Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, March, 2022.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 06 March, 2022.


Earliest 1828-

Nevill Arms Hotel

Latest ????

(Name to)

9 Nevill Street

Royal Tunbridge Wells


In 1869-70 the pub was part of a consortium who were advertising their goods of selling tea in response to grocers' selling beer and wine. (Click for further details.)

The pub has changed name to the "BBQ Steakhouse and Bar" but at present I do not know when this change occurred.


From the Maidstone Gazette and East Kent Courier, 9 November, 1830.

On Wednesday last as William Bassett, a carpenter, son of Mr. Bassett, landlord of the "Nevill Arms," in this town, was at work on a scaffold, he unfortunately lost his balance, and fell backwards to the depth of nearly 30 feet. he was taken up in a state of insensibility; but we are happy to say that he is not seriously injured by the full.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, Wednesday 30 September 1874.

Awfully sudden death. Inquest. This day.

This Wednesday morning, Mr. L. G. Fuller, one of the Coroner's to Sussex, held an inquest, at the "Nevill Arms Inn," on the body of George Solomon Hyams, whose death occurred under the circumstances detailed in evidence.

Mr. Richard Wells was appointed foreman of the jury.

The body having been viewed the following evidence was taken.

Eliza Hyams deposed:- The deceased, who was named George Solomon Hyams, was my father, and he was a commercial traveller with jewellery. His home was at 33, St. James Street, Weston-super-Mare. He left home last Tuesday week on one of his journeys and was then apparently in good health. He used occasionally to complain of his breath being so bad, and of a difficulty in breathing. My father was a Jew, and was 49 years of age.

Richard Turner said:- I am an eating house keeper, and at a quarter past nine o'clock on Monday evening the deceased came in my house and asked whether I could accommodate him with a bed. I told him that I could not as I was full, but would try to get him accommodation at the next door. I left him standing at the end of the table in my coffee room, with his carpet bag and box on the table. When I returned I told him that I got him a bed, and he said he would take his things, and he went into the next door. I heard Mrs. Friend say, "What time will you be in," and deceased replied, and a joking way, "I shall be in sometime before four o'clock tomorrow morning." He also said, "I shall be in by ten; I am going into Mr. Turner's to have some supper." On his return to my house he sat down on the seat and ask for a cup of tea, to keep his lips from quivering for supper. I went to get the tea, and on my return he was lying on the table breathing hard. I thought he had gone to sleep, and tried to raise him. I lifted up his hands and head, and took his collar and necktie off. He did not speak, and I sent for Mr. Bisshopp. It was about a quarter past nine when he came to my house, and he died within 5 or 6 minutes of that time. He had slept at my house once before. He was a very cheerful sort of man. Mr. Bisshopp came immediately.

Mr. James Bisshopp, surgeon, stated that he was called to see the deceased at half past nine o'clock on Monday evening, and found him lying on the floor. Life was at that time extinct, and had been so for from 5 to 10 minutes. He made a post mortem examination the following evening, about 20 hours after death. There were no marks of violence, and death had resulted from heart disease, which occasioned a sudden cessation of breathing. Mr. Marsack assisted him in making the post-mortem examination, and agreed with a report which he then presented, and which was signed by both medical men.

In reply to a juryman, Mr. Bisshopp said the stomach was perfectly empty, and there was no doubt that the deceased had gone without food in accordance with his usual custom, and that exhaustion had led to the cessation of breath.

The Coroner having briefly summed up the evidence, the jury returned as their verdict that the deceased died from heart disease.


From an email received 19 January 2019.

I read with interest on your website the licensee list for the "Nevill Arms," Tunbridge Wells, as my late step mother’s father was Gordon Henry Fenner. My step mother Barbara was born at the Nevill Arms on 17 June 1923, a sister to older brother Clyde, when Gordon and his wife Annetta (nee Whitehead) ran the premises.

Gordon Henry Fenner in WW1

Above photo showing Gorgon Henry Fenner in the Tanks Corps seated 3rd from left in WW1.

Gordon was born on 2 February 1890 in Tunbridge Wells and he and Annetta were married on 27 November 1920 at Christ Church in the parish of St. Peter’s, Southborough. Gordon served in the Tank Corps and Royal Navy in the First World War and was wounded in both legs. Before taking on the "Nevill Arms" he was a motor engineer by profession.

Annetta fenna 1925

Above photo showing Annetta Fenner from her passport 1925.

Gordon and Anetta Fenner 1920s

Above photo showing Gordon and Anetta Fenner, (left) circa 1920s.

In 1925 the family emigrated to Kenya where Gordon had been offered a job as an agricultural engineer. They lived near the small town of Nakuru in Kenya’s Rift Valley. Sadly Annetta died in 1930 and Gordon remarried, later managing a sisal estate. He died in Nairobi, Kenya on 12 June 1963.

Neville family 1928

I have attached a photograph of the family in Kenya taken around 1928 and Annetta’s passport photograph at that time. I also came across a quaint watercolour in Annetta’s autograph album where the artist, one C. Wyatt, had pictured Annetta behind the bar dated 8 July 1920. I wonder what happened to the fox in the glass case and the artillery round on the bar.

Painting Annetta Fenner 1920

Hope this is of some interest.

Kind regards,

John Davis.

From an email received 3 May 2019.

Licensee in 1891, G M Doisly was almost certainly the father of the renowned opera singer Emile Maurice d'Oisly: Emile, aged 19, was at the "Nevill Arms" with his widowed mother in the 1901 census. He married a distant connection of mine, Rosina Buckman, also a noted singer.

Lesley Kendall.



WILMER Luke 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

BASSETT Stephen 1830-32+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

WEST Samuel 1841-62+ (Innkeeper age 40 to 44 in 1841Census)

DAVIS John 1841+ (Publican age 40 to 44 in 1841Census)

WEST Samuel 1851-61+ (widower age 62 in 1861Census)

LUCK William Henry 1871-81+ (age 46 in 1871Census

DOISLY G M 1891+

TATE Albert 1913+

KING Charles Edward 1918+

FENNER Gordon Henry 1920-23+

BOOTE George Albert 1930+

SPELLER George R 1938+


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

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



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