Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 May, 2023.


Earliest ????

Toad Rock Tavern

Latest late 1970s

5 Apsley Street


Toad Rock Tavern 1953

Above photo, 1953, kindly sent by Mick White.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 7 June 1912.

Rusthall Assault Charge the Case Dismissed.

Charles Arthur Fuller was summoned for indecently assaulting and ill treating Violet Head, at the "Toad Rock Tavern," on 22nd May.

Mr. R. Vaughan Gower prosecuted, and Mr. H. C. Dickens (instructed by Messrs. W. C. Cripps, Son and Daish), defended.

Prosecutrix said she was nearly 18 years of age. At present she was residing with her sister, Mrs. Sewell. She had been in several good situations in Tunbridge Wells, and had always left her situations with good characters. On 17th May she entered the service of defendants and his wife at the "Toad Rock Tavern," Rustall. On 22nd May, at 3:30 p.m., witness went to a bedroom on the second floor to dress. The only other person in the house at the time was defendant, who was in the bar. His wife was out with the children. Her bedroom door was open, and Mr. Fuller came into the room and sat on a chair. He said. "Hello, duck!"

Witness then described the alleged assault, and said she first cried, and then screamed and kicked. She got away, ran to the window, and opened it, and screamed. Prisoner shut it up and immediately. Witness said, "There is somebody in the bar." Prisoner went down, but returned almost immediately. Mrs. Fuller afterwards came in, and I went downstairs. Witness had not the heart to tell Mrs. Fuller about the matter. She, however, went to see her sister, Mrs. Sewell, and told her. She went back to the "Toad Rock Tavern," and defendant then kissed her. She then went to another sister, Mrs. Till, Who lived at 38, Harmony Street, Rustall. Her sister went to the public house and saw defendant, who said, "I would not do such a thing." Witness slept at her sister's that night, and went to see a doctor for the next morning.

Cross-examined:- Mrs. Fuller went out about 2 o'clock, and witness was then turning her (Mrs. Fuller's) bedroom out.

Mr. Dickens:- How do you know there have been a row between Mrs. Fuller and her husband?

The Chairman:- That has not been put the for us.

Mr. Gower:- I am glad my friend asked the question. I have been waiting for him to do so.

Witness:- I did not know there have been a row.

Cross-examination continue:- She did not know that several people would be sure to hear if she shouted out of the window. There were plenty of houses around. Defendant had been in her room about 15 or 20 minutes. Witness did not shut the door to prevent him returning, and did not close the window. She thought it would have been well to do so, but was in too great a hurry to get dressed and go downstairs. Witness was calm and collected when Mrs. Fuller came home, and had tea with her. When spoken to defendant said, "Fetch Dr. Aylward at once," but she refused to see him. She had a brother-in-law named Joseph Sewell, but know nothing about him going to Mr. Fuller, and trying to get money out of him. She knew nothing about his business. She had never accused any other man of behaving improperly towards her. She was quite certain of that. Witness told Mrs. Fuller that Mr. Fuller entered her bedroom three times.

Mr. Dickens:- This alters your whole story. You have made a mistake haven't you?

Witness:- Yes, I have.

Mrs. Till, of Harmony Street, stated that her sister complained to her at 10:30 p.m. (by her clock) that defendant had insulted her. Witness went round and spoke to Mr. Fuller, who said, "How the ----- could I, when I could not leave the bar? Mrs. Fuller told her that he ought to be ashamed of himself. Witness's sister was very distressed, and had no hat and coat on when she came to see her.

Cross-examined:- Mr. Fuller used the expression, "It's a thundering lie. If I have interfered with you, go to Dr. Aylward." The girl did not answer; she was two broken hearted. Witness did not say she would make Mr. Fuller pay for it.

Mrs. Mary Sewell stated that prosecutrix went to her and complained about what happened in the afternoon. The girl did not want to return to the "Toad Rock Tavern," but witness advised her to go back, and said that if Mr. Fuller repeated his conduct she must leave at once. No demand for money had been made to Mr. and Mrs. Fuller to hush it up; the only money asked for was the wages due to the girl.

Cross-examined:- Witness had brought up the prosecutrix, who had no father and mother.

Defendant, on oath said he had had no previous charge against him. He denied that he returned home intoxicated on the day mentioned. From the time his wife left the house until she returned he did not leave the tap room. A man named Sweetman was in the bath from 1 to 5 o'clock, and witness could not have gone up to the girl's bedroom without anyone in the bar seeing him. A man named Francis Hendy was also in the bar from 1 to 4 o'clock, as near as witness could say. Other men were also in the bar during the afternoon, one named De-Mexa arriving at 2 p.m., and leaving with Hendy. Witness's wife returned just before 4 o'clock. Witness went down the cellar steps to unlock the back door in order to let her in. They had their tea in the bar parlour. It was brought to them by the maid, Miss Head, and that was the first time he had seen her that afternoon. He did not attempt to assault the girl in the evening. He had never had a row with his wife.

Cross-examined:- He could not suggest why the girl should make the complaint, unless it were a get money out of him. It was purgery from beginning to end.

Mrs. Caroline Fuller, wife of the defendant, stated that on 22nd May she went out with her children at 2:30 p.m. It was a lie to say that her husband was intoxicated, and she had not told anybody so. She returned at 3:50 o'clock. The girl was upstairs, and came down when witness called her. She was fully dressed, and was not agitated in any way. The girl took up Mr. Fuller's tea into the bar parlour, and had her own with witness and the children in the kitchen. The girl went out for the evening, and returned at 9:35. Witness was looking for her, having told her to be home by 9:30. When the girl was making her complaint at night defendant said, "Good ----, what is the woman talking about?" Witness said, "Don't you understand?" When defendant said, "Send for Dr. Aylward, the girl said, "Oh, no. he did no harm."

Cross-examined:- Witness maintained that the girl had not had time to go and see her sister. Witness did not tell Mrs. Till that her husband came home drunk. She had no reference with the girl when she engaged her.

Mr. Gower:- Have you any reason to suppose that she had not a good character?

Witness:- Yes, from things I have heard.

Mr. Dickens:- Do you want to hear it. Mr. Gower?

Mr. Gower:- No, I don't.

Mr. Dickens asked if the Bench required any further evidence. After consultation, the Bench announced through the Chairman that there are other opinion that no jury would convict upon the evidence, and the case would be dismissed.

Mr. Dickens:- I think it is demonstratably clear.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 23 January, 1914.


Frank Heady was summoned for assaulting Hubert Finch, the landlord at the "Toad Rock Tavern," Rusthall, on 12th January.

He pleaded not guilty.

Complainant said he was the landlord of the "Toad Rock Tavern." On Monday evening defendant called at the house and ordered drinks amounting to 8 1/2d. Witness asked the man to pay him the money, and defendant thereupon jumped on to a table and struck witness in the face.

George Filtness stated that he was in the "Toad Rock Tavern" at the time. He thought defendant was playing about, and might have struck the landlord, but did not witness the assault. Witness heard the landlord ask defendant for 8 1/2d.

Defendant, on oath, stated that he invited the landlord and another man to have a drink, and the complainant said, "When you pay me the 8 1/2d." Witness had a two shilling piece in his hand at the time, ready to pay the landlord. He did not strike the landlord. He was a waiter, and would lose his chances of employment if he assaulted the landlord of a public house, so it was not likely he would do so.

The case was dismissed.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 6 May 1938.

Little Boys Death.

The death occurred at the Kent and Sussex hospital on Thursday week of Donald Weddell, the five-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. B. Weddell, Grange Road, Rusthall.

The funeral took place at the Borough Cemetery on Monday, the immediate mourners being Mr. V. Weddell, Master J. Weddell, Mrs. Palmer, Mrs. Cain, Mrs. Cavie, Mrs. Hammond, Mrs. Pring, Mrs. V. pring, Mrs. Bridger and Mrs. Figgett. Wreaths were sent by: Mummy and Daddy; Brothers Joe, Dick and Mole; Gran; uncle Nevill and Glad, Grannie Cain, Aunty Rose and Uncle Bill; Aunty Ivy; Uncle Bill and family, Aunty Nell and Uncle Tom; Auntie Dolly and Uncle Harry; Auntie and Uncle Jim and family; Auntie Harty and Uncle Sid; Mr. and Mrs. Bridger and Family; Friends and Neighbours of Grange Road; Joan and Hilda Penfold; His friend Charlie; Miss. E. A. Norton; His Little Friend Pearly; Miss Hettie; Mr, and Mrs. meads; "Toad Rock Tavern"; Children and Teachers of Rustall Infant School; Mr. and Mrs. Pepper.

Mr. Kempster was the undertaker.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 19 May 1944.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Bench.

Bound Over for 12 Months.

George Frederick Hall, Goods Station Road, pleaded guilty to stealing a gold cross and chain, together of the value of 1 10s., the property of Dorothy Mitchell, at the "Toad Rock Tavern," Rusthall, on February 6th.

Inspector Russell stated that Mrs. Mitchell, who was the wife of the licensee, placed a gold cross and chain on the mantelpiece in the public bar. Soon after the bar was opened accused and two other men came in and stood by the fire. Five minutes later she found that the cross and chain was missing. She spoke to the man, who joined in the search, but without success. On Thursday, April 27th, she was serving in the bar when accused came in with another man and a woman who was wearing a gold cross and chain. She then reported her loss of the police, but the cross and chain on the woman was not the one she had lost. Hall was seen by Detective Sergeant Curling and Detective Constable Bond, and after first denying said:- "All right, I will tell you. I did take it. I will go and get it. Goodness knows what made me take it."

Accused reiterated that he had no idea what made him take it.

Mr. Havard, the Probation Officer, said accused told him that he had been discharged from the Army, and that as he had heart trouble he was advised to take beer.

Accused of bound over for 12 months in the sum of 2.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 30 June 1950.

C. & B. Westbrook.

Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells. Freehold property suitable for conversion.

Messrs. C. & B. Westbrook have received instructions to sell by auction at the "Castle Hotel," Tunbridge Wells, on Friday, 21st July, 1950, at 3 p.m., the freehold property known as No. 5, Apsley Street, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells formerly the "Toad Rock Tavern" comprising the following accommodation arranged over three floors and suitably for conversion into self-contained my maisonettes.

Four Bedrooms, Bathroom, two bars, two Sitting Rooms, two Staircases, Good Domestic Offices and Cellarage.

Electric light and power; gas, main water and drainage. Good cement paved yard with detached brick, timber and slated garage with workshop over.

Vacant possession on completion of purchase.

Particulars and conditions of sale may be obtained of the Solicitors, Messrs. Warner and Knocker, 180, High Street, Tonbridge, and of the auctioneers at their offices, Lonsdale Gardens, Tunbridge Wells (Tel. 1245).


I am informed by Richard Burtonshaw that the pub actually survived to the late 1970s when he last had a pint there.


From an email received 7 May 2023.

As a former resident of Woodside Road, I have can offer a few clues about the history of the Toad Rock Tavern as was.

The building was a butchers shop before WW 2 and the building to its left was a “beer house.”

During the 1950s it became a public house with Cecil Savage as licensee and the adjacent property reverted to a private dwelling. It remained a pub until the mid sixties when I moved away from the area.

Terry Wale.



LINGARD Thomas 1903+

BROWN Samuel 1911 (age 48 in 1911Census)

FULLER Charles Arthur 1911-13+ (listed as butcher age 42 in 1911Census)

FINCH Hubert 1914-22+

HENDY Amos 1930+

MEADES James 1938+

SAVAGE Cecil 1950s+




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