Page Updated:- Thursday, 12 January, 2023.


Earliest 1881+

(Name from)

Flying Dutchman

Open 2020+

118 Tonbridge Road


01732 833975

Flying Dutchman

Above postcard, date unknown.

Flying Dutchman

Above photo, date unknown.

Flying Dutchman licensee 1970

Above photo circa 1970, showing licensee Stan Wager second from left. Kindly sent by Robert Mallett.

Flying Dutchman 2013

Above photo 2013 by Marathon Creative Commons Licence.

Flying Duchman sign 1986Flying Dutchman sign

Above sign left, July 1986, sign right, date unknown.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Reproduction sign

The above 12" by 8" sign was found being advertised as a reproduction of the original by Libby's Emporium in March 2016.

Flying Dutchman matchbox

Above matchbox, date unknown.

Flying Dutchman match box

Above matchbox, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.


The pub can be traced back to 1732 when it was called the "Flying Cow" but by 1841 it was called the "Flying Horse." when the house was substantially remodelled in the and there is a cluster of villas and cottages around it which date from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. By 1873 it was known as the "Flying Dutchman," so it may have changed name before this date.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 27 September 1864.

Serious Assault by a Tradesman.

On Tuesday (before R. Roger, Esq. and Major Scoones), Philip Richmond, pipe manufacturer, of this town, was charged with assaulting and unlawfully wounding George Hoath with a quart jug, at Hildenborough on the previous day. The complainant when was unable to leave his bed, owing to his suffering from the effects of the severe cuts on his head, and a medical certificate to that effect was produced. It appeared that the complainant, with several others, was sitting at the bar at the "Flying Dutchman," when Richmond entered from an adjoining room, and without any provocation, Mr. Howth having only asked him to have a glass of ale, he took up a quart jug, which was almost full of water, and threw it with great force at the complainants, inflicting very serious injuries about the head. He was remanded on bail till Tuesday (to-day).


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 19 September, 1873.


Mr. Spratley, landlord of the "Flying Dutchman," Hildenboro’, applied for an extra hour to be granted for keeping open his house, on the occasion of the annual gentlemen’s servants cricket match, and supper, and an occasional license to sell on the ground. The Bench refused to grant the additional hour, but sanctioned the occasional license.

It was pointed out to their worships that on the previous week an extra hour was allowed for the cricket match at the "Bull Hotel," Tonbridge, but they persisted in their refusal.



A Mrs L. V. Scape lived at the Flying Dutchman. Mrs. Scape had been recently widowed at the age of 22 and had accepted a post on the R.M.S. Titanic to try to forget the tragedy that befell her husband Captain Scape in Hong Kong. Sadly, she was one of over 1,500 people to lose their lives in the disaster. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Leppard of Cataract Cottage and the family were well known in Hildenborough.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 8 May 1931.

The "Gate Hotel" dart team entertained the "Flying Dutchman" on Tuesday and won by two to one.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 4 November 1949.

T.V. sets stolen in raid.

Thieves who entered the "Flying Dutchman" public house, Hildenborough on Tuesday night, took a television set worth 30 as well as cash, tobacco, cigarettes and spirits.

Entry was by a window and the robbery was discovered by Mr. Lawrence Coomber, the licensee, on Wednesday morning. Total value of the stolen property is about 140.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 1 November 1957.


A "BLACK SPOT" sign near the "Flying Dutchman" on the bend on Road, Hildenborough, would be no use, Tonbridge Rural Road Safety Committee decided on Monday.

The committee was considering a request by Hildenborough Parish Council for an extension of the speed limit to cover that section of road and also for a "black spot" warning.

Inspector Ward, Kent County Police traffic division, said the accident record at the spot was not bad. There were about nine accidents there yearly.

"If you have a 'bleak spot' sig, it must be at a black spot, I have little faith in the signs, anyway," he said.

The committee will write to Mr. Richard Hornby, M.P. requesting him to ask a question in the House about the speed limit extension.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 15 October 1965.

Mr. Clarke—licensee and sportsman, is leaving.

ONE of the best-known licensees in Hildenborough and Tonbridge, Mr. Walter "Nobby" Clarke, leaves the "Flying Dutchman," Hildenborough, next Tuesday after 15 years there.

He will go to work as Administrative Secretary of the Licensed Trade's first convalescent home at Westbrook, Margate—a home he, himself helped to found.

Fitter and stronger than most men half his age, Mr. Clarke is an almost unbelievable 73 and still thinks nothing of heaving barrels in the cellars of the Dutchman.

His varied career started off training as a teacher. Then he worked in a bank until 1914 when he joined the army.

At 23 he was a company commander on active service in France when the war ended he joined the Metropolitan Police.

Dempsey link.

There he became something of a legend in connection with boxing, presenting many of the police boxing matches and championships during that time.

Outside the force he was equally active in boxing circles and treasures the memory that he introduced Jack Dempsey to the British boxing public.

Sport has always been a favourite pastime of Mr. Clarke and he was still keeping wicket for Rye at 58. At one time in his youth he
could have made a living at football or cricket—"or both" he mused.

He took a public house at Rye in 1938. There too he served on the borough council and became involved in the work of the licensed trade defence movement through a variety of organisations, including the Licensed Victuallers' Association.

During the Second World War he was a Major in the Home Guard based al Romney Marsh.

Mr. Clarke came to Tonbridge in 1951. He is a past chairman of Tonbridge Licensed Victuallers' Association and has held office with other similar organisations.

He is an ex-president of the South-Eastern District L.V.A. and is still an Executive Officer of the Licensed Victuallers' Defence League of England and Wales.

On Tuesday he was presented with a silver salver by the brewery. Courage and Barclay and Simmons, with whom he has been associated so long.



CRISP Henry 1861+ (age 42 in 1861Census)


THORN Charles 1886-1892

BETTS William 1891+ (manager of public house age 42 in 1891Census)

HOBBS J 1892-1893


MACEY Edward 1894-1910 Kelly's 1903

OLIVER Harold John & Eleanor May 1910-1912

LITTLE William 1913-1923

LITTLE Anne Mrs 1924

COOMBER Lawrence 1928-1953

CLARK Walter 1951-Oct/1965

WAGER Joyce & Stan Oct/1965-85 (Courage tied)

FELL Barry & Sylvia ????

JOHNSTONE Tarrith 2007+


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:-