Sort file:- Canterbury, October, 2021.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 28 October, 2021.


Earliest 1780-

(Name from)

Duke's Head

Latest 1975

4 Church Street

St. Pauls


Duke's Head 1850

Above engraving, circa 1850. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Church Street map 1874

Above map 1874 identified by Rory Kehoe.

Dukes Head date unknown

Above photo, date unknown taken from Historic Canterbury web site This also shows the "Monastery Inn" by the lamp post on the left.

Dukes Head 1952

Above photo, 1952, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Duke's Head 1957

Above photo, circa 1957, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Duke's Head 1961

Above photo, circa 1961, kindly sent my Tim Timson.

Duke's Head 1961

Above photo, circa 1961, kindly sent my Tim Timson.

Duke's Head 1965

Above photo taken by Edward Wilmot in 1965.

Duke's Head 1976

Above photo circa 1976, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Former Duke's Head 2009

Above picture from Google showing the former "Duke's Head" taken in March 2009.

Duke's Head 2017

Above photo taken and sent by Rory Kehoe, August 2017.


There was a "Duke of Cumberland" in Church Street prior to 1692 when it was known as the "Rose." It is assumed this is the same public house that is mentioned in Brewers Rigden's rent book in 1804 under the name the "Duke's Head." In that year Robert Lawrence the licensee paid a rent of 11 6s. 0d and continued paying the same till 1822 when it went up to 12. 12s. 0d. In 1806 he also paid 18s. land tax.

On 3rd May 1967 it gained a Grade II listed building status where the descriptions stated the following:- "A C16 timber framed building restored and with some timbers renewed. 3 storeys. Overhanging gable with 2nd floor window in it. 3 sashes with-some glazing bars intact. The 1st floor projects on the protruding ends of the floor joists. Modern pub front."

I am informed by someone who will remain anonymous that in the 19606 and 70s the locals used to call this the "Shaker's Arms" and the beer there was a good 10% cheaper than anywhere else. Reason being, so I am told is that the poor licensee suffered from Parkinson's and couldn't fill a full pint without spilling most of it, hence shorter measures were served and he charged less for them. Not sure what "Weights and Measures" would have made of this if they had known.

The pub closed in 1975 to become a restaurant.


Kentish Gazette, 28 October, 1780.

"Star" without St. George's gate, Canterbury.

William Pearson, (late of the "Duke's Head," St. Paul's) informs of Public, that he has taken the "Star;" and having laid in a fresh stock and provided himself with every necessary accommodation for Board and lodgings, will endeavour, by good attendance and civil treatment, to oblige all his Friends and Customers, whose favours will be thankfully acknowledged.

He has also provided the best Hay and Corn, and Gentlemen may depend on their Horses being well attended and taken in as usual at livery.

Horses going abroad will be taken in, and proper Assistance and warm Stabling is provided for that purpose.

A good ordinary every Saturday at 1 o'clock.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 31 May, 1862.


On Saturday evening, at the "Duke’s Head," St. Paul's, Mr. Delasaux, coroner, and a respectable jury, of which Mr. H. Wraight was foreman, held an inquest on the body of Sarah Kirby, aged 8 years, who died in the Kent and Canterbury Hospital on Saturday morning from the effects of injuries sustained by burning, on the 14th April last. The deceased child was the daughter of William Kirby, weaver, New Ruttington Lane. It appeared that on the 14th April the child, having been left for a short time by its mother, went into the house of a neighbour named Josselyn, and while there, playing with some children younger than herself, her clothes accidentally caught fire. She run out into the street, where a labourer attempted with his hands to extinguish the flames. He was, however, unsuccessful, but a soldier, who had observed the state of the child, brought a blanket in which he wrapped her. The fire was not got out until the child was very seriously burned about the chest and other parts of her body. She was at once removed to the Hospital where she lingered until Saturday morning, when, death put an end to her sufferings.

The facts having been deposed to the jury, they returned a verdict of "Accidental death."


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 23 March 1901. Price 1d.


The Canterbury Coroner (Dr. T. S. Johnson) held an inquest at the “Duke's Head,” Church Street, St. Paul's, on Tuesday, on the body of Ellen Gwendoline Briscall, the twelve weeks' old child of Godfrey Nowell Briscall, a carpenter, living at 26, Monastery Street.

Kate Briscall, the mother, stated that the deceased had been a fairly healthy child, but had always suffered from wind. About a month ago she breathed very queerly, but witness patted her back and she came round. On Saturday night witness went to bed about a quarter to eleven. About half-past three she woke up and noticed the baby looked very strange. She aroused her husband and he picked the child up, whilst she went for a doctor.

In reply to the Coroner, witness said the deceased laid at the edge of the bed, herself being in the middle. When she first noticed deceased she was foaming at the mouth.

The husband, who is in the employ of Mr. F. T. Gentry, Broad Street, stated that his wife aroused him at half past three on Sunday morning, and said the child looked strange. He picked it up and loosened its clothes, whilst his wife went for a doctor. The child was deathly white, foamed at the mouth, and its thumbs were clenched.

Mr. J. Greasley, surgeon, deposed that about four o'clock on Sunday morning he was called up by Mrs. Briscall to go and see deceased. On his arrival he found the child was dead. The body was quite warm, deceased evidently having been dead only a few minutes. When he first examined the body the question arose in his mind as to whether it died from overlaying, but as a result of further examination on the previous day he was convinced that the child died in a fit of convulsions. Its hands were tightly clenched. He thought it a bad plan for people to take children into bed with them.

The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.



PEARSON William to Oct/1780 Next pub licensee had

LAWRENCE Robert 1804-22+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury

WHITE William 1824-32+ Pigot's Directory 1824Pigot's Directory 1828-29Edward Wilmot CanterburyPigot's Directory 1832-34Historic Canterbury web site

WHITE Mary (Widow) 1838-51+ (age 72 in 1851Census) Stapletons GuidePigot's Directory 1840Edward Wilmot CanterburyBagshaw's Directory 1847

DIVERS Hammon 1858-74+ (also carpenter age 43 in 1861Census) Melville's 1858Edward Wilmot CanterburyPost Office Directory 1862Post Office Directory 1874

STOKES George 1881+ Census

COURT James 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882Historic Canterbury web site

PENFOLD E J 1991+ Post Office Directory 1891

RUSSELL John 1903-22+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913Historic Canterbury web sitePost Office Directory 1922

MOON Frederick T 1930-38+ Post Office Directory 1930Post Office Directory 1938


Pigot's Directory 1824From the Pigot's Directory 1824

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

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

Stapletons GuideStapleton's Guide 1838

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Edward Wilmot CanterburyInns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot, 1988

Historic Canterbury web siteHistoric Canterbury web site


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