Page Updated:- Tuesday, 19 December, 2023.


Earliest 1839-

(Name from)

King Ethelbert

Open 2019+


01227 374368

King Ethlebert 1893

Above photo, circa 1893, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King Ethlebert 1888

Above photo, circa 1888, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King Ethelbert 1900

Above postcard, 1900. The pub is on the far right of the picture.

King Ethelbert 1906

Above postcard circa 1906, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Shows the livery of Ash's Dane John Brewery.

King Ethlebert 1908

Above photo, showing a pigeon shoot in 1908, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King Ethelbert 1911

Above postcard circa 1911, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King Ethlebert 1944

Photo above shows the "King Ethlebert", being the white building on the right-hand side of the image. Just to the right of the towers is a bit of a blur but this is actually the RAF's first operational jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor. Above photo and info kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

WW2 Meteor plane

 The above photo shows the Meteor jet speeding past the towers at c.450mph! So secret was this development, that Meteors weren't allowed to fly over mainland Europe, just in case one was brought down and our technology fell into German hands. Instead, Meteors engaged V1 flying bombs over Kent and successfully dealt with many of them. Ironically, in 1944, the Luftwaffe had a faster jet fighter, the ME262, which was also restricted to defending German airspace, just in case we brought one down and nicked their technology! Above photo and info kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King Ethelbert 1950

Above postcard circa 1950.

King Ethelbert 1986

Above postcard, circa 1986, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King Ethelbert 2000

Above photo 2000.

King Ethelbert 2010

Above photo 2010 by E Gammie Creative Commons Licence.

King Ethlebert 2014

Above photo 2014.

King Ethlebert sign 1987King Ethlebert sign 2014

Above sign left 1987. Sign right, 2014.

King Ethelbert sign 2020

Above sign 2020.

King Ethelbert card 1953King Ethlebert card 1953

Above card issued March 1953. Sign series 4 number 18.


Previous to 1839 the pub was known as the "Hoy and Anchor," and this used to be seen on the entrance door till at least 1871.

The "Herne Bay Club" used to congregate here in 1911, although there is reference to the pub going under that name at the time.

The sign for the "King Ethelbert," remembers that great Saxon ruler of Kent, an amiable pagan who married a Christian princess and allowed the faith to be re-introduced to the south-east in 597 AD. Ethelbert once had an administrative centre, and perhaps a palace, at or near Reculver.


Kentish Gazette 31 December 1839.


The draft apportionment with the Map and Expenses are deposited at the "King Ethelbert" public-house, in the said parish, and an Assistant Commissioner will attend to hear Appeals at the "Star Inn," in the City of Canterbury, on Saturday, the 11th day of January, 1840, at Eleven o'clock in the Forenoon.

Stephen Elgar.

Thomas Coleman.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 19 January, 1861.


On Monday C. J. Fox, Esq., deputy coroner, and a respectable jury, held an inquiry, at the "King Ethelbert" public-house, Reculver, into the circumstances attending the death of Joseph Hughes, aged 32 years. Holland Augustus Goddard, son of Holland Stanhope Goddard, gentleman, of Margate, deposed:— On Friday afternoon, about half-past four, I was on the top of the sea wall, at St. Nicholas, near Reculver, with the deceased shooting birds. The deceased was at the bottom of the wall and was in the act of climbing up with his gun in his hand, and was handing me the gun by the stock to take hold of it to help him up, when the gun dropped from my hand and discharged, and the contents went through the deceased just above the right knee. I went and gave alarm to my father, who was about a quarter of a mile off; he returned with me to where the deceased was lying. The deceased was not then dead, and, with the assistance of my father, walked some 500 yards, when he became exhausted, and was taken to the "Ethelbert Inn."

Holland Stanhope Goddard deposed:- Last Friday afternoon, about half-past four, I was out shooting wild fowl with the deceased on the rocks, between St. Nicholas and Reculver. I was some little distance from the deceased when my son came to me, and said Mr. Hughes had met with an accident. I immediately went with him to where the deceased was, and found that he was shot about the leg. The deceased told me that he was endeavouring to get up the sea wall, and was handing his gun, with the stock upwards, to my son to help him up, when it dropped, and the gun went off, and the contents lodged in his leg. I then endeavoured to get the deceased home, and he walked about 300 yards, when he became exhausted, when I left my son with the deceased, whilst I went to the "Ethelbert Inn," about three-quarters of a mile distant, and got some one to bring the deceased to the inn in a wheelbarrow.

John Port, of Reculver, labourer, deposed:- In consequence of information I received, I went down to the sea wall with a wheelbarrow, and brought the deceased up to the "Ethelbert Inn." When I was bringing him along he told me that he thought his leg was broken. I took the deceased out of the barrow when I got to the "Ethelbert" and placed him in a room, where he died in my presence after the lapse of about three-quarters of an hour.

Frederick Harpur, of Chislet, surgeon, deposed:- Between six and seven, on Friday evening, a man called upon and requested me to attend, at Reculver, upon a man whom he said had been shot. I went immediately, and when I arrived I found the deceased quite dead. I examined the body and found a gun-shot wound just above the right knee. The contents of the gun appeared to have passed on the inner side of the bone, obliquely, upwards and backwards, and passed out of the posterior part of the thigh severing the large blood-vessels, and causing haemorrhage, which was the cause of death.

The deputy coroner having summed up, the jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."


From the Kentish Chronicle, 22 August, 1863.


At the St. Augustine’s Petty Sessions on Saturday, John Holmans, landlord of the “King Ethelbert” public-house, Reculver, was charged with having his house open for the sale o f beer, &c., during the prohibited hours on Sunday, the 9th inst. A policeman stated that, about 10 o'clock, a.m., on the day in question, he went to the defendant's house in plain clothes. There were two men drinking outside the house, but on the premises, and the door was open. There were two navvies in the tap-room.

Mr. Holmans said the two men outside were travellers and those in the tap-room were lodgers.

Mr. Neame said the magistrates did not think the case was clearly made out, and they should give the defendant the benefit of the doubt and dismiss the summons.

Mr. Wightwick told the magistrates that Mr. Walker objected to pay the expenses because he considered there ought to have been a conviction.

Mr. Neame:- The magistrates are not going to ask Mr. Walker what decisions they ought to give.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 27 September 1864.


Our obituary today contains an announcement of the death, from an accident, of Mr. William Holman, son of Mr. Holman, of the "King Ethelbert Inn," and late captain of the ship "Elizabeth Ann" of Whitstable. The sad event took place at Dordrecht, Holland, on the 4th instant, when Captain Holman was accidentally drowned. The deceased who was only 22 years of age, was very highly respected.


Lancaster Gazette 20 November 1875.


Tuesday, November 16th 1875.

John Holman of the "King Ethelbert Inn," Herne Bay, Kent, Licenced victualler & grazier.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 16 August 1890.


Monday last was a gala day at this interesting and historic spot. From an early hour, the whole place was "rigged up" with hunting, the handiwork of the coastguards of the district, who naturally took great interest in the proceedings. The sports were in connection with the Canterbury Star Bicycle Club, and they drew together some five or six hundred holiday folk, mainly from Herne Bay and Canterbury. The chief attractions were in the grounds of the "King Ethelbert Inn," now under the energetic management of Mr. J. W. Collard, whose efforts as a caterer are very much appreciated in the neighbourhood. A new wing has recently been added to the inn, containing a dining hall and other conveniences for visitors, who largely patronise the locality in the summer season. By kind permission of Captain Freud the Canterbury Volunteer Band was in attendance, and their excellent playing was taken advantage of by the young people, who danced on the green in the evening. In addition to the sports, there were a duck hunt, swimming for live ducks, climbing the greasy pole, etc.


From By Daily Mirror 10 Apr 2017.

Pub charges charity marathon runner 50p for glass of tap water.

Scott Walker had just run 20 miles when he asked for some water.

Scott Walker

A thirsty runner has claimed he was charged 50p for tap water after entering a pub for refreshment at the end of a 20-mile training session.

Scott Walker, from Canterbury, is currently training for the London Marathon, which will take place in two weeks time on April 23.

Kent Live reports:- Mr Walker ran 20 miles from Whitstable to Margate as part of his rigorous training for the race, which he will run in aid of Diabetes UK.

He claims at the end of his run he went into The King Ethelbert Inn in Reculver, Kent, but was told by a man behind the bar 'I don't care how far you have run, that won't pay for my water bill' when he asked for a glass of tap water.

King Ethlebert 2017

A manager at the pub has since denied the claims and insists he asked for a charity donation in response to the customer's 'rude' attitude.

Posting on Facebook, Mr Walker said: "During my run I ran out of water (this is the first time this has happened) and felt quite dehydrated.

"I walked into the The King Ethelbert Inn in Reculver and was told by a man behind the bar that unless I could pay 50p, he wouldn't be willing to provide me with any tap water at all.

"I explained how far I had just run and that I was doing this for charity, in the hope he might give in and give me some water as I was extremely hot, thirsty and had no money on me.

"He proceeded to say 'I don't care how far you have run, that won't pay for my water bill' and only 'if I was planning on buying a roast'... (clearly not as I was alone, hot and sweaty, and in fluorescent running gear!)

"He continued to be sarcastic and taunt me in front of all his customers, refused to give me his full name and only that he was called 'Mr. Wing'."

'Mr Wing' is in fact George Wing, pub manager, who denies that he was denying Mr Walker a drink. Mr Wing refutes claims that he charged Scott for the drink and instead claims that he suggested he donate the 50p to charity.

Mr Wing, who has a Type 1 diabetic grandson, said: "He (Mr Walker) came in and plonked in front of me and said 'pint of water' with a right bad attitude.

"I said 'excuse me sir, have you had a meal in here? He replied with 'no' and I said that we don't just give out water like that.

"I suggested he make a donation to Coastwatch, we have a tin for this charity on the bar. Normally I wouldn't have said that, I have given gallons of water away to dozens of people today, it was his attitude and the way he said it."

Mr Walker added that he was only given water when he agreed to make the donation. He added: "He finally gave in and provided me with some (warm) tap water, only after I told him someone was coming to pick me up and that they could give him the 50p when they arrived."

Mr Wing added that a woman later came in the bar and asked to know if he was the man who had charged the 50p before "throwing" the money on the bar.

He added: "She didn't put it in the box, she just threw it on the bar. One of my customers, who said it was out of order the way they were, put it in the tin instead."


From an email received 13 July 2020.

Hi there while researching my family history a few years ago I traced a set of great great grandparents to Reculver; I have the death certificate recorded on 19th April 1886 of Caroline Flood aged 38, the publican’s wife at the time; she died shortly after childbirth at the Inn, the daughter who survived, was named Hilda Ethelberta Lavinia Belsey Flood. I am descended from one of the sons born earlier.

Edmund Christopher Flood later moved to Dover, remarried and ran a liquor store. ("Devonshire Arms.")

Prior to being a Publican at the "King Ethelred," he had been in the military and was the local Captain at the Coast Guard, according to Census. His father had been a shepherd from nearby Elmley.


K Buchanan.



HOLMAN John 1851-71+ (age 57 in 1871Census) Post Office Directory 1855Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1874

BREWER Walter 1881-84+ CensusPost Office Directory 1882 (age 28 in 1881Census)

FLOOD Edmund Christopher 1886+ Next pub licensee had

COLLARD William J Nov/1889-91 (age 32 in 1891Census)(From "Parade Restaurant, Herne Bay) Whitstable Times

DARBY Gaylor 1891+

SIMONS 1899+

RAWLINGS Thomas J 1901 (age 43 in 1901Census)

RAWLINGS Frederick 1903+ Kelly's 1903

MOSS Samuel 1910+

POOLE Frederick William 1911+ (manager age 40 in 1911Census)

STEVENSON Frank L 1913-34+ Post Office Directory 1913Kelly's 1934

WING George 2017+


Post Office Directory 1855From the Post Office Directory 1855

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald



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