Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, March, 2022.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 06 March, 2022.


Earliest 1828-

(Name from)

Kentish Hotel (Royal)

Latest ????

3-4 London Road (and Chapel Place)

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Kentish Hotel 1889

Above picture showing the hotel and station from the common 1889.

Kentish Hotel 1896

Above photo, 1896, by kind permission of Peter Macleod.

Kentish Hotel 1910

Above photo, 1910, by kind permission of Peter Macleod.

Kentish Hotel 2012

Above image from Google maps, August 2012.


Originally called the "Angels" the premises changed name to the "Kentish" date as yet unknown but certainly between 1801 and 1946. Also known as the "Royal Kentish Hotel."


From The Morning Post (London, England), Monday, March 29, 1825.


JANE STRANGE, respectfully returns her thanks to the Nobility and Gentry, visiting Tunbridge Wells, for the distinguished favours conferred on her since the death of her Husband, and begs to state that she has lately made considerable improvements in the Hotel, with a view to comfort and convenience, trusting that she will be favoured with a continuance of the patronage and support she has hitherto experienced.


Brighton Gazette, Thursday 26 August 1830.


Mrs. Strange returns thanks to the Nobility and Gentry, visitors of Tunbridge Wells, for the patronage she has hitherto experienced; and begs respectfully to state that she has lately made a considerable improvements in the Hotel, (which is pleasantly situated opposite the Common) with a view to render it more commodious; and it shall be her endeavour by assiduity and good management to retain their kind support.

Posting with good horses and steady drivers. Stages to London from the Hotel, morning and afternoon.


From The Essex Standard, and Colchester and County Advertiser (Colchester, England), Saturday, October 29, 1831; Issue 43.


25th inst. at Tonbridge, Kent, by the Rev. Dr. Knox, Mr. T. Durrant, jun. of the "Crown and Magpie Tavern, Aldgate High-Street, to Sophia, youngest daughter of the late Mr. Edward Hilder Strange, of the "Royal Kentish Hotel," Tunbridge Wells.


From the Maidstone Gazette and West Kent Courier, 6, December, 1831.

Lease of Valuable Hotel, Posting House, Lucrative Tap, &c. &c. Tunbridge Wells.

To be sold by auction, by Mr. Cockrell in conjunction with Mr. Henshaw, at Garaway's on Wednesday, the 21st of December, 1831, at 12 o'clock, by order of the Executors, of Edward H Strange, Deceased.

The lease, 19 1/4 years of which will be unexpired at Christmas 1831, of the flourishing establishment at that fashionable and pleasant watering place, Tunbridge Wells, known by the name of "Strange's Royal Kentish Hotel," situated on the High Road, and facing the beautiful Common, and consists of the Hotel and Tavern, lately repaired and fitted up at considerable expense, and making up about 50 beds.

Excellent Coach House, for the standing of 12 to 16 carriages, and good stall stabling for 20 horses. commodious and distinct premises opposite the Hotel, for the Post Horses, Chaises, &c.

A very lucrative and increasing Tap business to which is attached a respectable Weekly Corn Market.

The Funeral Furnishing Business which has been successfully and respectfully conducted by the family for upwards of 50 years.

The premises, which might be still enlarged and improved, present an imposing appearance, having about 170 feet of frontage.

The concern was successfully carried on by the late Proprietor Mr. E. H. Strange, and equally so since his decease, by his Widow, in consequence of whose death, the Executors offer it to public competition for the benefit of the family, as it presents unusual advantages to any competent persons who may engage in it.

The premises may be viewed twenty one days prior to the sale, and particulars and descriptive plans may be had on the premises; of Mr. Young, Tunbridge Wells, Executor; Mr. Stapley, Tunbridge Wells; Mr. Cockerell, Blackman Street, Southwark; Mr. Henshaw, Duke Street, West Smithfield; T. S. Newnon, Esq. Solicitor, 2, Great Carter Lane; Mr. Crease, 53, West Smithfield, Executor; at Garroway's, and at the principle Inns throughout Kent and Sussex.


From the South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 5 June 1832.

Tunbridge Wells.

The King's birthday was celebrated here on the 23rd ult by a public dinner at the "Royal Kentish Hotel," on which occasion upwards of 70 of the resident gentry and inhabitants sat down to a sumptuous repast, consisting of turtle, venison, and every delicacy of the season, to which ample justice was done by one and all, who express themselves highly delighted with a treat, and the particular attention paid to them by Mr. E. Churchill, the new landlord of the hotel. Great praise also was bestowed on the wines, which were served as samples of what were contained in the cellars. R. W. Bleancowe, Esq. took the chair, supported on his right by Sir William Geary, and on his left by William Cougreve, Esq. On the cloth being removed all charged to the first toast - "The King," with three times three, which was drunk with enthusiasm, and followed by "God save the King," which was sung in a fine style. The chairman then gave "The Queen," with three times three. The following were then toasted in succession "The Duchess of Kent," "The Princess Victoria," and "The Duke of Sussex," with three times three. "The Army and Navy," "The Lord Lieutenant of the County," The Officers and Privates of the Tunbridge Wells Troop." Sir William Geary's health was then drunk, and "Success to the Oxonhoath Troop." After several other toasts (which were received with repeated cheers) the Rev. J. J. Saints proposed the health of Mr. Bleaklowe, who returned thanks in a neat speech., which he concluded by anticipating the most congenial to the feeling of every inhabitant - "Prosperity to Tunbridge Wells."

This toast was drunk with three times three. Mr. B. Then left the chair; the party, however, did not break up till a late hour. A brilliant star, composed of lamps, was fixed in front of the hotel, which was very attractive. The furze on our beautiful common, we will get to say was set fire to late at night - it is a great pity that some steps are not taken to preserve one of the greatest ornaments to that place.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 16 December 1834.

Worship Street.

On Thursday, Anne Smith, a very stylishly dressed young woman, and Mary Crawford, a middle-aged woman, who described herself as married, were brought before Mr. Grove, by Hanley, an officer of the establishment, the former charged with having robbed Mr. Edward Churchill, the proprietor of the "Royal Kentish Tavern," Tunbridge Wells, during the time she had been employed in his service as barmaid, of property to the very considerable amount, and the latter with being the receiver of the same, well knowing it to have been stolen.

The prisoners were only apprehended late on Wednesday afternoon, and in consequence of several important witnesses not being in attendance, the evidence was not gone into in detail, but, from what transpired before the magistrates to authorise him to detaining the prisoners in custody, it appeared that Smith had been in the employ of the prosecutor as bar-maid and principal servant, about 12 months, but had left about of week since, in consequence of her being rather intimate with the head waiter.

Shortly after the prisoner had left, the prosecute and missed a quantity of valuable plate, and that led him to inspect and examine his other property, and he then discovered a system of extensive plunder had been carried on for some considerable time. Suspicion immediately fell on the prisoner, and the prosecutor made enquiries respecting her, and ascertained, at the booking office at Tunbridge Wells, that she had been in the habit, for about 9 months, of sending parcels of various sizes, and sometimes boxes, to London, two or three times a week, directed to "Mrs. Crawford (the other prisoner), West Place, Fox Lane, Kingsland Road."

The prosecutor, on gaining this information, directly came to town, and made known the circumstance of his office, and on Wednesday afternoon Hanley, the officer, accompanied him to a house in West Place, and there apprehended both the prisoners, and, on searching the premises, found an immense quantity of tea, sugar, soap, candles, a quantity of bed furniture, together with a great many bottles of wine, brandy, and gin, and other property, all of which Hanley conveyed away, and produced in his office before the prisoners.

Mr. Churchill swore to the candles, soap, and the greater part of the bed furniture. The latter was marked with his name in full, and "Royal Kentish Tavern," T Wells. The candles were a peculiar make, and the soap was stamped "Williams, London."

The prisoners were remanded.


From the Kentish Gazette, 1 August 1837.


Charles Townsend was indicted for having stolen in June a coat, value 7s. from Samuel Waghorn, hostler of the "Kentish Hotel," Tonbridge Wells. The prosecutor deposed that on the 13th of June he hung up the jacket in question behind the stable door; that he saw it hanging there on the 17th instant, and missed it subsequently. On Sunday week he came to Maidstone, and saw the
garment on the back of the prisoner, who was at the "Bull Tap." It had been washed, and the skirts cut off. The prisoner, in his defence, stated that he had taken the coat without knowing it to be the prosecutor’s, whilst working at Tonbridge Wells; that hearing that there would be plenty of work in Maidstone this week he wore it, but with the intention of taking it back again.

Three months' imprisonment and hard labour.


Kentish Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 22 October 1844.

The Auctioneer begs particularly to remind those gentlemen who wish to improve their stocks, that this is an opportunity which seldom occurs in this part of the country, and that Vouchers will be put into the hands of the purchases of each Lot, and the pedigree of each animal will be given in catalogues to be had at the "Star Inn," Maidstone; "Crown," Sevenoaks; "Kentish Hotel," Tunbridge Wells; "White Hart," Ashford; "George," Folkestone; "Star," Lewes; "George," Robertsbridge; "White Hart," Reigate; "Greyhound," Croydon; also of Mr. Stidolph, Dartford, and at the office of the Auctioneer, High Street Tonbridge.

The stock and effects maybe viewed any day previous to the sale.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 19 May 1860. Price 1d.

Detaining Measures and Weights.

At the Petty Sessions on the 6th inst, Mr. John Stringer, inspector of weights and measures was charged with misconduct in the execution of his duty, by Mr. Haines, of the "Kentish Hotel." Mr. Cripps appeared in support of the summons. The charge was for illegally detaining certain measures, the property of Mr, Haines. It appeared that Mr. Haines sent certain measures, which were used for odd purposes, to the defendant, with instructions to stamp them if found correct, and if not correct to return them, and he would break them up for old pewter. Two or three of the measures the inspector refused either to stamp or return. The bench dismissed the case, but cautioned the inspector against detaining measures or weights sent to him.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier 6 June, 1873. Price 1d.


(Under entirely new Management)

Has been Re-decorated and Re-furnished throughout.

Ladies and gentlemen boarded on the most reasonable terms, and special arrangements made with families.

Luncheons, Dinners, &c.,on the shortest notice.

Weddiing breakfasts Supplied.

J. BRABY Proprietor.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier 6 June, 1873. Price 1d.

Royal Kentish Hotel BILLIARD SALOON.

This spacious Room, adjoining the Hotel, which has been enlarged, re-decorated, and elegantly fitted up, and which contains TWO MAGNIFICENT NEW TABLES, is open daily, and gentlemen visiting the rooms may rely on meeting with every accommodation they may require.

JOHN BRABY, Proprietor.

From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 1 August, 1873.


(Under entirely New Management)

Has been Re-decorated and Re-furnished throughout.


Luncheons, Dinners, &c . on the shortest notice- WEDDING BREAKFASTS SUPPLIED.



From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 19 June 1874.

Tunbridge Wells Petty Sessions. Unstamped Measures.

Mr. Braby, of the "Royal Kent Hotel," was summoned for having four unstamped measures in his possession at the "Kentish Tap." The circumstances were precisely the same as in the preceding case, the measures, which were new, being quite correct as regards size, but deficient of a stamp.

Mr. T. Foreman, manager of the tap, who represented Mr. Braby, said that they had recently had four dozen new measures from a firm in Sheffield, and the makers had, from some cause or other, neglected to stamp those produced.

The chairman said Mr. Braby must settle the matter with the Sheffield house, and, while acquitting him from anything in the shape of fraud, they were bound to convict, and they fined him 4s. and 10s. 6d. costs.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 22 July 1874.

Tunbridge Wells Petty Sessions. Extension of One Hour.

An extension of 1 hour for keeping open the "Royal Kentish Hotel," after the usual time was granted to Mr. Braby, on the occasion of the Farmers Club half-yearly dinner, on the 24th inst.


From The Morning Post (London, England), Wednesday, June 24, 1885.


The largest and best appointed in Tunbridge-wells. Moderate charges. Under new management. Tariff and boarding terms of the proprietor, J. R. Cleave.



Jane Strange was also licensee of the "Market House" in 1828.



STRANGE Edward Hilder to 1825 dec'd

STRANGE Jane (widow) 1828-30+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

CHURCHILL Edward 1832-34+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

CROPLEY Henry 1841+ (superintendent age 25 in 1841Census)

WATTS Albert J 1851+ Census

PRUDENCE Peter 1858-61+ Census

HAINES William 1860-61+ Whitstable TimesCensus

STUCKEY Charles 1871+ (age 43 in 1871Census)

BRABY John 1873-74+ Kent and Sussex Courier

MONEY Sarah J 1881-June/83 (age 35 in 1881Census)

WEEKS & HUGHES June/1883+ Kent and Sussex Courier

CLEAVE J R 1885+

KELSEY James 1891+ Census (Manager)

PARZEN Louis 1901+ Census


Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald

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:-