Sort file:- Penge, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 1859

Paxton Arms

Closed Apr 2013

52 Anerley Road


Paxton Arms 1952

Above photo, 1952, by kind permission of the Beckenham History Society.

Paxton Arms 1953

Above photo, November 1953, by kind permission of the Beckenham History Society.

Paxton Arms 2006

Above photo 2006 by Robin Sones Creative Commons Licence.

Former Paxton Arms 2013

Above photo circa 2013.

Paxton Arms 2018

Above photo circa 2018.


Sussex Advertiser 27 April 1858.

James Careless v, The Croydon Bench of Magistrates.

This was an appeal against a decision of the Croydon Bench of Magistrates refusing to grant the appellant a victualler's license.

Mr. Robinson appeared for appellant; Mr. Knipp and Mr Garth for respondents.

Appellant was for many years landlord of the "Albion Hotel," Epsom, and is well known for his excellent and spirited catering at the most renowned race meetings of the country. About three months' since he had taken the "Paxton Arms," Penge, hitherto kept as a beer shop.

Appellant deposed:– I am assessed at 90 to the poor-rate for the "Paxton's Arms." I have an agreement for a lease for 21 years. The "Paxton Arms" cost, I believe, 4000. There are 12 bed rooms. It is far too good for a beer shop. The "Rising Sun" is 88 yards from my house. The terminus for the trains from London, Wimbledon, and the West End Railways are outside the Crystal Palace. On Good Friday I had a great many applications for spirits. I counted above 100, who went out of my house on the evening of Good Friday, because they could not get spirits.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp:— There are four new dwelling houses built near my house and occupied. I have not taken the "King's Arms," Croydon. I have assisted my son to manage the tavern department for Mr. Robinson. I an a free vintner, but people require spirits as well as wine. The "City of London Tavern" is nearly 600 yards from my house, the "Star" is 220 yards: Mr. Masters's is 400 yards distant from the same place.

By the Chairman:— I am not to pay any additional rent if I get the licence.

Mr. Cook, house agent, deposed there were 30 new houses built near the "Paxton Arms." He thought a license was necessary.

Mr. Phelps, solicitor, Adam Street, Adelphi:— I am solicitor for appellant. I engaged Mr. Everest, solicitor, Epsom, as my agent, to conduct the application of Mr. Careless at the Croydon Bench. There were three magistrates on the Bench, viz., Mr. Byron, Mr. Sutherland, and Mr. Adams; Mr. Byron was chairman. Mr. Byron said the license ought to be granted. Mr. Sutherland was passive. - Mr. Adams took an active part in cross-examining the witnesses for the application. After the case was gone through some private conversation took place between Mr. Adams and Mr. Sutherland. The result was the application was refused. Mr. Byron said, "You know my opinion, I think you ought to have a license." Mr. Adams is the ground landlord of the wood in which the "City of London Tavern" is situated. He has let the ground on which it is built to Mr. Thomas Brewer, at 70 a year ground rent.

Edmund Mansell, auctioneer, near the "Paxton Arms," said there could not be a house better situated for the railway terminus than the "Paxton Arms."

William Hay, architect and surveyor, deposed:— I know Mr. Adams is ground landlord of the "City of London Tavern," which was built when it was supposed that all the persons who went to the Crystal Palace would get out at the Anerly Station. I think the "Paxton Arms" is the most conveniently situated house of any for those who come out of the Crystal Palace for refreshments.

Charles Frederick Ribble, waiter, assisted Mr. Careless on Good Friday last. Between 300 and 400 came in between one and three on Good Friday; quite 100 went away because they could not get spirits. People have taken it for granted that spirits were sold there.

T. Collingwood Kerr, solicitor, said he had seen 40 or 60 people at one time run across from the railway station to the "Paxton Arms," to get some spirits, before starting oft back to London by the train.

The follow evidence was then adduced for the respondents:-

Mr. Talbot, stationmaster at the Crystal Palace Railway, examined by Mr. Knapp, deposed that nine-tenths of those who come down by rail, went into the Crystal Palace. Not 5 per cent. came out at all. There were certain rooms building within the Crystal Palace for refreshments and to supply spirits.

Cross-examined by Mr. Robinson:— Have known spirits sold in the Crystal Palace for the last 18 months; they have it at a saloon. The Railway and the Crystal Palace Companies are quite distinct.

The Chairman:— If a person takes a ticket from London to go by rail, and pays including admission to the Palace, can he go out from the Crystal Palace Railway Station where he pleases before going into the Crystal Palace?

Witness:— Yes; but they cannot come out of the Palace and go in again with the same ticket.

By Mr. Garth:— People with railway tickets will have access to the rooms now building, but not others.

Mr. Newell, landlord of the "Rising Sun Inn," Penge, deposed that his trade had very much fallen off. He took 9 less last Good Friday than in the previous year.

Mr. Westbrook, landlord of the "Star Inn," Penge, deposed that he did less business now than he did two or three years ago. Did not consider a license to the "Paxton Arms" necessary. (A laugh.)

Mr. Vivian, landlord of the "Rambler's Rest Inn," Penge, deposed that he had not sold half the spirits last year that he did the year before.

Cross-examined by Mr. Robinson:— The "Paxton Arms" stands, in a very good situation.

Mr. Robinson and Mr. Garth having severally addressed the Court, the Court deliberated about 20 minutes, when the Chairman said -- Under all the circumstances of the case we are disposed to allow the appeal.

From the Kentish Chronicle, 16 February, 1861.


On Wednesday morning Mr. William Carter, coroner for the eastern division of Surrey, opened an inquiry at the "Paxton Arms," near the Crystal Palace, to investigate the circumstances under which Ellen Lynch, aged 68, and William Eager, aged 21. came to their death.

The jury having viewed the bodies, the following evidence was given.

Charles Piggott:- I am a general dealer, living at Faversham. I identify the body of the deceased woman, who was my wife’s sister. She was named Ellen Lynch, and lived with her son in Wales. I last saw her alive and in good health on Monday morning at ten minutes past seven, then leaving her in a railway carriage at Faversham station.

Richard Eager:- I am an engineer, and live in Cavendish-grove, Wandsworth-road. I knew the man lying dead here. He was 21 years of age, and my brother, his name was William Eager, and I last saw him alive five or six weeks ago.

Frederick Austin, a ticket inspector, said:- I am stationed at the Crystal Palace station. On Monday morning last I was on duty at the Crystal Palace on the main line or Croydon side, where the Brighton trains arrive from the Victoria station. The London, Chatham, and Dover Railway meets at this place, and the passengers change for London Bridge. About 9.5 that morning I saw a train stop which had come from Faversham. I saw the deceased female on the platform at the corner by the ticket office for London. She spoke to me, tendering a Faversham to Strood ticket, and I told her she would have to pay 2s. on that ticket, which she paid. She was on the up platform on the Brighton, and had to cross four sets of rails to get to the London Bridge platform. I did not notice that she had any luggage. Eager at this time was standing at the left-hand side of the London Bridge to Victoria down-line. That was just opposite to where she was. The crossing is a level one; that is, you have to step over the rails. Eager was in the employ of the London and Brighton Company as an extra hand. The deceased woman was crossing the rails, and had got over three sets of them. She had passed Eager, whom I did not hear say anything or do anything for her assistance. When she had passed him I saw a train coming from Victoria Station to go to London Bridge. It was then coming out from the tunnel, which was on my left. At that time the deceased woman was between the up and down lines of the Victoria line. There is a space there of 30 feet from the inside of the up-line of the Victoria. The engine of the train at that time was about 20 yards from the woman. I called to Eager, and said, "Bill, look after that woman." He was about 12 or 15 feet from her. I crossed the line myself with a young gentleman after the train had passed, but did not know any thing had occurred. I waited for the train to pass; and as soon as it had passed I saw the two deceased persons lying between the lines on the London Bridge up-line. They are very much mutilated. One arm of the woman was smashed, and Eager was very much cut about the legs and thighs. The bodies were carried into the room at the end of the platform. The woman was quite dead, and Eager died in a few minutes afterwards. There is no doubt the engine must have come in contact with them. I lost sight of Eager as the train passed. The woman did not appear particularly infirm. I called Eager’s attention to the woman because I saw the danger as she was half-way across to the up-line. I consider that Eager lost his life in trying to save the female. He was there to direct the passengers which way to go. The passengers must of necessity cross the line to get from one side to the other, except they should go up the staircase on the arrival platform, through the booking office, and down another staircase on to the London Bridge platform, which they could do without crossing the line.

After some further evidence had been taken the coroner summed up, and the jury returned the following verdict:- "We find that the deceased persons met with their deaths by accidental causes; but we recommend that passengers should not be allowed to cross the rails, but that they should go up the stairs referred to in the evidence, or that such other accommodation should be provided as will prevent the repetition of such an occurrence."

Mr. Anscombe, the superintendent, stated that he believed the subject had already been under the consideration of the company with a view to adopt the suggestions made by the jury, which would now doubtless be carried into effect.

The inquiry then terminated.


Morning Advertiser 04 March 1861.


The "Paxton Arms," Penge from Mr. James Careless to his son of the same name.


Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter 09 March 1872.

Mr. William Drummond applied on behalf of Mr. Thomas Austin Barnes for a renewal of the license to the "Paxton Arms," Anerley-road, Penge. He stated that the house in question had been licensed by the Croydon Bench thirteen years ago, viz., in 1859; it had been carried on as a license' house from that time until last year, when no application was made on licensing day for a renewal of the license, in con-sequence of the late tenant leaving the house, and the owners not being able to find a new tenant by licensing day.

The "Paxton Arms" was worth at lest between 2,000 and 3,000, and was more capacious than the houses in the immediate neighbourhood, the large room being 37 ft. long by 21 ft. wide. The Suspensory Act, which had been passed would not in any way prevent the Bench from renewing the license.

The Chairman read a report with regard to the applicant, which stated that he had been fined at the Marylebone Police Court for trading at prescribed hours. The report also stated that the applicant had been convicted of the same offence at a public-house he had occupied at St. Pancras, which was afterwards shut up by the magistrates in consequence.

Mr. Drummond said all this was not in his instructions.

Mr. Eastty said it would have been well for Mr. Barnes if he told the whole facts to Mr. Drummond.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 30 September 1881.

The Fatal Railway Accident in the Crystal Palace Tunnel.

On Saturday Mr. William Carter held a lengthy enquiry at the "Paxton Hotel," Anerley Road, Penge, into the circumstances attending the death of Jonathan Bissex, age 32 years, a platelayer in the employ of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway company, living at 8, Romany Road, Lower Norwood, who was killed, as well as Joseph Fuller, of 1, Sidney Cottages, in the tunnel near the Crystal Palace, on Thursday morning last. Inspector Timmins appeared to watch the case on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, and Inspector Howland for the Railway Company.

Richard Turner said he was Inspector of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company, stationed at the Crystal Palace. On the 22nd inst. he was informed that something had happened between Gipsy Hill and the Palace, and that two men had been killed in the tunnel by a passing train. Witness went to the signal-box and had the lines blocked each way. He saw Walter Mitchell and Charles Sharman, and they accompanied witness into the tunnel between the Crystal Palace and Gipsy Hill station. They all carried lights, and when they got 250 yards they discovered Fuller lying between the metals and the wall on the right side of the tunnel. He was then alive, but unconscious. His injuries were of such a serious character, as to leave very slight hopes of his recovering. His left arm and leg were almost severed. He had also received a scalp wound, and the brain was protruding. He was removed to Guy's Hospital, but died soon after his admission. Bissex, whom they had passed unobserved, was lying about 10 yards from Fuller. He was on his side, his head inclining towards Gipsy Hill. Both men were employed by his company as platelayers. Bissex was found in the four foot way dreadfully mutilated. His skull was fractured, and the top was completely cut off. Witness knew the tunnel to be about half a mile in length. There were two sets of rails. There were no recesses or "man holes" in the tunnel.

Charles Sharman, of 14, Victoria cottages, Woodlands Road, Upper Norwood, said he had been in the service of the company for 29 years. He met Bissex at 6 o'clock on Thursday morning at Gipsy Hill Station with two other platelayers, deceased being the ganger. He gave them instructions go to go to work in the Crystal Palace tunnel. They entered at Gipsy Hill end, and commence work on the down line from Victoria to the Crystal Palace. They had naptha lamps, which they shifted about as they wanted. They were all perfectly sober, and after breakfast they again entered into the tunnel for the purpose of lifting some "joints" on the road. About 2 hours after they have resumed work witness noticed a goods train enter the tunnel from the Crystal Palace end. As witness was standing against the wall looking at the goods train they all became enveloped in steam and smoke, and as it passed witness, he felt a man thrown against his legs. That was the first intimation he had of a second train being in the tunnel. Witness soon after found that it was a passenger train from Willesden Junction to New and South Croydon, due at the Crystal Palace station at 10:32 p.m. It was a London and North Western train. Witness could not say what rate it was going. He could not hear its approach on account of the noise from the goods train. After the train had passed away they were left in total darkness, the lamps having been extinguished by the engine of the passenger train. Witness was of opinion that the driver of the passenger train could not see them. he did not hear any whistle sounded by the passenger train. It was usual for the drivers to sound the whistle at either end of the tunnel. The goods train was a very heavy one on account of its having two engines. If the whistle had been sounded witness was of the opinion that he should not have heard it owing to the noise caused by the puffs of the engine and the rattling of the trucks. As soon as the trains had passed witness he stooped down and felt a man by his feet. As soon as the trains had passed witness he stooped down and felt a man at his feet. He took hold of him and said, "Who are you!" He received no answer, and soon after he came across the other man, and he received no reply from him. Witness then had to grope his way out of the tunnel in the dark, when he saw Walter Mitchell with a light in his hand. They then went to the signal-box and gave information to the signalman. He then went back with Mitchell, when they found deceased. They removed him on one side. A few yards further on they discovered Fuller alive, but unconscious. When two trains passed through the tunnel simultaneously, as upon this occasion, the men engaged in repairing the metals had to lie down at full length in the 6-foot way or between the near rail and the wall, as there was no other means providing for their safety. In witnesses' opinion, the accident was unpreventable as far as the driver was concerned. Had there been any recesses in the tunnel he could not say, under the circumstances, whether he or the deceased man would have got into them.

In answer to a juryman, witness said there were no air shafts in the tunnel. Witness had worked in the tunnel for the past 20 years, and he was not aware that any instructions were given by the company for the men at work in the tunnel to lie down on the approach of a train. This was the first accident that occurred in the tunnel for 20 years. When witness first worked in the tunnel it had two air shafts; they had since been filled in.

Walter Mitchell, another platelayer, who was at work in the tunnel at the time, was called but not sworn, and, in answer to the coroner, said he was some distance away from the other men at the time of the occurrence. He saw the goods train into the tunnel, which was soon enveloped in steam and smoke.

The jurymen thought it unadvisable to examine Mitchell. After three quarters of an hour's deliberation the jury returned a verdict of accidental death, adding the following rider:- "That the tunnel in question was highly dangerous to the men working in it, and to prevent further loss of life (the jury) would suggest that an air shaft should be provided; also that man-holes should be made, so as to enable the men to get out in safety instead of lying down on the ballast, thereby exposing themselves to be scalded to death; and also, while the line was under repair, the drivers should be instructed to slacken speed whilst passing through the tunnel.


I have also seen this pub addressed as in both Crystal Palace and Anerley.

The pub was closed in 1944 after being hit by a flying bomb and wasn't opened again until 1955. The licensees moving to and running the "Hole in the Wall," Old Kent Road.  On the wall today there is a plaque giving information of this and it also says that one of the rescuers was invited to have the first drink there when it reopened.

I believe the pub closed again by 2013 and planning consent was given in August of that year for the conversion into 3 one bedroom and 4 two bedroom flats, whilst the ground floor will be used for retail use.


From the By Helen Corbett, 6th June 2016.

'It's all I have of my family history': Mum furious after pub memorial to grandad John Markham who rescued survivors of WW2 Crystal Palace bombing is painted over.

A Forest Hill mum is fuming after a plaque commemorating her grandfather’s efforts when a second world war bomb fell was painted over during a refurb of the Crystal Palace pub where it was fixed to the wall.

The sign had been in pride of place on the outside wall of the Paxton Arms Hotel for decades and recalled the story of a World War Two bombing which destroyed the pub.

The sign read: “It was the summer of 1944 when one of Germany’s VI flying bombs landed about halfway down Anerley Hill and put the Paxton Arms out of business.

“At the time, a young man, John Markham, was enjoying a drink.

“He finished his pint and helped rescue survivors from nearby houses.

“Eleven years later, on 28th December, 1955, Mr Markham was the first to enjoy a drink when the pub reopened after being extensively rebuilt by Taylor Walker.”

A few weeks ago, John Markham’s granddaughter Laura Markham, 29, walked past the pub and saw that the sign was gone.

She told News Shopper: “It’s changed into a tea room from a pub.

“They boarded up all the windows and the sign and I did go in and ask what had happened and I was reassured it was going to be there.

“They’ve painted over the sign and put a menu up.

“It’s called Retro Joe’s now – but they’ve got rid of the sign, and that’s the retro bit.”

Bromley Council has no official record of the John Markham memorial and from a legal standpoint, it is at the owner’s discretion whether they maintain and keep any plaque or memorial sign put up on its walls.

Emma Simpson, who runs Retro Joe’s with her husband, said the sign was painted over last summer by builders.

Paxton Arms history sign

The last memory Laura has of the sign - a blurry photograph.

She said: “It wasn’t actually us that painted over the sign – it was during building work that it was painted over and they plastered over original shrapnel damage too which we weren’t pleased about.

“It is not a listed building so we don’t have to keep the sign but we think it is important to the history and we want to replace the sign with a memorial that includes all of the people who died in that bomb strike.

“I did put up a replacement sign out front but people kept stealing it – I don’t know why.

“We have tried. There is a memorial to the people affected by the other bomb that hit the area but not here.”

Laura’s dad is now 74 and as her grandparents died when she and her 34-year-old brother James were very young, the story is one of the only things she has to remember her grandad by.

But she also sees it as a vital piece of the past that chronicles the story of Crystal Palace itself.

She said: “That’s all the family we have got on my dad’s side.

“This is all I have got of my family history.

“I’ve got a little boy now and I have taken him and read the story to him.

“When it was the Paxton Arms, my grandad drank there, my dad drank there and my brother drank there – it linked three generations.

“I just want there to be something there still marking what happened.

“Crystal Palace history is coming alive now with the subway reopening – and this is part of that history.

“I just want something back.”



CARELESS James Nov/1858-Mar/1861

CARELESS James jun. Mar/1861+ (age 43 in 1861Census)

SALMON Mary Ann 1874-75+


CRUWYS John 1880+

ROBERTS Mary A Roberts 1881+ (widow age 37 in 1881Census)

DAVIDSON John 1891+

LAKE Emma 1891+ (widow age 42 in 1891Census)

GRAHAM Alexander 1894-96+

WERNHAM Thomas G 1901+ (age 30 in 1901Census)

WENHAM Thomas 1903+

WENHAM Fanny Mrs 1908-18+

BLACK Mabel Mrs 1922+

LOCKTON Frank 1927+

LABERL Joseph & Ruby to 1944




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