Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, March, 2024.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 26 March, 2024.


Earliest 1738-

Rose and Crown

Open 2020+

47 (18) Grosvenor Road

Mount Ephriam

Royal Tunbridge Wells

01892 533066

Rose and Crown 1913

Above photo 1913, kindly submitted by Edward Gilbert.

Rose and Crown

Above photo date unknown, kindly submitted by Edward Gilbert.

Rose and Crown

Photos taken in 1993 from by John Law.

Rose and Crown 2008

Above photo 2008. kindly submitted by Edward Gilbert.

Rose and Crown inside

Above photo showing the inside of the pub, date unknown, kindly submitted by Edward Gilbert.

Rose and Crown 2011

Photo taken 22 October 2011 from by The Quaffer.

Rose and Crown sign

Above sign date unknown.


I am informed by Ian Richardson that the pub was once called simply the "Crown," and is not to be confused for the "Crown Tavern."

Ian goes on to say the following:- "Looking at Bowra's famous map of 1738 confirmed it. The "Rose and Crown" still exists, in nearby Grosvenor Road, in more or less the same location: it was rebuilt, and possibly slightly repositioned, some time during the 19th or early-20th century.

The next map to name it after Bowra's (that I have to hand) is Barrow's from 1808, by which time it is being referred to as the "Rose and Crown." This fits in with the Poor Rate records, which first call it that in 1811. The pub is supposed to date from c1700, according to a book by Hetherington & Griffiths, but its first appearance in the Poor Rate records isn't until 1757, strangely, and almost twenty years after Bowra's map. The "King's Head," which is thought to date from c1730, is listed in the Poor Rate as well, between 1774 and 1799, but isn't named on any map or in any trade directory.

Both fair better than the "Crown Tavern," though. With the possible exception of a numbered reference in an early-Victorian tithe map, it doesn't appear to be named on any map. It doesn't seem to appear in the Poor Rate, either, until at least 1865, and only then as "Varney Lane", not the "Crown." Trade directories also seem to pass it by until the mid 1860s, but it is mentioned under its proprietor's name this time, and still not the "Crown." Hetherington & Griffiths date it to c1850, but the tithe map hints that it was there at least a decade earlier, if not before.

The district that Varney Street fell within was called Crown Field, and I am trying to establish whether it was named after the tavern or the tavern was named after the district. The Crown Field streets are first shown on a map dating from 1828, long before the "Crown" is first mentioned, and how long they had been there by then is open to question. It seems reasonable to assume that a pub existed there from early on, though, and perhaps it was the "Crown." The origin of the "Crown" name is uncertain in this context, but the fact that there was a Grosvenor estate bordering Crown Field to the north hints at a royal connection. We'll see...


From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, Wednesday, 21 September to Saturday, 24 September, 1768. Price 2d.


And entered upon immediately or at Michaelmas next.

A Well-accustomed Saddler's Shop at Tunbridge, situated between the “Crown” and the “King's Head; the Owner leaving off trade, the Stock to be sold as a fair Appraisement. It has been a Saddler's Shop for Forty Years. For Further Particulars enquire of Mr. Samuel Mills, Tonbridge.

The "Crown" mentioned above, later became the "Rose and Crown" of today. Paul Skelton.


Kentish Gazette 23 October 1770.

Joseph Drywood, from Cranbrooke, Worsted and Yarn Maker, in Mill-Lane, Maidstone. Advertising his products, also continues that he delivers the Kentish Gazette every Tuesday & Saturday, setting out from his house or the "Bull."

While delivering the papers he calls at the following named Public-Houses, to collect parcels & orders.

The "Rose And Crown" at Tunbridge, as also at the Wells, ......


Kentish Gazette, 6 August 1850.

Assault and Robbery.

John Davey, 20, assaulting and robbing James Ford of half a sovereign, 3 shillings, and other monies, at Tunbridge.

Mr. Wells prosecuted, and Mr. Addison defended the prisoner.

The prosecutor on May 10th April received his pension, amounting to 5 5s. 6d, at Tunbridge Wells, and went into the "Rose and Crown" public house, where he saw the prisoner and a man named Lampard, whom he treated with some beer and rum. On leaving the house he was very tipsy, and did not recollect what took place afterwards. In cross-examination, he admitted having been at several other public houses on the day.

Edward Wall deposed that he kept the "Brewers Arms," and on 10th April he saw the prosecutor and prisoners standing in front of his house, about 3 o'clock, and soon after prisoner knocked down the prosecutor, and as he was getting up prisoner put his hand into the pocket of the prosecutor, when a fight took place, and prisoner went away.

Witness went out to him, when he said that he had been robbed, and took from his pockets a sovereign and two counterfeit pieces, resembling half sovereigns, and said that was all he had left out of 1 13s. Witness then sent for the police.

Mr. Addison address the jury, and called John Till, a plumber, who stated that he saw the prosecutor following the prisoner and another man, and strike the former two or three times, who desired him to desist, and threatened to strike again, when a fight ensued. He did not anytime see the hand of the prisoner in the pocket of prosecutor; if it had been, he must have seen it, as he watched the proceedings very minutely. Acquitted.


Kentish Gazette, 2 December 1851.

Tunbridge Wells. Melancholy Death.

Considerable sensation was created in this place on the morning of Sunday week, by the death of a woman apparently about 50 years of age, who died during the previous night, under somewhat distressing circumstances.

The following are the particulars which we have been enabled to collect respecting the affair.

It appears that the woman, whose name is Beale, had, on Saturday morning, about 7 o’clock, called on her daughter, who is living as servant with Mr. J. Bailey, of the "Rose and Crown Inn," Mount Ephraim, from whence she proceeded to the Wells, where she accompanied a man named Henry Wise, to a beer-house, called the "New Castle," where they had some beer, and the woman appeared very merry, after which they repaired to the "Kentish Yeoman" public-house about half-past ten o'clock, where they had a pot of beer and a biscuit, which the woman commenced eating. A portion of the biscuit appeared to take the wrong passage, causing her to cough, vomit, and turn black in the face, after which she slid from the seat to the floor, and was thought by those present to be asleep.

Shortly before 12 o’clock the landlord, Mr. Baker, sent for police-sergeant Swift, who, on the man Wise’s refusing to see the woman home, had a very small hand-cart procured, in which she was conveyed to the station-house. Mr. R. Duncan, surgeon, was sent for immediately, and on his arrival, he pronounced her dead.


Southeastern Gazette, 20 September 1853.

TUNBRIDGE. Annual Licensing Meeting.

On Wednesday last the annual meeting for renewing the victuallers’ licences for the several parishes in this division was held at the Town-hall, before James Deane, Esq., chairman, A. Pott, Esq., Col. Armytage, and S. Cartwright. Esq. No objection was made to the renewal of any licence, 52 of which were renewed.

The following applications were made for new licences:— Joseph Bailey, for the "Rose and Crown," Tunbridge Wells (a newly-erected house). Mr. Cripps for applicant, Mr. Gorham against.

Licence granted in substitution of the present house of the same name.

Three other applications were also refused.


From The South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday, 21 September, 1858.

Southborough Accident.

On Wednesday afternoon last, Mr. and Mrs. T. Thompson, of Tunbridge Wells, were travelling in a pair-horse fly, the property of Mr. Parker, of the "Rose and Crown," Tunbridge, from that town, and had reached Southborough, when the splinter bar of the carriage struck the legs of the horses, and they started off. The driver, seeing several waggons and other vehicles in the road, attempted to turn the horses down Pennington-lane, to get out of the way, but the fly was turned over, and the driver thrown completely over the hedge into an orchard; he was, however, but little hurt, with the exception of a few scratches and a shaking. Mrs. Thompson was cut about the face by the pieces of broken glass from the carriage windows, but Mr. Thompson escaped uninjured. A leg of one of the horses was broken, and it was afterwards shot; and the vehicle was also considerably damaged.


Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 18th August 1860.

Insolvent debtors Court.

William Parker, of Tunbridge, Kent, assistant to Mrs. Sarah Parker, "Rose and Crown Hotel," Tunbridge, Kent.

Discharged on bail until 19th September.


South Eastern Gazette, 25 September, 1860.


WEDNESDAY. (Before J. 'Espinasse, Esq., Judge.)

William Parker, late of the "Rose and Crown Hotel," and of the "Angel Inn," Tonbridge, also appeared for hearing, supported by Mr. Morgan. Mr. Bowell, a solicitor, of London, the detaining creditor, opposed the insolvent's discharge, the grounds of opposition being concealment of property, and absence of books and accounts. In the course of some questions put by Mr. Bowell, it transpired that, alter the death of the insolvent’s father, in 1861, be continued to manage the business at the "Rose and Crown Hotel," with his mother, the late Mrs. Harriet Parker, until 1855. It was objected that this was not sufficiently set forth in the schedule, and the case was adjourned for amendment of the description. Mr. Bowell also objected that the insolvent had been liberated on bail, on a schedule showing debts to the amount of 1,576 only, whereas these had now been increases to upwards of 10,000. His Honour, however, enlarged the insolvent's bail till the next court.


South Eastern Gazette, 21 August, 1860.

Maidstone Insolvent Court.

This court was held on Tuesday last, before J. ’Espinasse, Esq., Judge, but the business was of a very light nature, not occupying more than half an hour.

Obadiah White, of the "Ship Inn," Queenborough, victualler, and Robert Everitt, of "Charlton Ferry-house," Charlton, retailer of beer, and carpenter and millwright, were discharged unopposed; and the following were admitted to bail till next court:— William Parker, of Tunbridge, assistant to Mrs. Sarah Parker, "Rose and Crown Hotel;" Kennett Hall, of 77, Snargate-street, Dover, watchmaker; and John Marsden, of No. 6, Esther-place, Bridge-street, Greenwich, clerk to Messrs. Lovibond and Son, brewers. Mr. C. Morgan supported the whole of the above insolvents.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, 1 January 1870. Price 1d.



On Tuesday last, an inquest took place at the "Rose and Crown" Inn, Tunbridge Wells, before J. N. Dudlow, Esq., county coroner, and a respectable jury, of whom Mr Grant was chosen foreman, touching the death of William Saunders, aged 54. papermaker, native of Maidstone, who died on Saturday morning, from injuries received at Tunbridge Railway Station, the previous evening.

The Coroner stated that it would be the duty of the jury to inquire if the deceased met with the accident from his own negligence, or through the fault of the railway company, and he believed, after hearing the evidence, the jury would be satisfied that the man got out of the train while it was in motion.

The first witness called was Edward Pemble, who deposed:— I am son-in-law of the deceased, and reside at 17, Wyatt-street, Maidstone, and a tailor. I have seen the deceased, where be now lies at the Infirmary. He was a papermaker, and is 54 years of age. Last Friday evening he was coming to spend the Christmas at Maidstone, as his family lives with me. I did not see him alive after the accident. He was a steady sober man.

Thomas Nicol, draper, Tunbridge Wells, stated:— On Friday evening last, I left the Wells for London, in a special train. I was in the end compartment of a carriage, furthest from the engine. The deceased was in the same compartment, sitting opposite to me, and appearing to be perfectly sober. Before coming to Tunbridge they slackened speed, and deceased got out of the train, just as it was slightly moving, but not sufficiently stopped to warrant any one opening the door. A young man, nearest the door, unfastened it, and jumped out. He left the door about one third of the way open, when deceased attempted to get out. The train was still in motion, but the carriages did not jerk forward, but appeared to heave forward, as though not propelled by anything behind or in front. Deceased made a bound out, and I believe the door struck him, and threw him under the carriage, before he reached the platform. I did not see him fall underneath the carriage, but observed that he did not reach the platform. I am confident no porter touched the door, and did not hear any one call out “Tunbridge.” When I got out I found deceased was under the third carriage back, and heard him groan out, “Oh, get me out.” I believe the wheels had passed over him, and injured him very much. I believe it was entirely his own fault in getting out when the train was in motion. No prudent person would have attempted to do what he did. The young man who opened the door and jumped out is a perfect stranger to me, and I should not known him again. The railway officials did all they could, and got deceased up as soon as possible.

Walter Winooomb said:— I am a porter, in the employ of the South Eastern Railway Company, at Tunbridge. I was on duty last Friday evening, and remember the 7.16 special train coming in from Tunbridge Wells. It arrived about half past seven, and came in at its usual pace, about four or five miles an hour. I was on the up-platform attending to the train, and saw a man put his hand out and open a door of a carriage, in front of the break. I called out three or four times “ Keep the doors shut till the train stops.” Notwithstanding that, one man jumped out of the carriage while the train was in motion, and soon after, I saw deceased jump out of the same compartment and fall. I believe the door touched him when he was on the edge of the platform. He fell between the carriage and the break, being knocked down by the door. The wheels of the break only passed over him. Up to that time no porter had opened the door of the train, and I believe “Tunbridge” was not called out, but the passengers were told to keep their seats. I don't generally call out “Tunbridge” till the train comes to a standstill. I helped gat the deceased up, and sent for a doctor. One leg and one arm was smashed. I saw no bruises about the body. The doctor came and attended to him, and he was removed to the “Angel Inn.” I saw no more of him, and do not know the person who first jumped out of the train.

The Coroner remarked that if people got out of the train before it stopped, they should be reported to the station-master, and he recommended that all such should be summoned, being the best mesas of saving life. If he could find the name of the man who first jumped out he would make an example of him.

Mr Grimsteed, the station-master, said a great number of passengers disobeyed in this respect, and he should be glad to find out the parties.

Sergt. Okill produced the clothes and property found upon deceased.

Charles Agate, another porter, deposed:—The train came in at its usual speed. When the first person got out, the train was travelling at about a mile an hour. I saw deceased try to get out, and believe the door struck him, causing him to fall between the third-class carriages and the break. Up to that time no porter bad opened any carriage, and I heard no one call cut Tunbridge. I told the passengers to wait till the train stopped. The accident was entirely deceased's own fault. He was taken to the “Angel,” and was very much injured.

Joseph Grimsteed stated:— I am station master at Tunbridge. I was on the down platform on the evening in question, and did not see the accident. I was told of it and immediately crossed over, and found deceased lying under the wheels, the carriage having been uncoupled in the meantime. It is the usual regulation not to open the carriage doors till the train stops. The porters call out the name of the station as the train enters, but no passenger has a right to get out till the train I stops. Deceased was removed to the waiting-room, where Dr Bishop attended to him, and he was afterwards removed to the “Angel.” The surgeon thought deceased could undergo amputation, therefore he was taken to the Tunbridge Wells infirmary. Drs Bishop and Smith with myself accompanied him. He did not speak nor groan at all on the journey. He had previously given the name and address of his daughter.

Blackall Marsack. Esq., Surgeon to the Infirmary at Tunbridge Wells, deposed:— Deceased was brought here from Tunbridge, on Friday evening last. I met him at the railway station in charge of two medical men, and we accompanied him to the infirmary. When I got him there I found that his left arm and left thigh had sustained compound fractures, and apparently he was suffering from some internal injuries, but to what extent I could not say. He was then in a state of collapse. There had been scarcely any bleeding since the time of the accident, and every care seemed to have been shown to him. Deceased was in such a state that it was not thought proper to attempt amputation. I remained with him about an hour, but he did not rally, and gradually sank, and died about six o'clock, the next morning, from the effects of the injuries he had received. He had been an inmate of the infirmary, suffering from a severe burn of the left hand.

The Coroner briefly summed up, stating that there was not the least doubt the unfortunate man left the train while it was in motion, thereby doing what he ought not to have done. He hoped it would be a warning to others, and begged the station master and officials to put a stop to the dangerous practice, by summoning all those that broke the law.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.” and expressed their opinion that there was not the least blame to be attached to the railway authorities.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, Friday 16 January 1874.

Thomas Rosser V. William Waghorn. Claim 5.

Mr. Warner supported the plaintiff, a coachbuilder, who sought to recover from the defendant, a fly proprietor, represented by Mr. Burton, the sum of 5, for an assault committed upon the plaintiff on 24th December last.

The plaintiff received notice to quit the defendant service, and a day also afterwards on going into the workshop, access to which was obtained by going down some steps, he found a piece of round iron on the steps, which he considered had been placed there for the purpose of throwing him down. He saw Roser at the "Rose and Crown," and there he accused him of setting a trap for him to break his neck, and when in the yard he struck him on the eye and kicked him.

A servant girl From the "Rose and Crown" said Waghorn came in on the afternoon of the 24th and called Roser outside in the yard, and when he got him in the yard he stripped and hit him several times.

A man name Lashmere, a Smith, was also called, but he did not seem to know much about the case.

Defendant said he went to the "Rose and Crown" on the day in question, and as it was twenty minutes past three he told plaintive he should summons him for neglect of duty, when Roser said he didn't care for him or anybody else, and offered to strike him.

Defendant desired him to go out into the yard, and when they got there they fought, and because he got the best of Roser, he (Roser) had summoned him.

Mr. Worsley, veterinary surgeon, said he was present, and he saw both parties go out to fight. He separated them, and he did so a second time. The man Lashmere incited Roser fight, and abused witness until he told him he should have a constable.

His Honour at once gave a verdict for the defendant, with costs.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 7 August 1874.

Tunbridge Wells Petty Sessions. Extension of Time.

Mr. G. Butcher, of the "Rose and Crown," applied for and was allowed an extra hour on the occasion of an annual supper to be holden at his house on the night of the 14th.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 14 September 1877.

An extension granted.

Mr. G. Butcher, proprietor of the "Rose and Crown," Grosvenor Road, applied for leave to keep open his licensed premises one hour behind the usual time, on the occasion of the annual dinner of the Delegates of the Amalgamated Friendly Societies Fete Committee being held at his house.

The Bench granted the application.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 7 March 1975.

Farewell to "Horse" pub's landlord.

Mr. Norman Pearson the former publican in Tunbridge Wells, called last orders on Tuesday night when he retired after 19 years from the "Rose and Crown," Grosvenor Hill.

The two bars were jammed with regulars saying goodbye to the Yorkshire landlords and his wife Jay. Mrs. Maris Seeds presented them with a tea set and trolley.

Mr. Pearson has no plans for his retirement, except that he will be taking a 4 month holiday so that he can rewind from a busy life of a landlord.

Into a flat.

As Mr. and Mrs. Pearson "only came to this part of the country by accident" they might go back to Harrowgate, but for the time being they will be settling into a flat in the town.

Mr. Pearson is probably best known in the town for his part in the launching of the Tunbridge Wells racehorse 10 years ago.

Nearly every customer of the "Rose and Crown" took shares in the horse - and Mr. Pearson recalls that 1,000 was contributed in only 10 days.

It is recognised that without Mr. Pearson's efforts the scheme would never have got off the start line. The horse was put into the trust training of local businessman and ran for 2 years with considerable success before the national Hunt stewards ruled that towns could not get a horse.

Mrs. Bridget Raynes, barmaid and cleaner, who has been with Mr. and Mrs. Pearson for all their 19 years at the "Rose and Crown," decided if they had to leave so had she.

Short and Irish, Mrs Raynes was a popular character in the pub and the regulars showed there appreciation of her work by presenting her for the 10 shopping voucher.

When Mr. Pearson was granted the transfer of a licence at Tunbridge Wells Court the Chairman told him "We are sorry to see you go. You have been there a long time without a blot on your copybook."

The new landlord who took the reins on Wednesday morning is Mr. Ted Price from Carshalton.



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.



SHARP William 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

SHARP Mary 1832-41+ (age 58 in 1841Census) Pigot's Directory 1832-34

BAILEY Joseph 1851-55+ (age 36 in 1851Census)

PARKER William 1858+

PARKER Sarah 1860+

COOKE Charles 1862+

BUTCHER George 1873-81+ (age 51 in 1881Census) Kent and Sussex Courier

BUTCHER Peter 1891+ (age 43 in 1891Census)

BURREN William Edwin 1913+

HARBRIDGE John 1918-22+


JONES A L 1938+

PEARSON Norman 1956-Mar/75

PRICE Ted Mar/1975+


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



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