Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, March, 2023.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 11 March, 2023.


Earliest 1870

Crystal Palace

Closed 2014.

67-69 Camden Road

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Crystal Palace 1953

Above photo, 1953.

Crystal Palace 2011

Photo taken 22 October 2011 from by The Quaffer.

Crystal Palace 2018

Above photo, 2018.

Crystal Palace

Above photo date unknown by Nigel Chadwick Creative Commons Licence.

Crystal Palace sign 1980s

Above sign, 1980s.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


It is suggested that although the "Crystal Palace" can be traced to as early as 1870, it may be even older and called something else prior to this.

I do have reference to the address of 67 Camden Road being called the "Anchor" in 1909 from a book by the Civil Society, and at that time the "Crystal Palace" was next door at 69, so it seems the two must have amalgamated into one at some time.

After being closed for some years the pub reopened in 2011, but closed again in 2014.

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.


From 17 December 2013 by Keith Hunt

Tunbridge Wells landlord Matthew Liles jailed over racist attack on two men at Crystal Palace Inn.

A pub landlord who joined in a racist attack on two men on New Year's Eve and then glassed another victim while on bail has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Matthew Liles was sentenced to four-and-a-half years for wounding with intent, nine months for assault causing actual bodily harm and three months for perverting the course of justice.

The 25-year-old, who ran the "Crystal Palace Inn," in Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells, admitted the offences.

Carer Shannon Boughton, of Thomas Street, Tunbridge Wells, and Jamie Waldock, of Kenilworth, Andrew Road, Tunbridge Wells, both denied racially aggravated actual bodily harm and perverting the course of justice, but were convicted.

Boughton, 20, was sentenced to 18 months' youth custody and 22-year-old Waldock to 18 months' imprisonment.

Maidstone Crown Court heard Dharmesh Desai and Muhammed Waleed had been drinking at Liles' pub on New Year's Eve this year and left speaking in their "mother tongue" as they headed for a kebab shop.

Judge Philip Statman said Boughton complained about the two men not speaking English and said they should "go back to their country".

The judge said: "I pause to observe that we live, if I may say so for the better, in a racially mixed community enriched by the culture and background of those who come to live in the UK from other parts of the world and is an important integrated part of our community.

"What followed from your comments, Miss Boughton, was a wholly unprovoked attack upon Mr Desai and Mr Waleed, during which punches were thrown and kicks were administered in the course of a racially aggravated attack."

At one stage, Boughton took off one of her shoes and struck Mr Waleed over the head with it.

Judge Statman said Boughton's friend, Samantha White, was horrified by what she saw. She helped the victims and stayed with them until the emergency services arrived.

Miss White made a statement but Liles, Boughton and Waldock all tried to get her to change her account, suggesting her memory and judgement were clouded by alcohol. But she stuck to her guns.

Liles was on bail on March 23 when he got into a violent argument with Paul Bachelor at a pub and thrust a champagne flute into his face, leaving an ugly wound below his ear needing many stitches.

The court was packed with friends and family as the judge said all three defendants came from respectable backgrounds and all had excellent work records.

"All of you are capable of behaving in a decent and proper way," he said. "All of you have lost a great deal."

Boughton was the carer for a woman who had the most appalling difficulties, it was said. A plethora of testimonials were before the court for all three.

Judge Statman said he had most concern about Liles, who would never again be in the position of running licensed premises.

The wounding offence, he said, was grave. There might have been a small degree of provocation.

The judge expressed the hope all three would be given help with anger management and alcohol abuse while in custody.


From 6 August 2014 by Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas

Matthew Liles, former landlord of Crystal Palace pub in Tunbridge Wells jailed after glassing drinker has jail term cut.

A out-of-control pub landlord who glassed a drinker with a champagne flute has had his jail term cut by top judges on appeal.

Matthew Roberts Liles, 26, was landlord of the "Crystal Palace" pub, in Tunbridge Wells, in March last year when he smashed a glass in the face of Paul Batchelor.

The attack came despite the fact that Mr Batchelor had just bought Liles a drink.

At the time Liles, of Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells, was on bail for his part in another assault, outside his premises on New Year's Eve 2012.

He was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and perverting the course of justice, at Maidstone Crown Court.

In December last year, he was jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Today Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Bean and Mr Justice Foskett, sitting at the Criminal Appeal Court in London, cut that to four-and-a-half years.

The court heard that, in the New Year's Eve incident, Liles had punched a reveller outside his pub who was already being subjected to a racially motivated attack by two others.

Liles was cleared of having a racial motive.

There was then an attempt to persuade a witness to the offence to withdraw her testimony.

The glassing came about after the volatile landlord “wholly over-reacted” during an argument with Mr Batchelor in another pub, leaving him with a deep wound near his ear.

Lawyers for Liles today told the court that he was of previous good character and had gone off the rails because he was working too hard.

He was 20,000 in debt and was “supporting his parents financially”, as well as letting several family members live in his pub.

Mr Justice Foskett said: “The total sentence of five and a half years was too long. In our view, a total sentence of four and a half years would have been appropriate."


From the  By Mary Harris, 25 April 2018.

The Crystal Palace pub in Camden Road closed in 2014 and has remained boarded up ever since.

Its reputation was in tatters before the closure because of earlier violence at the pub.

Landlord Matthew Liles was jailed in 2014 after he glassed a man in the face.

People living nearby told Kent Live after the pub closed drug takers have been getting into the site, including during the last period of snow, and could clearly be seen injecting drugs.

But there are plans by owner and independent brewer Harvey's and Son (Lewes) to redevelop the former pub and garden which is on the busy corner with Victoria Road.

Glenn Moore of G M Moore and Associates said the pub would be replaced with a three-storey building with three underground parking spaces.

It would be retail for A1 or A2 use, so either a shop or financial and professional services along with two two-bed flats and a one-bed flat.

A second building would be constructed in the rear garden, creating a one-bed flat on the ground floor and a two-bed flat above.

He said access would be via an existing right of way off Victoria Road and the flats would be for the private sector.


From the By Mary Harris, 7 March 2023.

The Crystal Palace in Camden Road closed in 2014 and it came as little surprise following a string of violent disturbance. It has remained boarded up ever since, despite plans to replace the site with a three-storey building with underground parking.

People living nearby told Kent Live after the pub closed drug takers have been getting into the site, including during the last period of snow, and could clearly be seen injecting drugs. There were plans to redevelop the former pub and garden which is on the busy corner with Victoria Road.



KNELLER John 1914+ Kelly's 1914

LILES Matthew to Dec/2013


Kelly's 1914From the Medway Kelly's Directory 1914/15


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