Sort file:- Tonbridge, March, 2022.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 05 March, 2022.


Earliest 1873-

Primrose Inn

Closed 25 Aug 2018

122 Pembury Road (Primrose Hill 1871)


Primrose Inn 2016

Above photo, 2016.

Primrose Inn 2016

Above photo, 2016.

Primrose sign 1993Primrose Inn sign 2016

Above sign left, April 1993, sign right, 2016.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


This was formerly the home of the Port Reeve, where cattle owners bringing their stock to market in Tonbridge had to pay a toll as they entered the town. Perhaps the Reeve is still there somewhere, as the sixteenth century building is reputed to have six ghosts, including a cat.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier 27 June, 1873. Price 1d.


On the application of Mr. A. Drake of the "Railway Bell," Tunbridge Wells, temporary authority to sell until next transfer day was granted to Mr. David Everest, of the "Leicester Arms Hotel," Penshurst, Mr. Everest being too ill to attend. Similar authority was also granted to Henry Pont, of the "Queen's Head Inn," Brenchley, and to Jane Towner, of the "Primroses," Tonbridge.


Kent & Sussex Courier 11th December 1889.

Tonbridge Petty Sessions. Licensing.

 Mr G. D. Bridges, of the "Primroses", Tonbridge, was granted an hours extension for a club dinner.


The pub closed on the 25 August 2018 and in January 2019 a planning application to demolish the building was approved.


From the By Andy Tong, 6th March 2019.

The 200-year-old premises on Pembury Road will be demolished to make way for housing after it proved unprofitable.

“Tonbridge is thriving in the centre,” said Mr Brady. “It’s changing, everywhere is being upgraded – look at the station. There are new ventures, new restaurants.”

He says the interior needs to undergo major changes. “Parts of it are shocking. You go out these days, you expect pubs to be of a certain standard. They aren’t all spit and sawdust, people want a lot more.


From the By Mary Harris, 25 January 2019.

A distinctive pub in Tonbridge is going to be bulldozed to make way for new homes.

'The history of the town is being eroded and I am sure a more suitable development could be done without demolishing this building'

Primrose 2019

The Primrose in Tonbridge is going to be bulldozed to make way for new homes. (Image: Lewis Durham)

A distinctive weather-boarded pub in Tonbridge which closed last summer is going to be bulldozed to make way for homes.

The Primrose in Pembury Road and plans for four houses and two flats have been approved by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.

The plan to redevelop the pub and car park attracted nine official objections from members of the public and three letters of support.

Those backing the proposal from Acklam Developments in Chichester said the pub had been underused and welcomed a new use for the land. A council report said trading figures demonstrated there was little hope of the pub being reopened as a viable watering hole.

Primrose plans 2019

The design for Primrose Inn on Pembury Road in Tonbridge (Image: Darling Associates Architects)

A resident living in the same road as the pub said: "At the moment we have a virtually derelict pub that has long been under-utilised and a poorly-maintained eyesore, and an overgrown patch of Tarmac, so anything that brings this redundant space back to life is a good thing."

The borough council can not currently show the area will see enough housing being built during the next five years to meet needs. This is currently affecting how the council decides on planning applications as there must be a "presumption in favour of sustainable development".

Primrose Inn is described as a "landmark building that has distinctive white weather-boarding" in the council's Tonbridge Character Areas assessment, but the report which went before the planning committee last week said this "does not mean the building should be retained in perpetuity".

But a resident in Goldsmid Road called for the building's preservation, saying: "Please do not demolish this building. The history of the town is being eroded and I am sure a more suitable development could be done without demolishing this building. I understand the need for housing is great but it can't be at the expense of the history and natural beauty of the town."

Other objections concerned the number of flats being built in Tonbridge and that "neighbouring properties have a history of subsidence".



TOWNER Henry 1871+ (age 53 in 1871Census)

TOWNER Jane 1873+ Kent and Sussex Courier

BOWLES James 1881+ (age 34 in 1881Census)

BRIDGES George David 1889-91+

DUNSTALL William Charles 1901-Aug/23+ (age 34 in 1901Census) Kent and Sussex CourierKelly's 1903

DUNSTALL Albert Victor (son) Aug/1923-Dec/26 Kent and Sussex Courier

DOLDING H A Dec/1926-38+ Kent and Sussex Courier


Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier


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:-