Sort file:- Tunbridge Wells, September, 2023.

Page Updated:- Monday, 11 September, 2023.


Earliest 1828-

Cross Keys

Closed 2/Apr/2023

236-238 (120) St Johns Road (London Road 1851Census)


Royal Tunbridge Wells

01892 536516

Above photo, circa 1900.

Cross Keys 1900

Above postcard, circa 1900.

Cross Keys 1903

Above photo, 1903, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe by kind permission of Barrie Nicholson of Rocky Media Archives. The photo may show licensees George & Rosanna Filewood and their son, Walter.

Cross Keys 1958

Above photo 1958.

Cross Keys 1970

Above photo, circa 1970.

Cross Keys 2014

Above photo 2012.

Cross Keys bar 2012

Above photo showing the bar area 2012.

Cross Keys 2022

Above Google image 2022.

Cross Keys signCross Keys sign 2014

Sign left, date unknown. Top photo and sign right taken by Paul Skelton, 11 April, 2014.


Dover Chronicles 9 January 1847.

Death from Drunkeness and Exposure to the Cold.

On Saturday last, an inquest was held at the "Coach and Horses," Tunbridge Wells, touching the death of a hawker, name Francis Clubb. It appeared that on the evening of Monday fortnight the deceased called at the "Cross Keys," being at the time intoxicated, with his son, a lad about 14 years of age. He called for a pint of beer, which was served him. When he drank it he took a pint of beer belonging to another party that was in the house, and an entire stranger to the deceased, and partook of a draught of that too. The stranger, as night naturally be supposed, did not approve of the liberty, and after some quarrelling a scuffle ensued, but no one there perceived that any blows were struck by either party. The deceased, however, fell across the table once or twice. Shortly after the deceased and his son prepared to start home to the "Coach and Horses," but he was so drunk that he was unable to walk, and consequently Piddlesden, the landlord of the "Cross Keys," laid him on some hay in the stable. It was a bitter cold night, and the deceased and his son had no covering over them, although Piddlesden said he gave them some horse clothes for that purpose, but when he went into the stables about 7 o'clock the next morning, they were in the manger. The deceased complained of great pain during the night. On the following day he was removed to the "Coach and Horses," and Mr. Blaxland bled him and used the usual restoratives, but he sank gradually, and about a week afterwards expired. At the inquest Mr. Blaxland gave it as his opinion that the deceased died of inflammation of the bowels, brought on from exposure to the cold, and the jury returned a verdict accordingly. Deceased was about 42 years of age, and had for a long time past lived a very irregular life.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 31 October, 1873.


Temporary authority to carry on the business of the "Cross Keys," St. John’s-road, was granted to Mr Charles Lamb.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, Friday 9 January 1874.


The license of the "Cross Keys Inn" was transferred from the executors of the late George Witley to Mr. Charles Lamb.


Sussex Agricultural Express 27 January 1891.

The "Cross Keys," at the Lew, Tunbridge Wells, was similarly transferred from Charles Lamb to Mark Hiscock.


Kent & Sussex Courier, 16 April 1948.

Woman ex-licensee dies aged 92.

Well-known in Tunbridge Wells, where she was a licensee for 12 years, and in Tonbridge, where she had lived for a great part of her 93 years. Mrs. Rosanna Filewood, of 94, Barden-road, Tonbridge, died on Saturday.

Born at Whitstable, Mrs. Filewood first came to Tunbridge Wells in 1900, where her husband was licensee of the "Cross Keys." On his death in 1907 she successfully carried on the business until 1919 and became a well-known popular figure.

In 1933, after a short stay at Hastings, she came to Tonbridge.

The funeral service was at Tunbridge Wells Cemetery on Wednesday.


From the By Mary Harris, 23 October 2018.

Pub-goer left fuming after Cross Keys in Tunbridge Wells asks her to share party after double booking bungle.

Kim Hewett 2018

Kim Hewitt pictured at her home in Southborough - she had been excited about her 50th birthday party but was upset when she realised she would have to share with another birthday Halloween party. (Image: Sally Loram)

A woman celebrating her 50th birthday party in a Tunbridge Wells pub was left fuming when the boss asked her to share her celebration after a double booking bungle.

Kim Hewitt, 49, of Southborough was really looking forward to her bash with family and friends at the Cross Keys Pub in St John's Road on Saturday.

Excited Mrs Hewitt had booked her party and paid a 100 deposit at the pub on July 24. Staff were going to lay on a buffet and Mrs Hewitt had booked a DJ for a disco.

But she couldn't believe it when she saw a woman on Facebook had invited people to a fancy dress birthday and Halloween party with a disco and food on the same evening.

Mrs Hewitt, of Manor Road, had hoped it was a mistake but was "furious" when she contacted the Cross Keys where staff asked if she wouldn't mind sharing her disco.

They told her the other booking was for "the snug" which only seats about 20 people but Mrs Hewitt said the last time she saw the woman's account, 168 people had been invited.

"How can you expect total strangers to share?"

"I ended up in tears all weekend. We totally understand pubs will not stop their locals walking in and if they had come and danced then fine but I don't want a whole extra party coming and totally taking over.

"They asked if we could share the disco with this other party.

"It's inept. She can't expect two parties to join together when we don't know each other. How can you expect total strangers to share? And they're a lot younger group. We've paid for it, we don't want to share it," she said.

She added: "I have got about 45 coming.

"We organised our own disco ourselves. We were going to pay a further 160 and have a buffet. It was for my friends and family to all relax together, to get up and have a dance.

"I was left a week before my birthday trying to find another venue."

"I'm appalled by it. They should have written down in their book the day they took the booking and the day they took the deposit," she said.

Mrs Hewitt and her husband Kevin have cancelled the party and have moved it to the "Rose and Crown" in Tunbridge Wells.

Her 100 deposit was returned by the Cross Keys.

Cross Keys general manager Elly Harper told Kent Live the snug which seats about 20 people was separated by the bar from the restaurant area and conservatory where Mrs Hewitt was having her party.

The pub is only licensed to a capacity of 100 people, she added.

"I'd hoped to reach a happy medium"

"We were concerned when we heard about 160 people being invited (for the other party) because we can't fit that many people in.

"But she told us she had invited a maximum of 30 people because she was aware how many people the snug could fit," she said.

Miss Harper said they had suggested the women split the cost of the disco and both parties enjoy it.

Julie Wilson, a director of the pub who dealt with both women, said: "I am upset. I would never let customers down. If someone wants to book a private party, you would not hold it in a pub. You would hold it in a hotel. I had hoped to reach a happy medium but if we couldn't I would have to make a decision (cancelling one of the parties).

"But (Mrs Hewitt) took her party elsewhere.

"There was nothing we did wrong. It is a big pub. We can't shut for private parties."

She added she had offered to make six complimentary trays of sandwiches for Mrs Hewitt to use wherever she re-booked her party but it was refused.


From the By Mary Harris, 22 April 2023.

Tunbridge Wells pub which put on many special events for customers closes suddenly.

The Cross Keys put on many events for their customers and people have been sending messages of support.

Cross Keys Pub has low food hygiene standards, according to the FSA.

A long-standing and popular pub in Tunbridge Wells has sadly closed suddenly. The Cross Keys pub is on St John's Road and is the only pub between St John's and Southborough.

The family-friendly pub announced on March 26 it would be closed the following day due to "unforeseen circumstances". But a second message on April 2 said the pub would be "closed until further notice due to unforeseen circumstances".

Those running the community-minded Cross Keys had put on many events for their customers. Just four weeks ago they had an Easter Sunday egg hunt, arts and crafts and raffle, with a traditional Sunday roast.

There were also St Patrick's Day celebrations on March 17, and a special Mothering Sunday three-course lunch. Bingo nights, reggae nights and a breakfast and lunch for those who wanted to cheer on the Tunbridge Wells Marathon in February were laid on. Dogs were also welcome at the pub, which has a garden and outdoor play area.

KentLive contacted the Cross Keys a week ago but has not heard back. The pub is clearly well thought of, as many people have posted hearts and kisses on the pub's latest announcement on Facebook.

The pub has four stars out of a possible five on customer review site TripAdvisor, but the latest review was in September 2021.



PECKHAM Edward 1828-32+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

PACKHAM Ann 1841+ (age 65 in 1841Census)

TWORT James 1851+ (age 28 in 1851Census)

SHAW Nimrod 1858+

NEWMAN John Paxton 1861+ (age 41 in 1861Census)

NEWMAN Caroline Elizabeth Mrs 1862+

WELLER Thomas 1871-July/73 (age 53 in 1871Census) Kent and Sussex Courier

WHIBLEY/WHITLEY George July-Oct/1873 dec'd Kent and Sussex Courier

LAMB Charles Oct/1873-Jan/91 (age 49 in 1881Census)

HISCOCK Mark Jan/1891-1901+ (age 50 in 1901Census)

HEWITT Ernest John 1903+ Kelly's 1903

FILEWOOD Mr to 1907 dec'd

FILEWOOD Rosanna Mrs 1907-19 (age 55 in 1911Census)

GARDNER Arthur W 1922-38+

HARPER Elly 2018+


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

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier



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