The Flint Gate

The Flint Gate (now renamed "The Alexander", thereby ending almost 150 years of direct link to Oatlands history - further reinforced by a large mural of "The Old Wey Bridge" on the end wall of the bar) has often claimed to be the oldest pub in Oatlands. Further investigation now indicates that it may possibly be able to claim to be the "oldest surviving" pub in the village (the first clear reference we have is the 1867 Post Office Directory "Seale William, Flint Gate inn, Oatlands Park"), but the Flint Gate was significantly pre-dated by the long defunct New Inn and the first known 'pub' in Oatlands which was a "Beer House" somewhere in Oatlands Drive - the exact location of which has yet to be determined. As to it's place in the chronology, it's a close race with The Prince of Wales and if anybody has any information, to help clarify this we'd love to know about it.

The pub was named after a literal gateway that existed within the old Oatlands Estate as part of the mansion's formal gardens. This ornamental gateway (bearing no resemblance to that once depicted on the pub sign, certainly in latter years) lay between what is now Oatlands Drive and the Broadwater lake and was about 160 metres from the pub in a straight line, according to the estate sale plan of 1846. In the 1960's or early 1970's there was a flint-on-brick archway constructed as an entrance to the pub's car park. This was, at the time, claimed to be the original location of the gate and built from the original flints - no more than a false marketing exercise on both counts - but, strangely, the gateway did end up in a pub, as a rockery in the garden of the Dolphin at Addlestone, from where it was 'rescued'. The surviving stonework is now in the hands of Elmbridge Museum.

The photograph shows the pub as it was in 2010 before it was sold. For some reason the pub's name was spelled "Flintgate" but it did still connect to the original spelling. At one point in, we believe, the 1980s the pub was briefly known as "The Slug and Lettuce" but following numerous objections quickly reverted to its usual name. We have discovered one document from 1865 referring to "The Flint Castle" but tit is not particularly clear whether this refers to the pub or not. To 'those of a certain age', it was - and always will be - The Flint Gate...

The website for The Alexander is here.(opens in new window)