DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, December, 2018.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 22 December, 2018.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1797-

Calverley Park Hotel

Latest ????

(Name to)

Calverley Park

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Calverley Park Hotel 1797

Above drawing 1797.

Calverley Park Hotel

Above photo, date unknown. http://roughwood.net

 

From the South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 12 May, 1857.

ACCIDENT.

On Tuesday a horse belonging to Mr. Churchill, "Calverley Hotel," took fright, and bolted, dragging a carriage to which he was harnesses after him. Some men, engaged by the gas Company, were at work near the station, and had a trench cut in the road, into which the wheels of the carriage ran, throwing the horse to the ground. Fortunately, the accident was unattended with any personal injury.

 

Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 13th June 1860.

Tunbridge Wells. The Horticultural Fate.

This Gathering took place on Friday, in the grounds attached to the "Calverley Hotel."

Great fears had been entertained from the unsettled state of the weather, but the day was beautifully fine.

At an early hour large numbers of persons entered the town by railway (special trains being run by the South Eastern Company), and they were increased by larger additions on the arrivals of each train.

The Queen of the French, accompanied by several members of the ex-royal family of France, inspected the flowers and fruit at the opening of the show. The whole of the flowers were displayed on the one large marquee, and the effect was highly pleasing. The centre stand was occupied by fuchsias, geraniums, ferns, fruit, wildflowers, &c., the rarer plants and exotics being chiefly disposed around the side.

The show of fruit, from an early period of the season, was of course small. As on the last occasion several fine flags, banners, &c., were placed about the grounds, and a platform was erected for the performances of the band of the Royal Artillery.

The attendance of visitors was very large, and comprised nearly all the elite of the town and neighbourhood; the exhibition being in all respects most successful.

 

From the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, 24 September, 1870.

SUDDEN DEATH.

On Monday afternoon a fly driver in the employ of Mr. Bartlett, aged about 55, named James Hewer, drove into the yard of the "Calverley Hotel Mews," between two and three o'clock, and went direct to a water closet. Finding he did not return, his mates went in search of him and found him on the floor of the water closet in a dying condition. They raised him to the seat, and propped him up until the arrival of Mr. Rix, the police surgeon, which was almost immediately. Medical aid, however, was of no avail, and the poor fellow died in a few minutes.

An inquest has been deemed unnecessary.

 

Kent & Sussex Courier 17 January 1936.

"November 19 last, aged 74 years, left gross estate of the value of £24,806 6s. 1d., with net personality £23,151 15s. Miss Alice Gertrude Prevost, of the “Lord Warden Hotel,” Dover, formerly of the “Calverley Hotel,” Tunbridge Wells, who died on October 7, aged 66.

17 January 1936 - Kent & Sussex Courier - Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England."

 

Written By; Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada Date: 9 May, 2014

THE HISTORY OF THE CALVERLEY HOTEL

The "Calverley Hotel," now the "Hotel du Vin," has a long and interesting history. It began as a large private home constructed on the brow of a hill with large grounds at the south east corner of Mount Pleasant Road and Crescent Road. Historical accounts state that the home had been constructed in 1762 for the Earl of Egmont, but this date must pertain to the rebuilding of the home. The book' Royal Tunbridge Wells' by Roger Farthing provides on plate 36 a view of the area and on the plate is marked “Esq. Strong” and a view of Mount Pleasant House. This plate is from Kip's engravings of 1719. The text associated with this image states “On the horizon Esq. Strong's, the original Calverley Hotel building”. From the same book is plate 46, showing Lord Percival and his wife with the text below stating “The original "Calverley Hotel" house was almost certainly built by William Strong (see plate 36) around 1700 and bought from his heirs by Lord Percival, seen here with his wife. He became M. P. for Harwich in 1727 and was active in promoting the Georgia settlement. In 1734, as his diary records on 26 March, he gave ‘Mount Pleasant at Tunbridge Wells'. A house in London and the "George Inn," on Snow Hill in London, with a total rental value of £319 a year, to his son to enable him to stand for Parliament”.

In 1776 the Earl of Egmont, "having grown tired of the situation", sold the house “at a considerable loss” to William Gratton, the proprietor of the "Gloucester Tavern" in the Pantiles, which was named after Queen Anne's son The Duke of Gloucester, and which is referred to in accounts dating back to at least 1706.

It is interesting to note the large house beside the name “ Mount Pleasant”. Lord Percival made a comment from Farthing's book “ For 10 weeks each year from 1769 to 1789, when he died, the Duke of Leeds rented Mount Pleasant House from William Gratton of the "Gloucester Tavern" who had married the widow of an owner subsequent to Lord Percival. The Duke is renowned for driving daily in his coach and six to a point on the turnpike he called Turnham (Turn'em!) Green”.

In 1779 Thomas Osborn (1713-1789), the 4th Duke of Leeds, purchased the home, who made improvements to it, and continued to live there until his death in 1789. During this time the residence was referred to as “Mount Pleasant House”, but during the latter part of the 18th century and up to circa 1830 it became referred to as “Calverley House”. There is also reference to the place sometimes being called “Lushington House” prior to the redesign and enlargement of the building and its subsequent conversion into a hotel. The reference to Lushington House is in connection to Mr Lushington (1747-1823), a wealthy gentleman of Eastbourne Sussex, who likely was the owner of the place at some point in the buildings early history ,and who died in Tunbridge Wells in 1824.

After the death of Thomas Osborn in 1789 the home was occupied for one season by the Duke of Chandos who died there in 1780. For many years afterwards it was the residence of the venerable Dr Moss, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, who died at age 92 sometime just before 1820. In 1795, for a period of six weeks, the Royal Highness the Princess Sophia lived there. In 1797 and afterwards other “Royals” lived there from time to time.

Sir John Peachey, 3rd Baronet of Petworth (1720-1765) and his wife Dame Elizabeth Peachey (1725-1804) lived there in the late 1700's and Elizabeth Peachey “enlarged the house and remained there until her death in 1804”.

By 1810 however, the home had become a Lodging House and therefore had many distinguished occupants, like Dr Moss. In the period after 1810 it was also the occasional residence of Sir John Fagg, Bart of Mystole House near Canterbury.

When Thomas Panuwell, Esq. died in 1823 his 1,000 acre Calverley estate was purchased two or three years later by John Ward. Ward also became the owner of Lushington House, which William Lushington had bought in 1819 and who's park he had enlarged by the purchase of adjoining fields.

In the period before 1830 the home had been altered many times. The earliest descriptions of the building (1786) refer to it being constructed of brick but later accounts describe it being of sandstone (which it is today).

In the 1830's Calverley House was redesigned, altered, and refinished by Decimus Burton, in conjunction with John Ward's residential development of Calverley Park. The old part of the building was incorporated into the new design and the rooms occupied by Royalty were retained. The Duchess of Kent and Princess Victoria stayed there in 1827 and 1834 and Queen Victoria stayed at Calverley House in 1835. Roger Farthing, in his book ‘Royal Tunbridge Wells” published in 1990 shows an image of the building given as plate 89. The text with this image states “Lord Percival's old Mount Pleasant House was bought by John Ward, the Calverley developer, in 1825 but remained unaltered while required by the Duchess of Kent. In 1837 however it was enlarged with two elegant wings and an additional storey (to make 50 bedchambers and 14 sitting-rooms) and in 1839 it was leased to Edward Churchill, landlord of the Kentish Royal”.

In 1839-1840 Calverley House became the Calverley Hotel and was run by George Robinson.

By 1841 the hotel was being run by Edward Churchill under the name of the Calverley Park Hotel. Edward Churchill was also associated with the running of the Kentish Royal Hotel. Churchill was still at the Calverley Park Hotel in 1862. During the time of Edward Churchill the 1859 the Horticultural Fete was held in the grounds of the hotel.

Bracketts guide of 1866 refers to the hotel being able to accommodate “no fewer than 13 families”, considerably less than the 35 rooms available in 2014 at the hotel.

In the 1870's and 1880's the hotel was run by William Pawley(1828-1908).

In 1891 the hotel was owned by Calverley Hotel Ltd and by 1918 was referred to as the Calverley Hotel Co. Ltd.

In the period of 1922 to 1930 the Manageress of the hotel was Miss Gladwin.

In 1961 the building was given a Grade II listing by English Heritage.

This article provides a brief history of the Calverley Hotel covering the period of 1762 until 1930 with some reference to its current use as the "Hotel du Vin." I begin my account with the following section quoted directly from the source.

An image of Mount Pleasant House dated 1797 can be viewed from The Weald website. Note the windmill shown in the background and note how different the building looks to other images of the building given later in this article. Tunbridge Wells and its neighbourhood 1810 By Paul Amsinck.

The text below is from the 1810 account by Paul Amsinck.

“Mount Pleasant which next attracts our notice, contained originally but one house. About thirty years since, an indifferent lodging house was enlarged, and the adjacent grounds extended and embellished, by Elizabeth, the widow of Sir John Peachey, Bart, the elder brother of the first Lord Selsea. She made it one of the most desirable residences, at Tunbridge Wells; and occupied it, in the exercise of an extensive benevolence and liberal hospitality, till her death. It has since become the property, and is the occasional residence of Sir John Fagg, Bart, of Mystole House, near Canterbury. Still the great Mount Pleasant House retains its exclusive claim to that appropriate designation. It is now only a lodging house, let as one, or divisible into two, as the circumstances of the tenants may require. Many persons of distinction have wished to become the purchasers of it; captivated by the beauty of the situation, and the capability of improvement in the adjacent grounds; but having descended to the present proprietor as heir at law, on the last possessor having informally bequeathed it to a roman catholic establishment, some doubts, as to the validity of the title have been raised, which have hitherto proved obstacles to the transfer of the property”.

“This place has heretofore been the occasional residence of many distinguished persons. It was formerly a seat of the Earl of Egmont. For twenty successive seasons it was the constant abode, for the precisely measured period of ten weeks, to Thomas, the fourth Duke of Leeds: which he continued till his death in 1789. [The subjoined early testimony to the character of this truly respectable nobleman, occurs in a letter from Lord Oxford to Dr. Swift, bearing the date of June 19, 1735." The Duke of Leeds is returned from his travels a fine gentleman; and has imported none of the fopperies and fooleries of the countries he has passed through."]

“This noble personage formed so conspicuous a feature in the costume of Tunbridge Wells, that it will be allowable to pause a little on his name and character. The ancient system of the place prevailed during his abode in it: and he was invariably seen on the parade at the usual hours of assembling there. He may be said to have precisely exemplified Mr. Burke's happy and elegant definition of a nobility, "the Corinthian capital of polished society" Dignified in his manners, polite in his demeanour, affable with all, and actively benevolent; he so apportioned his attentions, and so encouragingly displayed his goodwill to all, that he became the most popular character in the place; and his implied wish on any subject was equivalent to a law. Although he divested himself of the aristocratic air in his conversation and countenance, never did he so in his equipage and exterior. His star invariably decorated his person, even on his great coat; and his full equipage regularly conveyed him to the Wells, and for his airing. After the morning bustle of the day, his habits were retired. He had usually his small party at dinner; and at the appointed hour, or rather minute, the coach and six was at the door for the evening excursion towards a spot on the London road, which his Grace denominated Turnham Green, from an open space, which admitted of the turning of his cumbrous equipage.”

“On one single day in the year he would make his evening appearance in the Rooms: this was on the birth-day of the Prince of Wales. On this occasion it had been his custom to give a public tea-drinking and ball to the company; and, if the state of the weather permitted, the former part of the entertainment took place on the Parade; at that time denominated the Pantiles. The tables were spread, according to the numbers to be accommodated, down the walks; and it may be noticed, as a singular contrast to the unmannerly intrusion of the present times, that, although the novelty of such a scene might be supposed to yield attractions, and almost to justify some deviations from a rigid propriety, there never was any advance on the part of the lower classes to disturb the comfort of the meeting. But not only the days of chivalry, but even those of decency and good order are gone by”.

“After the death of the Duke of Leeds, for one season, the Duke of Chandos made this house his residence; and died there, honoured and lamented by all who knew him. For many years it was, in the early part of the season, the residence of the venerable Dr. Moss, Bishop of Bath and Wells; who for more than half a century had been a regular frequenter of the Wells : and died not many years since, in the full enjoyment of his faculties, at the great age of ninety-two.”

“In the year 1795, her Royal Highness the Princess Sophia, having been recommended to drink the Tunbridge waters, resided for that purpose, about six weeks, in Great Mount Pleasant. On her arrival, she was in a most debilitated state of health: during her residence, she rapidly amended, and quitted the place completely restored. Two years after the same house was destined to receive royal guests, of a different description, and under different circumstances: - the Prince and Princess, with the hereditary Princess of Orange. The Duchess of York accompanied them; and the excursion was understood to have been chiefly undertaken on her Royal Highnesses account. This visit took place in the early stage of those revolutionary scenes, which have since proved so fatal and humiliating to crowned heads; but so frequent, as almost to cease exciting wonder. The near alliance of the parties to our own reigning family, and their steady adherence to the interests of this country, occasioned these royal exiles to participate largely in the compassion of Britons: and during their residence among them, the inhabitants of the Wells readily united with their fellow citizens in yielding them the tribute of their utmost benevolence.”

 

THE HISTORY OF THE HOUSE UP TO 1840

The location of the large building on the left of the hotel with a sign over the entrance “Hotel Mews” which at that time would have been used to house horses and carriages.

Mount Pleasant House was built in 1762 for the Earl of Egmont. The residence was described in 1776 as “a noble modern brick house, built in a genteel taste, upon the brow of a delightful hill which commands an extensive prospect of the place. This was lately the property of the right honourable the Earl of Egmont, but is now presently that of Mr William Gratton, master of the Gloucester Tavern”. From Tunbridge Wells Past and Present by Strange (1946) “The Earl of Egmont built Mount Pleasant House. Afterwards it was much improved by the Duke of Leeds, who purchased it in 1779. Subsequently it was called Calverley House which now forms the older part of the Calverley Hotel”.

The Earl of Egmont was descended from the Flemish noble family of Philip van Egmont of The House of Egmont in the Netherlands. British Parliament records of 1789 refers to the Duke of Edgmont and to Lord Lovell, the Earl of Egmont and apart from his other activities he was obviously a wealthy man and a member of the British Parliament.

In 1776 the Earl of Egmont, "having grown tired of the situation", sold the house “at a considerable loss” to William Gratton, the proprietor of the Gloucester Tavern in the Pantiles ,which was named after Queen Anne's son The Duke of Gloucester, and which is referred to in accounts dating back to at least 1706.An advertisement announced “The "Gloucester Tavern," Tunbridge Wells, is open for the season. The bedding is well aired and properly attended. Your very obliging and humble servant William Gratton”. Another account states that the "Gloucester Tavern" was named after the Duke of Gloucester who was in Tunbridge Wells in 1698 and who played with other children on the Upper Walk of the Pantiles. John Byron, the writer, was in Tunbridge Wells August 1723 and said in his accounts “ We walked upon the Walks, a great deal of company here; we had supper at the "Gloucester Tavern"”.

An 1808 map by T. T. Barrow showed the location of an listed the lodging houses in the town. On that map is given, in the location of what would become the Calverley Hotel, a building labelled as “Great Mount Pleasant”. In addition to the map Barrow produced a covering page to the map on which is shown an image of a large house labelled as “Mount Pleasant House”.

The 1912 publication by Lewis Melville entitled Society in Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century' gave “ On Mount Pleasant stands a very noble house which is let out by the season by Mr Gratton, the master of the "Gloucester Tavern." It is the best lodging house thereabouts, and was built by Lord Egmont, who, growing tired of the situation sold it at a considerable loss”. Another source gives “ Several good taverns supplied wine, including by 1706 the "Gloucester Tavern," named after Queen Anne's son the Duke of Gloucester”.

Peltons 1829 Guide gives the following “ Adjacent to the Calverley Promenade is the Calverley Hotel, which has recently been finished (redone by Decimus Burton), the accommodation here being first-rate with the situation in which it is placed, commanding as it does an uninterrupted view over delightful scenes, renders it one of the most charming spots in the country”. Accounts indicate that although Calverley House was extensively redone by Burton in 1829 it did not become a hotel until 1840 when it was rebuilt. However a map of 1839 labels the building as a hotel. The Descriptive Sketches of Tunbridge Wells by Britton in 1832 gives Information on the hotels in the town at that time but no mention is made of the existence then of the Calverley Hotel.

There is reference in 1835 to the mother of Queen Victoria staying at Calverley House “which was formerly Mount Pleasant House”.

Peltons Guide of 1876 by John Radford Thompson states in part “Prior to the erection of the hotel, this site was occupied by Lushington House, a favourite summer residence of the late Dutchess of Kent and her daughter, then Princess Victoria, and now the Queen of England”. Peltons 1840 Guide gave in part “The Calverley House was sometimes called Lushington House, which was altered many times before Burton (1800-1881) incorporated it into the Calverley Hotel”…. It was built as a private residence in 1762-the owners delaying its conversion to a hotel because of Queen Victoria's last visit in 1835”.

Bracketts Guide of 1866 gave in part “ Prior to its conversion into a hotel it was known as Lushington House and for several seasons was a favourite residence of the Queen and Princess Victoria and the late Duchess of Kent stayed there in the summer.

So where did the name “Luchington House” come from? The answer (from The Annual Biography of 1824) is that it is named after William Lushington (1747-1823) who was from Eastbourn, Sussex but died in Tunbridge Wells September 11,1823. The source says “He was formerly a merchant in London and an agent for the Isle of Grenada. He was elected MP for the City of London in 1795 on the death of Mr Alderman Sawbridge, and in the same year was elected Alderman of Billingsgate Ward, on the death of Mr Alderman Sainsbury. He resigned his Alderman's gown in 1799, and retired from the representation of the City of London, at the general meeting of 1802. He also filled the office of Vice-President of the Artillery Company; Treasurer of the City of London Lying-in-Hospital in the City Road and Vice President of the Society of Patrons of the Charity Schools, of the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, and of the Universal Medical Institution in Old Gravel Lane. He was also a Director of the British Fire office. Mr Lushington was a man of great ability, and a eloquent speaker, both in parliament and in the city senate. He published ‘The Interests of Agriculture and Commerce inseparable' 8 volumes in 1808.”

William Lushington had been born January 18,1747 at Markshall, Essex and was one of eight children born to Henry Lushington (died 1799) and Mary Asthem (died 1775). He had married Pauline French (died 1897) March 28, 1769 and with her had two sons and two daughters. A review of his will, which was probated October 13,1824, shows he was from Tunbridge Wells and that he left his entire estate to his daughter Charlotte Lushington. A burial register records him born 1747, died 1823 and buried September 19, 1823, age 76 at Lewisham St Mary, Kent.

Another reference to William Lushingtron is in the book ‘Royal Tunbridge Wells' by Roger Farthing, published 1990 in which the following is given “On 30 December 1823 Thomas Panuwell Esquire died and in the next two or three years John Ward acquired Panuwell's 1,000 acre Calverley estate: the future Calverley Hotel which William Lushington had bought in 1819 and whose park he had enlarged by the purchase of adjoining fields……….”….. "The Princess Victoria and her mother, the Duchess of Kent, came an stayed in Calverley House in 1826, 1827, 1828 and 1834…” In reference to the arrival of the railway in the town on September 19,1845 Farthing states “On June 23, 1849 the Queen and Prince Albert tested the route on an apparently unpremeditated visit to the Queen Dowager at the Calverley Hotel”. Shown opposite is an early image of the Calverley Hotel from Farthings book with the following caption “Lord Percival's old Mount Pleasant House was bought by John Ward, the Calverley developer, in 1825 but remained unaltered while required by the Duchess of Kent. In 1837 however, it was enlarged with ‘two elegant wings' and an additional storey (to make 50 bedchambers and 14 sitting-rooms) and in 1839 it was leased to Edward Churchill, landlord of the Kentish Royal”.

In 1779 Thomas Osborn (1713-1789), the 4th Duke of Leeds ,purchased the home, who made improvements to it, and continued to live there until his death in 1789. During this time the residence was referred to as “Mount Pleasant House”.

Thomas Osborn had been born November 6, 1713 and died March 23, 1789. He was styled the Earl of Danby from birth until 1729 and subsequently Marquess of Carmarthen until 1731 and was a British peer, politician and judge. He was the older and only surviving son of Peregrine Osborne, 3rd Duke of Leeds and his first wife Elizabeth, youngest daughter of Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer. Osborne was educated at Westminster School and then Christ Church College, Oxford, where he matriculated in 1731.In the same year, he succeeded his father as duke. Osborne received a Doctorate of Civil Law in 1738 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society a year later.

Osborne became a Lord of the Bedchamber in 1748 and was appointed Justice in Eyre south of Trent in November of the same year. In June 1749, he was made a Knight of the Order of the Garter and in 1756, resigning from his post as justice, was nominated Cofferer of the Household. He was sworn of the Privy Council of Great Britain a year later and became Justice in Eyre north of Trent in 1761, an office he held until 1774.Osborne was a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Riding of the County of Yorkshire. In 1766 he inherited the office of Governor of Scilly and the lease of these islands from his father-in-law.

On 26 June 1740, he married Lady Mary Godolphin, second daughter of Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin and his wife Henrietta Godolphin (née Churchill), 2nd Duchess of Marlborough, and had by her three sons and a daughter. Osborne died, aged 73 at St James's Square and was buried at Harthill, South Yorkshire. He was succeeded in his titles by his third and only surviving son Francis(1751-1799).

The Tunbridge Wells Guide by Jasper Strange 1817 gives the following “Mount Pleasant gives site to a noble modern brick house, built in a genteel taste, upon the brow of this delightful hill, which commands an extensive prospect of the place. The situation of this house in extremely happy, the grounds and gardens belonging to it are well disposed, and justly deserve the name it has acquired. His Grace the Duke of Leeds, honoured it with is presence for several seasons, and during that time, frequented the Walks, and mixed with the company with such affability and condescension as not only to engage the respect due to his high rank, but that universal esteem which greatness alone cannot command.” This account goes on to refer to a compliment made to him by “the late very ingenious Mr George Lewis, Vicar of Westerham that was addressed to His Grace on his annual ball on the Prince of Wales birthday in 1770. The Duke of Leeds is in some accounts referred to as a “summer visitor” and so it appears the home was vacant the rest of the year of perhaps leased out by him when he was away. The Descriptive Sketches of Tunbridge Wells and Calverley buy John Britton in 1832 refers to the Duke of Leeds as a “distinguished character who lived in Tunbridge Wells”. The Tunbridge Wells Guide by Jasper Strange in 1786 gave the same account as that of 1817.

After the death of Thomas Osborn in 1789 the home was occupied for one season by the Duke of Chandos who died there in 1780. For many years afterwards it was the residence of the venerable Dr Moss, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, who died at age 92 sometime just before 1820.In 1795, for a period of six weeks, the Royal Highness the Princess Sophia lived there. In 1797 and afterwards other “Royals” lived there from time to time.

Sir John Peachey, 3rd Baronet of Petworth (1720-1765) and his wife Dame Elizabeth Peachey (1725-1804) lived there in the late 1700's and Elizabeth Peachey “enlarged the house and remained there until her death in 1804”. Sir John Peachey was the elder brother of the 1st Lord Selsea. The publication ‘The House of Commons 1754-1790' gave the following information about Sir John Peachey. “Sir John Peachey, 3rd Baron (1720-1765) , of West Dean, Sussex. Midhurst April 23,1744-1761. Born 1720, the 1st son of Sir John Peachey, and Bt., M.P., of West Dean, and brother of James Peachey. Educated; Westminster June 1729; ch.ch. Oxford November 17, 1737, aged 17. Married August 18,1752 Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John Meeres Fagg of Glynley, Sussex, succeeded father as 3rd Baron April 12,1744.The Peachey family had considerable interest at Midhurst in the 1st half of the 18th century. Sir John Peachey was a follower of the Price of Wales and also went over to the Pelhams in 1751, and subsequently became an adherent of Newcastle. In 1760 he sold his property at Midhurst, and at the general election of 1761 withdrew from politics. He died June 30, 1765 and was succeeded by his brother James Peachey in July 3, 1765.” In researching his wife Elizabeth I found “After the death of Lady Elizabeth Peachey her mansion called ‘Glenleigh' in Westham, Sussex became the property of R. Hawes, esq., and then to the Fagge family”. I also determined that Dame Elizabeth Peachey, born 1725 died at the age of 79 in 1804 and upon her death Calverley House changed occupants once again.

From my overview at the beginning of this article I wrote “By 1810 however, the home had become a Lodging House and therefore had many distinguished occupants, like Dr Moss. In the period after 1810 it was also the occasional residence of Sir John Fagg, Bart of Mystole House near Canterbury.

In the period before 1830 the home had been altered many times. The earliest descriptions of the building (1786) refer to it being constructed of brick but later accounts describe it being of sandstone (which it is today).

In the 1830's Calverley House was redesigned, altered, and refinished by Decimus Burton, in conjunction with John Ward's residential development of Calverley Park. The old part of the building was incorporated into the new design and the rooms occupied by Royalty were retained.The Dutchess of Kent and Princess Victoria stayed there in 1827 and 1834 and Queen Victoria stayed at Calverley House in 1835.

 

[insert Calverley Hotel Photo 1 and 2]
Shown above are two postcard views of the Calverley Hotel. The first is labelled ‘The Apple Tree Walk Calverley Hotel' and the other is a postcard by Louis Levi (marked “LL”) from the first quarter of the 20th century.
[insert photos of the hotel for 1860,1875,1880,1896 and 1900}
Shown here is a selection of photos of the hotel taken in order of appearance (left to right) in 1860, 1875,1880,1896 and 1900.
Brachetts 1866 Guide states in part.The hotel has been altered and enlarged, the rooms occupied by Royalty being retained. So extensive are the premises that they can accommodate no fewer than 13 families.The grounds ,which cover several acres, are tastefully laid out in walks,among which are two pleasant terraces.
The 1840 Pigots directory gave the following listing “ Calverley Hotel, George Robinson (The Hotel Keeper). Under the heading of Estate Agents was the 1840 Pigots listing “ George Robinson, 6 Calverley Promenade (Wards Calverley Estate Agent).The same directory gave Edward Churchill, who would later take over the hotel, as being at the Kentish Royal Hotel. George Robinson is found in the 1841 census at 6 Calverley Promenade and working as an estate agent for the Calverley Estate. George was born 1791 in Kent and in the 1841 census his wife Cornelia, age 40, and his daughter Eliza,age 15 were living with him.George and his family were still at 6 Calverley Promenade at the time of the 1851 census but was gone by 1855. What became of him is not known by the researcher. For more information about the Calverley Promenade see my article entitled ‘Calverley Promenade In The 19th Century' dated May 6,2014.
The 1841 census, taken at the Calverley Park Hotel listed Edward Churchill, age 40, born 1801 at the hotel keeper. Living with him was his wife Elizabeth, age 35, born 1806. In addition there were over 60 guests and servants at the hotel. Edward Churchill took over the running of the Royal Kentish Hotel in 1831. Edward Strange had run that hotel until his death in 1823 and then his wife continued for another eight years until 1831 at which time Edward Churchill took over. As can be seen by reviewing directory listings Edward Churchill is found throughout the period of 1841 to 1851 as the proprietor of both the Calverley Hotel and the Kentish Hotel yet he is found in the census records for the same period always as the proprietor of the Calverley Hotel. One can only conclude that he ran both hotels during that period.
Mr Churchill was a well- known figure in the town. Edward Churchill spent his life working in the hotel industry.Shown in my article about the Kentish Hotel is an advertisment for the hotel during the time of Churchill,dated 1846. The advertisment reads "Churchill Royal Kentish Hotel (fronting the Common),Tunbridge Wells.It is within a minute's walk of the celebrated springs.The comforts of this house are well known and appreciated.Omnibus from this hotel meet every train”.It would appear that Mr Churchill was running two hotels up to 1852 for directories of 1847, 1851 1858 and 1862 all list him as the proprietor of the Calverley Hotel. It is known that William Haines replaced him at the Kentish Hotel by 1852.
Edward Churchill was born September 12,1796 in London to William and Frances Churchill and later moved to Banbury,Oxfordshire.In the 1820's he moved to Tunbridge Wells and went into business.He is found in the local directories as the proprietor of the Market House from 1832 to 1834,and establishment previously run by Edward Hilder Strange as early as 1814 and up to his death in 1823.Edward Churchill was also the proprietor of the Corn Market House on London Road in the period of 1839-1840 and from 1841 to 1869 the proprietor of the Calverley Hotel.
Edward's marriage on April 26,1832 to Elizabeth Beane,the eldest daughter of Joshua and Catherine Bean of Banbury,at St Mary's church,records that Edward is an innkeeper of the Royal Kentish Hotel. A directory for 1840 under the heading of 'Undertakers' lists Edward Churchill of the Royal Kentish Hotel.In the same directory under Tavern and Public Houses is "Edward Churchill,London Road (Corn Market House).
Edward Churchill was a busy and enterprising man for in the 1851 census he is found residing at the Calverley Hotel as its proprietor along with his wife,twenty hotel guests and a large number of servants.
[insert photo of Fernclyffe]
In the 1861 census Edward Churchill is found living at the Fernclyffe mansion(photo opposite) on Pembury Road,with his wife;his sister-in-law;a visitor and three servants.Edward's occupation is given as "merchant and hotel keeper".The hotel referred to is the Calverley. The 1862 Kelly directory gave the listing “ Edward Churchill, Calverley Hotel & corn dealer, London Road and Calverley Park”.
Edward and Elizabeth had at least one son namely Reverend Edward Beane Churchill who died November 28,1901 at the age of 58 at Manor house,Ashmansworth,Hants.Edward's wife died in Tunbridge Wells sometime between 1862 and 1869.On April 21,1869 Edward Churchill passed away at Fernclyffe leaving an estate of under 25,000 pounds to his son Reverend E.B. Churchill of Portsea,Southampton.
Peltons 1876 guide states in part “ The Calverley Hotel is built of sandstone, after the design of Mr Decimus Burton, and occupies a commanding position near the entrance to Calverley Park. The Calverley is exclusively a family hotel of the highest order, and provides accommodation for many families. The grounds which cover several acres, are tastefully laid out, and the terraces command extensive views southward.” This guide has a sketch of the hotel on page 44. Burton added one of the most attractive features of the hotels exterior, namely the verandah on the south side overlooking Calverley Park. This verandah can be seen in some of the images of the hotel I have provided.
The 1874 Post Office directory listed William Pawley as the keeper of the Calverley Hotel. He was still in charge at the time of the 1881 census. In the 1881 census he is given as age 49, born in Bromley,Kent. Living with him was his wife Annie, age 25, born in Cornwell, USA and their five year old daughter Ethel.Also staying at the hotel were 17 guests, and 12 members of staff.William Pawley was still in charge of the hotel at the time of the 1882 census.
In 1891 the hotel was owned by Calverley Hotel Ltd and by 1918 was referred to as the Calverley Hotel Co. Ltd. In the period of 1922 to 1930 the Manageress of the hotel was Miss Gladwin.

THE CALVERLEY PARK DEVELOPMENT
[insert 1907 OS]
Shown opposite is a 1907 OS map of the area indicating the location of the Calverley Park Hotel and Calverley Park .As can be seen from the map most of the original extensive grounds of the hotel had been absorbed into Calverley Park.The original grounds of the residence were in the order of 22 acres but by 1907 consisted of no more than about five acres in a narrow strip extending from the eastern edge of the hotel westward to the corner of Mount Pleasant Road.
[insert 1831 map from T.Wells 1851 booklet]
Shown opposite is a map dated 1831 from a booklet entitled ‘Tunbridge Wells 1951' which shows the Calverley Park development and “Calverley House” , both shown and labelled on the map. The booklet also gave the following “ The oldest building,Calverley House, was, it is true, erected in 1762 by the Earl of Egmont under the name of “Mount Pleasant House”, and enlarged later by the Duke of Leeds. Matthew Calverley himself altered the name to Calverley House, and in 1840 it was further enlarged and opened as a hotel. The house was the residence of the Duchess of Kent and her daughter (later Queen Victoria) in 1827 and 1834”…Matthew Calverley himself appears to have had far less to do with the fantastic development of his land than John Ward, who owned it after him, and Decimus Burton, the famous architect.But it is Calverley's name that appears on all the signposts.Mathew Calverley was an obscure gentleman, for whom little is known, but he owned this large amount of undeveloped property at the beginning of the 19th century”.
Calverley Grounds were originally the private gardens of the Calverley Hotel, part of the Calverley Park development of 1825, for which Decimus Burton (1800-81) was the architect and planner. His inspired use of the sloping site created a romantic parkland with views over the distant countryside.
[Insert ‘Calverly Hotel photo 3')
Calverley Park and Grounds and adjoining property which together formed the Calverley estate was acquired in 1820 by John Ward. Development of the villas and their associated landscape setting, to designs by Decimus Burton, began in the autumn of 1828 (Colbran 1840) and was complete by 1839. The Ward Estate remained the freeholder, the villas being occupied leasehold until they were progressively sold off from 1947 and the parkland became the property of the trustees of the Calverley Park Association. In November 1920, the western half of the site, known as Calverley Grounds, was acquired by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for a public park. The site remains (1999) in the hands of the individual villa owners who form the Calverley Park Association, the local authority, and a number of further individual and commercial private owners.
Shown above is a postcard view of the hotel postmarked 1907.
THE HORTICULTURAL FETE OF 1859
[Insert Fete photo of 1859)
On July 1,1859 the Tunbridge Wells Horticultural Fete was held,a complete account of which I have given here.Although no mention is given in the account about the TWHS organizing the event I believe it is safe to assume that they were the organizers. The account is as follows " A grand horticultural fete was held at Tunbridge Wells, in the grounds adjoining the Calverley Hotel,on Friday July 1,1859 which was honoured by the presence of the Countess de Neuilly,the Duke de Nemours,the Count d'Eu, and suite.They were conducted from the Calverley Hotel,at which they have been staying for some days,by the Hon F.G.Molyneux and other members of the committee and,on their arrival at the entrance to the grounds,the Countess,and each of the ladies of her suite,was presented with an elegant bouguet by Mrs. George Goldney,the wife of the Rev. G. Goldney,one of the members of the committee.We will follow the noble party in their tour through the tents."
"The first entered was that devoted to the productions of cottager's gardens,where the fruits and vegetables exhibited by W. Brown, of Southborough,attracted much notice.The next tend was filled with cut flowers.Here the collection of roses shown by Mr Hollamby,of the Strawberry Hill Nursery,
near Tunbridge Wells,was most splendid; nor should we omit to notice that of Mr Mitchell,of Tower Nursery,near Heathfield,or a box of cut verbenas exhibited by Mr Foreman,gardener to the Rev. G. Goldney,which was deservedly commended.Among the fruit (which,howrever,was decidedly poor considering the liberal prizes offered) were some very fine grapes,grown by Mr Powell,gardener to Dr S. Newington,and a fair collection of six dishes of fruit from Eridge Castle,exhibited by Mr Ogle,gardener to the Earl of Abergavenny.The collection of stove and greenhouse plants in this tend contained some very fine ericas,shown by Mr Gilbert,gardener to E.L.Mackmurdo,Esq.,of Hastings,and some gloxineas from the gardener of H. Reed,Esq.,of extraordinary growth,also a fine collection of British and exotic ferns,grown by Mr Maxted,gardener to J, Field,Esq. Beyond this were some splendid plants,exhibited by Mr Gilbert,which obtained first prize,among which were conspicuous Aphelexis sesamoides Basrnsii,Rhyncospermum jasminoides,and Alamanda cathartica.Mr Ping,gardener to Henry Reed,Esq.(of Dunorlan),had many fine plants;two noble vincas,the rare and beautiful plant Cyanophyllum magnificum,Cissus discolor in general beauty,an immense plant of Coleus Blumei,Caladium bicolor,and C. distillatoria with leaves of enormous size,and a very fine Araucaria escelsea.Messrs. Rycroft and Wells,gardeners to Alderman Salomons (of Broomhill),M.P. ,had a Medinella magnifica which eminently deserved its name; five or six achimenes highly commended by the judges,and many other well-grown plants;and Mr Drummond,gardener to J, Scott Smith,Esc.,Phoenicoma prolifera Barns-,a very well-flowered Statice Holfordii,and Roella Ciliatra.The pelargoniums,though past their best,were very beautiful,Mr Gilbert obtaining the first prize for six shows,and Mr Pring for six fancy varieties.The band of the royal Artillery,consisting of fifty performers,under the able superintendence of Mr Smith,was in attendance,and played some beautiful pieces.There could not have been less than five thousand visitors in the grounds during the day."
The above article was published in the Illustrated Garden News on July 9,1859 and remarkably included with the article was a wood engraving,which I have shown here,of the event. The original engraving measuring 5.75" by 9.5" was made by an unknown artist from a sketch made at the time of the event only 8 days before the image appeared in the publication.Although originally published in black and white the image was later hand coloured.
The Rev G. Goldney referred to at the Fete was Rev George Goldney,M.A. a clergyman born 1816 at Buckingham,Buckinghamshire whos wife was Ann Goldney,born 1826 at Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire.
The F.G Molyneux referred to at the Fete was the Honorable Francis George Molyneux,born March 5,1805 at St George Hanover,London who died in Tunbridge Wells May 24,1886. His wife,whom he married in 1842 was Georgiana Jemima Ashburham,born May 11,1805 at St George Hanover,London who died in Tunbridge Wells on May 1882. Francis Molyneux was a well- known figure in the town. He was a leading citizen and town benefactor who had arrived with his wife in Tunbridge Wells in 1853.He first lived at Gibraltar Cottage but subsequently built a mansion at 76 Mount Ephraim called Earl's Court which later was converted into a hotel, then offices and now is luxury apartments.He was a British diplomat who was appointed secretary to His Majesty's Legation at Frankfort Germany October 28,1835..He was a a J.P. and magistrate for Kent and a leading member of the Freeholders,as well as the Local Board,the towns first local government.In 1871 he inagurated the granite fountain that now stands in the Woodbury Park Cemetary that was originally installed in town until proposed roadwork necessitated its relocation.Francis,at the ceremony even quenched his thirst by taking a sip of water from the fountains iron cup.
ENGLISH HERITAGE LISTING
[insert scanned image of English Heritage map]
Shown opposite is a site plan showing the location of the Calverley Hotel with Lawthorne Mews labelled to the right and a large building to the left of the hotel which had been constructed on the westerly hotel grounds shown as vacant land on the 1907 OS map given earlier. Compare the two maps to see how the site and surrounding area had changed. English Heritage gave the Calverley Hotel a Grade II listing on November 24,1966. Given below is a description of the listing.
“CRESCENT ROAD 1. 1746 (South Side) The Calverley Hotel TQ 5839 SE 7/79 24.11.66. II 2. This was built as Calverley House in 1820 and enlarged by Decimus Burton in 1840 when it became a hotel. Built of Tunbridge Wells stone. 3 storeys. Parapet and cornice. Sashes with most glazing bars intact. 9 windows windows. The end window bays and the centre one projects with small pediments over. Hoods to some 1st floor windows. French windows on the ground floor which has now lost its hooded verandah. Large stuccoed Tuscan porch on the street front. The Duchess of Kent and Princess Victoria stayed here when the house was Calverley House in 1827 and 1834.”
THE HOTEL du VIN
[insert modern photo]
Today the former Calverly Hotel is the Hotel du Vin which has 36 rooms, a billiard room, a boules court,although in 2000 it was reported to have 32 rooms. It also has a fine restaurant and although some guests say the rooms are small they all give good reports about their stay at the hotel. The rooms in the hotel are all named after various drinks.
 

 

LICENSEE LIST

CHURCHILL Edward 1862+

PAWLEY J William 1873-82+ (age 49 in 1881Census) Kent and Sussex Courier

CALVERLEY HOTEL CO LTD 1891-1918+

GLADWIN Miss 1922-30+

http://pubshistory.com/CalverleyParkHotel.shtml

 

Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier

CensusCensus

http://theweald.org/P2.asp?PId=TW.CalvHtl

 

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

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