Page Updated:- Sunday, 06 March, 2022.


Earliest ????

Oak Inn

Latest ????

33 Rustall High Street / St James Street in 1871Census

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Oak 2016

Above Google image, July, 2016.

Oak card 1950Oak card 1950

Above aluminium card issued 1950. Sign series 2 number 19.


Maidstone Telegraph, Saturday 12 September 1868.

Tunbridge Wells. Suspicious death of a child.

Thursday last an inquest was held at the "Oak Inn," Rusthall, before J. N. Dudlow, Esq., coroner, on the body of an infant child about 6 weeks old, born of a single woman, named Harrington, of the New Town, Rusthall.

This woman had had an illegitimate child previously, and that died when young, and when buried certain rumours were started. The present was the second child, and after its death rumours were prevalent to the effect that it had been neglected by its mother's mother, who kept it. The jury did not consider that the evidence of neglect against the mother of the child was sufficiently to send her for trial, but they called her up and cautioned her, telling her that she had had a very narrow escape and they eventually returned a verdict to the effect that the child died from want of sufficient nourishment.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 24 April 1874.

Transfer of licence.

On the application of Mr. W. C. Cripps, the licence of the "Oak Inn," New Town, Rusthall, held by the late Mr. J. Anscombe, was transferred to his widow.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 27 January 1978.

Appeal has taken Rusthall by Storm.

It's the biggest thing to happen to Rusthall in years. It is the charity appeal launch from the "Oak" public house on behalf of Martyn Styles, the boy who must go to Russia for a major operation if he is not to go blind.

Fifteen year old Martyn is already deaf and has inherited retinal pigmentosa - a disease which if not arrested will leave him in a world of total silence and darkness.

Only the Russians have a cure for the disease and 1,500 is needed to get him to that country for treatment.

By accident the licensee of the pub, Keith and Pam Smith, heard of Martyns plight during a conversation with a sister over Christmas.

"We have invited our staff in for a drink and Martyn's sister, Linda, came along with Martyn and his mother and father," said Keith.

I had no idea that Martyn was in danger of going blind until Linda produced some press cuttings. Immediately we decided we had to do something.

Since 1976 when they arrived at the pub the couple have gained a reputation as champion fundraisers.

Between July 1976 and the Christmas of the same year they collected a total of 370 for a pensioners party.

Last year 290 was collected for a repeat performance.

The Martyn Styles appeal needed no pushing.

"It has been a most staggering and most moving experience of my life ... the generosity of people has been overwhelming," said Keith.

"One of the most wonderful things to happen involved one of the smallest donations. I received a letter from an old age pensioner in which she said she received the food parcel from us and wanted to contribute 30p for Martyn.

"I mentioned this to one of the regulars who explained that the lady concern was 98, almost blind and living on the most meagre income.

Since the appeal was launched from the "Oak," donations have poured in, Keith said that between 15 and 25 has been arriving everyday and a local company, which refuses to be named, have given a cheque for 1,000.

Sponsored darts matches, jumble sales, charity rugby matches and bottles in pubs throughout Tunbridge Wells bear testimony to the sympathy that people have for the hitherto unknown boy from the Sherwood Estate.



Local knowledge, further pictures, and licensee information would be appreciated.

I will be adding the historical information when I find or are sent it, but this project is a very big one, and I do not know when or where the information will come from.

All emails are answered.



HAFFENDEN Henry 1871-Oct/73 (age 53 in 1871Census)

ANSCOMBE James Oct/1873-Apr/74 dec'd (also builder)

ANSCOMBE Mrs (widow) Apr/1874+

PILBEAM John 1881-91+ (age 32 in 1881Census)

WATERS Frederick 1901-03+ (age 42 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

PRYKE Arthur 1913-14+

PIESLEY George 1918+

TROTTER Frank 1922+

LYON Alan 1930-38+



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:-