Page Updated:- Sunday, 11 December, 2022.


Earliest 1866-

(Name from)

Railway Tavern

Open 2022+

2 Station Road


01474 709547

Railway Ravern 1900

Above photo, circa 1900, kindly sent by Brian Brockie.

Railway Tavern 2009

Above photo 2009 by Stacey Harris Creative Commons Licence.

Railway Tavern 2015

Above photo 2015 by Chris Whippet Creative Commons Licence.


Above sign, May 1986.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


I am informed that the pub was previously called the "Longfield Tavern," but have no information as to what dates is functioned under this name.

The station opened in June 1872 and the pub probably changed name around the same time, although there is reference to it being called this as early as 1866, but also evidence that it was still called the "Longfield Tavern" in 1871. So guess it was know as both between these years.

On the 1897 map there is a "Railway Tavern" marked to the west of Longfield and St Mary Magdalene's Church, north of Fawkham Station (I understand this was later re-named Longfield Station) and, although the road doesn't appear to be named, there is reference to a Longfield Court.


As the information is found or sent to me, including photographs, it will be shown here.

Thanks for your co-operation.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Monday 27 August 1866.


Mr. Wates applied for Mr. W. Bray, "Railway Tavern," Longfield, Granted.

Further research suggests his name may have been William Gray. Paul Skelton.


From the By Sean Delaney, 11 November 2019.

West Kingsdown driver arrested after car crash near Railway Tavern pub in Longfield.

Police attended Home Gardens in Dartford shortly after 11pm following reports of a speeding motorist driving recklessly through the town centre.

The driver is alleged to have sped away when approached by police.

It is believed the car crashed into three or four other vehicles and a garden wall before coming to stop in Main Road in Longfield, near the Railway Tavern pub.

The 24-year-old, from the West Kingsdown area, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, burglary and a public order offence.

He has since been released under investigation.


From the By Chris Hunter, 19 November 2022.

How 'magic cow' followed landlord from Welsh mountains to The Railway Tavern in Longfield.

Don't touch the cow, or it will bring you bad luck, but look into its eyes, smile and make a wish – and your wish might just come true.

At least that's what a guy at a Welsh bar told publicans Brad and Maria Read, who have just installed the life-size fibreglass cow outside their new pub – The Railway Tavern in Longfield.

Brad Read and Cow 2022

Brad Read, landlord of the Railway Tavern in Longfield, with the lucky, or cursed, cow. Image: Brad Read.

With opening day set for Friday, Brad took time out of the manic week of preparation to reflect on the strange course of events that brought the bewitched bovine into his possession.

It all began, as all the best stories do, with a newspaper clipping about a pub with a goat.

"It was weird," said Brad, 59. "My accountant showed me a story from a newspaper clipping he'd kept for years about a couple who'd taken on a pub in East London.

"The pub was failing – it was having a terrible time. One time the guy went out and got a goat for the garden and thought it might bring in some extra people – but nothing happened.

"One morning he got up and looked outside and there was the goat, dyed completely purple. And then people started coming to see the purple goat – the local newspaper got it out and it started thriving, and he kept it up – he kept dying the goat.

Brad and Maria Read 2022

Brad and Maria Read outside The Railway Tavern in Longfield before the refurbishment. Picture: Star Pubs & Bars.

"One evening two people were in the bar and laughing and admitted they'd done it. They'd come in and treated it as a military operation and dyed the goat. He bought them all a pint and said 'Look, you've turned it around'."

So far, so weird – and so cow-less. But of course, lucky or cursed cattle are a rare sight around the margins of the M25, and it wasn't until Brad and Maria travelled into the mystic mountains of Snowdonia that they first encountered the haunted herbivore.

"We went on holiday to Wales and went into this pub where there was a cow in the garden," said Brad.

"According to Welsh folklore if you touch the cow it brings you bad luck, however if you stand there and look in its eyes, and smile and think of a wish, your wish could come true.

"That's what they told me in the bar, but I think the guy in the bar made it up. I Googled it and there's no trace of it, but I liked the story."

Exactly how much ancient folklore can build up around a fibreglass cow is a matter for debate – but dubious or not, the story took on a dramatic and strange twist when the cow somehow managed to follow Brad back to England a year later.

"My full-time job was working for a storage company – and what turned up in our storage facility, but this cow," he explained. "A year after that, the people that owned it said 'We don't want it anymore - just chuck it in the skip'."

But with the story of the purple goat still lingering in his mind, Brad decided to bring the cow back to his pub in Halstead and told everyone the story of its lucky charms.

Since then, the fibreglass beast has been a regular fixture at The Cock Inn, and one former punter even claimed to have won a pub raffle after staring into its eyes and making a wish to win.

But now it's the lucky folk of Longfield, plus visitors of course, who will get to try out the cow's charms after it was moved to The Railway Tavern last week.

And they'll get to try out more than that – Brad explained they are hoping the pub will offer a range of entertainment – including singer Lee Jones from The Voice, who is due to sing at the pub on December 17 – and a unique menu.

He added: "We want to make it something for everyone in the community – we're looking at quiz nights, we want to get a darts team, sports TV, and entertainment on Saturday evening. We want it to be warm friendly and welcoming as possible.

"The food will be Spanish tapas and gourmet burgers, with the potential to add more in the future.

"The reason we chose to do that is most pubs just do the same thing – fish n' chips, lasagne, pie and mash – but there's not many that do tapas.

"It goes down well if people are having a drink and watching football. We like to use local suppliers as much as possible too, and we're using the butcher across the road for our meat."

That last point might seem a risky move – or moooove for all those who have been waiting for that pun – considering the proximity of a capricious cow prone to taking offence at the slightest touch.

Brad will just have to smile, look into her eyes, and hope that his Welsh friend is not too fussed about the demise of her English brethren.

And if things go wrong he'll just have to start serving vegan burgers instead – but that would be udderly ridiculous.



BRAY W Mr Aug/1866+

TREADWELL James 1881+ (widower age 56 in 1881Census)

SEMARK D 1903+ Kelly's 1903

READ Brad 2022+


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:-