Page Updated:- Monday, 13 November, 2023.


Earliest 1678-

King's Head

Open 2020+

Church Street


01233 812418

King's Head 1908

Above postcard, 1908, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Head

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent my Mark Jennings.

King's Head

Above postcard, date unknown. Pub is on left.

King's Head

Above photo, date unknown, from Tel Terry.

OS map 1896

Above map form the O.S 1896.

King's Head 2011

Above photo 2011 by Oast House Archives Creative Commons Licence.

King's Head sign 1991King's Head sign 2010

Above sign left, July 1991. Sign right, 2010.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

King's Head sign 2011King's Head sign 2018

Above sign left 2011. Sign right, 2018.

King's Head card 1951

Above aluminium card issued June 1951. Sign series 3 number 18.

King's Head 2018

Above photo March 2018 kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe.


From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, Saturday, 15 October, to Wednesday, 19 October, 1768. Price 2d.


On the Road between Chilham and Wye, between the Hours of Six and Eight at Night:

A Brown Gelding, about fourteen Hands high, and on, when found, a Saddle and Bridle. The Horse is now at the “King's Head” at Wye; where the Owner, by applying and paying all reasonable Charges, may have him again.


Kentish Gazette, 16 March, 1804.


On Thursday se'nnight died, at Wye, Mr. J. Ryall, landlord of the "King's Head inn" at that place.


From the Kentish Gazette, 18 February 1840.


A dinner took place at the "King's Head Inn," numerously attended. Another meeting was also held at the "New Flying Horse Inn," at both loyalty, conviviality, and good feeling reigned throughout the evening. The ball was well attended.


Maidstone Journal, 27 December, 1842.

Atempted Murder by a Soldier.

It will be remembered that a general court-martial assembled at Chatham in the month of October but, for the trial of private Robert Dun, alias James Brown, of the 80th Regiment, for having, in the yard of the public-house called the "King's Head," at Wye, to the county of Kent, on or about the county of Kent, on or about the 3rd of July, 1841, fired a musket, loaded with powder and ball, at Lance-Corporal Allen of the 80th Regiment, with intent to murder or do him some grievous bodily harm; for having deserted from the depts of his corps at Wye, as aforesaid, on or about the 3rd of July, 1841, and continuing in a slate of desertion from the 80th Regiment until brought back at Chatham by a military escort, on or about the 14th of September, 1842; and for having, whilst in a state of desertion from the 8oth Regt. as stated in the second charge, enlisted into the 73rd Regt. The court found the prisoner guilty of the several charges preferred against him, and sentenced him to be transported for the term of his natural life. Her Majesty having approved the finding and sentence of the Court, the same was read publicly on Monday, and the prisoner was conveyed under escort to the hulks off the Dockyard.


From the Kentish Gazette, 24 October 1843.


Oct. 11, at Wye, Mary, the wife of Mr. John Betts, of the "King's Head Inn," aged 41.


From the Kentish Gazette, 18 January 1848.

On Monday last T. T. Delasaux, Esq., coroner, held an inquest at the "King’s Head Inn," Wye, on the body of John Chapman, aged 50, who was employed by Mr. Betts, the landlord, as hostler at the above establishment, and who was found hanging in the loft over the stable on Sunday morning. By the evidence of the witnesses before the jury, it was shown that deceased was a person of eccentric character, and was considered "underwitted" by those who knew him, and that recently he had appeared to be very dull and melancholy. The jury returned a verdict that deceased hung himself while labouring under temporary insanity.


Kentish Gazette, 12 September 1854.

A Jury Summoned and Dismissed Without Holding an Inquest.

On Tuesday last, at six o’clock, a respectable jury assembled at the "King's Head Inn," to inquire touching the death of Silas Haycock, which event occurred the previous evening.

Various reports had been circulated as to the cause of death, some attributing to the prevailing epidemic, others to an improper medicine having been administered,—while the friends of the deceased said it resulted from natural causes.

From inquiries made, it appears that the deceased was taken ill with cramp in his stomach, when his housekeeper went to a neighbouring grocers (Mr. Mills) and wished to be supplied with some cholera mixture. Mrs. Mills asked her why she did not send for the doctor; but she said Mr. Lovell was not at home. Mrs. Mills then advised her to send for Mr. Wildash, but the housekeeper said no; she should prefer having some of Mr. Mill's stuff.

Accordingly Mr. Mills asked if the deceased's bowels were relaxed, and the housekeeper replied in the negative; but he was in great pain. He then supplied from 1/2 to 3/4 of an ounce of Daffy's Elixir, which he believed consisted principally of tincture of senna; he should, however, have sent cholera mixture if the deceased's bowels had been opened.

Some of the elixir was administered, but the deceased getting worse, Mr. Lovell, surgeon, was sent for, and death soon after ensued.

Upon entering the inquest-room, on Tuesday, the coroner, Mr. T. T. Delasaux, enquired for the usual notice for holding the inquest.

The constable said he had not obtained any notice, and had not seen any forms for that purpose.

The Coroner:- The law says that the notice from the coroner is legal—this is only a suggestion from the magistrate I have told the magistrates that these notices are very well, but that they cannot compel me to wait for them. The law says:— when a coroner receives a notice from a peace officer, he shall issue his precept for holding an inquest; but I do not wish to quarrel with the magistrates.

A Juror:- Are there any reasons for holding an inquest in the present case?

One of the overseers of the parish impressed his conviction that there were no grounds for such proceeding. Another Juror inquired at whose instigation the jury had been summoned?

The constable said he was told by the surgeon to go for the coroner.

The Coroner:- What are the circumstances? What was the cause of death?

A Juror:- We must have the doctor to tell us that.

The Coroner:- But he will not give his opinion without receiving his fee.

A Juror:- But you are not obliged to hold an inquest, if you find the circumstances do not require it, are you?

The Coroner:- Certainly not; I have a discretionary power as to whether I should, or should not hold an inquest. Can any of you give me the cause of the man's death?

A Juror:- His son told me that his father was ill all day; and at tea time he came out with the tea kettle and kept leaning about very strangely. He then went in-doors, and had one cup of ten, when he was taken worse. They got him upstairs, and sent for the doctor, who gave the deceased some medicine. Soon after, he said "Oh dear," and then died. It appears he had been having some cholera mixture, which the doctor (Mr. Lovell) disputed, and said if he had been called upon sooner, he could have stopped it. It has been said it was cholera.

The Coroner:- If the doctor attended the deceased in his life time, it is not necessary to have an inquest. And as the jury appear to think that it is unnecessary I will go with one of them to the house of the deceased, and make some inquiries, and if I do not see any necessity for holding an inquest, I will not detain you gentlemen here.

The coroner, accompanied with one of the jury, then left the room; upon their return, in a brief period the Coroner said:- I have been to the house and seen two of the family, and they have satisfied me that there is no occasion to trouble you to inquire into the circumstances attending the death of the deceased. The surgeon told one of the son's that it was caused by cramp in the stomach; how that occurred, it is impossible for any of us to say.

The jury were then dismissed in the course of the proceedings, Mr. Delasaux remarked that although his office was open from nine o'clock in the morning till seven o'clock in the evening, for the transaction of business in connection with his official duties, scarcely a night passed over but he was summoned from his bed to answer the inquiries of constables or police officers expecting inquests; he thought that was too great a tax upon a public officer, who required a cessation from his labours as well as private individuals,—and he gave notice that, for he future, he should only attend to such business during his regular office hours.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 22 September, 1860.


A short time since we noticed that efforts were being made to raise a testimonial to Mr. Barber the railway station master at this place. The proposition was warmly responded to, and last week the presentation of the testimonial took place at the "King's Head Inn." It consisted of a beautiful purse, given by Mrs. Hunt, the landlady, in which were 50 sovereigns, together with a mustard pot with a suitable inscription thereon, and a pair of sugar tongs, with a neatly written letter on vellum, nicely framed. One hundred and eleven subscribers contributed to the testimonial.


From the Whitstable Times, 2 March 1867. Price 1d.


A meeting of the Wye Farmers' club was held on Wednesday last, at the “King's Head Hotel,” Wye. The chair was occupied by Mr. W. Tassell, & Cold Harbour, and there was a numerous attendance of members. The subject of discussion was “Abortion in Cattle and Sheep"; and was introduced in an able address by Mr. Seelly, of Ripple Farm, near Godmersham. Mr. Seelly having said considerable practical experience in his profession as a veterinary surgeon, detailed with much minuteness and perspicuity the origin, causes, and symptoms of this affection in cattle and sheep, spoke at length of the action of the brain and nervous system, and gave it as his opinion that this malady was caused by the introduction of foreign matter which has a depressing influence on the nervous system; by nasty fodder; or abstinence for some time, and a full feed afterwards, which, by distending the stomach too much, weakens the other parts; or sudden changes from a warm shed to a bleak open yard. Mr. Seely's paper contained a great amount of practical advice, and was listened to with much intense by all who were present. A discussion followed, in the course of which many practical hints as to the rearing and management of sheep and cattle were given by members of the club. The next meeting will be held on the 20th of March, when Mr. Tassell, the Chairman, will read a paper on the advisability of introducing the lupin for cultivation.


Dover Express, Friday 22 February 1889.

Re Charles George Hills, late of the Kings Head Inn, Wye.

The deptor commence business in 1879 at the "Dering Arms," Pluckley, left there in 1881, when he took the "Kings Head," Wye. His unsecured debts amounted to 446 4s. 1d.; fully secured, 350; partly secured 259 7s. 1d., less 30 estimated value of security, leaving a balance of 259 7s. 8d.; the gross liabilities with thus 1,085 11s. 9d., and the amount expected to rank for dividend, 705 11s. 9d. The assets, 91 7s. 3d., leaving a deficiency of 614 4s. 6d.

The debtor stated the cause of his failure to the heavy expenses of carrying on business, there being insufficient trade to the house to meet them.

The receiving order was made on the debtors own petition.

The debtor was closely pressed as to the disposal of his furniture, and as to his book debts, and eventually the examinations was adjourned for a fortnight.


From the By Chris Britcher, 17 June 2019

Kings Head in Wye unveils pizzeria with help of pizza world champ Marco Fuso.

A village is set for the arrival of a pizzeria next door to a popular pub - with staff trained by a pizza world champion.

After two years of planning, owners of the Kings Head pub in Wye, near Ashford, are to launch the Kingshed Pizza venue this week.

It will be sited in a previously empty outbuilding next to the pub’s outdoor courtyard seating.

The pizza venue opens up next door to the Kings Head pub in Wye - with staff trained by expert Marco Fuso.

It comes complete with a bespoke Italian pizza oven and vinyl turntable.

Marco Fuso, pizza expert and World Pizza Champion 2017/18, ran training workshops with the entire team in the art of dough making, pizza throwing and baking.

Using locally sourced ingredients for classic toppings, each pizza will be made to order to either eat in or to take home.

The pub in Wye has already won plaudits for its food.

Scott Richardson said: "We’ve taken our time to get the pizza offering exactly right and are so pleased with the quality.”


From an email received 7 July 2021.

My 3x Great Grandfather was John Betts, who was the licensee from 1841 to 1859.

He remarried after the death of Mary to Elizabeth Dixon in 1844. They had two sons. This portrait of his wife and sons would have been painted at the Kings Head, circa 1854.

King's Head Mrs Betts painting

John Betts died on I September 1859, the same year that he ceased to be a licensee. He is buried in Wye churchyard.

John Betts tombstone

I hope at least some of this information may be of use to you.



RYALL J Mr to Mar/1804 dec'd

WHIDDETT Jacob 1828-32+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

BETTS John Ashbee 1841-Mar/59 (age 27 in 1841Census) Melville's 1858

HUNT Thomas Joseph Mar/1859+

HUNT Mrs 1860+

HUNT Thomas Joseph 1861-62+ (age 45 in 1861Census)

SPITTLE George 1871+ (age 41 in 1871Census)

Last pub licensee had HILLS Charles George 1881-89

HILL Jane Mrs 1903+ Kelly's 1903

GREENSTED Charles 1918+


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

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


Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

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:-