Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, April, 2023.

Page Updated:- Monday, 24 April, 2023.


Earliest 1872-

Good Intent

Latest 1914

57 St Johns Road

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Good Intent pre 1878

Above photo, date unknown, (pre 1878) kindly sent by Mick Bean.

Former Good Intent

Above photo, date unknown.

Former Good Intent 2017

Above Google image, June 2017.


Only reference I have found of this pub at present is from the Licensing Session of 1914. I believe this may have been the last year it held a drinks license.

A plaque situated on the side of the building at number 55 suggests that this used to be the location of the St. John's Dairy, established in 1833 and rebuilt in 1878, which overlaps slightly with the premises as a beer-house.


St Johns Dairy plaque

Above plaque from Google maps, June 2016.


However, I am informed by Anthony Barber that the 1914 edition of Kelly's directory, gave the address of the premises owned by beer retailer Mrs S A Wood as being 65 and 67 St John's Road. That would make the location as shown below.


65 St John's Road 2012

Above Google image, August 2012.

65-67 St John's Road 2021

Above Google image, August 2021.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 6 February, 1914.



The Annual Brewster Sessions for the Borough of Tunbridge Wells were held at the Town Hall on Monday morning, the Mayor (Councillor C. W. Emson) presiding over a large attendance of the Justices.

The Magistrates had decided to renew all the licenses, with the exception of the "Anchor," Camden-road; the "Rifleman," Kensington-street; the "Good Intent," St. John’s-road; the "Standard," Little Mount Sion; and the "Alma," Varney -street. The licensee of these houses would be considered at the adjourned annual licensing meeting a month hence.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 6 March, 1914.


Mr. Cripps applied for the license of the "Good Intent." St. John's-road, to be renewed.

P. Sergt. Walters stated that the drinking accommodation at the house consisted of a bar, a smoking room, and a jug and bottle department. The witness proceeded to give particulars of the other licensed houses in the neighbourhood, and in reply to a question from Mr. G. Langridge, stated that the population in the neighbourhood was rapidly increasing.

Mr. Cripps told the Bench there was a touch of pathos about this case. The license of the house had been held since 1872 by Mrs. Wood or her husband, so that it had been in their hands for 42 years. Mrs. Wood and her late husband were together probably the oldest licensees in Tunbridge Wells. There had not been a change in the licence since 1903, when Mr. Wood died, and the widow took the house on. The trade in 1911 was 124 1/2 barrels; in 1912, 125 1/2 barrels; and in 1913 123 1/2 barrels. It was very unusual for the trade of a beerhouse to show so very little variation, and the reason was that there had never been any attempt to push the trade. Mrs. Wood had been able to earn a living at the house, but not to save money. She was 73 years of age, and had been living with her mother, who was 93. A daughter of 33 managed the home. If the license were taken away, the two old people would be thrown out on the world without a penny because, as their worships knew, very little of the compensation money went to a yearly tenant. He knew it might be said that their worships had nothing to do with sentiment, but he did appeal to them on behalf of these people. The Bench's action in dealing with these houses was in the interests of public order, sobriety and morality. Were they going to do any good in closing this decent little house, which had been carried on for 42 years without any attempt to push the trade?

The Bench postponed their decision.

After retiring for about 15 minutes, the chairman announced that the licence of the "Rifleman" would be referred to quarter sessions, and all other licences would be renewed. Mr. Wardley then applied for a provisional licence for the "Rifleman," which was granted.



BROWN Henry 1871+ (age 42 in 1871Census)

WOOD Charles 1872-1903 dec'd (age 37 in 1871Census)

WOOD S A Mrs 1903-14 (age 61 in 1901Census)




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