Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, March, 2022.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 06 March, 2022.


Earliest ????

Dorset Arms

Latest ????

1 Golding Street

Royal Tunbridge Wells


I believe the following article taken from the Kent and Sussex Courier of 18th July 1873 refers to the "Dorset Arms" as that is the only pub I know of in the now (2016) demolished Golding Street.

This was operating as a Common Lodging House during its period of operation.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier 18 July, 1873. Price 1d.



Joseph Smith, a youth, and Caleb Buley and Joseph Widdell, two little boys, in custody on a warrant, were charged with assaulting Abraham Jenner, at Golding-street, on the 12th inst. Complainant, whose head was encircled with a large bandage, and whose face bore marks of ill-usage, deposed:- I am a labourer, and live in Golding-street. On Saturday night, a little after six o'clock, I was at Rabbett’s public-house, playing a game at ‘pick up Jenny’ with Smith, who said that if I knocked all the pins down he would knock me down. The landlady said there could be no fighting there, and we went outside. On getting outside into the street I said I should not fight, when Smith struck me in the face with a stone he held in his hand. I went along the road a little, when the other two boys came up. Smith and the others then pulled me down. I got up and found my head bleeding. I went further away, and they followed and pulled me down, and that time I went on the top of Smith. He got up and I went down again, when all three defendants commenced kicking me. A man named William Young came and took them off me. I got up, and as my head was injured by a stone which defendants threw, I went to the Infirmary. [A certificate he had received from the house surgeon at the Infirmary, describing the injuries he had sustained, was here produced and handed to the magistrates.]By the Bench:- I had been playing with Smith for about half an hour. I am eighteen years of age. In reply to questions put by the defendants, complainant denied that he in the first instance assaulted Smith. John Borden, a labourer, living in Golding-street, deposed that he was present at Rabbett’s, when Smith said that if complainant knocked all the pins down he would knock him down. After that they went outside, when Smith struck Jenner in the face with a stone. Jenner said he should not fight, but attempted to take the stone from him. He struck Smith twice, but afterwards said he would not fight and went away. Smith threw a stone, which struck Jenner on the back of the head. Smith then followed, and pulled Jenner down. Jenner got up and went further away, but Smith again followed, and caught hold of complainant and tried to kick him down. Smith, however, fell underneath Jenner, and the two boys went up, pulled Jenner off, and held him while Smith kicked him.

Cross-examined by Smith:- I did not see Jenner take hold of you by the collar and throw you down first. William Young, a sawyer, deposed that as he was going home on Saturday night, he saw Smith throw a stone, which struck Jenner at the back of the head, and blood ran down in a stream from the wound. Jenner tried to get away, but Smith followed and caught hold of him. Smith fell underneath. The two boys, Buley and Widdell, pulled Smith from under Jenner, and started kicking Jenner. He interfered and pushed Smith away, and rescued the complainant, whose slop was covered with blood. It was dark, and he could not therefore see what injuries Jenner had received in his face. He told Jenner to get up and go away, for if he lay there on the ground he would get killed. He (witness) did not see anything which took place at the public-house, as he was merely passing along the street on his way home. Smith denied that he commenced the assault, and said that complainant had been in the habit of knocking him about. On this occasion, Jenner took hold of him by the collar and pulled him out of the public-house. He denied that he threw any stones or struck complainant with a stone. The other two defendants denied that they were guilty of the assault. The Chairman said the magistrates fined Smith 1, and 10s. 6d. costs, and in default of payment one month's imprisonment. They were of opinion that the other two defendants, Buley and Weddell, had behaved very ill, and it was evident that they were not good boys.

The magistrates, however, would let them go that time, but they must take care not to be brought up again. Smith asked to be allowed a week to pay in, but the Bench refused to allow his request.




BARLOW Jonas 1881+ (age 28 in 1881Census)

GALLOP William 1891+ (age 74 in 1891Census)

DYER John 1903+

SMITH William 1911+ (age 74 in 1911Census)

WELLS George Robert 1913+




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