Sort file:- Dartford, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 30 March, 2021.


Earliest 1851-

Railway Tavern Hotel

Closed 2012

Station Approach


Railway Hotel 1910

Above photo showing the original building, circa 1910, kindly sent by Michael Norman.

Railway Hotel 2009

Above photo 2009 by Chris Whippet Creative Commons Licence.

Railway Tavery 2012

Above photo taken 2012, just before closure, kindly sent by Michael Norman.


The first railway station opened here by the South Eastern Railway on 30 July 1849, taking the line from Dartford to the North Kent Line at Gravesend. However, I have only traced the pub back to 1855 so far, and the one there at the end was not the original. At present I do not know when or why it was rebuilt.

The former Ind Coope closed in 2012 and it is believed will be demolished to enable the car park at the station to be enlarged. I suppose they have to have somewhere to park the replacement bus services.

See Dartford Map 1905.


Kentish Gazette, 30 December 1851.

Dartford. Fatal Accident.

On Saturday evening Inst two men called at the "Railway Tavern" beer-shop, Overy-street, and had something to drink; while there one of the men, who was intoxicated, became ill; he drank a little vinegar and afterwards seemed better; he shortly afterwards left the house and proceeded towards the town; at a late hour at night he was seen to go in company with a female in the direction of the Railway Bridge, near the Priory, when it is supposed he walked too near the edge of the embankment, and was precipitated to the bottom, a distance of from fifteen to twenty feet, where he was afterwards found a corpse. The body was removed to the Union. The name of the deceased is Alexander Read, of Whitby, a sailor belonging to a collier called the "Lavinia," of Stockton, now lying in Long Reach. The result of numerous inquiries enables us to give the following facts:—

He was in company with, and last seen by, a fellow-shipmate, whose name is John Smith, belonging to the same ship, on Saturday night last, about a quarter before twelve o'clock. He states that they had left their ship and came ashore that evening. They called in at the "Eleven Cricketers," at Dartford, on Saturday night last before twelve, in company with a girl of the town, whom they treated, and afterwards called for half a pint of rum each, which the landlord, at their request, put into two ginger-beer bottles, in order to take it away with them. They then all three left together, when as they were about leaving the house, another girl of the town, (who has since absconded and cannot be heard of, although every search has been made), accosted the deceased, and after holding a few minutes conversation, the two parties separated, the deceased going one way with the girl who had just come up to him, and Reed with the girl they had been already in company with. His shipmate states that he saw nor heard nothing more of him till eight o'clock the next morning, when he heard that he was dead. He had been looking about for him all night, in order that they might join their ship together.

The girl the deceased was with, it appears, met a young man of the name of Nettlingham, of Dartford, who was returning from the club, about half-past twelve o'clock on the Sunday morning, in Avery-street, which leads down to the railway, and also to Fulwich Bridge which crosses the railway. She told him that a young man whom she had just been with had fallen down a cutting near the above bridge, and she was afraid he was killed, and asked Nettlingham to go and see about him. He said he would if she would accompany him, which she at first refused to do, but afterwards consented. She told Nettlingham where she was lodging. They then proceeded to the bottom of the street which the railway intersects, and proceeded along the line of railway to the spot in question, where they found the body of the unfortunate deceased, apparently dead, lying at the foot of the cutting.

Nettlingham then proceeded further along the railway to the lodge of the railway gatekeeper for assistance, which was the crossing to Cotton Farm. The girl wanted to accompany him, but he told her that she bad better stay where she was, as he would be back in a few minutes. Having called the gatekeeper up, they proceeded back to where the body was, but found that the woman was gone. They then went on into Dartford to give information to police-constables Lillywhite and Hickey, who were on night duty in the town. The police immediately went for medical assistance (Mr. Fisher’s assistant,) and afterwards the five all went together in company to the spot where the body was lying. On coming up to the deceased, they found him lying on the left side, his face turned partially on the ground, with his left arm bent under him, blood oozing from the nostrils, and his neck broken, and, of course, life quite extinct.

On the medical man stating that he was dead, the police proceeded at once to search him, when they found upon him the ginger-beer bottle containing the rum (or a portion of it,) 2s. 6d. in silver, and 8d. in copper, and some tobacco. They also examined his dress, and found that it was not disordered in the least. After which they proceeded to remove the body to the union house. The police then went to the lodging house where she stated to Nettlingham she was living, and knocked up the landlord, and then made inquiries for her, but they found she had not been in. This was about three o'clock in the morning. They have subsequently made every search for her, but she is not to be found in the town of Dartford.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 30 September 1881.

Dartford. Petty Sessions.

On Saturday before W. C. Pickersgill, and W. Anderson, Esq., and Colonel Beamish, Mr. Gibson renewed his application on behalf of Mr. Henry Brett, for the sale of intoxicating liquors at a refreshment room at Dartford station. Mr. Beasely, barrister, appeared on behalf of Messrs. Meux and Co., owners, and Mr. Tomlinson, the lessee of the "Railway Hotel," opposite the station. After a lengthy argument the Bench decided to grant the licence. We understand that there will be an appeal at the quarter sessions against the decision.



HAYNES George 1855-58+

DENTON John to Dec/1866

VIRGO Robert Dec/1866+

TOMLINSON George 1881-91+ (age 45 in 1891Census)

PALMER Frederick 1903+

GROH John 1913+

BUSBY Samuel 1918-22+

KEAY William L 1930+

COOMBES George C W 1938+

PHILPOTT Peter late 1980s-early 1990s




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