Sort file:- Bromley, June, 2024.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 20 June, 2024.


Earliest ????

Beech Tree

June 2013

(Name to)

54 London Road (62-63 in 1881Census)


Beach Tree

Above photo, circa 1900.

Beech Tree 1927

Above photo, circa 1927, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Beach Tree

Above photo, date unknown.

Beech Tree 1961

Above photo 1961, from National Brewery Heritage Trust.

Beech Tree

Above photo, date unknown.

Beech Tree

Above photo, date unknown.


The Beech Tree on the corner of London Road and Farwig Lane dated from the mid-19th century. Henry Coombes may have been the first landlord arriving around 1862. Prior to the building of the pub, the site was used as a market garden by William (later Godfrey) Stidoph, who lived in a fine half-timbered house on the site. It is believed that the name of the pub came from a beech tree that grew in the Stidoph's garden which came to the attention of Joseph Paxton who, in the 1850’s was in the process of laying out Crystal Palace Park. There is a story that he admired the tree so much he had it transported to the new park to be a feature there. The pub was named in its honour. The 1900 picture shows when some event or incident had caused a crowd to gather. The name of the landlord at the time (J. D. Kincey) can be seen over the door. John Double Kincey (1854-1936) was born in Mile End, Middlesex. Kincey arrived at the Beech Tree around 1892 from Tunbridge Wells and stayed until his retirement around 1919. He was replaced by Florence Foster (nee Collins) (1878-1963), originally from Newington, Surrey, who was still in residence in June 1944 when she survived the destruction of the pub by a V1 bomb.

It took a while, but the pub was rebuilt in a contemporary style, reopening in 1958. After a refurbishment in 2013 it reopened as the "Hop and Rye" but only had a short life closing in May 2019.

The building has now been bulldozered, and is being replaced with a new convenience store and 8 flats.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, 03 September 1870.

Annual licensing day.

Mr Henry Coombes, of the "Beech Tree Tavern," London Road, Bromley, made application. Inspector Howe said there have been two complaints and convictions since last licence day. The Bench said they had not determined whether they should renew this licence or not; probably not. The matter would be adjourned for 3 weeks at Locksbottom.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 24 April 1874.

Bromley. Suicide.

An inquest was held at the "Beech Tree," London Road, on Monday morning, before C. J. Carttar, Esq., coroner, to inquire into the death of Alice Shoebridge, age 19, who committed suicide by hanging herself on the previous Friday afternoon.

It appeared that the deceased had been subject to melancholia, and that she was an inmate of Barming Heath Asylum 3 years since.

She had now been compelled to leave her employment through her despondent state of mind, and it is said that her aunt was about taking the necessary steps to get her taken care of again by the parish authorities. She had dressed herself in her best clothes previous to committing the fatal act, and she hung herself with a cord taken from her clothes box.

The jury returned a verdict of "Suicide whilst of unsound mind."


From the News Shopper, Wednesday, 27 July,1994.

Pub named after the beech tree that was moved by an architect.

Beach Tree 1904

Clearing a site for Bromley Central Hall in 1904. The Old Beech Tree in the background.

Muriel Searle continues her guide to the borough’s drinking places:

BEECH TREE, BROMLEY: The modern Beech Tree replaces the tavern (destroyed during the war) beloved of London costermongers as a stop for having a knees-up (with drinks) on the way to Farnborough or Keston Common on Bank Holidays.

The sign shows the tree which, according to local tradition, was greatly admired by Paxton as he travelled back and forth while rebuilding his Crystal Palace at Sydenham.

Only the best would do for its elaborate grounds, and this beech was a very fine one. It was reputedly uprooted, loaded on to a cart and trundled up to Sydenham Hill, where is was replanted in the Palace grounds. A tree expert at Chislehurst during this period would certainly have been in the habit of transporting and transplanting quite mature trees up to 40 feet tall.

Whether the beech tree from near the Beech Tree pub still flourishes in the Palace park is uncertain, among so many hundred whose original acquisition is now unrecorded.



COOMBES Henry 1862-70

LITTLECOTT Thomas 1881-82+ (age 40 in 1881Census)

WALL Thomas 1891+ (widower age 60 in 1911Census)

KINCEY John Double 1901-19 (age 48 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

FOSTER Florence Mrs 1920-44+


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:-