Page Updated:- Monday, 04 September, 2023.


Earliest 1828-

King's Arms

Latest 2009+

High Street


King's Arms

Above postcard, date unknown.

King's Arms 1905

Above postcard 1905, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Arms 1908

Above postcard, circa 1908, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Arms card 1950King's Arms card 1950

Above aluminium card issued 1950. Sign series 2 number 31.

King's Arms 1973

Above postcard, circa 1973, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Graham & Ann Moore 1974

Above photo, January 1974, showing licensees Graham & Ann Moore.

King's Arms matchbox 1984

Above matchbox, 1984, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Arms 2010

Above photo, 2010, kindly sent by Michael Mirams.


 The "King's Arms" was the setting for Catholic intrigue in the early eighteenth century, when local Jacobites used the house as a secret rendezvous. It was indeed a ‘seedy joint' as the Hawkhurst Gang also frequented the inn, perhaps to unload brandy or rum for a friendly landlord who afforded them storage place for their goods.


From the Kentish Gazette, 22 August 1848.

HEADCORN. Suicide By Poison.

An inquest was held on the 11th inst., at the "King’s Arms," before W. T. Neve, Esq., deputy coroner, on the body of Ellen Kemp, aged 23, who died from the effects of poison.

Julia Williams, of Headcorn, spinster, deposed that the deceased lived in the service of her father, and was pretty well until the previous Wednesday evening, between nine and ten o'clock, when she appeared very faint. Witness soon afterwards saw her upstairs to bed, and gave her some gruel, and deceased requested her to leave the room while she drank it. Witness returned in about ten minutes afterwards, and found deceased very sick. She remained with her some time. Hearing her groan, witness went to her about three o’clock in the morning, and found her in great pain, and asked her if she should send for medical assistance, and deceased replied nothing would do her any good. She remained with her some time, and as deceased seemed disposed to go to sleep, left her. Witness went to her about seven in the morning and found her dead. Deceased was very dull and silent on Wednesday, and remarked upon the robins’ twitting, and said it was a sure sign of death, and she was sure some one in the house would die or be sick.

Mr. D Skinner, of Headcorn, surgeon, deposed:— He was called to see deceased about seven o'clock, and she appeared to have been dead about two hours. Witness made a post mortem examination, and found the bowels much inflamed, in his opinion from irritant poison. On searching, he found arsenic under the pillow, and also a bottle containing bitter almonds. Witness had known deceased for several years, and she was sent to Bedlum Hospital about three years ago.

Joseph Wyard, grocer, deposed:— Deceased came to his shop on Wednesday morning about breakfast time, and asked for two pennyworth of arsenic; at first he refused to serve her (being a stranger), when she said it was for Miss Williams, and it was to destroy rats and mice, and asked if witness bought bottles, and produced two with the name of Miss Williams on them. Witness then served her with one ounce of arsenic, and put a printed label of "Poison" on the paper. She asked how to use it. Witness told her to mix it with lard and he did not observe anything strange in her manner, on the contrary, she was very chatty.

Verdict:— "Poisoned herself while insane."


Kentish Gazette, 5 March 1850.


On Friday last a meeting of hop growers and farmers took place at the "King’s Arms Inn" (Mr. Viney, chairman), at which it was unanimously resolved to forward petitions to the House of Commons for a reduction of the duty on hops to 1d. per lb., and for a revision of the Tithe Commutation Act, in consequence of the reduction in the prices of corn.


Southeastern Gazette, 23 August 1853.

HEADCORN. Coroner’s Inquest.

Considerable excitement has been occasioned in this parish, in consequence of the death of a man named Thomas Collison, aged 28 years, it being alleged that his death resulted from violence he received at the "King’s Arms" public-house, kept by Mr. Waghorne. On Tuesday last an inquest was held on the body at the "Railway Hotel," Headcorn, before W. T. Neve, Esq., and a respectable and intelligent jury, fifteen in number, of whom Mr. George Dear was foreman.

The principal evidence adduced was that of a man named Thomas Bottle, of Harrietsham, who stated that the deceased worked at Mr. Love’s, at the "Railway Hotel." On Monday evening, the 8th inst., the deceased and Waghorne, jun., had a scuffle in the road. He pushed him down and jumped on him. Afterwards deceased went into Waghorne’s, and was very troublesome, and Mr. 'Waghorne sen., put him out of the house, flinging him against the door-post, and they fell together. He did not appear to be at all hurt when he got up, but went into the house and drank off a pot of porter which was standing on the table, belonging to other persons. Witness afterwards left Waghorne’s, in company with the deceased. They went down singing and holloaing to Mr. Love’s, and both went into a loft over the stable. Deceased sat down on the top of the stairs. Witness asked him several times to go to bed, and he said he would presently. He left him sitting on the stairs, when he (witness) went to sleep in the loft.

Next morning, when he got up, at about five o’clock, he saw deceased in the stable under the manger. He spoke to him, but he did not answer. It was not light enough for him to see whether there was anything the matter with him. The deceased, it appeared, was shortly afterwards discovered by a person named Drowley, under the manger, covered with blood, and bleeding, at the foot of the stairs. There was a quantity of blood lying there. He was then insensible, but afterwards became conscious, and requested that a medical man should not be sent for, as he believed he should be well next day, and accordingly medical assistance was not called in till the next night, and he was ultimately removed to his father’s house. The deceased stated to his mother that he received his injuries at Mr. Waghorne’s; that Mr. Waghorne was one that hurt him; that some of the party kicked and others stamped on him; and that Waghorne’s boy was one that jumped on him. He repeated the same to his mother on the following Friday, upon her asking him if he was quite sure how he was hurt, and he then added that he bled from the nose and mouth while going home from Waghorne’s. He also told Mr. Love that he received the injuries at Mr. Waghorne’s; that the boy jumped on him, but it was all in play; that no person came home with him; and that he crawled on his hands and knees half the way home. These statements, however, were rebutted by the testimony of the other witnesses, a man named Reeves fully corroborating Bottle’s evidence as to his accompanying deceased at one o’clock, holloaing, laughing, and running, home, and several witnesses being called, proved that he did not receive any injury at Waghorne’s.

Mr. David Skinner, surgeon, deposed to attending deceased, and stated his death to have resulted from a fracture of the skull, which had caused inflammation of the brain.

The fracture must have been occasioned by a fall on the head, or a heavy blow from a flat instrument. The injury was so great that if he had received it at the "King’s Arms," he could not have gone as far as Mr. Love’s. The most probable cause was that the injuries were caused by deceased falling down stairs. If that were the case he would be likely to have no recollection of it.

The jury concurred in these opinions, and returned a verdict "That deceased accidentally fell down stairs from a loft, while intoxicated, from the effects of which he died."



The pub closed by 2016 and was converted into an Indian restaurant and by 2019 was taken over by an opticians.


Former King's Arms 2016

Above Google image, July 2016.

Former King's Arms 2019

Above Google image, December 2019.


I am informed by Neil Aldridge that the premises is now (2022) being run as a charity shop with private accommodation above and to the side of the building.



BARNHAM Lewis 1828-32+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

WAGHORN Charles 1858+ (also farmer)

PRINCE William 1871+ (age 39 in 1871Census)

JONES Thomas 1881-91+ (age 50 in 1891Census)

HARRIS Thomas 1901+ (age 41 in 1901Census)?

JONES Elizabeth Morris Mrs 1901-03+ (age 54 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

HARRIS William 1911+ (age 41 in 1911Census)

MOORE Graham & Ann 1974+

MONKS David & Margaret pre 1980s Next pub licensee had


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

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

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:-