Public Houses in East & West Molesey
Rowland G. M. Baker, 1981
PRINCE OF WALES
Bridge Road, East Molesey
Soon after the coming of the railway to Hampton Court Station, in 1849, a large tract of land in East Molesey was purchased for development by a Hampton lawyer named Francis Jackson Kent. Palace Road was cut across this estate in 1850, and a plot of land close by was conveyed by Kent to Charles Rowlls, the owner of Kingston Brewery, on which he built an inn, which was opened in 1853.
The house, in a rather flamboyant Victorian Gothic style typical of much nineteenth century public house architecture, was first called the "Prince of Wales and Railway Hotel". The latter part of the name, however, was soon dropped, although it appears as just the "Railway Hotel" on the twenty-five inch Ordnance Map of 1868.
In 1854, soon after the Prince of Wales had been opened, the brewery was purchased by Mr. W.F. Hodgson , and as Hodgson's Kingston Brewery was well-known for the next hundred years. Rowlls apparently still remained the owner of the inn until 1860, when this and other property was also acquired by Hodgson . Hodgson's business was later acquired by the Courage combine, who are the present owners.
Licensees in the nineteenth century:-
1855 - George Quiddington
1859 - George Royer
1866 - David Steers
1871 - Walter Charles Birdsey
1876 - H.W. Goodered
1882 - George Brown
Notes of some landlords:-
DAVID STEERS: Had his license withdrawn in 1869 after being convicted of a breach of the law. It was restored in the following year with the advice from the magistracy that he should "be a little more particular in future" .
WILLIAM BIRDSEY: Became insolvent in 1873, and for sometime the license was transferred to the trustees in bankruptcy .
GEORGE BROWN: Perhaps the most colourful of the landlords. He had been one of the old prize-fighting pugilists, and entered the catering business first of all by opening a refreshment tent on the racecourses. His booth at the races on Molesey Hurst was said to be a great institution. The advertisement over the top of which declared: "Everything iced but the welcome" .
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