sidcup and their injuries were attended to. Barbara had a head wound, fractured right leg and lacerated wounds of her legs and Mary suffered cuts and bruising.
Although the old pub was flattened, beer continued to be sold from the stables at the rear throughout the rest of the War.
After the war George Stephen (Mary’s husband) was a foreman for the local firm of builders, Ryders, who were assigned to rebuild the very same Fox & Hounds. George was ironically allocated the task of topping out the finished Pub, the very same one that his wife and daughter had been rescued from beneath
This remained the Fox & Hounds Public House for many years, eventually having a Thai restaurant on the first floor.
Today it is Zizzi’s Italian restaurant.
List of early Publicans*
1869 until his death aged 40 on 03.10.1877 Joseph Tytheridge. Also listed as a bricklayer.
1877 until her death aged 39 in 1881, his widow Mary Ann Tytheridge.
1889 until his death in 1901 aged 54, Charles Bayman. Also listed as carman.
1909 his widow Alice Bayman.
1911 until his death in 1913 aged 56, Ambrose Willis.
1914 Charles Tyrrell, listed as Beer Retailer.
1918 George Lambe.
1922 Frederick Turner.
1930 – 1938 George Damiral.
*Based on information available in recent searches