Page Updated:- Monday, 31 October, 2022.


Earliest 1827-

Duke's Head

Closed 1939

Old Road


Former Duke's Head 2009

Above image from Google maps, 2009.

Duke's Head tankard

Above tankard, kindly sent by Axel Charles Dahgren.

Duke's Head tankard

Above tankard, kindly sent by Axel Charles Dahgren.

Duke's Head tankard

Above tankard, kindly sent by Axel Charles Dahgren.


The premises was trading by 1827 and stands on the Old Road, but is now a private residence having closed in 1939 when a new pub called the "Duke Without a Head" was opened close by at the junction of Pizien Well and Tonbridge Road, and situated, more or less as the crow flies, behind the old public house.


From the Kentish Gazette, 5 July 1836.

An inquest was held yesterday week, at the "Duke’s Head," Wateringbury, before J. N. Dudlow, esq. on the body of a man unknown, who was found in one of Mr. Ellis’s hop-houses on the morning before, in a state of exhaustion, apparently from disease accelerated by want, he had been there five days before he was discovered, it being a place where houseless poor are allowed to sleep in. No clue can be obtained as to who he is.

Verdict:— Natural Death.


Kentish Gazette, 31 December 1850.


A few days since some person stole some sheets and towels from the garden of Mr. Boorman, of the "Duke’s Head." The foot marks were traced to Offham, a distance of nearly four miles, and Mr. Hilton apprehended Francis Rose upon suspicion, and found one of the missing towels in his pocket. It was proved that he was at Wateringbury on the same evening. It appears that he afterwards stole a cask of beer from a truck, the property of Mr. Jude. He was brought before A. Akers, Esq., on Saturday week, and committed for trial. Mr. Sudds, of Mereworth, lost a sheet from a line in his garden on the same evening; being close to the track of the person who stole the other things, and on the road to Offham.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 31 March, 1860. Price 1d.


The anniversary of the spirited club was held on Wednesday, at the “Duke's Head Inn.” The members and their friends partook of a substantial supper, supplied by Mr. D. Boorman, the landlord, after which Mr. W. Durrell was called to the chair, and Mr. Harrison to the vice-chair. It was stated by the secretary, Mr. C. Boorman, that the club was in a flourishing condition. Among the toasts of the evening was “Success to the Volunteer Rifle Corps.” The company were much delighted by the performances of the quadrille band, and the excellent glees and songs sung by some of the members. The proceedings were brought to a close by the whole company singing the National Anthem. We should say that the liberal subscription was entered into in behalf of Aden, the man who had both of his legs broken at Strood about three weeks ago.


From the Sevenoaks Chronicle, 10 February, 1881.

The license of the "Duke's Head," Wateringbury, was refused on the ground that the applicant's character was not satisfactory.


From the Maidstone and Kentish Journal, 12 June, 1882.


On Thursday last an inquest was held at Wateringbury by J Rogers, Esq, the coroner for the Tonbridge district, on the body of Mr David Boorman, 74 years of age, for many years landlord of the "Duke's Head," who committed suicide by hanging himself on Wednesday. From the evidence it appeared that Mr Boorman had been paralyzed for two years and a half and confined to his bed. Within the last few days he signed a petition to wind up his business affairs in liquidation, since which time he has been in low desponding state, but his relatives had no idea that he intended to attempt his life. In order to raise himself in bed a handkerchief was tied in a loop to the bed post, and on Wednesday the deceased was found with his head through this, and his body on the floor, quite dead. The jury returned a verdict of suicide while in a state of temporary insanity.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier, 28 October 1892.


Monday.— Before the Hon E. V. Bligh (in the chair), Colonel Luck, and Major Bailey.


The license of the "Duke's Head," Wateringbury, was temporally endorsed from William Muggeridge to Thomas Fareman.


From an email received, 28 August 2022.

Hello Paul.

My Great Grandmother was born at the "Dukes Head" in 1857, her name was Bertha Stubbersfield. Her Father was William and her mother was Harriet Barnes.

I believe William was an itinerant carpenter I do not know if they lodged there or were just passing through.

Bertha married my Great Grandfather Henry Mills who was deaf and dumb.

It's only since I found your site that I found out about the old "Dukes Head," for years I thought it was the newer "Duke without a Head."

I have walked past the "Dukes Head" and was fascinated to think my ancestor's had been there.

I hope you find this interesting.

Best regards,


Roland Mills.



STARTUP John 1828-32+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

BOORMAN David 1850-June/82 dec'd (also builder master age 75 in 1881Census) Maidstone TelegraphSevenoaks Chronicle

ELVEY John June/1882+ Sevenoaks Chronicle

MUGGERIDGE William 1891-Oct/1892 (age 41 in 1891Census) Kent and Sussex Courier

FAREMAN Thomas Oct/1892+ Kent and Sussex Courier

FOSTER Louisa 1901-03+ (widow age 53 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

WICKENS Mary Ann 1911-13+ (age 46 in 1911Census)

SOUTH Henry 1918-38+


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

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

Maidstone TelegraphMaidstone Telegraph

Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier

Sevenoaks ChronicleSevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser


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:-