Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 1874-


Latest 1922+

14 Little Mount Sion

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Former Standard premises

Above photo showing the premises of the former Standard. It is now the Toc H hall and car park.


Information from local historian Ed Gilbert says that this was never a public house but operated as a beer-retailer and Common Lodging House.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 6 February, 1914.



The Annual Brewster Sessions for the Borough of Tunbridge Wells were held at the Town Hall on Monday morning, the Mayor (Councillor C. W. Emson) presiding over a large attendance of the Justices.

The Magistrates had decided to renew all the licenses, with the exception of the "Anchor," Camden-road; the "Rifleman," Kensington-street; the "Good Intent," St. John’s-road; the "Standard," Little Mount Sion; and the "Alma," Varney -street. The licensee of these houses would be considered at the adjourned annual licensing meeting a month hence.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 6 March, 1914.


Mr. S. A. Cheale (of Messrs. Andrew and Cheale) supported an application for the renewal of the license of the "Standard" Beerhouse in Little Mount Sion.

P. Sergt. Walters stated that a common lodging-house was conducted on the premises.

In reply to Mr. Cheale, he stated that the clientele of the lodging-house consisted of pedlars, men in search of work and men who did no work. Pedlars were a respectable class of men.

Mr. Cheale:- Where could these men sleep if the "Standard" were closed?

Witness:- They could sleep on the Common.

Would you permit them to sleep on the Common?

They could do so if they had money in their pocket.

The Mayor:- It is not suggested that the lodging-house part of the business should be closed.

Mr. Cheale:- I shall prove it would be impossible to carry it on without the license.

The Police Sergeant expressed the opinion that the class of people referred to would not come to Tunbridge Wells if there were no place to sleep.

Mr. Cheale scouted this idea, and urged the Bench not to deprive a respectable class of men of sleeping accommodation, such as was provided for them at the "Standard." There was nowhere for them to go, he said, unless the Corporation contemplated building municipal common lodging-houses, and the Mayor was the best judge as to whether they were likely to do that. As to the connection of the license with the common lodging-house, it was not suggested that the Bench should say to the Spa or Wellington or a similar hotel. "We shall take away your license, but you can still carry on the boarding and sleeping rooms." The hotel keepers would soon tell them they could not do it.

Alfred Best, the licensee, stated that the trade of his house, which was the only other registered common lodging-house in the town besides the "Alma," had increased considerably during the past year. A large number of working men found accommodation at the house during the year. If the license were taken away witness would be unable to make the lodging-house pay by itself.

James M. Richardson, surveyor, stated that the house was in a good state of repair and good sanitary condition. There was no other house in the neighbourhood affording the same lodging-house facilities as the "Standard".

The Bench agreed to consider the case of the next house before coming to a decision.


From an email received 30 September 2009.

I understand you are wanting information regarding an Ale house at 14 Little Mount Sion, Tunbridge Wells.

From family research I have discovered via a death certificate that the Ale house was called The Standard.

My husbands grandfather Edwin Best gave it has his address, when he was the informant on the death certificate of his first wife in 1910. She died in the homeopathic hospital Tunbridge Wells.

From the 1911 census I found that Edwin's son aged 21 also called Edwin, and his 14 year old sister were living and working at the ale/lodging house. There was also a large number of lodgers. The licensee at the time was Alfred Best. Not sure exactly what relation he was. The building is no longer there, but the space is now the Toc h hall and car park. I would love to see a picture of the ale house.

I hope this is of use to you.


Alison Davis.



NEALE Thomas 1874-82+ Post Office Directory 1874CensusPost Office Directory 1882

NEALE Mrs Sylvena 1891+ CensusPost Office Directory 1891

PREL Samuel 1903+ Post Office Directory 1903

BEST Alfred 1911-14+ CensusPost Office Directory 1913

BISH Edwin James 1918-22+ Post Office Directory 1918Post Office Directory 1922


Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1918From the Post Office Directory 1918

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922


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