Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, March, 2023.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 11 March, 2023.


Earliest 1889-

Downs Tavern

Latest 2011

(Name to)

5 Culverden Road

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Trading Post

Above photo kindly sent by Edward Gilbert.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Wednesday 4 May 1887.

Tunbridge Wells Petty sessions. Licensing.

The licence of the  "Down Tavern," Town Lane, from Mr. J. Messenger to Mr. F. Allcorn.



5 Culverden Down, Tunbridge Wells

By Edward James Gilbert


(1) ERNEST LESLIE FAIRMAN……Listed 1901 census at 5 Culverden Down as Edwin L. Fairman, Licenced victualler.

List Ed 1903 Kelly as E. L. Fairman, beer retailer at 5 Culverden Down.

Listed 1899 at Ernest Leslie Fairman, beer retailer, at 9 Down Lane, Tunbidge Wells.

In 1881 census as Ernest L Fairman, born 1866 Brenchley, Kent working as a foot boy servant for the Horrocks family in Brenchley. In 1891 census as Ernest Fairman at 6 Calverly Park Gardens Tunbridge Wells as a footman servant living with the Carteis family. Baptised as Earnest Leslie Fariman Apirl 8, 1866 Brenchley, Kent with parents being Walter and Fanny Fairman. In 1881 census at Cottagre No. 2 Brenchley his parents and five children are together but Ernest is absent (his father Walter working as a rural letter carrier). Marriage record has Ernest Leslie Fairman to Alice Mary Bridgland April qtr 1897 at Tunbridge Wells. Probate records has Ernest Leslie Fairman of 9 Culverden Square, Tunbridge Wells died April 6,1907.

(2) ALFRED WILLIAM HAZELDEN…Listed as Alfred Hazelden at 5 Culvereden Down in 1913 Kelly AS BEER RETAILER. Listed 1911 census at 5 Culverden Down with wife Gertrude other relatives. In this census Alfred is a gardener and his wife Gertrude is “beerhouse licence” occupation. Marriage record of Alfred Hazelden to Gertrude Rose Baugh May 3,1896 at Heathfield, Sussex. Birth record for Alfred William Hazelden Jan. qtr 1868 at East Grinstead, Sussex. The 1891 census at The Terrace, Frant, Sussex lists Alfred W. Hazelden living with parents William (Ag labourer) and Frences and sister with Alfred W. working as a plumber. The 1881 census at Frant Square, Frant Sussex lists Alfred as a scholar living with parents and two siblings. The 1871 census at Withyham, Sussex lists Alfred W. living with parents and two siblings (his birth is given as 1869 Withyham, Sussex). Probate record has Alfred William Hazelden of 33 Prospect Road, Southborough, died Aug. 13,1953.

(3) JOHN BALCOMB……….Listed 1918 and 1930 as beer retailer at 5 Culverden Down. In 1891 census at 51 Stanley Road, Tunbridge Wells John is given as born 1859 at Ticehurst, Sussex, working as a coachman, living with him is wife Mary and 4 children. In 1901 census at 14 Granville Rd Tunbridge Wells John is a coachman servant. Living with him is wife Mary A and 8 children. In 1911 census at 14 Granville Rd T. Wells John is a coachman domestic. Living with him is wife Mary and 3 children (couple married in 1883). Birth record for John Balcombe Jan, qtr 1859 at Ticehurst, Sussex. Death records for John Balcombe born 1859 died Dec qtr 1930 Hastings, Sussex. Family Tree has John born 1859 Ticehurst, Sussex, one of three children born to William and Ellen Balcombe. John married Oct 0-Cec qtr 1882 to Mary A. Langridge at Ticehurst. She was born 1857 at Burwash. John and Mary had 8 children.

(4) WALTER STANLEY HEARNDEN….at the Down Tavern 1938 to 1853 directories. Born 1898 died Dec qtr 1965 Tunbridge Wells. 1911 census at Duke of Wellington, 10 Mill St, Maidstone Kent lists Thomas James Hearnden a licensed victualler. Living with him was his son Walter Stanley Hearnden born 1898 Maidstone and his sister and grandmother. The 1938 Kelly gives Downs Tavern, Walter Stanley Hearnden, 5 Culverden Down”. Family tree has Walter Stanley Hearnden born April 1898 Maidstone, died Nov 1965 Tunbridge Wells (one of 8 children born to Thomas and Frances Hearnden). He married Feb 1920 Mabel Violet Tester(1894-1967) and had daughter Iris Edith V Hearnden (1920-1996).

(5) In 1954 directory is K. Gorham, The Down Tavern.

(6) In 1956 directory is Richard Gorham, The Down Tavern, 5 Culverdey Down.

(7) In 1957 directory is C. A. Churchward, Down Tavern, Culverden Down.

(8) In 1964 to 1970 directory is C. V. Symonds, Down Tavern, Culverden Down.

(9) Directories of 1971 to 1972 give J. A. Stanborough, Down Tavern, Culverden Down.

(10) In about 1978 purchased by Peter Hoare or John Hoare (from Courier article Dec. 14. 2012) which was claimed to be called the Elephant and Castle but my research does not confirm this.

(11) Bought by James Watson 2011 as The Down Tavern. Renovated it and from November 2011 onwards is called The Trading Post operated by Mr and Mrs Dalgleish.


From the By Mary Harris, 7 March 2023.

The Downs Tavern in Culverden Down had been selling alcohol since the 1900s. It reopened in 2011 as the "Trading Post" under owner James Watson. It had been closed for nearly three years after a long period in the doldrums.

It had been a real old spit and sawdust place but there were still people who loved it. It became more woman and family friendly under Mr Watson. It is now the "Tiger Bar" with a terrace garden enjoyed by people in the summer and is well-known for its great Mexican food.


The pub changed name to the "Trading Post" in 2011.



MESSENGER J Mr to May/1887 Kent and Sussex Courier

ALLCORN F Mr May 1887+ Kent and Sussex Courier

RALPH Samuel to Oct/1892 Kent and Sussex Courier

HARDS John Oct/1892+ Kent and Sussex Courier


HAZELDEN Alfred 1913+

BALCOMBE John 1918-22+


Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier


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