Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, March, 2022.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 06 March, 2022.


Earliest 1830-

Bristol Arms

Latest ????

(Name to)

78 (67) Calverley Road

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Bristol Arms 1980s

Above photo 1980s. Kindly sent by Mick White.

Bristol Arms sign 1991

Above sign, October 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


From the Maidstone Gazette and West Kent Courier, 2 February 1830.

To Millers and Others.

To be let by auction, for a term of 14 years, with immediate possession by Messrs. Hart. On Saturday, February 6th, 1830, at the "Bristol Arms Inn," Mount Pleasant, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, subject to the conditions as will then be produced.

Calverley Windmill, together with the Stable, Lodge, and the Windmill Field, containing about 4 and a 1/4 acres of excellent Meadow Land.

The mill is situated on an eminence on the Calverley Estate, near the "Nag's Head" Turnpike Gate, in the parish of Tunbridge, and within half a mile of Tunbridge Wells; with good roads to and from the Mill.

The estate possesses a desirable opportunity to any person acquainted with the business of a Miller, and will be found well worthy of attention, as the neighbourhood of the Mill is fast increasing in population, and offers good success for trade in the above line.
May be viewed anytime before the day of letting, upon application to Messrs. Hart, Auctioneers and Appraisers, Tunbridge Wells.

All letters to be post paid.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 13 January, 1939.



When a licensee who had held a license for only three and a half months was summoned at Tunbridge Wells Police Court on Monday, it was stated that it was the first time in many years that such proceedings had been taken in the town.

Richard Bushell, licensee of the "Bristol Arms," Calverley-road, was fined 5 for permitting drunkenness to take place on his premises on December 15. He pleaded guilty.

The case was heard before Sir Robert Gower. M.P., and other magistrates.

Mr. J. G. Hillier, assistant solicitor to the Corporation, who prosecuted, explained that as a result of certain information Inspector Huggett went to the public-house, where he saw a woman drunk on the premises. When he drew the licensee's attention to her he replied, "She has been like it for half an hour in the same position. She had a Guinness and two Australian wines, and my wife served her with one or two Australian wines." Mr. Bushell added that she must have had something to drink somewhere else before she came into his public house. She came in about 7 o'clock and at 8.45 he noticed her condition, after which she was not served again. Mr Bushell also explained that he had been very busy, but after he noticed the woman's condition he refused to serve her again.


Mr. F. S. Harries (Messrs. W. C. Cripps, Harries, Hall and Co.), who pleaded guilty on defendant's behalf, admitted the facts stated by Mr. Hillier, whom he welcomed to the Court for the first time. Mr. Harries explained he was mainly instructed by the Tunbridge Wells Licensed Victuallers' Association, of which society the defendant was a member. The Association was very jealous of its members upholding the law, and therefore viewed the case with some concern. It was very many years since there had been a summons against a licensee in Tunbridge Wells.

Mr. Harries pointed out that the defendant was very busy on the evening in question, unexpectedly so, and the barman, who was a very experienced man in the trade, had been allowed to go out. The defendant first held a license on August 29, 1938, and the incident occurred on December 15—some three and a half months. What he (Mr. Harries) desired to put before the magistrates was not an excuse so much as it was an explanation.

Mr. Harries went on to say that when Mr. Bushell realised that the woman was drunk he allowed her to remain instead of turning her out, although she was not served with any more drinks. There was, of course, no suggestion that he supplied her with drink knowing her to be drunk but his mistake was that he failed to turn her out as he should have done.

Mr. Harries went on to speak of Mr Bushells excellent character and said that the Chief Constable was quite satisfied that he was a fit and proper person to hold a license. Both bars were very busy at the time. Mr Harries added, and Mr Bushell's action was no doubt partly due to inexperience and partly due to the business. Mr Harries asked that the proceedings would not be taken into consideration when the question of the renewal of the license next came before them.


The Chief Constable explained that the defendant had spent 19 years in Africa before coming to Tunbridge Wells, and had conducted his house in a very satisfactory manner. He put the cause of the alleged offence down to inexperience.

In announcing the fine, the Chairman told Bushell that there was no doubt that the concluding drinks which the woman had were obtained in his house, and she got into a state of intoxication. It was the defendants duty to see that she did not have so much drink. It was therefore, his duty to clear her off the premises, and the Bench was determined to see that the law was enforced. They appreciated the fact that in the past licensed victuallers had carried out their duties splendidly, and therefore the Bench regretted all the more that the defendant was before them. They had, however, come to the conclusion after hearing the representation of Mr. Harries, that it was quite clear that it was due to inexperience. "We don’t want to penalise your future, but we must fine you the sum of 5. With regard to your application for the renewal of your license, we shall not take this into consideration unless the Chief Constable raises any question."


Changed name to the "Guinea Butt." Date of change as yet unknown.



BRICE Henry 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

PREBBLE Richard 1841+ (age 30 in 1841Census)

MEAGRE & ROWE 1873-74+ Kent and Sussex Courier

COWENS George F 1881+ (age 40 in 1881Census)

ELLIS W T 1882+

LESSELS James 1891+ (age 51 in 1891Census)

REED Mark 1903+ Kelly's 1903

PADGET Thomas 1913+

WEEKS Robert 1918-22+

FINCH George R J 1930-Aug/38

BUSHELL Richard Aug/1938+


Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903



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