Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, April, 2023.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 27 April, 2023.


Earliest 1846-

Clarence Tavern

Latest 1992-

(Name to)

24 Church Road

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Clarence Hotel

Above postcard, date unknown.

Clearance Tavern 1960s

Above photo, 1960s, kindly sent by Mike White


Above photo, date unknown.

Clarence 1967

Above sign 1967.

With thanks from Roger Pester

Clarence Hotel pewter mug

Above pewter mug, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Clarence Hotel pewter mug base

Above pewter mug, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin. Saying "Clarence Hotel, Tunbridge Wells."


Also been known as the "Jailhouse," "Charles Stapely," "Derek Bately," "Biscuit Factory," "Players Coyote," etc.

I really would love to be able to keep up with all the name changes for this venue. If someone would like to tell me them all and the dates they managed to survive under each name, I'll add a nice page for each.


Local knowledge, further pictures, and licensee information would be appreciated.

I will be adding the historical information when I find or are sent it, but this project is a very big one, and I do not know when or where the information will come from.

All emails are answered.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 11 August 1846.

Robert Collins, "Clarence Tavern," Tunbridge Wells. Begs most respectfully to return his best thanks for the kind support that he received at the match of cricket, between the counties of Kent and Sussex, and hopes he may merit the same on any future occasion.


From the Kentish Gazette, 20 June 1848.

TONBRIDGE WELLS. Ancient Order of Druids.

Lodge 247 of this town held their anniversary on Whit-Monday, in the lodge room, "Clarence Tavern," when there was a numerous muster of brothers and friends to partake of the good cheer of the worthy host, Collins, among; whom we had great pleasure in observing several brothers from Folkestone, Gravesend, Oxford, &c. The chair was taken by R. A. Dray, the N.A. for the current quarter, assisted by P. A. R. A. Mead, as vice-chairman. The harmony of the evening was much enhanced by the able assistance of the brothers and friends to our local board.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 22 May 1874.

Temporary Authority.

The licence of the "Clarence Hotel" was temporarily transferred from Mr. H. Greville Stuart to Mr. William Macdonald, late of the "Elephant and Castle," Goods Station Road.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 1 July 1874.

The following licences were transformed.

The "Clarence Hotel," Church Road, from Mr. Henry Greville Stuart to Mr. William McDonald.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 3 July 1874.

A Servant Girl Stealing Her Mistress's Clothes.

Eliza Foster, a domestic servant, was charged with stealing, on the 22nd inst., from the "Clarence Hotel," Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, a quantity of wearing apparel, value 2 10s., the property of Mr. McDonald, her master.

Mrs. Annie McDonald, wife of the prosecutor, deposed that the prisoner had been in her service for 7 months, and up to the 22nd of June she had no reason to suspect her untrustworthiness. On the morning of 22nd June, prisoner got up early, dressed herself in witness's clothes, and went away. The articles stolen were a silk polonaise, a grey skirt, a fall, &c. She identified the apparel produced as her property. Prisoner left the box and her own clothing behind her. As prisoner did not return Mr. McDonald took out a warrant for her apprehension. Prisoner, in reply to the bench, said she had no questions to put, she simply wished to ask Mrs. McDonald's forgiveness.

Sergeant Spittles deposed that he received the prisoner into custody at Maidstone, on Saturday evening last, and told her that she was charged with stealing several articles the property of Mr. McDonald. Prisoner replied, "Yes, these are the things I am wearing, except the gold sleeve links and fall which I lost her a hole in my pocket." He produced the articles prisoner was wearing, and which had been identified by Mrs. McDonald.

Prisoner, in reply to the usual caution, pleaded guilty.

Superintendent Embry said the girl was arrested at Maidstone in consequence of information which had been sent out by him. She had been raving about with a soldier. The father, who was a respectable labouring man, had called on him, and said he believed it would be the best thing to have the girl locked up, and so stop her going further into crime.

The Bench sentence the prisoner to 2 months imprisonment, telling her that she ought to be sentenced to a very severe punishment, but they had taken into consideration her being young and this being her first offence.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 9 September, 1874.

Tunbridge Wells Petty Sessions. Drunk and Riotous.

George Bayntun, of Basinghill Street, was charged with being drunk and riotous in Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, on the 6th inst.

P.C. Markwick proved the case, and said that on the preceding (Sunday) night, at about 10 o'clock, he heard a noise in Church Road, and on going there, he saw the defendant, who was drunk, challenging people to fight. He refused to put his coat on and go away, and he took him into custody. Defendant was very violent when in custody, and threatened several times to do for witness.

Defendant said when he came out of the "Clarence," 3 or 4 cabmen pushed him about, and tried to riddle his pockets. The did not succeed, or he should not have had anything to pay there worships.

The Bench ordered defendant to pay a fine of 5s. and 5s. costs, or in default 7 days imprisonment.


From the By Mary Harris, 7 March 2023.

This former pub site in Church Road had many incarnations as watering holes during the years. It became the "Charles Stapley," then the "Old Jail House," followed by the "Biscuit Factory" and the "Sound Garden," before becoming "Players Coyote" where women working behind the bar would regularly get on the bar and dance.

There was a pole too for them to entertain punters. It is now closed and being converted into flats.



COLLINS Robert 1846-51+ (age 40 in 1851Census)

COLE Thomas 1861+ (age 45 in 1861Census)

STUART Henry Greville 1873-May/74 Kent and Sussex Courier

Last pub licensee had MACDONALD/McDONALD William May/1874+ Kent and Sussex Courier

BUTCHER George 1901+ Census

JEFFREY Charles 1911+ (age 51 in 1911Census)



Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-