Page Updated:- Wednesday, 09 November, 2022.


Earliest 1857-

Queen's Head

Closed 1976

232 Tonbridge Road


Queen's Head 1900

Above postcard, circa 1900, kindly supplied by Rory Kehoe. Victor Ball sent me a similar one postmarked 1912.

Queen's Head

Above photo, date unknown.

Queen's Head 1910

Above photo, circa 1910, showing members of the Canterbury cycling club. Kindly sent by Philip Jones.

Queen's Head postcard 1930

Above postcard circa 1930.

Queen's Head

Above photo date unknown. Permission given from John Gilham.

Queen's Head

Above photo date unknown. Showing Mr Bolts paper shop on the left. Permission given from John Gilham.

Queen's Head cardQueen's Head card 1949

Above aluminium card issued May 1949. Sign series 1 number 29.

Queen's Head business cardQueen's head business card

Above picture showing a business card from Mr. and Mrs. F. Bills.

Kindly sent by John Gilman.


In 1869-70 the pub was part of a consortium who were advertising their goods of selling tea in response to grocers' selling beer and wine. (Click for further details.)


From the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 8 September 1857.


"Queen's Head," Wateringbury.

Well-aired beds, good stall, stabling, and lock-up coach house.


Maidstone Telegraph, Saturday 11 September 1869.

Applications for Spirit Licenses.

Mr. Barton of the "Queens Head Inn," Wateringbury applied for a spirit licence to his house.

The application was supported by Mr. T. Goodwin, and opposed by Mr. Hughes.

Mr. Goodwin opened the case by dwelling on the accommodation of the house for a licence, and putting in plans showing the rooms, coach-house, stabling, &c. He then read a very influential signed memorial praying for the licence. He contended that as there were only three licensed houses in the parish of Wateringbury there was plenty of room for another. The houses already licensed were the "King's Head," the "Duke's Head," and the "North Pole."

Mr. Hughes. Before Mr. Goodwin proceeds with his case I must ask him to prove the service of the notices.

Mr. Goodwin:- I will do so directly.

Mr. Bligh:- I believe the objections on the last occasion was that there was no room in front of applicants house for a wagon to pass if another was drawn up opposite his house.

Mr. Goodwin observed that there was plenty of room. When applicants applied last year there was a good Lodge of Odd Fellows which had now left defendants house because he had to close at 10 o'clock and there was not sufficient time for the transaction of the society's business.

Mr. Barton was called and opposed to the legibility of his house. He believed if the licence was granted him the Lodge of Odd Fellows would return again.

In cross-examination by Mr. Hughes applicants admitted that the road was only 22 feet wide from his house to Towner's wall opposite, out of which was one path of about 3 feet wide.

After few brief remarks from Mr. Hughes in opposition the chairman, after a short consultation, said that the bench would grant the licence.

One of the magistrate said that the chairman had made a mistake as there were a majority against the granting of the licence.

The chairman admitted, after counting the dissentients, that he was in error.

The magistrates then retired to consider their decision, and on their returning to court the chairman said that they had decided upon refusing the licence in consequence of the narrowness of the road where applicants house was situated.


Maidstone Telegraph, Saturday 10 September 1870.

Mr. W. W. Barton, of the "Queen's Head," Wateringbury, applied for a spirit licence for his house.

Mr. T. Goodwin appeared to support and Mr. Hughes, of the firm of King and Hughes, Maidstone opposed.

Mr. Goodwin in opening the case said that the bench last year had admitted that he had made out of very strong case, but the grounds upon which they withheld their consent, was the erroneous impression that the road was too narrow, that vehicle's stopping at applicants door would impede the traffic. Wateringbury consisted of something like 1,400 persons, and there were only three licensed houses in the village, distributed in various parts; there was only one on the main road. The three houses were the "North Pole," some distance; the "Duke's Head," and the "King's Head." The "King's Head" was the only one in the village on the main road, which house was more of the character of an hotel. There was another house imperatively requisite for a class of the lower degree than were in the habit of using hotels. In Aylesford, for the population of 1,500 they had seven licensed houses; in Burham last year four licensed houses for the population considerably below that of Wateringbury, Ightham had six licensed houses; West Malling with a population of 2,000 there were eight licensed houses; East Malling, five; East Peckham, eight; and Wrotham 14. Considering its population Wateringbury had less licensed houses than any he had named, and others that he could name. Mr. Barton had had an Odd Fellows' Society at his house, which was compelled to leave it, because his closing at 10 o'clock precluded their lodge business. After some further strong arguments in support of the application, Mr. Goodwin read three separate memorials in favour of the conceding of the licence; the first signed by Captain Bury and nearly all the influential inhabitants in the vicinity, a second memorial from the Odd Fellows, and a third from the carriers. Captain Bury who resides opposite to the "Queen's Head," also addressed a private letter, in support of the
claim of applicant.

Mr. Barton was then called and stated that he had kept the "Queen's Head" three or four years. He then enumerated the parlours, rooms, coach-houses and other appurtenances for a licence house. He had measured the road at his house to the opposite side and from path the path, exclusive of paths it was 22 feet, whereas the road opposite the "King's Head" was only 18 feet.

Mr. Hughes then contended that in this case there was no new facts before the bench. If a licence was granted great inconvenience will rise from the narrowness of the road.

The bench then retired to consider their decision and on their return the chairman said that they had nothing to say against respectability of applicants character, that was admitted as was also the accommodation afforded by the house, but beyond that the question with them was really as to an additional licensed house being required, and they were of opinion that none other was wanted at present, and therefore they refuse the licences.

The refusal seemed to take the court by surprise after the influential memorials had been read and it was shown that the road was wider opposite the applicants house than at the "King's Head."

This concluded the licensing business, which was got through in a very expeditious and businesslike manner.


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 "Queen's Head" license, at Wateringbnry, was temporarily transferred from Mr C Wallond to Thomas Martin.


I am informed by local resident, Dail Whiting, that the building still stands (2017) as a private house on the Tonbridge Road West of the Cross Roads. It was built next to the site of an earlier Beer Shop and opened in 1867 and closed 1976.


Queen's Head location 2014

Above photo kindly supplied by Roy Moore. 21 April 2014. The pub (left) is now a private residence called "Nightingale House."


Below information by John Gilham.

Located at No 232 Tonbridge Road to the west of the cross roads The "Queens Head," Wateringbury was a small public house with a Public Bar, Saloon Bar and off-sales window. The "Queens Head" closed in 1976 an has since been converted into a private dwelling.

The picture above shows the pub as I remember it right up to when it closed it looked the same.

A pump house in an out building at the rear of the pub supplied water from a well in the back garden of the nearby Gransden House to the Jude Hanbury Brewery which was at the top of Bow Road and is now a residential road called Hanbury Close. Mr Jude lived in Gransden House. Jude Hanbury was later sold to Whitbreads.

As a young lad my Mum and Dad, myself and my brother Brian would often go for a walk on a summers Sunday evening ending up at either the "Harrow" or the "Queens Head" where Dad would go in to see his friends whilst Mum, Brian and myself would sit on the wall outside the Public Bar. The wall surrounded a large laurel bushes. Dad would bring us out a drink of Vimto and cheeslets or crisps, sometimes a bar of Fruit & Nut Chocolate. I remember a fight spilling out into the car park on more than one occasion.

When a little older around fourteen I remember going to the off sales on a Sunday lunch time with an empty bottle to get a pint of mild to make shandy with to have with Sunday lunch.

The gent's toilets were outside right up to the day the pub closed and I remember them being frozen solid some winters. Though these did have running water which was a great improvement on the original gent's which were no more than a wall, this can bee seen on the photo above, it is the low wall to the left of the steps. I believe it is still visible on the house as it now is.

As a teenager the "Queens Head" became my local pub and I remember we had a brilliant landlord Bill & Hilda Munday (photo below) who would always buy his customers a drink. There was a juke box and bar billiard table in the saloon and dart board in the public but I only used the saloon.

Bill and Hilda Munday



LAWRENCE Thomas 1857+

BARTON W W 1869-70+ Maidstone Telegraph

LOWLES William 1881+ (age 30 in 1881Census)

WALLOND Charles Next pub licensee had 1891-Oct/92 (age 44 in 1891Census)

MARTON Thomas Oct/1892+ Kent and Sussex Courier

Last pub licensee had MARTIN Henry 1901-13+ (also dairyman age 44 in 1901Census) Kent and Sussex Courier

BILLS Frederick 1938+

MUNDAY Bill & Hilda ????



Kent and Sussex CourierKent and Sussex Courier

Maidstone TelegraphMaidstone Telegraph


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