Page Updated:- Sunday, 04 June, 2023.


Earliest 1560-


Demolished 1960

68 High Street


Woodsgate Hotel

Above photo, date unknown, kindly supplied by Tony Nichols of the Pembury History website.

Woodsgate demolition 1960

Above photo showing the demolition in 1960.


The only mention found to date for this one is in a book called "The Old Pubs of Tunbridge Wells and District" by Keith Hetherington & Alun Griffiths.

Evidentially it was supposed to have been a smugglers liar and was knocked down in 1960 to make way for some garages.


From the Courier, 1 April 1960.

End of a Smugglers' Lair.

Woodsgate goes to make room for new buildings.

A Tale of smugglers and hidden gold, of a skeleton and a ghost came to an end at Pembrey this week when the "Woodsgate Hotel" was pulled down.

In its place will rise 5,000 square feet of garage workshop, an extension to the Woodsgate garage. And the grounds - once a beautiful walled garden - will be covered with new houses.

The hotel, parts of which were more than 400 years old, was the old posting house of Pembury. Outside there was a turnpike gate through which passed 14 coaches a day on their way to London or the coast.

At night it was the half-way-house of a less legitimate trade - smuggling. The village of Pembury was renowned for the cheapness of its brandy, tea and silks.

Genteel trade.

In the sellers, so local legend says, there is a skeleton of a smuggler who died trying to escape the Bow Street Runners. His ghost roamed the house, rattling doors and drinking a daily pint of beer.

But in 1780, the hotel had a more genteel trade. The official guide of that time stated that: "Woodsgate is a good in, situate about 2 miles from the Wells, on the great road leading from London to Rye, Hastings, etc.

Mrs. Jarrett, the landlady of the house has been at the expense of fitting up several rooms in it on the purpose for the reception of company, who in their airings on that road, frequently stop the drink tea coffee, etc. From then passing through the turnpike leading to Tonbridge town.

After that guides, the house's history was not recorded. But villages still tell tales of smugglers and a drinking ghost, and a hidden casket of gold.

The tales will live on but the house is dead. And the ghost?



JARRETT Mrs 1780+


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