Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, January, 2019.

Page Updated:- Monday, 07 January, 2019.


Earliest ????

Robin Hood

Open 2019+

Sandhurst Road

Royal Tunbridge Wells

01892 547878

Robin Hood 2014 Robin Hood 2014 Robin Hood 2014 Robin Hood sign 2014

Above photos by Paul Skelton 11 April 2011.


Now operating as a Hungry Horse pub, 2014.


Written by: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. January 21, 2015.


In 1912 a two storey red brick home was constructed on Sandhurst Road, on what is today the north west corner of Birken Road and Sandhurst Road. At the time the house was built, and occupied by Arthur Wilkinson, a mining engineer, Birken Road did not exist. Birken Road, named after the house ‘Birken' was constructed in 1957 and ran north off Sandhurst Road for some distance and in that year, and afterwards, a number of homes were constructed along it. The road ran along the east property line of the grounds upon which ‘Birken' had been built. Before 1957 Birken was listed in directories as being on Sandhust Road but after that time it took on the address of No. 1 Birken Road.

Birken was occupied in the period of 1918 to 1922 by Miss Maxwell, who's full name was Matilda Elizabeth Maxwell, a spinster, and daughter of the successful printer and stationer family of Henry Maxwell of Blackpool, Lancashire, who founded the business of Maxwell and Company. For a time her spinster sister, Mary Wilkinson Maxwell, lived with her. Matilda died in 1932 while a resident of Oakdene in Langton Green, and her sister Mary died 1940 at 1 Linden Gardens, Tunbridge Wells. The Maxwell family were well-to-do and neither of the Maxwell sisters had to work for a living.

After the Maxwells left Birken it became the home of Miss Anna Delcomyn (1859-1935), an independently wealthy spinster, and daughter of Ernest Adolph Joseph Delcomyn (1828-1913) who's family were from Denmark. Her father was a successful corn merchant and Honorary Consul General in H.M. Service to Denmark. Anna died at Birken in 1935.

After WW II the home was divided into two units and became the residence of the families of Henry Edwards and Alvin Pryor and in the period of 1952 to 1956 by both families of Alvin Pryor and Raymond H. de G. Matley. In the late 1950's and up to about 1969 it was occupied by F. T. W. Payne and George A. Figgett and their families.

In 1971 the property was sold and the home converted into a pub called the "Robin Hood," a name derived from Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest fame, and the connection the site has to the Sherwood Estate. As noted in the files of the Planning Authority, the old house was altered and added on to at the time of its purchase and in subsequent years but today the eastern end of the old house can still be seen. The pub has changed owners over the years and has been run by various licenced victuallers. In 1997 for example it was owned by Whitbread Medway Inns, but in 2007 was owned by Enterprise Inc PLC. In 1997 Planning Authority approval was given for various alterations and refurbishments of the pub. In 2007 a major project was undertaken involving a complete overhall and enlargement of the premises which resulted in a predominantly 3 storey structure on an overall site of 2,987 square meters.

In September 2012 the pub closed and was boarded up and then Green King, a major brewery and pub company purchased the premises from Enterprise PLC for 800,000. On January 20, 2013 the pub reopened as the "Robin Hood" Hungry Horse.

Those who patronised the pub described it as a rough place but since the time of refurbishment and the change in ownership and management it has become a very pleasant place for family dining and drinking, with a full program of entertainment and events, and even includes a children's menu and an outdoors enclosed children's play area. Today and for several years previously the pub manager has been Dave Gardner, a former army sergeant. This article traces the history of Birken from the time of its construction up to 2014.


This pub is one in the list of my "Project 2014."

As such I have found a picture of the pub, but to date have no other information. Local knowledge, further pictures, and licensee information would be appreciated.

I will be adding the historical information when I find or are sent it, but this project is a very big one, and I do not know when or where the information will come from.

All emails are answered.



GARDNER Dave 2012+


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