Our pub forms part of the 650-acre King's Hill business and residential park, which stands on the site of the Battle of Britain air station, RAF West Malling.
The Spitfire pub was built in 1999 on the RAF base that inspired its name. Shepherd Neame's signature range of ales Spitfire Kentish Ale, Spitfire Gold, and Spitfire Lager are also inspired by this wartime connection. This has influenced the pub’s stylish décor, too, which recalls the classic aircraft in artwork and features around the pub.
Keen to see the history-themed interior for yourself? Visit us and have a Spitfire Lager while you’re at it!
The RAF base where our pub sits began life as an emergency landing ground for Detling Airfield after WW1. In 1939, it was taken over by the Air Ministry and expanded into RAF West Malling, becoming a leading night fighter station in 1941.
At the height of WWII, 141 Squadron flew in Boulton Paul Defiant two-seat fighters, until they were replaced by 66 Squadron with faster Mk1 Spitfires in late 1940.
Our classic pub sign here depicts a Mk16 Spitfire built in 1944 as a ground fighter, which flew with 66 Squadron. This can now be seen preserved at the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum in Manston near Ramsgate.