Page Updated:- Saturday, 29 July, 2023.


Earliest 1846

South Eastern Hotel

Latest ????



South Eastern Hotel 1900

Above photo circa 1900.

South Eastern Hotel

Above postcard, pre 1932.

South Eastern Hotel

Above postcard, pre 1932.

South Eastern Hotel

Above photo circa 1988.

South Eastern card 1950South Eastern card 1950

Above aluminium card issued 1950. Sign series 2 number 33.


The one time Style and Winch public house was later sold to Frederick Leney of the Phoenix Wateringbury Brewery.

I appear to have reference to a "Railway Hotel" as well as this "South Eastern Hotel," and the census of 1871 makes reference to a "South Eastern Railway Hotel," so I believe the two are one and the same. Local knowledge definitely needed here thanks.

The house was built in 1846 opposite the Staplehurst Railway Station by Henry Hoare who also set up a shop called the Market Stores. At the time their was no street lighting or pavement, just a muddy track beside an empty road, with hop gardens on either side.

Sir Henry Hoare was a scion of the Hoare banking family and had a house built about 400 yards north of the railway line, Staplehurst Place. As a banker he probably wouldn't have been involved with the pub save perhaps to loan the money to build it. He was a JP and Sheriff of Kent at one time.

The Railway Tavern (now closed) is a Tudor building which was probably an old staging post. It is about 100 yards south of the "South Eastern Hotel." The whole of that part of Staplehurst is about 1 mile north of the "Kings Head" and the church, and probably rose as a result of the railway.


From the Kentish Gazette, 12 May 1846.

STAPLEHURST. In Re Isaac Beeman, Hop Factor. Boro'.

An important meeting of the creditors was held on the 1st instant, at the "South Eastern Hotel," Staplehurst, pursuant to notice, for the purpose of receiving and investigating the report of the committee appointed to examine the accounts, &c. and we are enabled to give the following detailed statements of the proceedings. The meeting was numerously attended, and Mr. Wickham, of Goudhurst, was elected chairman.

The report of the committee, stating they had carefully examined the accounts and found them substantially correct, and that the offer of 5s. in the pound was more than could reasonably be expected to be realised by any other mode of settlement, was read.

A detailed statement of the accounts, liabilities, and assets, was produced, and all the books of account, including the daily cash and bankers' pass book, with the ledgers, were laid on the table for inspection, and the clerk and accountant were present to give any explanation required.

Mr. Piercy, Mr. Beeman's solicitor, opened the business of the meeting.

Mr. Bryant, of Hawkhurst, as chairman of the committee, stated they had performed the important task committed to them with great anxiety to arrive at a correct and just conclusion, and they firmly believed the report presented by them was correct, and the composition offered beneficial to the creditors; that in such numerous and heavy transactions, some errors might be discovered, and some transactions appear not free from blame or indiscretion; but the accounts on the whole appear to have been well and correctly kept, and the deficiency of assets clearly accounted for by too extensive and incautious credit, which he had no doubt would operate as a useful lesson for the future, and he thought it right to add that every facility had been given by Mr. Beeman and his clerks, during the investigation, who had throughout shown much anxiety to have every transaction fully examined.

Mr. Beecham, solicitor, of Hawkhurst, then stated that at the request of the committee he had examined the books with the statement prepared by the accountant, which had evidently been made out with great care and correctness; that he had checked the entries from the daily transactions into each account sufficiently to satisfy himself of their general accuracy. He produced a list of every debtor and creditor, and a particular statement of all the liabilities and assets, with a reference to each account. He (Mr. B.) was satisfied the statement was correct according to the books, which would easily he proved by any creditor examining his own account, which he requested some of them would be kind enough to do, in order to test the statement to that extent, and he assured the meeting he thought the report of the committee fully justified.

Many of the creditors then examined their accounts, and the result was satisfactory.

Mr. Piercy then gave a statement of the recent receipts and payments, showing that no undue preference had been given, and that the payments to the planters had exceeded the receipts.

The Chairman then enquired whether any gentleman present wished any further explanation; if not, he should put the resolution, that the offer made at the first meeting to pay a composition of 5s. in the pound, by two instalments at three and six months, to be secured by the joint and several notes of Mr. Tooth, Mr. Oxley, and Mr. Beeman, subject to the report of the committee (which had been read), be confirmed and accepted.

The resolution was accordingly put and carried unanimously.

An agreement which had been prepared to carry out such arrangement, provided the same was executed by all the creditors within one month from that day, was then signed by all the creditors present, except two or three, who, from particular circumstances affecting their individual cases, required further time to consider.


Southeastern Gazette, 11 January 1853.

Petty Sessions, Thursday. (Before W. P. Croughton, Esq., chairman, the Rev. F. Barrow, and M. Tweedie, Esq.)

George Bennett v. James Fuller.

This information charged defendant with wilfully and maliciously breaking a pane of glass at the "South Eastern Hotel," of which the complainant is the landlord.

Complainant deposed:— On Friday evening, the 24th December, between ten and eleven o’clock, the defendant came into my house, following a gentleman and lady from the station. The defendant keeps horses, and he was soliciting the gentleman to use his conveyance in the morning. He was a little intoxicated and was troublesome, and I three times civilly requested him to leave the house. He refused to leave unless I supplied him with some brandy and water. I told him he was not in want of it, and desired him to come in the morning if he wished to see the gentleman. He refused to quit and was an annoyance, and I then put him out of doors, when he deliberately thrust his arm through a pane of glass in the hall window, which cost 6d. to replace.

Defendant stated it was nothing but jealousy, and that complainant’s men often insulted him. He denied breaking the window, and said that nine out of ten words of defendant’s statement were false.

The magistrates convicted defendant in the damage and costs.


Fuller v. Ballard.

This was a charge of assault, and arose out of the last case. The complainant stated that on the evening of the 24th December last a gentleman and lady came off the mail down train, when he and the defendant, who is in the employ of Mr. Bennett, followed them, touting for the job of providing them with with a conveyance. On witness arriving at the steps of the hotel, the defendant swore he should not go any further, and struck him twice in the chest.

The defendant said that on the train in question arriving, the station-master called him into the station, and said the gentlemen wanted beds for the night and a carriage in the morning. He took them to the hotel, and the complainant followed, and was about to follow the gentleman into the coffee-room, when he (defendant) put up his arm to prevent him, but denied having struck him.

This being corroborated by a witness named Alchin, the case was dismissed.


Southeastern Gazette, 18 January 1853.


A GRAND MATCH will come off at the "South Eastern Hotel," Staplehurst, on Friday next, the 21st inst., between four of the best shots in England. For 20 a side, at 21 birds each, usual bounds, l 3/4oz. shot.

Barber will supply the birds. Shooting to commence precisely at Twelve o clock.


From the Maidstone Telegraph and West Kent Messenger, 18 December 1869.

STAPLEHURST. Sudden Death from Eating Hemlock.

On Monday last a coroner’s inquest was held at the “South Eastern Hotel,” on the body or James King, mate to Mr Collison, Cross at Hand, who died suddenly while carting, the Saturday previous. The jury having viewed the body, and heard the witnesses, returned the following verdict:- “James King died from paralysis of the heart, induced by having eaten the root of a poisonous herb known as water-bendock, or conium, or hemlock, the deceased having taken the same under a mistaken notion that it would cure the scurvy, from which he was suffering.”

A horse of Mr. Collison’s also died in consequence of eating the same root.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Monday 8 January 1872.

Felony by a sister-in-law.

Mary Miles, widow, was charged with stealing 7s. the monies of Thomas Miles, at Staplehurst, on the 31st December. Prosecutor keeps the "South Eastern Railway Hotel," at Staplehurst, and the prisoner, who is his sister-in-law, has for some time past been living in his employ, and she had access to the cash box. For about 2 months the prosecutor has missed money, and both himself and his wife were utterly at a loss to know what could have become of it. On Sunday morning last he marked the sum of 22s. in a particular manner with a knife. Some of the money was in half crowns. Some in florins and the rest in shillings, and he then placed all the coins in the cash box in the bar. There was no other money in the box at the time. In the evening of the same day he looked into the box, and then found that 7s. had been taken out. He then placed himself in communication with Superintendent Morgan, and a search warrant being obtained, the prisoner's bedroom was searched. In some small boxes in her room the sum of 75 in gold and silver was found, and amongst that 7s. of the marked money. Prisoner, who said nothing in defence, was committed for trial. Mr. Hindz, solicitor, of Goudhurst, appearing for the prosecutor.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 3 February 1922.


Edward Morley and Laura Morley were summonsed for selling intoxicants during prohibited hours at the "South Eastern Hotel," Staplehurst on January 16th.

Mr. W. C. Cripps appeared for the defence.

P.C. Enfield deposed to seeing two men enter the house by a backdoor after 2.30. Witness entered and saw Morely with a glass, which he said contained a small lemon. On asking to smell it he replied, "No you don't, I have not served it yet," and he spilled the contents on the floor. Witness saw Mrs. Morley serving another man. He told them he should report them, and the male defendant replied. "Well, there it is, make it as light as you can."

Mr. W. C. Cripps, addressing the Bench emphasised the excellent character of the landlord, against whom there was no previous complaint. He explained that defendant had omitted to apply to the Bench for the repeal of the D.O.R.A. (Defence Of the Realm Act) restrictions on market days.

Sir Charles Jessel said that defendant had on a previous occasion applied for a license to sell on market days, but the application was opposed by the police. This left the Bench no option but to impose a fine of 10 in each case.

Mr. Cripps then applied for permission for defendant to sell on alternate Mondays, being market day. From 2.30 to 4.30.

Superintendent Russell opposed the application on the ground that no similar concession had been granted anywhere in the county.
The Bench, however, granted Mr. Cripps application, and also allowed a similar concession to the landlord of the "Railway Tavern," Staplehurst.

Alfred Nichols, Ernest Jenner, and Stephen Seymour were then charged with consuming intoxicating liquors during prohibited hours at the "South Eastern Hotel," Staplehurst, on January 16th.

Jenner, who said he was only drinking cyder, was fined 10, Seymour who said he thought the house was open in the ordinary way, was fined 10 and Enfield who denied that he was drinking intoxicating liquor, was fined 30s.



The premises was damaged by fire in 1932, and was destroyed.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 2 January 1932.

Hotel destroyed by Fire.

Serious conflagration at Staplehurst.

The "South-Eastern Hotel," Staplehurst, was almost totally destroyed by fire in the early hours of Monday morning, and the tobacconist and sweet shop adjoining it was burnt completely to the ground, a chimney stack being the only part remaining. This being a wooden structure, it burnt with incredible rapidity.

Fortunately there was no loss of life or personal injury, but the damage to buildings and furniture is very considerable, being computed at somewhat in the region of 5,000.

The hotel, which was built of brick and stone, was one of the most imposing structures in Staplehurst with large and commodious rooms well appointed, and had recently been renovated and redecorated. It is owned by Whitbread and the licensee is Mr. E. Mosley, who has been the proprietor for the past 27 years. The house adjoining was the property of Mr. George Barnett and was used as a tobacconist and sweet shop by Mrs. Smith.

The fire was discovered by Mr. William Woods a local resident, who lives at Churchill cottages, and who when passing on his way home on Sunday shortly after midnight, saw sparks coming from a room at the back of Mrs. Smith's shop, which speedily burst into flames. He gave the alarm to some people whom he saw approaching and they all rushed to the spot and did what they could to subdue the flames which speedily got a firm hold on the fabric of the wooden building and fanned by a gusty wind spread with amazing rapidity.

Sergeant Belsey and P.C. Albon were quickly on the scene and the local Voluntary Fire Brigade and Maidstone Fire Brigade were sent for. In the meantime the police and the number of local residents who had rushed to the scene of the conflagration to render help, did all they could in the way of assisting the occupants of the hotel to safety and salving what furniture could be removed in the short space of time before the intense heat prevented further operations in this respect.

The wooden building soon became a tremendous blaze which lit up the countryside for miles around and quickly had the side of the hotel in it's devastating embrace, and running along the eaves, spread from room to room; it soon became evident that this building was also doomed.

The Maidstone fire brigade, under the command of Captain Wainscott, arrived in good time, after receiving the call and were on the scene about 12:55. Their efforts, however were greatly hampered for some time after their arrival by lack of water, which they were unable to obtain from an adjacent hydrant. The failure of this necessitated their going to a pond opposite, on Horns Lodge Farm, and in order to do this they had to cross a field, and it was only with great difficulty that the engine was got over the soft ground to the pond. Here however, there was a plentiful supply of water and the work of the Maidstone Brigade, assisted by the local brigade, as soon very effective.

By this time, however, it was impossible to save the hotel, which was almost completely gutted, the walls and two rooms only remaining the adjoining wooden building having collapsed in the early stages of the outbreak.

The fire was finally extinguished about daybreak.

At the time of the fire there were no guests at the hotel, the Christmas guests having left for the last train on the previous evening. Mr. Mosley, the proprietor, was loathe to leave his home, and his friends had difficulty in prevailing upon him to do so. He and Mrs. Moseley and the hotel staff and also Mrs. Smith have been provided with temporary accommodation for the kindness of friends.

A sum of 40 in money was successfully salvaged and some of the furniture.

Several valuable pictures and some very fine pieces of furniture were destroyed, also a considerable quantity of spirits, wines and beer.

At the time of the outbreak the tobacconists shop was unoccupied, Mrs. Smith having gone out to a party.

It is thought that the fire probably originated through an oil lamp which had been left hanging on the wall.


South Eastern Hotel fire 1932

Above photo, 1932 after the fire.

South Eastern Hotel fire 1932

Above photo, 1932 after the fire.


From an email received 18 July 2021.


I was very excited to find the photos of and information about the Roebuck Inn, 41 Weeks Street, Maidstone because I have been researching my ancestry for a number of years and the "Roebuck" is where my great grandparents were in the final years of their lives.

Although I was born in Maidstone I grew up and am still living in Canada. I hope that you will find the following of some interest.

My maternal family were publicans, licensed victuallers, innkeepers in Kent beginning with my Great, Great Grandfather, James C. Miles, who, upon inheriting 150 pounds from his father, John, in 1848, bought the "George," Trotterscliffe, Kent from Stedman Shrubsole in 1849.

In the Census of 1851 and 1861, James is noted as a Publican of the "George Inn." James died in 1865 leaving his effects to his son John. However, James' wife Eliza nee Jeffery, continued to run the George. In the Census of 1871, Kelly's Directory of 1874 and of 1882, she is listed as Mrs. Eliza Miles, Publican, "George," Trottescliffe. In 1882 Eliza sold the George to Frederick Leney and Sons of Phoenix Brewery, Wateringbury. When Eliza died in 1886, she named her son Thomas Miles 'Innkeeper, Cranbrook" sole executor.

Thomas Miles, my Great Grandfather, followed in his parent's footsteps when between 1867 and 1868 he became the Innkeeper of the "South Eastern Railway Hotel," Staplehurst, Kent. In the Census of 1871 and Kelly's Directory of 1874, he is noted as the Innkeeper and Publican of the S.E.R.Hotel (my abbreviation), Staplehurst.

Between 1875 and 1876, Thomas took over the "George Hotel," Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent. In the 1881 Census, he is a licensed victualler of the "George Hotel" whereas in the 1891 Census, he is a publican. Between 1878 and 1895, Thomas is also an agent for the "South Eastern Railway Hotel," and between 1884 and 1885 a wine and spirit merchant from the "George Hotel."

When Thomas moved on to the "George Hotel" in Cranbrook, he left the operation of the "S.E.R. Hotel" to his brother-in-law, William Allingham who, in the 1881 Census is noted as a Hotel Keeper employing 3 women and 1 man. William died in 1887 and his sister, Sarah Ann Allingham, who had been working for him took over. Great Aunt Sally, as she was known to the family was Hotel Keeper and Proprietor of "S.E.R. Hotel" Staplehurst until her marriage in 1905. She is listed as such in all of the Census' and Directories between those dates.

In 1896, Thomas Miles turned over the "George Hotel," Cranbrook to his son James Arthur Miles who continued there until 1912. Thomas, his wife Ann nee Allingham, and his daughter, Evelyn Margaret (my Grandmother) moved on to the "Roebuck Inn," 41 Weeks Street, Maidstone where he is listed in Kelly's Trade Directory 1899. On 23 December 1900, Thomas died at the "Roebuck" and left all of his effects to his wife Ann. In the 1901 Census, Ann Miles is listed as a Licensed Victualler at the "Roebuck Inn," 41 Weeks Street, Maidstone.

Ann Miles Died at the "Roebuck" 22 April 1902 and left all of her effects to my Grandmother, Evelyn Margaret, who had been a barmaid at the "Roebuck." However, she left to live and be married later in 1902 with Great Aunt Sally at "S.E.R. Hotel" in Staplehurst.

Although I have photos of many of my family members, they are relatively formal and none are taken at the various hotels and inns other than my Grandmother's wedding in the garden of the "S.E.R. Hotel" but it does not show the building.

Thank you for all you do,

Marilyn White.



HOARE Henry 1846 (banker)

BENNETT George 1851-61+ (age 38 in 1851Census)

MILES Thomas 1871-74+ Next pub licensee had (age 31 in 1871Census) Kelly's 1874

ALLINGHAM William 1881+ (age 35 in 1881Census)

ALLINGHAM Sarah 1891+ (age 35 in 1891Census)

POPE George 1901+ (age 41 in 1901Census)

MORLEY/MOSLEY Edward & Laura 1911-22+ (age 39 in 1911Census)

DRESH Brian 1977-83

TAYLOR Mike after 1970s



Kelly's 1874From the Kelly's Directory 1874


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