Sort file:- Tonbridge, September, 2023.

Page Updated:- Monday, 11 September, 2023.


Earliest 1828-

(Ye Olde) Vauxhall Inn

Open 2020+

Vauxhall Lane / Pembury Road


01732 773111

Above photo, date unknown.

Ye Olde Vauxhall Inn 1900

Above photo, circa 1900.

Ye Olde Vaxhall Inn 1940

Above photo 1940.

Ye Olds Vaxhall Inn 1947

Above photo 1947.

Ye Olde Vauxhall Inn advert 1963

Above advert 1963, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Vauxhall Inn 2014

Above photo 2014.


Kentish Gazette, 23 April 1850.

TONBRIDGE. Coroner’s Inquest.

On Thursday se’nnight an inquest was held at the "Vauxhall Inn," before J. N. Dudlow, Esq., coroner, and a respectable jury, on the body of a man found dead in an outhouse, belonging to Mr. Thos. Austin, on the previous Tuesday. The deceased was seen in the neighbourhood on the 1st instant, and went to the building without leave, and is supposed to have lain there since.

Verdict:— Died from destitution and want.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Wednesday 16 December 1874.


Mr. Chitty of the "Vauxhall" public-house, applied for an extra hour, on the occasion of an annual meeting of Friendly Society members at his house.



From the Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, 29 April, 1927.

Dangerous motor cycling.

Percy William Carmen, School House Farm, Horsmonden, and Thomas Stanley May, Pearsons Green, Brenchley, were summoned for driving motorcycles in a manner dangerous to the public, at Capel, on April 10th.

Both defendant, who pleaded not guilty, were represented by Mr H Cogger.

Sidney Victor Trigg, Vauxhall Inn, Tonbridge, said on April 10th, about 8 p.m., he was motor cycling towards Tonbridge near the Brook at Five Oak Green, with his wife on the pillion, riding about 18 miles per hour, when he saw a motorcycle combination approaching at about 35 miles per hour. The combination cut across the road in front of him and collided, and he and his wife were thrown off. He sustained cuts to the head and bruises legs, and his wife suffered concussion and was still in bed as the result. The machine was badly damaged. Someone took them home in a motor car, and his head was dressed.

By Mr Cogger: He had driven this motorcycle for two years. He was about twenty yards off when he first saw Carmen. Witness was on his nearside 4ft, or 5f. from the nearside kerb. His front wheel was completely buckled. Carman's combinations was squashed, and, Carman's brother's thigh was broken. The front wheel the cycle hit the sidecar broadside because it came across the road in front of him. He did not sound his horn.

Jesse Delves, Tatlingbury Cottages, a farm labourer, said his house was 600 yards beyond the scene of the accident. He saw two motorcycles pass his house about 8 p.m. driving about 35 miles per hour, and the second cycle driven by May was very close to the other one. He heard the cycles stop, and a little girl told him the accident.

By Mr Cogger: There were people about, and the place was dangerous. The road past his house with straight for 150 yards.

Norman Henry Turner, Fairways, Five Oak Green, said he was in his orchard and heard the role of two cycles coming from the direction of Tonbridge, and was surprised at the speed, would he put about 45-50 miles per hour. There were people about returning from Church, and he saw a gentleman and several children walking on to the side of the road. He ran up to the Bridge, as he felt sure they could not negotiate the bend at the bridge, and before he arrived he heard a crash like the bursting of a tire. He did not see the actual accident as a hut obscured the View, but he arrived on the scene within half a minute of the accident, and saw the motorcycle combination upside-down on the side of the road. There was a mark in the road near the telegraph pole 19 yards long. Triggs motorcycle with 6ft from the inside, and the mark of the motorcycle combination ending a few feet from Trigg's near side. He pulled the combination of the occupant of the side car, who had his leg broken, but Carman asked him to leave his brother as he was until doctor had seen him. He then went to the Trigg's, and found Mrs Trigg with blood streaming down her face, and with the aid of a gentleman he took her to his house. Witness said he had been motor cycling and motor driving for 15 years, and had had air experience, and he considered the pace of the defendants criminally reckless driving.

By Mr Cogger: He knew that the tire which burst was Triggs. The pace he estimated was not a guess, but a computation based on his experience.

John Plummer, railway worker, living at Summerhill Villas, Tudeley, said that at 7:45 p.m. he was walking home from Capel near Brook Cottages, when he heard two motorcycles being driven furiously. He hurried some children with him on to the roadside, and he got out of the way.

The Clerk: Were you expecting something to happen at the corner?

Witness: I was only thankful I was not there to meet them, because if anyone had been there they could not have got out of the way.

What was the pace? I put it at 45 miles an hour.

Mr Cogger: How can you tell speed?

Witness: Well, I work on the railway, and I know the speed of the trains.

Harold Trilly, carpenter, 1, Council Cottages, School Green Lane, Five Oak Green, who was walking along the road from a service, and who says he was a motorcyclist, put the speed of the defendant at 45-50 miles an hour. He went back after the crash and assisted Turner.

Frederick Bishop (15), a motor engineer's assistant at Queen's Head Forge, Five Oak Green, said he was riding a motorcycle with Arthur Lawrence seated behind him, but did not actually see the accident, as he was looking behind him at the time.

Arthur Lawrence (15), employed at a Pembury garage, says he thought Carmen and May were travelling too fast when they passed him.

Police sergeant bones said that on April 12th he saw Carmen and Horsmonden. Carmen said "I know I was going fast, I admit it." Witness asked Carmen why he was on the wrong side, and he replied "I cannot understand how that happened." Witness describe the skid mark for a distance of 60 feet, and later saw May, who said he felt sure other man was on his wrong side of the road. Witness cautioned him, and May said "I was doing 25 miles an hour."

P.C. Ingram said he went to the scene of the accident at 8 p.m., and saw Carman, who said Trigg came towards him on his wrong side, and he (Carmen) went to his wrong side to avoid an accident. Carmen added, "We were not going fast; I applied the brakes, but could not avoid an accident." The side car was damaged, being struck on it's near side. The Humber motorcycle was extensively damaged in front.

For the Defence, Carmen, in the witness box, said he assisted his father at School House Farm, Horsmonden. On the day in question he had been to Sevenoaks on his Sunbeam combination, with his brother Eric in the sidecar, and accompanied by May. He was preceded about 30 miles an hour when he came on the brow of the bridge at Five Oak Green, and saw Trigg 30 or 40 yards in front. Trigg was completely on his wrong side, and witness applied his brakes, and in trying to avoid him crossed over to his wrong side and collided, finishing up completely on his wrong side. After the accident he pulled his brother out of the sidecar, and when he regained consciousness he said Trigg was on his wrong side. Witness asked Trigg for his name and address, and he gave Trigg his.

In answer to Supt. Bennet, he said he had driven a motorcycle for some years and in 1922 he took part in motorcycle trials and races.
Mr Cogger: Is your licence clean?

Witness; Yes, sir.

May, giving evidence, said he was a farm labourer, and was riding an A.J.S. motorcycle behind Carmen. He saw him cross from his right side to the wrong side and collides with Trigg in the middle of the road. His licence was clean.

Supt. Bennett: Was the road dry?

May: Yes, absolutely dry.

Mr Cogger, addressing the bench, said the only person who saw the accident was Trig, who was involved in it, the two defendants and Eric Carmen. He submitted that there had been no evidence of dangerous driving by defendants over the straight part of the road, although with regard to the portion of the road between the bridge and the spot where the accident happened there was a conflict of evidence. He submitted that Carman crossed the road in order to avoid Trigg, and the police constable said the skid mark showed for 20 yards. The accident would never have happened if Trigg had been on his proper side, nor if having been on his wrong side, he had not drawn over at the last moment. There was a general prejudice against motorcyclists, and witnesses were invariably inclined to take an exaggerated view.

The Bench find each defendant 5 and 1 5s. costs, and ordered each licence to be endorsed.

(Trigg was the son-in-law of John Jeffrey.)


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 19 September 1930.

Golden Wedding at Tonbridge.

Mr and Mrs Jefreys 1930

Mr. and Mrs. Jeffery's 55 Descendants.

It is with pleasure that the "Courier" reports yet another golden wedding celebration in the district. On this occasion the happy couple are Mr. and Mrs. John Jeffery, of "Ye Old Vauxhall Inn," Pembury Road, Tonbridge, and they were the recipients of many congratulatory messages yesterday (Thursday) when they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Mr. Jeffrey is 77 years old and a native of Chiddingly, Sussex, whilst Mrs. Jeffery, formerly Miss Ellen Westgate, of Ripe, Sussex, is 75 years of age. They were joined in holy matrimony on September 10th, 1880, at Ripe Church, the officiating clergyman being the Rev. R. S. Sutton.

Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey have a large family, all of whom will join together at a later date to celebrate the occasion. They have 9 children, 29 grandchildren (6 having died) and 17 great-grandchildren.]

They have now lived in Tonbridge for 36 years, all the time being spent at "Ye Old Vauxhall Inn," which was in days gone by a famous coaching inn and which is mentioned in several well-known novels. Although they do not remember those days, there is one thing that stands out in their memory in connection with the inn, and that is the Apted murder case, which created a sensation 29 years ago. The girl concerned was thrown into a pond and her body was subsequently found by Mr. Jeffery.

Both commented on upon how the district has changed and said that they remember the old narrow High Street, and have watched the whole of the left-hand side being rebuilt.

They took the "Vauxhall Inn" from Mr. Bartram, who will be remembered by some of the older inhabitants in the district, and the inn was afterward sold to the Dartford Brewery and then to Mr. d'Avigdor-Goldsmid. Mr. and Mrs. Jefferys have been tenants of Mr. d'Avigdor-Goldsmid for the last 26 years.



Death of oldest licensee.

Mr. John Jefferies 46 years at "Vauxhall Inn."

John Jeffrey

Above photo of John Jeffrey, kindly sent by Sharon Turner.

It is with regret that the many friends of Mr. John Jeffery, licensee for 46 years of the historical old coaching house, the "Vauxhall Inn," Tonbridge, will learn of his death on Sunday at the age of 86.

Mr. Jeffery was one of the oldest, if not the oldest of Tonbridge's landlords, and he and his wife, who died in 1934, became host and hostess of the "Vauxhall Inn" in 1894. Mr. Jeffery had carried on the licence ever since. His death will be a loss to his many friends in the town.

Although. Mr. Jeffery was not a native of Tonbridge he was born at Chiddingly, Sussex - he was an admirer of the town and had a deep regard for the old-time wayside hostelry, the "Vauxhall Inn," which has a history which dates far back into the old coaching days, when it was a posting house for the important route of Hastings to London.
Before Mr. Jeffery entered the victualling tried he was an employee at a Sussex brickworks, and later became foreman. In his trade he became something of an expert.

Married in 1880.

Mr. Jeffery married Miss Ellen Westgate, of Ripe, Sussex, at Ripe Church, in 1880, the officiating clergyman being the Rev. R. Sutton.

Later he and his wife became host and hostess of the "Buckle Inn" at Blatchington, near Brighton, and afterwards host and hostess of the "Ship," Hastings, and then the "Red Lion" at Chelwood Gate, Sussex.

Mr. Jeffery came to Tonbridge in 1894 and in the same year took over the "Vauxhall Inn" from Mr. Paskin. The Brewers were Messrs. W. & G. Bartram, Ltd, of Tonbridge.

The house was taken over by the Dartford Brewery, and in 1910 Sir Osmond d'Avigdor Goldsmid - then Mr. Goldsmid - bought the inn, which became a free house.

Mr and Mrs. Jeffery celebrated their golden wedding on September 18th, 1930. Mr. Jeffery was then 77 years of age and his wife 75.

The death of his wife in April, 1934, was a great blow to Mr. Jeffery.

It is interesting to note that on the same day that Mr. Jeffery applied for the licence of the "Vauxhall Inn," the Superintendent of Tonbridge police, Mr. Alfred Barnes, received a banknote value 100 as a token of appreciation of faithful, impartial and courteous services during the fifteen and a half years he acted as superintendent of police in Tonbridge.

Vauxhall Lane Murder.

One Tonbridge tragedy in which Mr. Jeffery played a major part and which raised widespread interest, was the local murder case 39 years ago. Mr Jeffery discovered the body of the young girl in a pond near the inn. Later, investigation showed that the child had been murdered at the top of Vauxhall Lane and the body brought to the ponds at the bottom.

When Mrs. Jeffery died, Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Victor Trigg (Mr. Jeffery's son-in-law and daughter) came to the inn to assist him. (later went to "Man of Kent," Tonbridge)

Mr. Jeffery had 35 grandchildren, of who 29 are living, and 20 great-grandchildren.

He leaves four sons and five daughters. His two eldest girls died.

The members of the family are living in various parts of the country, including Newhaven, Leeds, Tonbridge, Upper Holton, and Collier Street (Marden).

Mr. Jeffery is survived by a brother aged 85, who resides at Eastbourne.

The funeral service will take place tomorrow Saturday at 2:30 at the Tonbridge Cemetery Chapel.



1940/John Jeffery of the Vauxhall Inn Pembury road Tonbridge died 10 March 1940 Probate London 25 April to Ellen Elizabeth Moore (wife of George Moore) and Ruby Doris Pretoria Trigg (wife of Sydney Victor Trigg), Effects 160 9s 6d/Probate.


From an email received 30 April 2016.


My name is Denis Stevenson and I would like to correct some incorrect information on you website.

My Grandfather Arthur George Stevenson took over the pub after the "Grand Hotel" in Hastings was taken over by the ''Spitfire Boys'' during WW2 after the front was closed down and with the compensation the whole Stevenson Family lived in the "Vauxhall" throughout the War and did not leave until my Grandfather took over the "Rose & Crown" in Brenchley.

The whole family carry and carried great memories of their time spent living in "Ye Olde Vauxhall Inn" and I have many tales from those times.

Our Family consisted of My Grandfather; his wife and my Nan Lilian Mary; his son Sydney Arthur and wife Vera Rose (nee Locock) daughter Joan (and briefly her husband Ted Clark who was the Male singer in Billy Merrin and His Commanders band where the Female singer was Rita Williams.) Ted was also my Godfather but sadly taking the rear gunners seat in a Lancaster Bomber he never returned and I was raised alongside his two sons Brian & Ian where we all enjoyed fantastic, never to be forgotten, memories in the dear old "Vauxhall."

I have attach some photos that I would love you to put on the site; it would mean a lot if you would amend accordingly. There are a lot so you can see what the "Vauxhall" meant to all our lives living there through all the horrors of WW2 and emerging safe after the War ended.

Living there for every one of us was a never to be forgotten blessing; not least because in 1945 in the early hours of the morning a fire tinder in the lounge set light to a large settee and it was only because my mother got heartburn whilst pregnant with my sister Linda who got out of bed and went downstairs when she noticed the room ablaze. Which saved all our lives else the whole family would have been wiped out!!

Denis Stevenson.

Ye Olde Vauxhall

Above photo, showing Denis Stevenson going to town from the pub with his grandfather, 1942. Kindly supplied by Denis Stevenson.

George Arthur Stevenson

Above photo showing licensee George Arthur Stevenson, outside the pub, date unknown.

Ye Olde Vauxhall lounge

Above photo showing the lounge are of the pub, date unknown. Kindly supplied by Denis Stevenson.

Licensee and customers

Above photo showing licensee centre, with customers, 1946. Kindly supplied by Denis Stevenson.

Back of ye Olds Vauxhall Inn

Above photo showing Denis Stevenson at the back of the pub, 1942. Kindly supplied by Denis Stevenson.


From an email received, 21 March 2021.


The first licensee you mention is John Goodwin, (second now after further research, Paul Skelton,) his daughter, Jane, married Charles Maplesden a son of George Maplesden of Bank Farm Capel, just down the road from the Vauxhall on the B 2017 (Now in Tudeley) and is a Maternal ancestor of my husband, Michael Gibb. Charles Maplesden eventually took over Bank Farm and was cruel to Jane, even threatening to kill her, they had 12 children, the youngest boy names James Sawyer (After Sawyer Goodwin, her grandfather) and the later ones born were born at the same time as the some of the 10 children of their servant Mary Ann Adams, the father of Mary Ann’s children was Charles Maplesden.

Jane Filed for a Judicial Separation citing cruelty and adultery, this was granted. She was prevented from taking her children with her when she left Bank Farm (she did manage to sneak one away – Thomas) Poor Jane never got over losing her children and although she worked as a housekeeper for a David Bridges she lost her mind and he had her committed to Chartham Asylum on 31st May 1886. She died there on 20th November 1886 and is buried in the cemetery in the grounds of the hospital.

Jane Maplesden

The photo of Jane was taken upon her entry to the asylum.

Diana Gibb.


Also known as "Ye Olde Vauxhall Inn" the building gained a Grade 2 listing on 8 May 1950 and parts of it are 15th century.

I believe the pub was almost destroyed after 1969.



WAITE Samual 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

GOODWIN John 1841+ (age 45 in 1841Census)

WOODHAMS William 1858-62+ (age 52 in 1861Census)

CHITTY John 1871-74+ (widower age 79 in 1871Census)

SEYMOUR Archibald 1881-82+ (age 35 in 1881Census)

BALDOCK Henry to 21/Feb/1891 dec'd

MITCHELL George 1891+ (age 37 in 1891Census)

PASKIN Mr to 1894

JEFFREY John & Ellen 1894-10/Mar/1940 dec'd (age 47 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

STEVENSON Arthur George Next pub licensee had 1940-50 (age 46 in 1940)

BAKER (father of Jeffrey) 1950-69

BAKER Tim 1969


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

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:-