Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, March, 2022.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 06 March, 2022.


Earliest 1828-

Castle Community and Family Hotel

Closed 1975

28 London Road

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Castle Hotel 1910

Above postcard posted 1910.

Castle Hotel

Above postcard, date unknown.

Castle Hotel 1910

Above photo, postcard 1910.

Castle Hotel 1925

Above photo 1925, by kind permission of Peter Macleod.


Pigot's Directory of 1832 states the following name:- CASTLE being built MOUNT EPHRIAM HOTEL.


From the Maidstone Gazette and West Kent Courier, 27 February, 1827.

Commercial Inn and Tavern, Tunbridge Wells, to be let on lease or otherwise, and may be entered on immediately.

That well known established and much frequented Commercial Inn and Tavern, with coach houses and stabling called the "Castle" situated on the High Road from London, at the immediate entrance of Tunbridge Wells, affording every accommodation for commercial gentlemen and visitors who are in the habit of attending that highly admired watering place of fashionable resort. The House from it capacious extent and it's undeniable situation is capable of affording every accommodation to a considerable magnitude and cannot fail of commanding a first rate of business.

For particulars may be had on application (if left by letter post paid) to Mr. Bramwell, Wine and Spirit Merchant, Greek Street, Soho, London; or to Mr. Long, on the premises.

N. B. The above house is quite free from Brewers, Distillers, or Wine and Spirit Merchants.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 8 June 1841.


To be heard at Maidstone, in the county of Kent, on the 30th day of June, 1841, at the hour of ten in the forenoon precisely.


Formerly of No. 1, Cavendish Place, Hastings, in the county of Sussex, bookkeeper at the Swan coach-office, Hastings aforesaid; then of No. 10, Bennett Street, in the parish of Christchurch, in the county of Surrey, bookkeeper at the Bolt-in-Tun booking-office, Fleet Street, London, then of the "Robin Hood" public house, Icklesham, near Rye, in the said county of Sussex, licensed victualler; then of the "Castle Hotel," Tunbridge Wells, in the county of Kent, hotel-keeper and licensed to let horses; and late of 11 Croft, Hastings, in the said county of Sussex, out of business or employment.


Kentish Gazette, 10 April 1849.


On Tuesday night the stores at the "Castle Inn" were broken into, and about nine or ten gallons of rum and various other liquors were stolen therefrom. Two men, who had slept in the adjoining room were suspected; one of them has been taken into custody; the other, who has been just liberated from Maidstone gaol, is still at large.


Kentish Gazette, 31 July 1849.


The business of these assizes commenced on Tuesday last. The Lord Chief Baron was to have presided in the Nisi Prius court, but owing to the illness of Lord Denman, the Lord Chief Baron went to supply his lordship's place at chambers, and Mr. Baron Alderson presided up to Wednesday evening; Mr. Serjeant Gaselee presiding in the Crown Court.

Wm. Linsay, Benjamin Wicker, and John Young, were charged with burglary and stealing ten gallons of rum, four bottles of ale, and ten bottles, of the value of 7 5s., belonging to Mr. John Vickers, at Tonbridge Wells.

The Hon. Mr. Denman appeared for the prosecution.

Joseph Wooster, the present landlord of the "Castle Hotel," Tonbridge Wells, deposed to missing some rum from his spirit store. There was a hole in the ceiling large enough to admit a man; and in the loft over he found five bottles secreted. He also found in a coach-house belonging to a person named Waghorn, near the store, a broken bottle on the ground with some rum in it.

Sarah Hickmutt, landlady of the "Castle Tap," Tonbridge Wells, deposed to the prisoners being at her house on the 3rd of April; the prisoner Young lodging there. Linsay and Wicker went away about twelve o'clock. The next morning she saw the three prisoners in liquor; they had nothing to drink at the Tap.

George Wimpole, ostler at the "Castle Hotel," said he saw the prisoners on the night of the 3rd of April at the "Castle Tap," and again on the following morning, when they appeared in liquor. He found a porter bottle in Waghorn's stable.

William Waghorn corroborated the above, adding that the hole in the ceiling bore marks of a man having recently got through it.

Charles Waghorn, a fly driver, deposed to Linsay frequently sleeping in the stable in which his fly was kept; and on the morning of the 4th of April he found the three prisoners there, they being in liquor. Linsay poured out what appeared to be rum from a bottle, and wanted witness to drink, but he declined; Linsay then poured out something else from another bottle, which appeared to be porter. Witness told them to take that "stuff" away, as he did not wish to get into trouble about it. He then went into the loft and found a bottle, which he took into the stable, where he accidentally dropped it. He believed it contained rum.

William Ferguson, police constable, deposed to searching the room Young slept in at the "Castle Tap" on the 4th of April, and finding in a cupboard at the foot of the stairs a hole in the ceiling which led into a loft over the spirit-store. He there found five bottles (produced); and in the spirit-store there had been some spirit spilt.

By the Judge:— To get into the spirit-store a person would have to get into the loft by the hole in the ceiling of the cupboard, and then descend by a hole in the floor of the loft into the store which is on the same floor with Young's bed-room.

By Mr. Denman:— The lock of the door in the storeroom appeared to have been forced open from the inside.

James Dadson said he found two bottles nearly full of rum, similar to some that were shown him at the "Castle Hotel."

Some other witnesses having been examined, several bottles were produced and identified by the prosecutor, as being similar to some in his store on the 5th April.

This being the case for the prosecution, the Judge said the burglary was not proved, the evidence not being sufficient to substantiate that charge, and therefore the prisoner must be tried merely for the robbery.

Each of the prisoners denied having committed the robbery.

The Judge then summed up with great minuteness, and the jury after a brief consultation found all the prisoners guilty.

A previous conviction of felony having been proved against Young, he was sentenced to seven years' transportation; Linsay and Wicker each six months' imprisonment and hard labour.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 12 January, 1934.


A Ticehurst man and a young woman employed at a Tunbridge Wells hotel had an alarming experience at Maidstone on Sunday evening, when the car in which they were driving back to Tunbridge Wells from Bearsted crashed through a barrier at the College horseway and overturned. The driver of the car was Mr. Ivor Parley, whose address was given as Bournhurst Farm, Stonegate, and he was accompanied by Miss Gladys Lloyd, who is employed at the "Castle Hotel." The accident happened at about half-past five in the evening. The car, an Austin Seven, came off the Ashford-road, and at the cross-roads near All Saints’ Church, instead of taking the right-hand turn into Mill-street. It went straight on, crashed through the barrier spanning the brink of the College horseway, down the steep slope, and finally hit the bank and rolled over. The driver realised the danger of dashing into the river, and in attempting to pull up he cannoned with the bank and the car over-turned. Mr. Parley and his passenger were taken to the West Kent General Hospital suffering from cuts to the head and face and slight concussion, but they were not detained. Later in the evening they were driven home by Mr. Ben Brook, of the "White Horse," Bearsted.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 7 March 1975.

Town Loses Another Hotel.

Tourist being turned away say critics.

Planners and "smart alick developers" were accused this week of wrecking the tourist trade in Tunbridge Wells by building more officers at the expense of hotel rooms.

One borough councillor asked angrily:- "Where are the visitors to this town supposed to stay? Are we going to turn offices into bedsits for them? Where are we going to rely on them bringing their own tents?"

The row started at the council meeting on Tuesday, when proposals to close the "Castle Hotel" and convert it to shops, offices and flats was opposed by a large group of councillors. They failed, and the hotel will go.

Later the South East England Tourist Board confirmed that more visitors than ever are expected in the town this summer, and that more hotel rooms are needed.

In the last few years at least five big hotels in the town have closed while the demand for rooms has gone up and up.

Sales of the new borough guide, which has been on the market only 6-weeks, yet as already topped the 3,000 mark, gives some indication of the interest being shown in Tunbridge Wells this year.

Mr. Fred Cubbage, research and development executive with the S.E. English Tourist Board in Tunbridge Wells said:- "It does appear that Tunbridge Wells does not have enough capacity for summertime tourist.

Last year some visitors had to be turned away, and the board has predicted that inland resorts like Tunbridge Wells will soon be much more in demand.

Lights and Offices.

Mr. Cubbage emphasised that while towns like Tunbridge Wells needed plenty of hotel rooms in the summer, they do not experience the all-year demand of some coastal resorts.

At the council meeting, Councillor Ivan Robb urged councillors not give planning permission to convert the "Castle Hotel."

He said the recommendation to go ahead with the work seem to be part of a scheme by the council's planning committee to make Tunbridge Wells all street lights and offices."

Councillor Richard Blackwell asked where visitors to the town was supposed to stay and talked to "smart alick developers" floating the planning of Tunbridge Wells.

Councillor James Perry, who runs the "St. Lo Hotel," said he was sorry to see the "Castle" go, but knew of the heavy expenses hoteliers were facing, particularly in the form of new fire precautions.

A Mistake.

Councillor Mrs. Myrtle Streeten said one good reason for keeping the "Castle" was that a hotel or inn had been on the site in 1806. "I think it would be a mistake to lose it," she said.

Councillor W Symond said that the "Castle Hotel" did not pay. "It had been in and out of the hands of the receiver for many years," he said.

Councillor Bill Jempson said he could see no point in keeping hotels open if they did not pay.

The chairman of the planning committee, Councillor Miss Patience Thesiger sais a great deal of thought had gone into making a decision on the "Castle" application and that the committee had resisted plans to pull the whole building down.

She emphasizes that the "Castle" only had 12 rooms, and that a condition of the application was that the neighbouring "Harwood Hotel" should be enlarged and maintained as a hotel.

An amendment to refuse planning permission for the "Castle" was lost by 24 votes to 14.




JEFFREY Elizabeth 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

LONG Luke 1827-32+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

COLLINGS Thomas Gate to June 1841 (also licensed to let horses)

TUTT Edward 1841+ (age 30 in 1841Census)

HICKMUTT Sarah 1849+ (Castle Tap)

WOOSTER Joseph 1849-May/52 South Eastern Gazette

WOOSTER Thomas May/1852+ South Eastern Gazette

GADD Richard Ross 1858+

BRAYNE Benjamin 1862+

SANTER Charles 1873-81+ (age 41 in 1881Census) Kent and Sussex Courier

JEWELL Sarah V Mrs 1882+

URQUHART William E 1891-1922+

EVERETT R M Major 1930+


HICKMOTT Roy 1975+


Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

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

Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier

South Eastern GazetteSouth Eastern Gazette



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