DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Sevenoaks, March, 2022.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 06 March, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest ????

Rock and Fountain

Demolished 2017

139 London Road (Tubbs Hill 1881Census)

Sevenoaks

Rock and Fountain

Above photo, pre 1959.

Former Rock and Fountain 2008

Above Google image, September 2008.

Former Rock and Fountain 2015

Above Google image, August 2015.

 

After closing, date unknown, the premises became a car-showroom.

I am informed by Johnny Ed that the building is currently (January 2017) being demolished.

 

Former Rock and Fountain demolition 2017

Above photo, kindly sent by Johnny Ed, January 2017, showing the building under demolition.

 

From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 21, November 1873. Monday, Nov. 24.

Before Lieut.-Cot. Northey (in the chair), and S. Wreford, Esq.

A DRUNKEN WOMAN.

Emma Hines, a tramp, was charged with being drunk and disorderly, at Seven Oaks on the 23rd inst.

P.C. Thomas said that about three o’clock on the previous afternoon, he was called to remove the defendant from High-street. She was very drunk, and a large crowd of people had collected round her. She then went down the London-road, to the "Rock and Fountain," where she was lodging, and the landlord had her removed from the house. He requested her to go away, but she would not, and he took her into custody. The language she used was very indecent. She also refused to walk to the police-station.

Defendant said that she came from Hertfordshire, and was very sorry for what she said and did.

The Chairman said that they had enough drunken people in their own town, without any strangers, and she would be sentenced to one month’s imprisonment with hard labour.

 

Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 12 March 1909.

PROMPT ACTION BY THE POLICE.

"HUNGRY MARCHERS" SENT TO GAOL.

"TRAVELLING THIEF" AND "LODGING HOUSE LOAFER."

The Sevenoaks Police Court, on Monday, exemplary sentences were passed on two men who, in the name of the unemployed, got subscriptions from the residents of Sevenoaks, and applied the name to their own one. With a list headed as follows:- "We, unemployed English workmen, having applied to the governing bodies of the county for work, as we have exhausted all known means of obtaining employment, and owing to the widespread distress caused by name are compelled to seek the aid and assistance of our 'loyal countrymen and women,' so that we can obtain the necessities of life for ourselves and those dependent on us, and thus satisfy our immediate and urgent needs. Thanking you in anticipation of name, signed on behalf of the Tunbridge Wells Committee, H. W. Heskitt.

Residents were called upon to sign and contribute and a box was also conveniently handy for the superfluous coppers. On the list were the names of at least two Justices of the Peace, which gave the paper a much better tone, and an inducement for others to follow.

Hearing of this procedure, the police immediately took steps to arrest the men, who were brought up on Monday morning and charged.

The magistrates were:- W. S. J. Croabie-Hill, Esq. (in the chair) and P. F. Battiscombe, Esq. Although Francis Swanzy, Esq., J.P., was present, he did not take part in the proceedings, as his name appeared on the list.

James Hayes, was charged with fraudulently obtaining charitable contributions by false pretences at Sevenoaks, on the 6th inst., and Frederick Henry Crottch was charged with unlawfully aiding and abetting and counselling Hayes to fraudulently obtain contributions by false pretences.

Harry James Platt, grocer, residing at Tub's Hill, Sevenoaks, said:- "Hayes, between 12 and 1, on the 6th inst., came to my shop and handed me this paper (produced) and asked me to read it, which I did. I told him I could not give anything to it. He then produced a box and said "I am collecting for the unemployed of Sevenoaks." I put 1 1/2d. into the box - an old cigar box with paper over it - I saw him ask others for money. With regard to the paper there was only the signature of "F. Swanzy" on it. Hayes was alone. I did not follow him outside, but no one came into the ship with Hayes. I have seen Hayes before when he came to ask to remove the snow.

Charles Sanford Rudge, son of the Rev. Charles Rudge, residing at Holmesdale Road, Sevenoaks, a clerk, said:- On Saturday afternoon, about 3.20, I was walking up St. Botolph's Road, in company with a friend, when I saw the prisoner Hayes. He came up to me after having accosted several other gentlemen on the hill, and offered me this box, rattling coins inside. He pushed out a paper, but I did not look at it. The paper was doubled up. He said, "Will you help the Sevenoaks unemployed?" I gave him nothing. I said "Have you applied for assistance to the Sevenoaks United Relief Committee, and he replied "They are shut up today." I reported the matter to the police. I saw nobody with Hayes at the time.

Rev. Charles Rudge, Baptist minister, and hon. secretary to the Sevenoaks United Relief Committee, said he was one of the persons to whom applicants for relief would be referred, more particularly and exclusively those seeking work. The Relief Committee offices were open on Friday, not Saturday, and if Hayes went to the Technical Institute he could see a notice to that effect that the offices would not be open on Saturday. The names of the prisoners were not down in the register kept by the Committee at the Free Library of those requiring work in the Sevenoaks district. There are quite 70 names on the register. He said neither of these men's names were on the list.

The Chairman: Do you know either of them?

Witness: Not at all.

Mr. Platt (recalled) said he believed that the appeal was genuine seeing Mr. Swanzy's name. He believed Hayes was collecting, as he said, for the Sevenoaks unemployed, otherwise he would not have given. He believed the signature on the paper was that of Mr. Swanzy.

Mr. Swanzy said the signature on the paper shown Pratt was not his, but the signature on the other list was his.

Sergt. Paramour said that on the 6th March, as the result of an enquiry he made, he visited the "Rock and Fountain" lodging house, at 6 p.m., and in the kitchen there was the prisoner Hayes. Witness called him out and asked him to show him (the officer) the list and box he had been round with that afternoon. He said "I have not been out of this house since two o’clock." Witness said, "You have, you have been round with a collecting box, also on other days." He said, I have not been out today since two." Witness then tool him to Mr Platt. Mr. Platt said to him "You came to me this morning with a list." He said "I don't think so." Mr. Platt replied, "I am sure you did - with a list and a box." Hayes said "I think you have made a mistake." Witness then told him he would arrest him for obtaining charitable contributions by fraud. He replied "Alright." Witness then sent him to the Police Station by P.C. Hill, and subsequently searched him and found 2s. 6d. in silver and 9d. in bronze. Witness then returned to the "Rock and Fountain" lodging house where he saw the prisoner Crouch, and asked him where the box and list was that Hayes had been using. He replied, "He hasn't had one." Witness said he had, and one that you men have been using, meaning those men who came over from Tunbridge Wells. He said, "Well I did lend him one but it was unlikened to anyone else. He has been out with it three days. He has returned it to me and I opened it. Heskett did no know, - that was the name on the list, - but I have no box here now, they have all gone to Tunbridge Wells to be opened." Witness then sent for Supt. Taylor and brought the prisoner and two other men out. He left the prisoner with Supt. Taylor and went back and searched the kitchen and found the box (produced) in a corner under a cupboard, nothing in it, but torn open. Crouch said, as witness brought it out, "That's the box." At the Police Station witness produced the lists. Crouch pointing to the signature of Mr. F. Swanzy said "I did that. I put it on there and gave it to Hayes to give him a start." That was said in the presence of the prisoner Hayes. he told Crouch he would be charged with aiding and abetting Hayes to procure charitable contributions. He said "Yes, I did assist him." On marching Crouch witness found 1s. in silver and 3 1/2d. in bronze.

Supt Taylor said:- Shortly after 6 o'clock on Saturday last, in consequence of a message I received from Sergt. Paramour I went to the "Rock and Fountain." Lodging House, Tub's Hill. I saw the prisoner Crouch detained there by Sergt. Paramour and while Sergt. Paramour went into the kitchen to search for the box, Crouch was most anxious to go to the back. I allowed him to go, and waited for him to come out and on searching after he came out I found the two lists produced down the W.C." I recovered them and showed them to the prisoner, I said "I thought when you went there you were most anxious to get rid of something and this is what you threw away." He said "Yes." he was then brought to the Police Station and charged with the other man. There was no doubt, added Supt. Taylor that Mr. Swanzy's name was chosen for the other list because his was the largest amount.

Both prisoners elected to be dealt with summarily, and pleaded guilty.

Hayes said he was induced to take the list out by the other man who came over with a lot from Tunbridge Wells. He only went to three people, and one gentleman set him to work snow clearing. That was about three o'clock on Saturday.

The Chairman:- I thought you told the constable you had not been out after two o'clock?

Hayes:- That was a mistake, sir. he added he had been in Sevenoaks 16 or 17 years, and never been in trouble before.

Crouch said he came with a number of people from Tunbridge Wells, and was told by Mr. Heskitt, if the police interfered, to refer to him. and he would settle it all.

The Chairman:- But you threw your papers away.

Crouch said another mate made copies of the paper.

Supt Taylor said the man Hayes was a casual labourer lodging at the “Rock and Fountain" common lodging house. he was convicted on the 18th May, 1903, for being drunk and disorderly, and fined 2s. 6d., and on the 10th February last year, was fined for a similar offence. He was, added Supt. Taylor, "A Lodging House Loafer." With regard to Crouch he was sentenced to seven days hard labour for stealing 1, on the 10th Sept., 1901, at Woolwich, and sentenced to 12 months hard labour on the 20th Oct., 1904, for stealing a horse, van and harness at Tonbridge. He was a "travelling thief." The money collected during the day was shared out at night, and most of it was spent on drink.

Mr. Battiscombe (looking at the list): No doubt they have got a considerable amount.

The Chairman, in sentencing the men to two months hard labour each, said it was a cruel thing for them to do. They spoiled relief for the genuine unemployed, for people who were victimized in the way were doubtful when asked to give to genuine cases.

Crouch: I was sent by Mr. Heskitt.

Mr. Battiscombe: Why does he not come back here he was notified.

The men were then removed to the cells.

We understand that the signature purported to be that of Mr. Heskitt was a forgery as that gentleman did not know his name was being used in the manner it was.

 

Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 22 March 1912.

STORY OF DEAF MUTE'S AUDACITY.

Club Members Robbed.

At the Sevenoak Police Court on Friday morning last, before P. F. Battiscombe, Esq. (in the chair), and W. Hemmant, Esq., George MacColm, a deaf mute, was brought up on remand, charged with stealing a scarf value 10s. 6d., the property of Alfred Victor Laver, from the Kippington Church Institute, on Tuesday, 5th inst.

Prisoner was further charged with stealing an umbrella value 1 1s., the property of Charles S. Wickenden, at Tunbridge Wells, on the 4th March.

The prosecutor, an auctioneer and estate agent of Tunbridge Wells, stated that on the 4th inst., about 4 p.m., he placed his umbrella at the said of the umbrella stand at the top of the stair case at the Kent and Sussex Club, Tunbridge Wells. Leaving the Club about five minutes afterwards he missed his umbrella, and hearing the swing doors at the bottom of the stair case band to, he ran down the stairs very quickly, but saw nothing of the thief. The chief constable of Tunbridge Wells subsequently telephoned to him in respect of the handle of his umbrella which he had found. He identified the silver handle (produced) as being his property; his name had been partly obliterated. He valued the umbrella at 1 1s.

Ernest Turner, licensee of the "Rock and Fountain" beer-house, Tubs Hill, said the prisoner came to lodge at his house on Monday, the 4th March. He had a silver mounted umbrella stick with him. The following day (Tuesday) the accused made signs intending, he took it, to convey that he had picked up the umbrella, and that it had blown inside out. In writing he asked witness to give him 2s. for it. Subsequently, however, accused in writing asked 1s. for it, and said he would have 2d. of bread and cheese out of the shilling. Witness thought the defendant was in need of money, being afflicted as he was, so he gave him 1s. Witness added that the man was at his house some time ago and he believed him to be a genuine character. Accused had shown him a letter, supposed to have been written by a clergyman asking someone in Sevenoaks if he could manage to secure the man a berth. Superintendent Fowle called upon him on Saturday, and he (witness) gave him the umbrella handle (produced). The name must have been partly rubbed out when he received the handle.

Supt. Fowle stated that at 10 a.m. on the 9th instant he recovered the silver mounted handle (produced) from the last witness, Turner. He communicated with Mr. Wickenden through the Chief Constable of Tunbridge Wells immediately, and that morning Mr. Wickenden identified the handle (produced) as being his property. That (Friday) morning witness cautioned and charged the prisone in hand writing, and he replied in large writing, "Alright."

The prisoner was then charged with stealing an umbrella value 1 5s., the property of Arthur Samuel Pratt, of Brasted, at Sevenoaks, on the 6th March.

Mr. Pratt, relieving officer, of Brasted, said he was at the Sevenoaks Constitutional Club at a quarter past eleven on the morning of the 6th instant, and he placed his umbrella in the stand upstairs. On returning home to Brasted at 9 o'clock the same evening he missed his umbrella, and he immediately communicated with the steward of the Club by telephone. The next morning he had a message to say the umbrella had been found. He identified the umbrella (produced) and he valued it at 25s.

Harry Clark, a dealer, lodging at the "Rock and Fountain," Tubs Hill, said he saw the accused at the "Rock and Fountain" on the 7th March. With chalk accused wrote on the table that he had been begging, and that he had the umbrella and an overcoat (produced) given to him. Knowing the defendant to be a deaf mute, witness thought his statement was correct. Accused asked him to give him 4d. for the articles and witness gave him 4d. for the overcoat and 6d. for the umbrella, remarking that he could have them back if required. Witness subsequently handed the umbrella to Sergeant Archer and the overcoat to Supt. Fowle.

Sergt. Archer, stationed at Sevenoaks, deposed that at 9.30 p.m., on the 6th instant, he visited the "Rock and Fountain" beer-house where he saw the prisoner with the umbrella (produced). Witness asked prisoner if the umbrella (produced) belonged to him and he replied in handwritting, "I bought it from a man in Tonbridge." Witness afterwards made enquiries and from information received on Saturday morning he visited the "Rock and Fountain" again where he recovered the umbrella sold to the last witness.

Supt Fowle said the defendant at 10 a.m. that morning in answer to the charge replied in handwriting, "Alright."

There was yet another charge against the accused, that of stealing a gentleman's overcoat value 1 10s., the property of Percival Pidwell, at Sevenoaks.

Prosecutor, a printer, residing at the Kippington Church Institute, said his overcoat was hanging in the passage of the Institute on the 5th March, and he missed it on the evening of the 8th instant. That evening prisoner came into the Institute wearing the scarf (produced) and his (witness's) wife recognised it. Witness ordered the man out and gave information to the police. He valued the coat (produced) at 1 10s.

Supt Fowle stated that on Friday evening at 9 o'clock he received a complaint from the last witness of the theft of his coat from the Kippington Church Institute. On Saturday morning at 10 o'clock the prisoner then being in custody he visited the "Rock and Fountain" beer-house and recovered the coat (produced) from the witness Clark.

The prisoner was then committed for trial.

 

Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 20 February 1948.

NO DRUNKS IN 1947.

With no proceedings for drunkenness during 1947, Sevenoaks, with a population approaching 29,000, maintained the sober record established in the previous year.

The Chairman (Col. C. A. Johnstone Smith) remarked that it was a very satisfactory report. All licenses would be renewed with the exception, for the moment, of the "Rock and Fountain," which would be adjourned until March, in order that the necessary plans could be prepared.

He added:- "The Magistrates have been very concerned about the lavatory accommodation in some of the houses, which is definitely very, very bad. The Magistrates do look at the licensees and the brewers to put their houses in order in every sense of the word during the next 12 months."

"If we get the same report in 12 months' time," he warned., "we shall have to consider whether we shall renew the licenses for these premises.

 

From the http://www.kentlive.news 25 April, 2009.

The "Rock and Fountain" public house in London Road, Sevenoaks, next door to a popular fish and chip shop, closed to the dismay of many customers.

There was great concern at the loss of several inns in the town including the "Rose and Crown," "Odd Fellows Arms" and the pending closure of the "Holmesdale Tavern," all in the High Street.

 

LICENSEE LIST

POCOCK Henry 1881+ (age 29 in 1881Census)

WOODHAMS Henry 1891+ (age 40 in 1891Census)

TURNER Ernest 1911-12+ (age 58 in 1911Census)

CARLTON Walter 1938-48+ (age 60 in 1939)

https://pubwiki.co.uk/RockFountain.shtml

http://www.closedpubs.co.uk/rockfountain.html

 

CensusCensus

 

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

TOP Valid CSS Valid XTHML