Sort file:- Maidstone, November, 2022.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Thursday, 17 November, 2022.


Earliest 1798-

Queen's Head

Closed 1986

62-63 (58) High Street


Queen's Head

Above postcard, date unknown.

Queen's Head Hotel 1915

Above photo, 1915.

Queen's Head Hotel

Above photo, date unknown, from Pictures of Maidstone.

Queen's Head 1957

Above postcard, circa 1957, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Queen's Head Whitbread signQueen's Head card 1949

Above aluminium card issued May 1949. Sign series 1 number 23.

Former Queen's Head 2014

Above image from Google, June 2014.


Listed as an Inn, Hotel and Excise Office, and mentioned in the song, "The Maidstone Landlords" in 1798. Pigot's Directory of 1832 said this was also acting as the Excise office.

This used to be one of the coaching inns and still stabled horses at the back of the premises till the late 1920s.

I believe the building was converted into a Pizza Hut just after closing in 1986 and is now part of Buenos Aires and Rafters as shown in the image above.


Kentish Chronicle, 4 August, 1829.


July 25, after a long illness, sincerely regretted, Mr. William Bennett, jun, of the "Queen's Head Inn," Maidstone, aged 25 years.


Canterbury Weekly, 8 April, 1837.

On Monday last an inquest was held before F. F. Dally, Esq., at the "Queens Head Inn," in Maidstone, on the body of Mr. James Kemp.

It appeared that a man named Lee was fishing about 5 o'clock yesterday morning, a short distance above the Maidstone lock, when he discovered the head of a man floating on the water. He called to two other persons who were near, and who assisted him and getting the body into his boat, when he discovered it to be the person whom he had known for many years. Several other witnesses, who had known him for some years, stated that he was very subject to lowness of spirits, and had been particularly depressed on the day previous to that on which he had left his home. On being asked the reason by his wife (to whom he had been married only two days,) he replied that he was afraid his nervous fit was coming on, and desired her to take no notice of it.
The jury returned a verdict of "Found Drowned."

The deceased had been in the Medway since the 1st of March. The body was in a most state of decomposition from the length of time it has been immersed; not a feature was distinguishable, and the deceased could only be identified by the clothes which he had on.

Lee applied to the coroner for remuneration, who said that he had presented a similar case to the Town- council, and that they have promised that in future some reward should be given.


From the Kentish Gazette, 27 February 1838.

On Tuesday week, Mr. Coveney, of the Isle of Sheppey, was leaving the "Queen’s Head Inn," Maidstone, to return home, and had only proceeded a few yards from the door when his horse slipped, and falling, threw Mr. Coveney on the ground with extreme violence. His injuries, we regret to say, are of a most serious nature, one arm being dreadfully fractured and his head severely cut.

He was immediately taken to the "Queen’s Head," and every possible alleviation that medical aid and anxious attention could effect, was of course attempted.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 10 June 1851.

Serious Accident.

On Thursday afternoon Mr, Hughes, a London fruit salesman, who had been stopping on a visit with his family at a friend's at Farleigh, was riding along Mill Street, and when passing a van, his horse slipped up, falling on its side, and the rider fell heavily on the pavement. Mr. Fry, surgeon, was sent for, and found that Mr. Hughes had fractured the small bone of his left wrist. He was taken to the "Queen's Head," and on the same afternoon left for London by train. We are told that the pavement where this happened is in a very bad state, not having been properly restored after the sewer had been put down.


Kentish Gazette, 5 October 1852.

Thunder Storm — Four Persons Killed.

Our town and neighbourhood was visited, on Tuesday evening, by a very severe storm of thunder and lightning, accompanied with heavy rains and high winds. The only damage done in the town, was the blowing off a low chimney pots and tiles, but at Sutton (some few miles distance) four persons were killed. The unfortunate people, three men and a woman, had been engaged in hap picking, and when the storm came on they sought shelter in a hop oast, on the premises of Mr. Stunt. The electric fluid entered by the cowl, and went right down through the oast, killing the poor people on the spot. The poor woman, who was in an advanced state of pregnancy, has left nine children. The hop oast was not much injured. The inquest was held on the 30th inst., at the "Queen's Head Inn," before Wm. T. Neve, Esq., deputy coroner, and a respectable jury, on the bodies of George Birchet, John Hogbin, Stephen Kennett, and Mary Ann Ashman, who were killed by lightning.

Richard Henre, of Staplehurst, labourer, deposed:— I am drying hops for Mr. Stunt, on his farm in this parish. The four deceased persons were all picking hops for Mr. Stunt. On Tuesday last, in the afternoon, there was a heavy storm of rain, thunder, and lightning. A number of the hop pickers, and among them the four deceased persons, came into the oasthouse for shelter. Between four and five o'clock, I was passing from the little kiln into the great one, when the oasthouse was struck with lightning, and I saw Mrs. Ashman fall and take fire. I went up to her and put out the fire. She was quite dead. When struck, she was standing in the doorway coming out of the great kiln. I then found Hogbin and Birchet close to the door on the inside of the great kiln; they were quite dead. On going up stairs I found Stephen Kennett lying on his face, not far from the door leading to the drying—room; he was quite dead. From the appearance of the building afterwards, I believe the lightning first struck one of the cowls and passed down by the doorways where the deceased were. There wore more than 20 persons in the oasthouse at the time; the other persona were not much effected by the lightning. I believe all the four deceased persons came from Brabourne. Mary Ann Ashmon was about 54, Birchet about 50, Kennett 22, and Hogbin was 50d. The bodies have remained in the oasthouse ever since, in the care of Edward Wright. The building was for some minutes afterwards filled with vapour. I believe neither of the deceased spoke after they were struck.

James Philpot, of Sutton Valence, deposed:— I am foreman to Mr. Stunt, on his farm; at about half past four on Tuesday afternoon, I was just outside the outhouse when I felt that the building was struck. I looked up instantly, and saw portions of one of the cowls blown into the air, and a portion of the tiling was blown off; on going—into the oasthouse, I saw persons taking Mrs. Ashman out into the barn. She was quite dead. I saw Hogbin lying on his back in the doorway, leading into the kiln. Birchet was lying close to Hogbin on his face; they had been sitting on the step at the doorway leading into the kiln; they were quite dead; they did not move at all. Birchet's steel, watch chain was decomposed, it crumpled between my fingers, half the watch glass was gone, and the working of the watch were quite destroyed; one of his leather leggins was torn down; about half-an-hour afterwards I went up stairs, and there found Kennett lying quite dead. A medical man was sent for, who arrived in about a quarter of an hour after the building was struck. The medical man thought the woman was not dead, and attempted to bleed her, but could get but very little blood from her. The jury returned a verdict, "that the deceased were accidentally killed by lightning.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 21 June 1884.

Giving up it's dead.

The body of a man unknown was found in the river Medway on Monday morning, in a shocking condition. It is supposed that it has been in the river for several months. It was removed to the mortuary awaiting an inquest. At an inquest subsequently held at the "Queens Head Hotel," the body was shown to be that of Thomas Hunt, who was formerly employed at the Mitre Spirits Stores, Maidstone. The deceased had lost money on some racing, and had not been seen since the 26th of October last. As there was no evidence to show in what way the deceased got into the water, the jury returned and open verdict.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 8 January 1887.

A Pleasing Testimonial.

Mr. Alfred Weston, formerly proprietor of the "Walmer Castle Hotel," in Deal, and who has just entered upon the proprietorship of the "Queens Head Hotel," Maidstone, was presented on his leaving Deal with a valuable gold watch and chain, in recognition of the services he had rendered the tank. The presentation was made by the Mayor, at a meeting of the inhabitants held at the town hall. The watch bears a suitable inscriptions. Mr. Weston was a member of the Town Council of Deal, and it may be said that he comes to Maidstone with the highest credentials.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 17 January 1941.


Donations were previously received to the amount totalling 29,060 0s. 4d.

Amounts included the following:-

4 4s. Customers of "Queen's Head Hotel," Maidstone, per Mr. H. S. J. Martin.

TOTAL 29,284 15s. 10d


Diana Dors

Diana Dors at the Queen's Head." Date unknown by Barry Hollis.

Diana Dors

Above photo showing Diana Dors and unknown man at a function in the "Queen's Head", date unknown, picture by Barry Hollis.



BENNETT William Jun. 1826-25/July/29 dec'd Pigot's Directory 1828-29

BENNETT Ann 1830+

SIMMONS William 1832-41+ (age 35 in 1841Census) Pigot's Directory 1832-34

Last pub licensee had FREEMAN John 1848-51+ (age 37 in 1851Census)

FREEMAN Mrs Mary 1855-67+ (widow age 49 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1867

PALLISTER Blades after above

LEDSON George 1874+

DAVIES William 1881-82+ (age 32 in 1881Census)

Last pub licensee had WESTON Alfred Jan/1887-91+

FREY Julius Adolf 1911+ (age 36 in 1911Census)

LANDLES Charles Augustus to Aug/1918

Last pub licensee had RUSSELL William George 1922+

DALE Edwin James 1913+

MARTIN Henry Samuel J 1938-41+


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

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

Post Office Directory 1867From the Post Office Directory 1867


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