Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...
Here is just a little info to let you get to know our pub better...
Here is a little potted history of our pub and the local area... if you have a spare minute or two and maybe a cup of tea (or is that a G&T), we think it's well worth a read.
The village of Norwood Hill is scattered around the crossroads at its centre, which is where the well-known landmark of The Fox Revived can be found.
It is approximately 2 miles north of Charlwood, on the edge of what was the Wealden marsh. There is an amazing view to the north, with the North Downs and Box Hill ahead, rising towards Leith Hill in the west.
The parish and borough boundaries run through the middle of Norwood Hill, so half the community is in Charlwood and Mole Valley, and the other half in Sidlow, Reigate and Banstead. It also falls within three parish church boundaries, Charlwood, Sidlow and Leigh.
In medieval times, Norwood Hill was much more heavily wooded. To those in Charlwood it was 'the North Wood' which became Norwood.
The most extensive remaining piece of woodland is Edolph's Copse. This was recovered from private ownership in the 1980s with the generous help of the Thomas Alexander Mason Trust, local residents and the Woodland Trust. It is home to a number of rare species of plant, for which it has Local Nature Reserve status. Butterflies include the silver-washed fritillary and the white admiral, which thrive particularly in the open meadow which is only cut every two years to help insects survive. Coppicing and selective felling are done every ten years or so.
Iron ore was mined around Charlwood and beyond, and smelted widely in the area around the village. Coppicing provided the charcoal, but timber was needed for housing and ship-building. Demand was such that Norwood Hill woods were steadily plundered. The formerly wooded areas were known as 'waste' and it became the custom to run pigs (or 'hogges' and 'all manner of swine') in these areas. There are still some orchards along the hill, but all the pigs have now disappeared.
Norwood Common covered much of the land around the crossroads, running from Roundabout Cottage in the north-west to Brittleware Farm in the south-east. The common provided grazing for those with small or no properties. It also provided overnight grazing for cattle being driven from Sussex, particularly from the Horsham Fair, to the meat markets in London.
The community has a great website if you would like to find out more. It is from there that we have kindly been allowed to use the aforementioned information: www.charlwoodandhookwood.co.uk.
The Fox Inn, before it was closed and then 'revived' the first time, was built on what had been the western edge of the Common.
The commons were enclosed in the 1840s and in time the footpath to the west of the crossroads became a more substantial road, thus leading to the crossroads as it is now.
Horsehill used to be one of the main roads from London to Brighton, but in winter it was steep and muddy. Around 1815 the main road was re-routed (becoming the present A217) to make it easier for George IV to get to his Pavilion in Brighton. The coaching inn at the top of the hill, The Black Horse, then moved to Hookwood.
The names of the fields reflect rural life in former times - Hog Field, Lower Carthorse Meadow, Deer Field, Clover Field, Hayband Field, Cabbage Field and Daisy Field.
Although there has never been a church in Norwood Hill, there was a onconformist preacher's cross in the Saxon round field at the foot of the hill near Brittleware, probably dating from the 18th century.
In the 20th century a chapel was established on Collendean Lane for the United Reform Church but it eventually fell into disuse. The Norwood Hill Shop on Collendean Lane also contained a post office. When this closed in the late 1970s, the house name was changed to Post End.
We haven't yet been able to pinpoint when our pub was first built, but Elizabeth Wickstead, a local family historian, has traced her family, the Elsey family of Surrey, back to the 18th century. During her research she found in the 1881 census that her great-greatgrandfather Abraham Elsey, publican and farmer, was a licensed victualler at The Fox, where he lived with his wife Jane and their family.
The Elsey family were followed by a succession of others at the helm of The Fox: in 1891 the census shows William Fegan, in 1901 Noah Frances and in 1913 Walter Nun. All of these entries show that the pub was still called The Fox. It was owned and tied for trade to Mellersh & Neale and run by William Fegan. It was said to have been frequented by 'respectable working men' and still had rooms in order to perform in the true sense of an 'Inn' - providing overnight accommodation for travellers.
Some say the pub was renamed 'The Fox Revived' after it was rebuilt following a fire sometime after 1913, but we can find no records of the event. Even so, it has kept that name ever since.
It isn't the first time that Brunning & Price have been involved in the history of this pub. When Jerry Brunning first started out, he owned the freehold of The Bell Inn at Outwood, after a few successful years he wanted to add another pub to his bow and took on The Fox Revived, obviously falling for its 'ranch style charm' and beautiful views across the Surrey hills. Graham Price then joined to form the partnership that was then called 'Pubs Ltd' and later became Brunning & Price.
Under their helm the pub became very popular, so much so that the 'big bad brewery' Ind Coope Friary Meux decided to take back the tenancy and try to run things themselves. So Jerry and Graham reluctantly left the area to establish B&P's heartland around Chester.
Many of the lessons they learned in The Fox Revived back then are now seen across the country. The original meal ticket was first handed out over the bar here and the very first B&P slow braised lamb shoulder was cooked here in response to the love of lamb of a group of Antipodean regulars, who all worked for Air New Zealand.
In those days the pub had a leaky glass roofed conservatory complete with 1970'sesque cheese plant. It also had a rather ugly, pipe-smoking, tankard-clutching stuffed fox that presided over things. On several occasions this fox was 'liberated' from its position over the door only to be found elsewhere in the village or meekly returned home the next day. Now that B&P have thankfully been able to take the pub back into its family for a second time, we hope that you will find the décor has a more quality finish, but still the same charm as it always had.
With enormous thanks to Elizabeth Wickstead, Richard Symmonds and all at The Parish of Charlwood and Hookwood website for their insight into the history of our pub and its surroundings.
Dave has run pubs all over London and Surrey, he has a background in independent pubs and is an old school Landlord in a young(ish) man's body! Starting out in kitchens from an age that cannot be disclosed he worked as a chef until escaping to FOH and working through the ranks. You will often hear him before you see him as he is trained in opera and musical theatre. When not in or around the pub he spends his free time walking his adorable German Shepherd Olive.
There is not, and there never has been the vocabulary to describe our Jade. Having a bad day? Jade solves it. Acting up? Jade solves it. Want something above and beyond? Yup, Jade solves it. She may be 3 foot tall but her shoulders hit the rafters at the Fox. Every pub manager needs an "enforcer" and she is our own Toni Soprano. Originally from Raaading (Reading) Jade has made Norwood Hill and the Fox Revived her home. And we are all the better for it!
There's an age old adage, behind every strong man there is a stronger woman. We think that's rubbish! However without this particular wonder of an assistant Dave would be a blubbering mess on the office floor on more than one occasion (if not most the time). What Jess doesn't know about keeping our guests happy isn't worth knowing. Dave may be loud but Jess turns it up to elevenâ€¦.
Lovely Lisa has been working at the pub since we first re-opened. Starting off as our cleaner she has now swapped over to front of house. Energetic mum of two loves her job here and enjoys learning new skills. Lisa is always up for a good chat with the customers. She is a pleasure to work with!
Annie is one of our part time supervisors here at the Fox Revived. She is a gem with the customers. If you can't find her in the pub she will most definitely be either in her hot tub with a glass of wine or Photographing weddings. Her photography rep has become well known around the pub - everyone wants to have their wedding 'snapped' by Annie!
If Georgie isn't working you'll find her chasing after her dog Kala that she loves and adores! She studied Geography at University and has recently got back after two months of traveling around South America. Georgie is our energetic rocket and ensures that the chefs are on top form.
Claire studies Law with criminology at Surrey University. She loves a fillet steak meal and a pint of beer (or two). On her days off she enjoys a good book and going to the movies with her long term boyfriend. She is aspiring to become a Solicitor and use the law to help people.
Junior Sous Chef
James has joined us from The Bolney stage after spending four years working his way up the ranks. He started as a kitchen porter and quickly decided that he wanted a slice of the fast and furious kitchen action. James is now firing on all cylinders and we're proud to count him as an integral part of our kitchen crew.
Chef de Partie
Charlie is brand new to Brunning and Price but has fitted into the team perfectly. Before joining us here he studied hospitality and catering at de Stafford School and was a ground man for an arborist. His tipple of choice is beer which is handy given our great selection and in his spare time he loves nothing more than a big night out in Brighton.
Liam is originally from Ireland and loves whipping up a tasty treat for all the staff to enjoy. His speciality is on the desert section where he can make anything look good! He is also known for putting on the cheesiest tunes whilst working in the kitchen. Liam definitely knows how to cheer you up if you are feeling blue.
Chris who is originally from Brighton now lives in Effingham. Before joining us he was a jack of all trades dabbling in building work, roofing and maintenance. He is an absolute trooper and his slight OCD means our kitchen is always spotless. As long as we keep him in cups of tea and indulge his Doctor Pepper vice he is always a happy chappie. In his spare time he enjoys gardening, is a bit of a petrol head and is a fair weather cyclist! His claim to fame is meeting soap actor Syd Owen.
Use the calendar to book a table. If the time you're after is not available, give us a call and we will try our best to fit you in. We keep some tables for phone bookings.
We don't reserve any of our outside tables so if you enjoy a little alfresco dining these are first come first serve.
Friday 29th November to Tuesday 24th December