Formally a farm cottage for Lodge Oak Farm, the building and land was acquired in 1946 by Frederick Lenny & Sons Ltd (trading as Phoenix Brewery) and the licence was transferred from the old White Hart beer-house on Tonbridge High Street. Phoenix Brewery had been acquired itself by Whitbread & Co Ltd in 1927, and in 1961 the properties were sold to Fremlins Ltd.

Fremlins Ltd was then purchased by Whitbread & Co Ltd in 1967, returning the Cardinal’s Error to it’s original brewery. In 2002 Whitbread sold it’s pub estate, known as the Laurel Pub Company, to Enterprise Inns.

Long rumoured to be haunted by Nellie, a poor farm girl who was made pregnant by a local man who promised her marriage and his fortune, before jilting her. Nellie dressed herself in her wedding finest and then drowned herself in the pond that lay behind the pub, now a housing estate built in the 1970’s. Locals tell tales of seeing Nellie walking from the pond, into the pub and up to the private accommodation above.