Page Updated Ashurst:- Sunday, 06 March, 2022.


Earliest 1841-

1939 (Name from)

Bald Faced Stag

Closed 2005-



Bald Faced Stag

Above postcard, date unknown.

Bald Faced Stag 2010

Above photo 2010 by David Anstiss Creative Commons Licence.

Bald Faced Stag sign 1991

Above sign 1991 with thanks from Brian Curtis


The pub is a memorial to a local beast who lost all the hairs on his face in old age. He was well known to the local people, who honoured him by renaming their "Railway Hotel."


From the South Eastern Gazette, 2 May, 1848.

Two Brewers, innkeeper's, and capitalist.

The "Bald Faced Stag Inn," and between 10 and 11 acres of land, at Ashurst, Kent.

Messrs. Charlton and Son will sell by auction, at the "Kentish Hotel," Tunbridge Wells, on Tuesday, 9th day of May, 1848, at three o'clock in the afternoon.

All that very desirable leasehold property "nearly equal to freehold," known as the "Bald Faced Stag Inn," near the church, in the parish of Ashurst, on the road leading from Penshurst to Blackham Common and Hartfield; together with a barn, stalls, lodges, and between 10 and 11 acres of productive meadow and arable land.

The property is 4 miles from Tunbridge Wells, and is let to Mr Robert Pawley, a yearly tenant, at the moderate rent of 40 per annum.

For particulars apply at the offices of Messers. Alleyne, Scoones, and Walker, Solicitors, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells; and of Messrs. Charlton and Son, Tunbridge.


South Eastern Gazette 02 June 1857.


At the Petty Sessions, held on Wednesday last, the following transfers of licenses were made:-

The "Bald Faced Stag," Ashurst, from Robert Haffenden to Lucy Taylor.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 7 December 1861.

George Monkton, 36, fly driver, Thomas Saunders, 34, labourer, George Gibbs, 25, labourer, and Henry Waghorn, labourer (on bail,) for having on the 28th of October, conspired to obtain from one Mary Taylor 6 10s. with intent to defraud H. Taylor. Mr. Addison was for the prosecution, and Mr. Ribton for the prisoners.

Mrs. Taylor, wife of prosecutor, of the "Bald Faced Stag," at Ashurst, said that Saunders and Gibbs had lodged at her house, and were employed in the neighbourhood as well diggers; they had been away 2 or 3 days previously to the 28th of October, but on the evening of that day they came to the house and had some refreshment. Shortly afterwards a fly, driven by the prisoner Waghorn, came up to the door, and a person dressed like a gentleman got out of the fly and went through into the tap room, where the other prisoners then were - that "gentleman" was Monkton.

After they had been together a short time Gibbs came to her and said "That's a perfect gentleman just come in; whatever he wants be sure to let him have it, never mind about paying, that will be alright, he's worth thousands."

Gibbs went on to say that the gentleman had not much money with him, and would very likely come to her presently and want change for a 10 or 20 cheque; if he did she was to be sure and let him have it, for it will be alright for he was a perfect gentleman, and he (Gibbs) knew him well; Gibbs was speaking of the gentleman in the Tap Room who have come in the fly; she said in reply to Gibbs' remark that he was a gentleman, "Is he? He does not look much like it." (Laughter)

Monkton was dressed in a kind of dark clothes coat waistcoat and trousers, nearly or quite alike.

After Gibson spoken to her, Monkton came and asked her to give him change for a cheque 6 10s. at the same time producing a cheque or a bill of acceptance; she could neither read nor write, and Gibbs was fully aware of that circumstance; Monckton said he had not got much cash with him, but if she would give him change for the cheque she should get it crashed at the London and County Bank, Tunbridge Wells; she demurred about changing the cheque and Gibbs came to the tap-room door and said "what a foolish woman you are not a cash that cheque; it will be all right, for I know him well."

She after some hesitation gave Monckton 6 sovereigns and a half sovereign, and the cheque to her husband when he came home at night.

By Mr. Ribton:- The other prisoners could have heard what Gibbs a Monckton said to her when she showed the cheque to her brother-in-law; he said perhaps it would be all right, and perhaps it would not, but she had better put the money into her pocket. She did not stop anything for interest on the cheque.

William Cook, landlord of the "New Inn," Langton, said that at about 7 o'clock on the evening in the 28th October the 4 prisoners came to his house, they all came in a fly, they all went into the tap-room, where they had two glasses of brandy and water. While their Monckton put on a round frock, a common labourers frock. He also wore dark clothes. The pony with a fly started while they were there. All the prisoners were present when Monckton put on the frock.

The learned judge seemed puzzled to understand what was meant by a "round frock" and a "gentleman" in court wearing a somewhat lively looking green frock, was pointed out, much to the amusement of his lordship and the jury.
John Taylor, brother-in-law of Mrs. Taylor, fully corroborated the evidence, and after a lengthened trial, which was void of public interest. His lordship considered that there was no case against Saunders, and directed his acquittal.

Mr. Ripton then very ably addressed the jury for the other prisoners contending that the case was one for a civil, and not a criminal court; in as much as the prosecutor could recover against Monckton on the document given for the money. Monckton who had twice before being convicted, was sentenced to 12 months' hard labour. Waghorn and Gibbs to 3 months each.


Kent & Sussex Courier 07 May 1875.



James King, of the "Bald Faced Stag," Ashurst, pleaded guilty to having in his possession an unjust and unstamped weight.

Mr. Stringer said the weight was used for weighing butter, and was with the other weights and scales. It was a quarter of an ounce light.

Defendant said the weight was not used for weighing butter, because his butter was weighed in half-pound, quarter-pound, and two ounce pieces. He had a chimney that could not be swept by a machine, so this weight was used for that purpose. He said a man got on the roof, attached the weight to a rope, and dropped it down the chimney. They then drew a holly bush up and down, and so swept the chimney.

The Bench fined the defendant 2s 6d and 10s 6d costs.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 30 August 1876.


William Divall, labourer, Blackham, who did not appear, but sent his wife, was summoned for being disorderly and refusing to quit the premises of the "Bald Faced Stag," at Ashurst.

Defendant’s wife said her husband had authorised her to plead guilty.

The Bench fined the defendant 15a. and 10s. costs, or fourteen days’ imprisonment.


Kent & Sussex Courier 04 April 1879.


At the Tunbridge Wells Petty Sessions, on Monday, James King was summoned for unlawfully allowing intixicating liquers to be consumed on his licensed premises, the "bald Faced Stag," Ashurst, on the 23rd inst.

Mr. W. C. Cripps, solicitor, appeared for the defendant, and pleaded not guilty. he stated there was also a summons against John Stapley and John Grout, for being on licensed premises at the same time, and he asked that these summonses should be heard together.

The Bench, on being assured the evidence would be the same in both cases, decided to hear them together.

P.C. Fielder said that at twelve o'clock at noon on Sunday, the 23rd, he visited the "Bald Faced Stag," Ashurst, and went into the house by the back door. He asked to see defendant, and defendant's daughter fetched him out of the bar. he saw a man in the kitchen when defendant described as a lodger, and said he had been there for a fortnight. The only other man in the house, he said, were Mr. Stapley and Mr. Grout. leaving King in the kitchen witness went into the parlour and saw Mr. Stapley sitting by the fire. Mr. Grout stood in front of the fire. On the table were two glasses, in front of Mr. Stapley and Mr. Grout, which contained ale. He asked Mr Stapley what business he had there, when he replied he had called to get a rate book signed. he told him it was a funny time to get such work done. He then told Mr. Grout he was not justified in being present. Mr. Grout said he thought he was, and in answer to a question said he was about 2 1/2 miles from home. When Mr. King came he asked him whether he had served the man with ale. he said he had given Mr. Stapley a glass of ale as he had come to get a rate book signed. he had served Mr. Grout with a glass because Mr. Dance (ex-superintendent of police) had told he he could do so. When he served the summons on King he said he hoped they would look over it lightly, as what he had done had been without any ill-feeling. Grout, who was a fly driver of Groombridge, said he could not see it, as he had put up at the house, and was entitled to a glass of ale. he had measured the distance from Grout's to the "bald Faced Stag," and it was under 2 1/4 miles.

Mr. Cripps said he had no questions to ask the constable, who had given his evidence very fairly. He contended that in Stapley's case there could be no conviction, because there had been no contravention of the of the Act of Parliament, and that at to Mr Groat, who had his fly put up on the premises, he was an inmate, and entitled to a glass of beer. He also submitted that independent of that he was a bona fide traveller, and there ought not to be a conviction because neither Mr Stapley nor Mr Grout went to the house for the purpose of obtaining beer. He explained that Mr Staply, being assistant overseer, had a number of cheques which had to be signed by King, one of the overseers, and they were to be presented to the vestry on the following Tuesday. Knowing Mr King would be away from home all day on Monday, Mr Stapley went to him on Sunday morning and got the papers signed. Afterwards Mr King, gave him a glass of ale, and Mr Stapley drank it. With regard to Groat, he had been in the habit for the last 9 or 10 years of driving Mrs and Miss Ramsden from Stoneness to church, and putting up at this inn both morning and afternoon. Sometimes he went to church and sometimes he remained in the house. This morning he asked King to supply him with a glass of ale with his bread and cheese and he did so. Grout was to all intents and purposes an inmate, and there was no harm in his having a glass of beer.

The defendant King said what the constable had said was perfectly right. Mr Stapley called upon him to sign the rate-book, and he asked him, after having signed the book, if he would have a glass of beer. He supplied Mr Stapley with a glass of beer, but he did not take any money for it. Grout put his horse up at the stable, and had some bread and cheese and a glass of ale. Grout had been in the habit of putting his horse and fly up at the house on Sundays for the past nine or ten years. He was in the habit of driving parties to church.

By Supt. Barnes: Had not been cautioned about supplying Grout with beer on Sundays, nor did he believe he had promised Sergt. Waghorne that he would not.

Mr Stapler said he was assistant overseer, and went to King on the morning in question to sign a parish book which had to be done by the 24th March, because the vestry meeting was on the next day. Mr King offered him a glass of ale, and he was drinking it when the police called.

Mr Simpson asked whether it was admitted that Grout put up regularly at this house on Sundays.

Supt. Barnes said that was admitted.

Sergeant Waghorne, in answer to the Bench, said he had cautioned King.

Mr Cripps said the officer must be sworn.

Waghorne was then sworn and repeated his statement.

The Chairmen inquired whether there had been any complaints respecting this house.

Supt. Barnes, said there had, and Col. Ramsden had also complained. When told of this case, Col Ramadan said he was very glad of it.

Mr Cripps said he had been told Col Ramsdan had written to the Chief Constable asking why these proceedings had been taken. Col. Ramsden was the owner of the house.

Mr Wigg asked King how long he had kept the house, and he replied 14 or 15 years. In answer to a further question, he said he was going out at Michaelmas.

The Bench dismissed the case against Mr Stapley. They fined King 1 and 12s coats or a month, and Grout 10s and 8s costs or 14 days.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Wednesday 4 May 1887.

Tunbridge Wells Petty sessions. Licensing.

Mr. Heaysman, formerly of the "Bald Faced Stag," applied for the return of his licensing fee as the house had since been closed.

Mr. Simpsons said the county did not return any fees.

The Chairman said there was no application that they could entertain.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Wednesday 4 May 1887.

Tunbridge Wells Petty sessions. Licensing.

The licence of the new house was granted to Mr. J. Tawner, that of the "Bald Faced Stag" being allowed to lapse.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 11 December, 1889.


Mrs Sarah Burtonshaw, landlady of the "Bald Face Stag," Ashurst, was charged on remand with being drunk on the licensed premises of the same on Nov. 22nd.

The case was adjourned from last week owing to the illness of defendant. Mr Cripps appeared for the defence, and pleaded not guilty.

P.C. Barnett, stationed at Pembary, deposed that on the evening in question he went to the "New Inn" near the railway station, and saw defendant in the bar. Hs called for a pint of porter, and then noticed that she was drunk. She did not seem to know what he meant, and her husband came and said they had no porter. She asked him if he wanted beer. He then went into the taproom, where they were playing table pins, and he saw a signal going round to denote his presence.

Mr Cripps objected that the evidence had nothing to do with the case.

Witness, continuing, said while in the parlour, defendant came and poked her face in his. He smelt of liquor and could not walk straight. He could tell that he was spotted as being a policeman. She afterwards brought him another pint of beer in exchange for a pair of laces. The landlord wanted one of several pairs he had in his pocket. He said he would not sell them and he had a pint of beer for them. She spilt the beer in carrying it. He saw her later in the evening in a worse state, and she was asking some of the msn in the bar to treat her to some whiskey. At ten o'clock he told the landlord his wife was drunk, and he should report him. He first went in at eight, then left the house and went in again. The husband told him that his wife was worried, and had not eaten anything. Defendant was in the back room and heard him. She shouted out that she was not drunk, when he swore at her and told her to keep quiet. She said she had a fit the other day.

Mr Cripps declined to cross-examine the constable, and for the defence said the question for the Bench to decide was whether this women was drunk or not, and he should call evidence to prove that his client, who was in a very bad state of health, could not have been intoxicated. The police had been visiting the premises in plain clothes, to see if any gaming went on, and a summons for gaming had been served. Defendant was afraid her husband would lose his license, and was very much worried about her family. The constable had told a very strange story, but after all it did not amount to much. He went in plain clothes and asked for some porter and that accounted for defendant asking "Do you want beer?" Her husband came forward and said they were out of porter. Seeing a policeman again watching the premises after the summons was served the previous day, naturally worried the defendant. He thought after hearing the evidence he had to call, their Worships would be satisfied that the case had broken down.

Sarah Ann Burtenshaw then went in the witness box. She remembered the day the policeman came in plain clothes. The first thing she had to drink that day was a glass of beer for lunch. The only other intoxicant she had was a glass of beer and some bread and cheese for supper, after the constable had said she was drunk. Her only other refreshment had been tea end cocoa at her other meals. She was much worried by the fact that a summons had been served or her husband. She was in bad health, and it had told on her very much. She emphatically denied being drunk. She was too ill to take intoxicants.

John Burtenshaw, landlord of the "Bald Faced Stag," deposed that his wife was in a very weak state of health. The day before the offence alleged against his wife he had been served with summons. She was subject to hysterical fits, and had been greatly put out by this occurrence. On the day in question he knew what refreshments she had, and she only had a glass of beer at her dinner and supper. She was worried, but not drunk. She had a fit of hysteria when he was served with the summons. She could not eat anything.

Mr Browell:- She was well enough to enjoy her two glasses of ale.

Mr Cripps:- It was only two glasses in a day.

By the Bench:- When the constable accused his wife of drunkenness he contradicted it and his wife also came out and denied it.

Supt. Barnes:- What was the cause of your leaving the previous house you kept at Wadhurst?

Mr Cripps objected to the question.

By the Bench:- The policemen had three pints of beer in his house, and had been drinking before. They knew he was a policeman, and he denied there was anything in his house that could be complained of.

Elizabeth Mills, charwoman, of Blackham, deposed that she was working at the "Bald Faced Stag" on the day in question, and was there until 10 o'clock in the evening. Defendant was as sober as she (witness) was now. She appeared very much put out. She only saw defendant have one glass of beer at supper.

By Mr Browell:- She did not stagger about at all. She was not in the bar. She knew the police were on the premises, but she did not know the constable by sight.

The Bench dismissed the case.


From Sussex Agricultural Express 09 September 1890.


Mr. W. C. Cripps applied for a temporary authority to enable Thomas Eade to carry on the "Bald Faced Stag" in the place of Burtenshaw. He handed in very high testimonials from Messrs. Drake and Son, of the Penshurst Causeway Cricket Ball Works, and also Rev. W. J. Salt, the vicar of the Causeway. Supt. Barnes said the applicant was a very respectable man, and his father and three brothers kept houses. If temporary authority was granted to-day he should not serve Burtenshaw with notice of objection to the renewal, as he would be out of the house, and a respectable man would be in. The bench granted the application on condition that the house is better conducted than in the past.


Kent & Sussex Courier, 14 October 1892.


An hours' extension was granted for the "Bald Faced Stag" for the opening meet of the Fordcombe Harriers.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 28 October 1892.


Richard Monde was charged with being drunk and disorderly at Ashurst, on the 6th inst.

P.C. Stevens deposed that he saw defendant about 8.15 drunk and swearing about the landlord of the "Bald Faced Stag," who had refused to serve him. He continued following witness after he was told to desist, and kept complaining of the landlord. He then insulted a young man and woman on the road.

Defendant pleaded not guilty and called a witness.

George Funnell deposed to seeing defendant on the night in question at half-past eight, and he did not think defendant looked as if he was drunk. He did not know defendant, and did not see a policeman.

Defendant said he did not enter the house.

Supt. Barnes said this was true, as the landlord would not allow him in the house.

Edward Pearson deposed he saw defendant on the River Bridge with the constable and another man. Prisoner was sober and bade them all good night in a proper manner. He heard no bad language.

The Bench dismissed the case.

Defendant asked for costs.

The Chairman:- All we say is the case is too doubtful for conviction.

William Newport was charged with being drunk and disorderly, at Ashurst, on the 5th inst.

Defendant pleaded guilty to being drunk, but not disorderly.

P.C. Stevens deposed to seeing defendant turned out of the "Bald Faced Stag," and he was afterwards found in a stream of running water, from whence he was removed and taken home.

Defendant said his legs would not carry him. He had no drink at the "Bald Faced Stag."

Fined 5s and 9s costs, which was paid.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser 9 April 1943.


At St. Martin's Church on Saturday week Mr. Ephraim James Crawhurst, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Crawhurst, of Pound Farm, Blackham, was married to Miss Amy Christine Florence Baldwin, daughter of Mrs. W. Baldwin, of "Bald Faced Stag Hotel," Ashurst.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 24 July 1953.

Five policemen chase prisoner.

Five policemen dashed down Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells on Friday morning in pursuit of a prisoner who escaped from his escort as he was being taken from the police station cells to the courts.

The man, Robert John Stuart (22), of no fixed address, was charged with breaking into the "Bald Faced Stag" public house, Ashurst, and stealing 70 in cash and other articles together worth 34, from William Hillman Doley, the licensee.

Stuart escaped from his escort in the passage leading to the courtroom. He ran through the police office where a constable tried unsuccessfully to stop him and down the police station steps into the road.

Hotly pursued, he raced up Crescent Road towards Carr's Corner and dashed down an alleyway on his left. He vaulted a gate into a yard and found himself and a cul-de-sac. Realising he could not escape further, Stewart gave himself up.

Licensee's evidence.

Later, when Stuart appeared in court, Mr. Doley told the magistrates how he went downstairs one morning and found the kitchen window of his public house open. Cash from a bag was missing and articles had been taken from several rooms.

Detective W. Saunders said Stuart told him he wanted the money for medical treatment as he had a bad shoulder.

He asked for 6 other offences to be taken into consideration. They were taking a motorcycle from Ashurst, stealing from the "Flying Dutchman" public house and another public house at Chiddingstone, stealing a suitcase, breaking into a house at Cambridge and stealing some clothes from a shop at Tonbridge.

He was committed for trial to the West Kent quarter sessions at Maidstone on the August 31st.



This was often just referred to as the "Stag" in the Pigot's directory and census's.

Between 1922 and 1938 it apparently went under the name of the "Railway Hotel" for some reason.

The pub closed some time before 2005 and was converted into a private residence.



PATEMAN Thomas 1828-32+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

PAWLEY Robert 1841-51+ (also farmer age 50 in 1841Census)

HAFFENDEN Robert 1855-June/57

TAYLOR Lucy June/1857+

TAYLOR Henry 1861+ (age 40 in 1861Census)

KING James 1865-79+ (age 36 in 1871Census)

HEAYSMAN James 1881-May/87 (age 35 in 1881Census)

CRONK A T Mr to Sept/1889

BURTENSHAW John Sept/1889-Sept/91+

EADE Thomas Sept/1890-91+ (age 37 in 1891Census)

CAVELL Charles 1911+ (age 61 in 1911Census)

WINTERTON Mrs to Oct/1917 Kent and Sussex Courier

CARD Robert Oct/1917+ Kent and Sussex Courier

Name to "Railway Hotel"

BALDWIN W Mrs 1943+ Sevenoaks Chronicle


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

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


Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier

Sevenoaks ChronicleSevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser


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