Sort file:- Canterbury, April, 2024.

Page Updated:- Monday, 08 April, 2024.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Rory Kehoe

Earliest 1400s

Kings Head

Closed June 2022

204 (79) Wincheap Street



01227 462885

Canterbury map 1874

Above map 1874 identified by Rory Kehoe.

King's Head 1904

Above photo 1904 kindly sent by Doug Pratt.

King's Head 1904

A case of spot the difference here. Above postcard sent by Rory Kehoe, but which is the original that hasn't been Photoshopped? Or did they hold that pose for hours?

King's Head 1920

Above photo 1920, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Head 1955

Above photo, 1955 when the Elham Valley railway was being dismantled, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Head 1955

Above photo, 1955, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Head 1955

Above photo, circa 1955, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's head 1955

Above photo 1955, showing the King's Head in the background taken when the Elham Valley railway was being dismantled.

King's Head 1961

Above photo, 1961, kindly sent by Tim Timpson.

King's Head 1965

Above photo by Edward Wilmot 1965.

Kings Head 1983

Above photo, 1983, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Head 2009

Above picture from Google, September 2009.

King's Head 2013

Above photo 2013.

King's Head sign 1991

King's Head sign July 1991.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

King's Head 2013

Above photo 2013 by Nigel Chadwick Creative Commons Licence.

King's Head 2018

Above photo, October 2018, kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Head 2018

Above photo, October 2018, kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Head inside 2022

Above photo 2022.


Registered in the licensing list of 1692 and the following year was offering Billeting for 6 soldiers.

The premises was sold by Thomas Blunden's widow, Mary, and their sons William, a habidasher and Ralph an opothecary, along with the stables, outhouses, buildings, yards, backsides and orchard garden in 1723 to Brewers Rest Fenner of Canterbury.

Flints later took over the premises and in 1849 Brewers Flints purchased the premises for 300.

The street was renumbered in 1965 and has been given a number of different addresses over the years.


From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, Wednesday, 24 August to Saturday, 27 August, 1768. Price 2d.


At the “King's Head Inn,” in High Street, in the City of Canterbury, on Friday next, the 2nd of September, at Two o'Clock in the Afternoon.

THE TOWER of the Parish Church of All Saints, in the said City, with all the Timber and Materials thereto belonging (except the Bells, Lead, and Clock), which will be required to be taken down with all Speed, according to Conditions of Sale to be then produced.


From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, Saturday 20 May to Wednesday 24 May, 1769. Price 2d.


On Saturday last, (May 20) from the Bar at the “King's Head” in Canterbury.

A Small Silver Mug, nearly the Size of Half a Pint.
With the mark I I M on the front.

If offered to be pawned or sold, it is desired to be stopped.

Half a Guinea Reward will be paid by Mr. Hargrave, at the “King's Head,” if Intelligence can be given of it, so that it may be had again.


Kentish Gazette, 16 January, 1779.

Strayed, from the "King's Head," about a week since.

A small Brindle Cow, blind of one-eyed, with a piece of wood on her horns.

Whoever will drive her to the "King's Head," or inform Mr. Lowen where she is, shall be reasonably satisfied.

Canterbury, January 19, 1779.


Kentish Gazette, 16 November, 1792.

On Tuesday morning last died, after a very severe and lingering illness, Mr. Lowen, of the "King's Head Inn," in this city, age 53 years.

He was a man of the the strictest integrity and unremitting assiduity in his business; and many excellent qualities of the the heart had procured him the universal esteem of the fellow citizens, by whom his lost is sincerely regretted.


Kentish Gazette, 4 December, 1792.

Canterbury. "Kings Head Inn," Tavern, and Post House.

Dells Lowen, (widow of Thomas Lowen,) lately deceased. Returns her most sincere thanks to the Nobility, Gentry, and the Public in general, for the very numerous favours conferred on her late husband; and most respectfully begs leave to inform them, that she intends (with the assistance of her son George Lowen) to continue the business at the above house, where she hopes to be honoured with their future favours.


Kentish Gazette 17 January 1800.


WHEREAS, on Tuesday evening last, a Silver Watch, makers name Bucklet, with a yellow chain, was left in the Privy of the "King's Head Inn" in this city;- whoever has found the same, and will bring it to the Ostler at the above Inn, shall receive One Guinea reward.


Kentish Gazette 11 June 1802.

Yesterday morning early the "King's Head" public-house, in Wincheap Street, was broke open by some villains, and robed of a large quantity of pork, and two casks of liquor, with which they got clear off.


Kentish Gazette 15 October 1802.

Tuesday last, and melancholy accident happened to William Fraser Esq. who was driving a tandem, on the road near Walmer Hall, a short distance beyond Sturry, and endeavouring to pass a loaded wagon, which he overtook, when he drove on the bank and upset his carriage, when he was immediately precipitated, with his servant under the wagon, the wheels which passed over his chest the servant luckily escaped unhurt, he was brought to the "Kings Head Inn," in this city, where medical assistants was procured, but without effect, as he has expired about 4 o'clock. The deceased was a Lieutenant in the Life Guards, and the son of a very respectable gentleman at Hounslow.

The Coroner's inquest sat on the body yesterday.

Verdict accidental death.

No blame whatever can attach to the waggoner, who was that it's right side, and very attentive in making room for the carriage.


Kent Gazette Reports 11 January 1805. Canterbury


Saturday, died, Mrs. Green, of the "King's Head" public-house, in the West Borough.


Kentish Gazette, 5 August, 1806.


On or before Wednesday next, at twelve o'clock, and if not disposed of by that hour, to be sold by Public Auction, at the "King's Head Inn," Canterbury,

A Fine dark bay gelding, 16 hands high, eight years old; a good Charger, and an excellent Hunter; the property of an Officer going on service, warranted perfectly sound and free from vice.

Apply to the head Ostler, at the "King's Head Inn."


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 30 March 1819.

Kentish Gazette 30 March 1819.


On Friday night or early on Saturday morning last, some thieves attempted to carry away the lead from over the door of the "King's Head," in Wincheap-street, in this City, and after forcing it from the holdfasts, and had almost succeeded in getting it down, they were alarmed, and made a quick retreat.


From the Maidstone Gazette and West Kent Courier, 13 November 1827.

On Saturday se'nnight, a serious accident happened in St. Peters Street, Canterbury, to Mr Hubble, head Ostler at the "Kings Head Hotel," who was driving a spirited horse in a chaise, which becoming unmanageable ran the vehicle against a van, and by the concussion it was overturned, when Mr. Hubble received considerable injury, and we are sorry to say he now lies in a very dangerous state.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 12 June 1849.


Important sale of the extensive Brewery of Messr's Flint, including 30 old established Inns and Public Houses, and other valuable property.

Mr. V. J., has received instructions to sell by auction, at the "Fountain Hotel," Canterbury, on Tuesday and Wednesday, 26th and 27th of June, at 12 o'clock each day, (in consequence of the death of the senior acting partner and the retirement of the surviving partners,) the valuable property known as Messrs. Flint's Brewery, in Stour Street, Canterbury, and the Inns, Public Houses, and other valuable property connected with theirwith. The first day sale on Tuesday, 26th June, 1849, will comprise the following property in and near the city.

Public houses.

Lot 1. The "City of Canterbury," situate on the road to Whitstable. Freehold.

Lot 2. The "George and Dragon," Westgate without, leasehold under Hind's charity for 17 years unexpired.

Lot 3. The "Three Compasses," Westgate within. Freehold.

Lot 4. The "Bell Inn" and Coach Office, in the High Street. Freehold.

Lot 5. The "Prince of Wales," St. Alphege Lane,. Freehold.

Lot 6. The "Weavers Arms," Broad Street, freehold and partly leasehold.

Lot 7. The "White Swan," Northgate. Leasehold under St. John's Hospital for a short term, at a ground rent.

Lot 8. The "Kings Head," Northgate. Freehold.

Lot 9. The "Swan Inn," at Sturry (close to the railway station). Freehold.

Lot 10. The "Ship," St. Martins Hill, freehold.

Lots 12. The "Star Commercial Inn and Tap," St George's, close to the Cattle market and Dane John. Freehold.

Lot 13. The "Blue Anchor," Old Dover Lane, near the Cattle market. Freehold.

Lot 14. The "Fleece Inn," High Street, opposite to the Corn market. Freehold.

Lot 28. Three neat Cottages opposite the Brewery, with large gardens extending to the river.

Lot 29. The "Two Brewers" public house and Spirit Warehouse, adjoining the last lot.

Lot 31. The "Black Dog" public house, Castle Street.

Lot 34. The "Duke's Head" Public House, Wincheap Street.

Lot 35. The "King's Head," Public House, Wincheap Street.

Lot 37. The "Royal Exchange," public house, Stour Street.

Lot 38. The "Kentish Arms," public house, and 5 cottages in Jewry Lane. Leasehold for a short term at a low rent.

Lot 40. The "Duke William," at Ickham, abiout five miles from Canterbury. Freehold.

Lot 41. The "Royal Oak Inn," at Deal. Freehold except a small portion.

Lot 42. The "King's Arms," Beach Street, Deal, and Cottage in the rear. leasehold for a short term, at a Ground rent.

Lot 43. The "Fleur De Lis," near the Railway Station, Dover. Leasehold for a term of 6 years, at a Ground rent of 3.

Lot 44. The "Two Brewers," Limekiln Street, Dover. leasehold for a term of 46 years, at a ground rent of 3.

Lot 45. The "Fountain Inn, adjoining the Market place at Dover. Freehold.

Lot 46. The "Lord Nelson," Radnor Street, near the harbour, Folkestone. Freehold.

Lot 47. The "Bricklayers Arms," Fancy Street, Folkestone. Freehold.

Lot 48. The "Castle Inn," at Sandgate. Leasehold for a short term, at a ground rent of 7s. 6d.

Lot 49. The "King's Head Hotel and Tap," at Margate. Freehold.

Lot 50. The "New Inn," at Elham, on the road to Hythe. Freehold.

Lot 51. The "King's Arms," at Milton near Sittingbourne. Freehold.

The Public Houses are for the most part in the occupation of unexceptionable tenants, and the majority of them are doing trades, both in beer and spirits, considerably above the average run of Country houses. (None of them have been beer shops; they're all old Licence Houses, with connections of long standing, thereby affording ample security for the permanency of the trade). The Premises generally are in a superior state of repair.

Particulars and Plans, price 1s. each, may be had of Messr's. Furleys and Mercer, Solicitors, Canterbury; at the "Fountain Hotel;" and of Mr. V. J. Collins, 3, Moorgate Street, London.


Kentish Gazette, 8 June 1852.


A man, named John Belsey, met with an accident on Tuesday evening, at Wincheap fair. He had been drinking at the "Hop Poles" public house, when, coming down the fair, he went into the "King's Head," and in trying to force his way into a room where dancing was, got pushed down, by which one of his legs were fractured. He was at once taken to the hospital.


Kentish Gazette, 1 March 1853.


On Tuesday last a severe accident happened to Mr. Tippin, malster, of this city, which it in feared will terminate fatally. On the morning of that day, Mr. Tippin had been, according to his usual custom, to the Corn Market, and was in the act of leaving the building, when, from the slippery state of the pavements, he fell heavily to the ground. He was promptly taken to the "King's Head Inn," and medical aid having been called in, it was found the unfortunate gentleman had injured the small bone of the thigh, besides an injury to the spine.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 11 September 1920.

Good prices for potatoes.

Messrs. King and Ashingdon held a very successful sale at the "King's Head," Thanington, on Tuesday, of potatoes and other growing crops. The potatoes made from 50 to 84 per Acre with an average of about 65.


From the Kentish Gazette, 14 June 1974.

King's Head darts team 1974

Darts team who came runners up in the Kent Cancer Research title at the Chantry Club, Canterbury, on Monday. They lost to the "Two Swayers" at Woolwich Green.

Left to right: J Scott, M Fleet, T Ward, D Barry and R Lewis.


Rumour has it that the owner has closed the with immediate effect. 15/June/2022.

Various reasons are doing the rounds but being foreclosed on by Greene King is a possibility. Watch this space! What is for sure, is that Mark has struggled to win hearts and minds at the pub and has turned Canterbury's oldest pub into what looks like a Finnish sauna! Years of patina on very old panelling stripped off and stark, bare walls, which are not very inspiring!

King's Head door sign 2022

Above sign seen on door June 2022, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

From the Story by Hedi Mehrez. Accessed 8 April 2024.

600-year-old grade II-listed former pub The King's Head in Wincheap, Canterbury, on sale for 425k.

A former pub, which once laid claim to being the oldest pub in continuous use in Canterbury, is on the market. The King's Head, a grade II-listed free house, is believed to date back to the early 15th Century.

The building is located on the main road in Wincheap in a popular residential area, with the Windcheap Industrial Estate immediately behind. It is a short walk away from a number of major retailers, as well as Canterbury Christchurch University and the city centre.

It is also near the big, new residential development at Thanington, on the city’s outskirts. And it could be yours for 425,000.

Prior to its closure in 2022, The King’s Head laid claim to being the oldest pub in continuous use in a historic city full of old pubs. The freehold of the watering hole is being offered by Fleurets on behalf of a private client who has now retired from the licenced trade.

It offers an opportunity to restore and reopen it as a character inn. It also has the potential to let rooms, for which Fleurets says there is always a strong demand with it being situated in one of the country’s top tourist destinations.

Simon Bland, senior associate at Fleurets, said: “The King’s Head provides a fantastic opportunity to reopen a truly historic inn in a conspicuously under-pubbed area of Canterbury. There is scope to create letting rooms and capitalise on the city’s tourism trade while also catering to the needs of the local community.

"The beer garden is another big asset and even includes a Bat & Trap pitch.”




BLUNDEN Thomas to 1723 dec'd Edward Wilmot Canterbury

LOWEN Thomas to Nov/1792 dec'd

LOWEN Dells (widow) Nov/1792+

GREEN ???? 1805

GILES John 1824-40+ Pigot's Directory 1824Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Stapletons GuidePigot's Directory 1840

HUBBARD James 1846-58+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847Edward Wilmot CanterburyMelville's 1858

KINGSLAND William Charles 1861+ (also wheelwright age 45 in 1861Census)

HUBBARD T 1862+ Post Office Directory 1862

BRANCHLEY Mr 1865+ Edward Wilmot Canterbury


BUTCHER S 1874-91+ Post Office Directory 1874CensusPost Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891 (also carter age 47 in 1881Census)

MAY H G to July/1894 Whitstable Times

MAY Mary a July/1894+ Whitstable Times

Last pub licensee had SHEEPWASH Walter 1901+ (age 66 in 1901Census)

WINTON Thomas Edward 1903+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

SINCLAIR R 1913-22+ Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1922

BEALE A W 1930+ Post Office Directory 1930

SLENDER Alfred F 1938+ Post Office Directory 1938

THOMPSON Ross 1980-Aug/2004

LONGLEY Michael & COLLIER Ena Aug/2004-Nov/2015

GRAY Mark Dr Dec/2015-22


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

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald


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