Page Updated:- Tuesday, 11 July, 2023.


Earliest 1781-

Kings Head

Open 2023+

Upper Street


01304 373915

Kings Head 1927

Above postcard, circa 1927, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Head 1952

Above photo 1952. Creative Commons Licence.

King's Head ledger

Thompson & Son's ledger 1950-1967. Creative Commons Licence.

Kings Head at Kingsdown Kings Head at Kingsdown Kings Head SignGlass panel at Kings Head

Photos by Paul Skelton, 12 July 2008.

King's Head sign 1988

King's Head sign July 1988.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

From the Dover Express, 12 June, 1970.

King's Head advert 1970

Above shows advert from the Dover Express June 1970.

King's Head, 1996

Photo kindly supplied by Patricia Streater, from July 1996.

Painting of Kings Head

Above shows a picture by Brian Petch circa 1996.


Originally a Thompson and Son Ltd. tied house.


Kentish Gazette, 7 April, 1781.

To be sold by auction, on Monday the 23rd day of April Instant, between the hours of 3 and 4 in the Afternoon, at the public house undermentioned, "unless disposed of in the mean time by private contract, of which notice will be given.)

A good accustomed public house, known by the sign of the "King's Head," and the Barn, Yard, Garden and Land thereunto belonging, containing by estimation seven acres, more or less; situate and lying in a place called Kingsdown, in the parish of Ringwould in Kent, and now in the occupation of Daniel Sutton or of his Assigns. Also two small tenements, with the Gardens thereunto belonging; situate and lying at Kingdown aforesaid, and now in the several occupations of William Pain and Edward Erridge, or there Assigns.

For particulars apply to Mr. Thomas Sharpe, St. Margaret's at Cliffe near Dover; or to Mr. Cannon, Attorney-at-Law, at Deal.


Kentish Gazette, 14 April, 1781.


The Public House, Land, and Premises, advertised to be sold by auction on Monday the 23rd instant, at the "King's Head" at Kingsdown, in the parish of Ringwould, are disposed of by Private Contract.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 16 January 1869. 1d.


Thomas Jarvis, Edward Hood, and Francis Sutton, three young follows belonging to Kingsdown, were charged with being drunk and riotous at that place early on new Year's morning. A summons had been issued against another man named John Jarvis for the same offence, but he did not appear.

The Magistrates said that many people appeared to imagine that their own private affairs were of more importance than their public ones, but as John Jarvis had failed to attend, they should proceed with the case in his absence.

P.C. Waterman having proved the service of the summons upon John Jarvis personally.

P.C. Thompson was called. He said: I am a police-constable in the K.C.C., and I am stationed at Kingsdown. About quarter past midnight of the 31st December, I was on duty opposite the "King's Head" public-house at Kingsdown, and saw Hood and Thomas Jarvis come out of the public-house to fight. There were a few other persons standing outside of the house at the time. I interfered between the two men and tried to prevent them from fighting, but Hood swore at me and said that if I attempted to take him into custody I should have a "tough job of it." Both he and Jarvis were the worse for liquor, and made use of very bad language. I succeeded in separating the men, however, and they then went back to the public-house. About half-past twelve Hood again came out, and was followed by John Jarvis, who had his waistcoat off for the purpose of fighting. He got over the fence, and when in the field swore at me and said if I did not get out of his way he would give me a "shove" in the head. He was drunk, and although I tried to persuade him to go away he would not do so, but made use of bad language. About this time the landlord of the "King's Head" turned all his company out into the road. There were about 20 or 30 persons turned out. Most of the men were the worse for drink. I had heard a row inside the house, and that was the reason I stopped about there.

Mr. Clarke here remarked that he thought this fact should be remembered against the landlord of the "King's Head," Mr. Steven Sutton, when licensing day came around; for although it might not be an offence against the Act of Parliament, yet it certainly was against the license, which stated that the house must be kept orderly.

Superintendent Stokes promised to attend to the matter.

Examination continued: The defendant Sutton was amongst the men, and a general scuffle took place all round - some endeavouring to fight and others attempting to hold them back. I cautioned the defendants, as well as several of the others, but none of them would go away. I could not get them to disperse till about a quarter to two o'clock, and they were all very disorderly up to that time. The three defendants were the last to go away. I cannot say that Sutton swore at me.

In defence each of the defendants denied that they were either drunk or riotous. They admitted, however, that a few words had passed between them inside the public house, but declared they had nothing to do with the row outside.

In acquainting the defendants of the decision arrived by the Bench, Mr. Clarke admitted a sharp rebuke to each of the defendants, and also alluded in condemnation terms to the conduct of the landlord. The judgement of the Court was that John Jarvis would have to pay 40s., or in default be sent to prison for three weeks; Thomas Jarvis, 15s., or a fortnight's imprisonment; Edward Hood, 1, or a fortnight imprisonment; and Frederick Sutton, 10s. or a fortnight's imprisonment. The above amounts were exclusive of the costs, which amounted to 3s. 6d. in each case.

The money was paid.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 13 January, 1922.


The license of the "King's Head," Kingsdown, was temporarily transferred from Mr. Leonard Thomas Patterson to Mr. Albert Joseph Gifford, late of the "Prince of Wales," Ware, Ash (now closed). The last transfer was in 1900.

Alderman Lewis (to Mr. Patterson): Made your pile, of course. (Laughter.)


From the Deal, Walmer, Sandwich and East Kent Mercury, 26 August 1954.


"The King's Head" Mourns a Good Customer.

A regular patron of the "King's Head", Kingsdown, has just passed on. Customers mourn one of their number who was to be seen there regularly five or six times a week, drinking a pint of beer.

The remarkable aspect of this little story, however, is that this late lamented customer was a goose, which belonged to Mr. J. Groombridge, a Kingsdown farmer.

"The goose came up for a drink nearly every day," said Mr. Alfred Watts, licensee of the King's Head, this week. "It would come and stand outside the pub and screech away until I came out with a pint of beer for it. And it would always drink the glass clean."

Last week, the goose with the taste for beer was accidentally run over.


From the East Kent Mercury, 20 April 2006.

Historic find at village pub.

A village landlord, who is extending his pub ready or the arrival of a new baby, has discovered historic oak beams hidden behind the walls.

Alex Evans & Chris Gausden

Alex Evans, of the "King's Head," Kingsdown, was surprised at the find and believes the wood dates from the days of the English Civil War.

Builder Chris Gausden (seen in picture with Alex) decided to take a closer look and examined the joints in the timber as well as the colour, giving a fairly accurate estimate of their age.

They are from the time Oliver Cromwell, around 350 years ago, when England was engaged in a fierce civil war which ended with the execution of Charles I in 1649.

Mr. Exans said, "I was very excited when we discovered the wood.

"We were removing the existing wall in order to put in new wiring and pipes, but I was amazed when Chris uncovered the beams.

"They are in particularly good condition because the last extension of the building protected them from the elements."

The historic struts are soon to be blocked off once again as work on the new extension nears completion.

Inside Kings Head

View inside bar, taken by Paul Skelton 12 July 2008.

Landlord Alex Evans

From an email sent 2nd April 2010

I am trying to figure out which pubs were around in Kingsdown in 1850. I've had a look around your site and from the summary it appears the King's Head was the only pub open in 1850. Do you know if your list is a complete list of pubs in Kingsdown?

In 1850 my Great-x-4-grandfather tried to jump ship in Kingsdown and abandon his wife and kids aboard their ship which was taking them to the colonies in Australia. The Captain and some men pursued him and eventually found him in a pub.

Thanks for any information you may be able to share.


Ryk Field.



From the back-story of my family it becomes clear why I'm curious about the pubs in Kingsdown.

John Field and his family were going to Victoria, Australia as part of Caroline Chisholm's family loan colonization scheme. They left London aboard the Slain's Castle a few days earlier. From all of my research John had a real problem with alcohol.

A diary kept by another passenger aboard the ship mentions him several times and not for good reasons. It was widely believed aboard the ship that he jumped ship to abandon his wife and kids. He even found himself drunk on Christmas day 1850 aboard the ship in hand and leg irons after fighting. Upon arrival in Victoria he was in the papers shortly there after with his wife asking the courts for protection from him. He was a drunkard who beat his wife and family regularly and ended up in jail several times because of it.

In later years his wife and all of his children joined a Temperance Society with my direct line of ancestors to my great grand father all being non-drinkers.

All up pretty sad, but I'm curious to dig further. Your comments tend to lead me to believe the "King's Head" was likely the place, but it can't be certain.



Information received November 2011 says:- Planning application 11/00981 to build rear extension has been submitted to the Council.



SUTTON Daniel Apr/1781+

SUTTON Stephen 1847-81+ (age 61 in 1881Census)

SUTTON Sophia 1891-Jan/1900 (age 71 in 1891Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882Dover Express

PATTISON Leonard Thomas Jan/1900-Jan/22 (age 59 in 1911Census) Kelly's 1903Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1913 (Of Church Farm, Kingsdown)

Last pub licensee had GIFFORD Alex Albert Joseph Jan/1922+ Dover Express

WATTS Alfred 22/10/43-18/Mar/1957

POWELL P J (MBE) 18/Mar/57-June/1965 Dover Express

KITCHEN R A Mrs June/1967+

FORDER Len & Mollie 1970-74+ Library archives 1974 Charrington & Co

CROOK Andy & Brenda 1999 (went to Spain)

EVANS Alex & SUMNER Amanda 16/Oct/2000-23+



Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express


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