Page Updated:- Monday, 05 July, 2021.


Earliest 1862

Railway Tavern

Closed 28/Dec/1912

Rye Lane

Dunton Green

Railway Tavern 1900

Above photo circa 1900, kindly submitted by Nick Catford.

Above map 1909. The building was in Rye Lane. By kind permission of

Railway Tavern location 2021

Above photo June 2021, showing the location, kindly taken and sent by Phil Richards.


I am informed that the building was unfortunately demolished in the mid 1970s.

The tavern stood on the south side of Rye Lane close to its junction with the station approach road and on the east side of the railway to Sevenoaks. The railway is on an embankment and crosses Rye Lane on a skew bridge so it is likely the photograph was taken from this bridge or possibly from the side of the embankment. In the left background one of the brickworks pits can be seen, apparently flooded. Not much of any certainty is known about the tavern. Said to have been provided for the Welsh miners employed to excavate the nearby Polhill Tunnel, which suggests the miners encamped at Dunton Green, the tavern likely dates from around 1862 when construction of the railway was authorised. The figure in the doorway beneath the word 'Ales' may have been the landlord with the other people being his family or staff. As can be seen, the tavern was supplied by Bligh's of Sevenoaks. In 1862 John Bligh purchased the former Holmesdale Brewery, situated on Sevenoaks High Street, from John Allworth. Bligh, who is said to have been the largest hop grower in the region at the time, enlarged the premises in 1882. He sold the brewery and its tied cottages to Messrs Watney in 1911 and the premises were closed down in 1935. (Further research tells me the house closed on the 28th December 1912 under the Compensation Act.) The Bligh name on the Railway Tavern therefore dates the photograph to pre-1911. 'London Porter' was a type of ale made from brown malt. It fell out of favour in the years following WWII but has made, at least in name, something of a comeback in more recent times. The "Railway Tavern" is thought to have closed in 1935 and at some point in time became home to a well-known local character known as 'Trigger' Turton. Turton was a lecturer of mathematics at London University (today, the University of London) and his nickname derived from 'trigonometry', a branch of mathematics. Turton suffered a nervous breakdown following failure of his marriage and came to resemble a tramp, living in the increasingly derelict and overgrown former "Railway Tavern." It is said Turton diversified into horticulture although this may have been a polite local joke which referred more to the way he lived than to anything else. Little else is known about Turton but records suggest he may have been one Frederick Turton who died in 1972. The "Railway Tavern," which came to be known as Bridge Cottage, is thought to have been demolished in the late 1970s and its site used for an extended car park for West Kent Cold Storage. Today the site of the former tavern lies within a modern residential development, West Kent Cold Storage having vacated the site sometime around the turn of the 21st century.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser 21 February 1913.


Supt. Fowle's annual report of the various public houses in the district was read as follows:-

.... The license of the "Railway Tavern" beerhouse, Dunton Green, expired on the 28th December, 1912, and the same has been dealt with under the Compensation Act, 1904, compensation being paid on the 21st December, 1912.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 3 October 1913.

Distressing Motor Fatality. Dunton Green Child Killed.

A distressing motor fatality occurred at Dunton Green on Saturday evening, a child between 2 and 3 years of age being knocked down and killed before it's mother's eyes.

An inquest on the body was held at the "Railway Tavern" on Monday evening by Mr. Coroner T. Buss.

Mr. Laslett Dahe was chosen foreman of the jury.

Mrs. Edith Emily Booker, wife of Mr. Alfred Booker, of Mount View, Dunton Green, said the deceased child was her daughter, Evelyn Gladys. She was 2 years and 9 months old, and was a good, healthy child, her sight and hearing being unimpaired. Witness kept a small general shop, and whilst serving a little girl she saw the child run across the road, apparently to another little girl who was on the other side. Witness had never know the deceased across the road before, and as soon as she saw her she called out, "She has gone across the road," and ran from the shop, but before she could get to her the motor car came along and knocked her down. Deceased was about 3 feet from the kerb on the opposite side when the car struck her. Witnessed took the child to the Cottage Hospital at Sevenoaks but it died on the way in her arms.

Mr. Hayley Morriss, who said he was a bill and bullion broker, living at Blackboys, Sussex, said he was driving on Saturday evening from Orpington, and was going towards Sevenoaks. He got to Dunton Green at about 5 o'clock. He did not know much of the road, but had driven over it when he went to Orpington in the morning. He was driving at about 10 to 15 mph when he saw a child cross the road to another child on the opposite side. She then re-crossed without looking either way. Witnessed did not know which side to go. Had the other child not been standing on the pavement he would have steered straight across, but he had done so he would probably have run into the second child. The right side of his car struck the child (he could not say which part), and after the car hit her witness steered right onto the pavement where he pulled up. He did not sound his hooter as he had not time. There was no other traffic about at the time as far as he knew. Witnessed took the mother and a child to a doctor's house, but the doctor was out. They then went to Dr. Matthews house, but he also was out, and then went on to the Hospital, but the child, who was alive when they left Dr. Matthews' house, was dead before they reached the Hospital.

Dr. Alexander, of Riverhead, said he saw the body at the Cottage Hospital. The child's neck was dislocated. There were bruises on the right side of the head above the temple and on the lower part of the abdomen. Death was due to shock, following dislocation of the neck.

The Coroner:- How do you account for the dislocation of the neck?

Witness:- It is difficult to say, but deceased had had a severe blow on the right side of the head.

The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death." They were unanimous in exonerating the driver from blame, and expressed their deepest sympathy with the relatives of the deceased child. The foreman said they also wished to add a rider that the jury were of opinion that it was high time that something was done to still further regulate the speed of mechanically driven vehicles on the highway.

Mr. de Barry Crawshay, on behalf of the motor organisation with which he was connected, expressed deep regret at the fatality. They did their best to prevent and alleviate the trouble, but there were still road-hogs, despite the traps they set to catch them. he advised the Coroner to write to the Roads and Bridges Committee of the Kent County Council for signs, and if they were not supplied, the motor organisation to which he belonged would do so for this village.




SAMUEL Thomas 1871+ (age 41 in 1871Census)

MACEY Benjamin 1891+ (age 40 in 1891Census)

STOVELL William 1901+ (age 56 in 1901Census)

COOPER Albert 1911+ (age 68 in 1911Census)




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