Sort file:- Deal, November, 2022.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 17 November, 2022.


Earliest 1643-

Kings Head

Open 2020+

9 Beach Street

(83 in Post Office Directory 1874 1891, 85 in 1878Kelly's 1878)


01304 368194

Kings Head in Deal Kings Head sign in Deal Kings Head sign in Deal

Photos taken by Paul Skelton 2 March 2008.

King's Head sign 1991

King's Head sign March 1991.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

King's Head date unknown

Above postcard, date unknown.


The Deal History Society give a date as early as 1824 for this pub, although the building I believe goes back as far as 1764, according to the plaque shown above. But according to a passage read in  the Mercury 1969 regarding a "Song of Deal", is dated as far back as 1721.


Deal Borough Records show the following entry:- MS Council's Opinion 18th November 1776 - by Geo. Rowe, Inner Temple.

In the town and Borough of Deal are 30 Publick Houses including taverns and Inns, 18 whereof have stabling fit for the accommodation of Dragoons and horses and the other 12 have no stabling at all.

These dragoons (12 or 13 in all) were to assist the Officers of the Revenue at Deal.

The  following houses refused to billet the Dragoons for lack of suitable accommodation.

The King's Head was mentioned in this list.


Kentish Chronicles, 7 August, 1795.

On Tuesday last John Winter, Esq., was chosen Mayor of this town and borough, for the year ensuing. In the evening, the Corporation and a select party of friends suppered at the "Kings Hotel," where the charms of conviviality and good cheer kept them until a late hour.


Kentish Gazette, 6 June 1820.


May 30, at Deal, after a long illness, Mrs. Arnold, widow, landlady of the "King's Head" public house, aged 39 years.


From the Kentish Gazette, 7 February 1837.


At Deal, Mr. Gosby, formerly landlord of the "King's Head", aged 79.


From the Kentish Chronicle 14 January, 1860.


A meeting of the members of the Boatmen’s Benefit Society, called the "Happy Britons," was held at the "King's Head" on Monday evening, the 9th inst., when the report of the past year's transactions was read to the members present, numbering about forty-eight. The Society has been in existence since 1851, and contains fifty-two members. 30 have been expended on sick members during the past year, and the society is in a nourishing condition, from the excellent and economical manner in which it has been conducted. After the business of the meeting was over, the numbers spent a most agreeable and quiet evening, which was enlivened by toasts and songs until a late hour.


It is reported that ghostly going on frequently happened at the pub early on in its existence. Having securely bolted and secured the doors every night, they were inexplicably open in the mornings and all were open.


The pub was closed for a few years in the 1970s.


From the East Kent Mercury, 26th April, 1979.


Deal may get a new pub in a few months time. A retired Army Officer wants to re-open the "King's Head" in Beach Street as soon as he can get a licence and acquire the property.

Major James Corke, who lives in Mount Road, Canterbury, has applied to the Licensing Magistrates for a full licence for the "King's Head." This will be heard at Dover on Wednesday, May 9.

The "King's Head" is almost 300 years old and has historical connections with Deal's seafaring history, has not been licensed for several years.

It is at present (1979) a dwelling house and available on the property market.

King's Head, Deal, 1979.

Charrington's the brewers, said they sold the pub as a private house in November 1975, and their spokesman added; "As far as we know, the licence has expired."

Major Corke, who is 41, says; "I want to bring back all the old glory and atmosphere of the "King's Head." It was a wonderful old pub.

Major Corke

He spent 20 years in the Army, serving with the Royal Army Service Corps and the Royal Army Education Corps.

He is married and he and his wife, Una, have two sons, ages 15 and 13.

Major Corke added: "I would make no real changes to the "King's Head." It would be as everyone remembers it - a good old-fashioned pub."

If the scheme does become a reality, Major Corke will introduce a new beer from the Canterbury Brewery.

He has had mess catering experience in the Army and has trained for public house ownership, gaining the Brewery Society Diploma.

A keen sportsman, specialising in rugby, he has represented the Army and Dorset and Wiltshire, and has been a regular player for Canterbury. He is now a Kent referee.

Deal Licensed Victuallers Association will oppose the application in court but their chairman, Mr. John Ayling, would make no comment to the East Kent Mercury.

From the East Kent Mercury, 13th August, 1981. By Tony Arnold

Victorian pub is restored.

Few public houses in England do not have a swinging inn sign. It is a distinctive tradition of the licensing trade, but Deal's latest pub does not have such a sign outside. Graham Stiles, manager of the King's Head, in Beach Street, says: "Our distinction is to be found inside."

Graham Stiles and cellarThe "King's Head" owned by Inns of Kent, proprietors of the "Zetland Arms" at Kingsdown, and was opened some 10 months ago. But it has a long history as one of Deal's most popular hostelries.

The building facing the sea is well over two centuries old and was once the haunt of smugglers. It first became an inn well over a century ago and the last licensee was the legendary Jo Kitchen. (Incorrect information. Paul Skelton)

Until last year it had a decade as a private house then Inns of Kent saw the potential and restored it as a licensed premises.

The "King's Head" is a typical  Victorian public house and has been restored with loving care to perfectly mirror that great period in the country's history.

To sit in its spacious bars is a tranquil  experience and one in which it is possible to think back to the days of sail when Deal was a thriving maritime town filled with pilots and ship masters coming ashore.

A feature of the bar is a fine collection of line drawings of various classes of sailing ships.

The "King's Head" is a pub of character. And it is beautifully cool in summer .... warm and cosy in Winter.

It is a free house and serves first-class live beer which will more than satisfy the enthusiast.

And it serves good food every day of the week, simple home-cooked food of distinction. At this time of the year there is a demand for salads and the "King's Head" prawn salad 2.30 is a great favourite.

The home-made pies - steak and kidney, chicken, fish and cottage to choose from - are excellent value at 1.30 and there is a good selection of jacket potato dishes.

For those who call for it there is an excellent house wine at 3 a bottle, and there is wine by the glass.

Wine and beer at the "King's Head" is excellent because of the fine cellar the old pub has. And Graham Stiles gives his cellar the loving care many young men offer their sports car.

He is a perfectionist and this reflects in the drinks served in the bar above.

Graham, by the way, is a sportsman of note, and he is striker for Deal Town football club.

A feature of the "King's Head" is the delightful patio at the rear, ideal when taking children for a meal.


From the Dover Mercury, 2 September, 2010


THIRTY years at the King's Head pub on Deal seafront will be celebrated on Sunday with live music and a hog roast.

The owner Graham Stiles is the longest serving landlord in the town and has organised the event with his wife Shirley and son James.

He said: "We would like people to come to the pub and join our celebrations. We have enjoyed many happy years at the King's Head and hope to see a big crowd between noon and 6pm."


From the Dover Mercury, 21 April, 2011.


Graham Styles and the King's Head

LANDLORD of the "King's Head" on Deal seafront, Graham Stiles, has cause for a double celebration tomorrow (Friday):

Apart from the small matter of the royal wedding, it is also his 60th birthday and Graham has joined forces with the "Port Arms" pub and "Dunkerley's Restaurant" to provide an afternoon of free music from 1 and 6pm outside their respective establishments in Beach Street.


Two bands will be playing, On The Run and the Tony Johnson Band and there will be a face painting stall to help keep the youngsters amused.

Graham, who has been the "King's Head" landlord for more than 30 years, said: "My late mum was a great royalist and it's a coincidence that my 60th birthday should be on the same day as the wedding.

"Like everybody else, I'm hoping that the sun shines so that we can help the people of Deal to celebrate the royal wedding in true party style."



Charrington's brewers hold title deeds that mention the year 1721.

After a time in the 21st century being owned by Enterprise Inns the ownership changed to Shepherd Neame half way through 2012.


From an email received 8th August, 2011.

I saw your page with The Kings Head on Deal Seafront. Richard Dawes and Jane Cavell were my 5th great grandparents.



From accessed 17 June 2015.


The "King's Head" has good views of passing ships and one that appears once every 50 years in full sail is the phantom Lady Lovibond of Deal, lost Feb 13th 1724 with 50 lives. When the captain took his bride on board the sailors all muttered “Bad Luck.'' She had been the girlfriend of the first mate and, driven mad with jealousy, the mate deliberately rammed the ship into the Goodwin Sands. Two other phantom ships have, witnesses saw, out at sea, the liner Montrose and a man of war, the Shrewsbury. The "King's Head" exhibits ghostly manifestations. These include a man wearing old-fashioned cricketing outfit, including a tasselled cap.


From the Dover Mercury, 22 October 2015. By Eleanor Perkins.


Long-serving publican and familiar face Graham Stiles didn’t think he’d last 35 minutes at the King’s Head, let alone 35 years.

Graham Stiles

But the Beach Street landlord, well known for dancing on the roof, will celebrate the milestone tomorrow (Friday).

His son, James, has organised a celebratory party at the pub for him starting at 7pm - and all are welcome.

Mr Stiles came to Deal in August 1980, age 29, leaving his pub manager role in Sevenoaks to do the same at the King’s Head, which was then owned by Thomas Clift and Timothy Cobbett.

He said: “When I arrived, it was a complete mess. There was no front door or floorboards, no bar or stairs.

“I must admit what I saw when I arrived to Deal wasn’t good.

“It was all pretty much dilapidated.

“I thought the town was so rundown, so much so I thought it was uninviting.”

After two months temporary work at the Zetland Arms in Kingsdown, Mr Stiles moved into the pub and began to make his mark.

He said: “I thought I’ve got to settle down here. I decided to get motivated and to make an effort.”

Nearly five million pints later (trust us, he has worked it out) the proof of Mr Stiles efforts is hung over the walls of the pub, in the form of photographs, historical objects and donated items.

He has withstood a number of bids to takeover the pub, the most recent by Shepherd Neame four years ago.

Mr Stiles said: “I didn’t think I’d last 35 minutes. I think I’ve just been incredibly lucky.”

He has also dealt with the many changes that come with running such a popular establishment.

“In the 80s and 90s it was very much a drinking pub but then it changed to more accommodation. Now it’s a more food-led operation,” he said.

Mr Stiles admits to having many incredibly happy memories at the pub, thanks to his “amazing and loyal staff members”.

He said: “One I remember vividly was when England won the Rugby World Cup in Sydney in 2003.

Walmer lifeboat donation

Above photo Graham Styles giving a cheque to Walmer lifeboat crew from a fundraiser at the pub.

Graham Stiles and Vince Martin

Graham with Vince Martin outside his pub.

Deal in bloom winner

Graham celebrates winning Deal in bloom.

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage visiting the King's head.

From the Dover Mercury, 29 December 2016.

Artist brushes up on his skills with new sign.

A former Manwoodian has painted a new sign for the King’s Head pub, replacing the 30-year-old one.

King's Head sign 2016

Landlord Graham Stiles was looking for a way to replace the faded and weather-beaten sign on his Beach Street pub in Deal, when he was introduced to Edward Spencer.

The ex-pupil of Sir Roger Manwood’s in Sandwich, 20, had just completed a foundation year at the Royal Drawing School in London, having taken the Exhibition Award at the final show.

He had developed his skills as a fine artist and was more than happy to take on the challenge. The original picture is a detail of the coronation portrait of King George El painted by Allan Ramsay in 1761.

Edward spent six weeks over the summer completing the pair of paintings. After some research on the processes involved with classic portraiture, the work began with an initial sketch.

Then he used an undercoat in raw umber before applying skin tones. Hand painting the lettering was a new challenge that Edward had not attempted before.

After drying for five months, four coats of varnish were applied to protect the paintings from the weather, and the new signs were hung on Wednesday, December 21, just in time for Christmas.

Mr Stiles said: “This was a wonderful Christmas present and I’m delighted with the new signs.”

Mr Spencer added: “I really enjoyed the challenge of this commission, I’d never done anything like it before. This isn’t the sort of art I make in my own practice at the moment, but I relished the chance to test my skills in producing a figurative copy of a classic portrait. I’m really pleased with the final result and they look great hanging outside the pub having waited several months for the paint to dry properly before I could varnish them. It’s a great honour to have my work displayed so publicly in my home town.”

Edward Spencer sign

Edward is now studying Fine Art at Falmouth University.

More of his artwork can be found at: edwardspencerblog.

King's Head 2018

Above photo, 2018.

From the By Eleanor Perkins 23 October 2020.

Publican marks 40 years of pulling pints at The King's Head in Deal and says 2020 has been most challenging year yet.

A publican who has pulled more than five and a half million pints in his 40 years as a landlord says 2020 has been his most challenging year yet.

Graham Stiles has been a firm fixture behind the square-shaped bar of the King's Head in Deal for four decades.

Graham Styles 2020

Landlord Graham Stiles, 69, says his 40th year of pulling pints has been the most challenging yet.

Graham and James Styles 2020

Father and son James and Graham Stiles with pub dog Charlie, pictured ahead of his 40th anniversary at The King's Head.

Arriving in the town in 1980, he transformed the derelict pub into the much-loved venue it is today and defeated several bids to takeover the pub until 2012 when it was bought by Shepherd Neame.

But nothing could have prepared him for a global pandemic which resulted in a two-month shutdown, the cancellation of events and hotel stays including those related to the The Open in Sandwich, and of course, having to adapt to new practices.

While restrictions mean he is unable to celebrate this milestone in his usual fashion - a big party - a socially distanced Graham Stiles Nostalgia quiz, created by son James Stiles, will make up for it.

Mr Stiles, 69, said: "It has without a shadow of a doubt been the most challenging year in my 40 years but all publicans and restaurants have found it very, very tough.

"We've all had to work around it to keep going. But I feel optimistic about the future. I think we've got to be."

King's Head publicans 2015

Graham Stiles with his wife Shirley and son James, together in 2015.

Mr Stiles was 29 when he left his pub manager role in Sevenoaks to do the same at the King’s Head, which was then owned by Thomas Clift and Timothy Cobbett.

Prior to that he had worked as a sales rep for Cadbury and Britvic, and also picked up experience helping his parents, Pat and Gordon Stiles, at their pub The Windmill in Hertfordshire between 1964 and 1977.

When he arrived at the Beach Street building, he was met with a "complete mess".

"It was a building site," he said.

"There was no front door or floorboards, no bar or stairs. The square outside had a funfair which was falling apart."

King's Head floral display 2002

Graham Stiles pictured with his award winning floral display in 2002. Picture: Mike Waterman.

He rolled up his sleeves and began to make his mark with an official opening on October 23, 1980.

Nearly five and a half million pints later (he has worked it out) the proof of Mr Stiles efforts is hung over the walls of the pub, in the form of photographs, historical objects and donated items, which he says remain a talking point among customers.

His secret to success, he believes, is the location.

He said: "The location is amazing and possibly why I've stuck it out for so long. We're in a prime spot.

"The Sunday music afternoons have been a big factor. We've had some classic afternoons out there. It's just the Deal people that make those afternoons.

Chariry celebrations

Graham Stiles celebrates as part of a charity event Picture: Roger Charles.

"Everyone has missed it so much this year and we missed the people, the spirit in the town. It felt awful."

Mr Stiles admits to having many incredibly happy memories at the pub, thanks to his “amazing and loyal staff members”, some who have stayed with him for 25 years.

He and wife Shirley treat them like family and enjoy return visits from former employees, many who return after decades with families of their own.

He said: “One of the outstanding moments for me was when England won the Rugby World Cup in Sydney in 2003.

“It was a morning match and the place just went absolutely nuts. The celebrations went on through the day."

Mel B

Former Spice Girl Mel C in the King's Head with Charlene Johnson and James Stiles.

The King’s Head is the oldest pub in Deal still open which retains its original name and is renowned for its award-winning floral displays that adorn the front of the building throughout the summer months.

Personalities to have visited over the years include Spice Girl Mel C in 2004, who even got behind the bar, and politicians Ed Milliband and Nigel Farage in 2015.

Aussie cricket legend Jeff Thomson and Spandau Ballet singer Tony Hadley have also visited the watering hole.

He said: "I feel so fortunate and lucky to have discovered Deal.

"How many people in their life can say they've had this opportunity to be such a big part of a town?"

He has paid special thanks to wife of 35 years Shirley and son James, who has now taken over the tenancy of the Port Arms pub next door.

It means the two establishments can work even closer together and the father and son have high hopes for 2021 including a belated 40th anniversary party.

The Graham Stiles Nostalgia quiz takes place tonight and tomorrow. It is limited to 32 players per evening and few places remain. To book, call 01304 368194.



CAVELL Jane (Widow) 1804+

ARNOLD (widow) Mrs to Mar 30/1820 dec'd

WHITE Thomas 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

GOSBY Stephen 1821-Feb/37 dec'd Pigot's Directory 1823Pigot's Directory 1824(Pigot's Directory 1828-29South End)Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839 alehouse

RALPH William 1835-40+ (Deal Borough records 1835)Pigot's Directory 1840

PRESCOTT Margaret 1847-50+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847

MOAT George 1858-62+ (also Builder age 32 in 1861Census) Melville's 1858Kelly's 1862

SCOTT Sarah T 1871+ (age 28 in 1871Census)

LAMBERT William S Collard 1874+ Kelly's 1874Post Office Directory 1874

KITCHEN Thomas 1878 Kelly's 1878

MEAKINGS William R W 1881+ (age 38 in 1881Census)

HOLLAND James 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882

ROCK Sarah Annie Mrs 1891+ Post Office Directory 1891

MILES Edward John 1897-1938+ Kelly's 1899Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913Deal library 1914Post Office Directory 1922Kelly's 1934Post Office Directory 1938

CORKE Major James 1979+

STILES Graham, Shirley & James 1981-2017+


Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

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

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

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Kelly's 1862From the Kelly's Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Kelly's 1874From the Kelly's Directory 1874

Kelly's 1878From the Kelly's Directory 1878

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Deal library 1914Deal Library List 1914

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938



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