Sort file:- Canterbury, December, 2023.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 12 December, 2023.


Earliest 1769+

(Name from)

Queen's Head

Latest 1970s

(Name to)

24 Watling Street / St Margaret's Street / Castle StreetPigot's Directory 1824


Queen's Head 1920

Above photo 1920, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Queen's Head 1938

Above photo, circa 1938, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Queen's Head Hotel 1961

Above photo, 1961, kindly sent by Tim Timpson.

Queen's Head Hotel 1961

Above photo, 1961, kindly sent by Tim Timpson.

Queen's Head Hotel 1961

Above photo, 1961, kindly sent by Tim Timpson.

Queen's Head 1965

Above photograph taken by Edward Wilmot in 1965.

Queen's Head beermatQueen's Head beermat

Above beermats kindly sent by C Johnson.

Canterbury O S Map 1874

Above map 1874 identified by Rory Kehoe.

Queen's Head card 1953Queen's Head card 1953

Above card issued March 1953. Sign series 4 number 32.


This is a 16th century building that originally held the name the "Three Tuns," but it changed name to the "Queen's Head" at some time in the 18th century and remained with that name till it reverted back to the "Three Tuns" again, I believe some time in the 1970s, certainly before 1999.

The pub was seriously damaged during the air raids of 1942 by fire and flying schrapnel.

By 1988 the pub had again reverted back to the name of the "Three Tuns."


Kentish Chronicle, 7 April 1829.

An inquest was held on Saturday last, before Mr. John Nutt, at the "Queens Head Inn," in this city, touching the death of John Fox, who was discovered that day, suspended from an upright beam, on the premises of his master, Mr. G. Neame.

It appeared that in the early part of the morning, the deceased was engaged in his usual occupation; and his master having occasion to enter the room in which he was employed, observed him to be greatly confused, and endeavour into secrete about his person a small parcel. Mr. Neame interrogated him; but his explanation instead of him, rendered his guilt but too apparent; accordingly he was discharged, and an understanding that is wages in arrear were to be paid. A few minutes after this affair, the deceased enquired, if he might expect a character, to which he received an answer that "he might for everything except honestly."

The deceased and said, perhaps he should not require one, and in half an hour was found hanging quite dead. It appeared by the testimony of Mr. E. Hohler, surgeon, who cut deceased down, that he must have groaned out is existence in the most terrible manner; the rope was exceedingly short, and his struggles were so severe, that the hook above his head, had penetrated his skull a considerable depth. The deposition of Mr. Neame shewed that the poor fellow had before being detected in similar practises. On this occasion he had acknowledged the robbery. Deceased was a fine young man, in 23rd year of his age.

Verdict - Temporary Insanity.


From the Kentish Gazette, 12 June 1838.


THAT well-known old-established House the "QUEEN'S HEAD TAVERN," Wine Vaults, Excise Office, and Stables, commanding an excellent business.

Apply to Mr. Duncan, on the Premises.


From the Kentish Gazette, 3 March 1840.

ON Saturday, the 15th of February, a DARK BROWN GREAT COAT,. In mistake, was taken from the parlour of the "Queen's Head Inn," Canterbury, and a very dark green coat was left in its place. Whoever is in possession of the first-named coat, and will have the products immediately to forward it to Mr. DUNCAN, at the "Queen's Head" aforesaid, the latter-names coat shall be returned as may be directed by the owner.

March 2. 1840.


From the Kentish Gazette, 21 November 1843.


THE Annual HOP DINNER at the "Queen’s Head Inn," Canterbury, will take place on Tuesday, November 28th 1843.

Dinner on Table at Two o’clock.


Kentish Gazette, 2 April 1844.

R. DUNCAN BEGS to return his most sincere thanks to those friends who have aided him by their support during the period of 10 years he has been in business at the "QUEEN'S HEAD INN," ST. MARGARET’S STREET, CANTERBURY, and begs to assure them that no exertion shall be wanting on his part to merit their continued patronage.

R. D also begs to intimate that he he has HIRED FOR THE SEASON. THE GRAND STAND ON BARHAM DOWNS, where every accommodation during the Races will be afforded as heretofore.

"Queen's Head," St. Margaret's-street, Canterbury, April 1, 1844.


Kentish Gazette, 19 November 1844.


THE ANNUAL HOP DINNER at the "Queen's Head Inn," CANTERBURY, will take place on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28th, 1844.

Dinner on Table at Two o'clock.


From the Kentish Gazette, 2 December 1845.


THE ANNUAL HOP DINNER at the "Queen's Head Inn," CANTERBURY, will take place on TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1845.

Dinner on Table at Three o'clock.


From the Kentish Gazette, 8 December 1846.


BEGS most respectfully to announce the Twelfth Anniversary of his annual HOP BETTING DINNER, which will take place on THURSDAY, the 10th instant, when the company of his friends will be esteemed.

"Queen's Head Inn," Canterbury,

Dec. 5th, 1846.


Kentish Gazette, 24 August 1847.


TO BE LET, with possession at Michaelmas next, that old established Commercial Inn, known as the "QUEEN’S HEAD," situated in ST. MARGARET’S STREET, in the City of Canterbury.

The above comprises a good commodious Tavern, and the Excise Office, together with spirit bar and stable yard adjoining; and the present occupant can give satisfactory reasons as to the cause of his leaving.

For particulars apply on the premises.


Kentish Gazette, 6 February 1849.


THIS most desirable free PUBLIC HOUSE, commanding an excellent situation at the corner of Saint Margaret's, Watling, and Castle Streets,

WILL BE LET BY TENDER, on TUESDAY, the 6th day of March next, for the Term of 21 Years, from the 6th April, 1849.

The House comprises an attic, six bedrooms, a commodious dining room, a parlour, spirit shop, bar, tap room, and loft over it, Excise Office, smoking room, kitchen, two collars, coal store, yard, large coach-house, very convenient and ample stable room, and other suitable adjuncts.

Sealed Tenders must be delivered at the Office of Mr. William Sladden, Solicitor, 24, Castle-street, (of whom the conditions of letting may be obtained,) on or before Monday, the 5th day of March next; and the Premises may be viewed upon application to Mr. Pierson, the present occupier.


Kentish Gazette, 30 July 1850.

MARRIAGES. Bainbridge—Pierson.

July 29, at St. Andrew’s Church, Canterbury, by the Rev. — Smith, Mr. Robert Bainbridge, of Hampton Court, Middlesex, to Margaret Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Mr. W. Pierson, "Queen's Head Hotel," Canterbury.


Kentish Gazette, 23 March 1852.


Pierson:— March 31, Walter, infant son of Mr. W. Pierson, "Queen's Head Hotel," Canterbury, aged six months.


South Eastern Gazette, 24 April, 1860.

Charge of Assault against a Publican.

A Novel Case.

At the Thursday's sitting of the city justices, the following magistrates ware present:— The Mayor of Fordwich (in the chair), Ald. Sankey, Capt. Love, Wm. Plummer, and Edward Wotton, Esqrs.

Mr. John Elgar, jun., of High-street, said he had a charge of assault to bring against Mr. Isaac Ratcliffe, landlord or the "Queen’s Head Inn," on the afternoon of the previous Sunday.

The Chairman inquired if the matter could not be settled without being brought before the justices?

Mr. Elgar said he had endeavoured to do so, but without success.

Mr. Elgar, who is a Member of the Society of Friends, then stated:— About half-past two o’clock on Sunday afternoon last, I was going down St. Margaret’s-street, in the direction of the Dane John, when I saw two men before me. One of them was in a very sad state of intoxication, but the other did not appear the worse for drink. When they arrived opposite the house kept by the defendant, one of them said to the other, "If you will not come in and drink with me, I will never drink with you again." Knowing that the law forbade innkeepers from serving a man in a state of intoxication, I followed the two men into the house. I said "Neighbour Ratcliffe, thou must not draw any more drink for that man, as he is in a state of intoxication." I added that if he did, he would hear of it again. I had no feeling of animosity against the innkeeper. The defendant then charged me with wishing to take the bread out of his mouth. At this time the men were sitting down in front of the bar, and the ale or porter was standing on the bar. I did not see the men drink. The defendant then said, "You walk out of my place." I said I should not do so. His wife stepped forward at this time, and did all she could to appease him. At last he came round from the other side of the bar, and forcibly ejected me from the room. He might have told me to leave his place again, before he did so. Seeing some boys outside, I told them to go and fetch the police, my intention being to give the drunken man into custody. I went into the house again and stood by the bar door. The innkeeper again came and forcibly ejected me into the street. I can't say what he said to me before doing so — I think he requested me to leave his house. Defendant then said he should go to the police station, and I understood he was to be the complainant. During the interim, I saw that the men went out at the back of the house.

By the Clerk:— In ejecting me, he did not strike me. There was no more violence used than was necessary to put me out.

Defendant said:— I consider that Mr. Elgar took a great liberty in coming into my house. He was interrupting me in my business, and I felt that I was warranted in turning him out. One of the men was a little the worse for liquor, but the other was perfectly sober. They were both as quiet as the present company. When I had served them with the beer, and turned Mr. Elgar out, they went quietly away.

The Bench then consulted together for a few moments, and the Chairman (addressing the complainant) said:— The magistrates are of opinion that there was no unnecessary violence used in this case. It was hardly necessary for you to interfere, as the men were quiet, although one of them was under the influence of drink, but there was no disturbance. Therefore, we have determined to dismiss the case.

Mr. Elgar:— Is the assault to be justified?

The Bench declined to argue the point with the complainant.

The defendant was informed by the clerk, that if he wished, he might have a certificate of the dismissal, which would be a bar to any proceedings being instituted against him in any other court.

Mr. Elgar:— If I can’t get justice in one court, surely I can be allowed to go elsewhere?

The Clerk:— But a man must not be harassed in two or more courts.

Defendant was then granted the certificate, the chairman observing that the complainant had a very good motive in into the defendant’s house.

Mr. Elgar:— I am not at all surprised that drunkenness increases in our city. It will do so with such legislation as this.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 20 April, 1861.

George Tomkinson, labourer, was charged with stealing a quantity of beef and suet, the property of James Field, butcher, Northgate. Mr. Field stated that, on Saturday he weighed up 371bs. of beef and suet and sent it to the “Queen’s Head Inn,” to be forwarded by a carrier to a customer of his at Chilham. He afterwards ascertained that the beef had been taken away. He identified the beef produced as a portion of that which he weighed up.

It was proved by other witnesses that on Saturday afternoon the prisoner took the beef to the “Steam Packet” public-house. North-lane, where he had been lodging, and where the prisoner was apprehended on Saturday night.

The prisoner, who pleaded not guilty, was committed for trial at the next Quarter Sessions.

There was a second charge against the prisoner of stealing a bullock's head and a quantity of meat, the property of James Gammon, from a cart in the “Sun Inn” yard on the same day. This case was very similar to the above, and the prisoner was also committed for trial upon the second charge.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 18 August, 1889. Price 1d.


A check has been given to the career of an evidently daring and expert hotel thief. He was arrested at Dover. A gentleman named Oakshot arrived at the “Queen's Head Hotel,” Canterbury, on Thursday week, and arranged to stay for the night. Mr. Oakshot left the house in the ordinary way on Friday morning to transact business. Leaving his Gladstone bag and contents in his bedroom. On his return at 3.30 he found that the bedroom had been entered and that the bag was missing. He gave information to the Police, and enquiries were made at the Railway stations. About four o'clock it was ascertained that a man carrying a Gladstone bag, answering the description of the one stolen, went to Mr. Anderson's, Watling Street, and gained admission. During the temporary absence of Mrs. Abderson he took a peg on the office door an overcoat belonging to Mr. Anderson. This he put on, and was in the act of putting his own overcoat on above it when Mrs. Anderson entered the office. As soon as the man saw her he feigned drunkenness and said he wanted a cab. A carriage was immediately procured. The cabman was ordered to drive to Bekesbourne station. On the journey the driver discovered that his fare was not drunk. On arriving at the station the cabman was paid 5s. and dismissed. When Mr. Anderson got home he heard from his wife of the man's behaviour. Thinking that he had been viewing the premises for some illicit purpose and that he might renew his visit that night, Mr. Anderson went to the L.C. and D.R. Station to make enquiries. He was informed by the officials at the Station that the Police had been enquiring about a black Gladstone bag stolen from the “Queen's head.” Mr. Anderson observing the similarity between the bag carried by the unwelcome visitor and the one described as stolen, communicated with the Police. Mr. Anderson and the cabman were interviewed by Superintendent Peacock. Subsequently the Superintendent and Inspector Farmery went to the L.C. and D. R. Station, and by the kindness of the officials, telegrams were sent to Bekesbourne and Dover. These enquiries resulted in the discovery that a man with a bag (answering the description of the missing one) left the train which reached the Priory station about 4.40. It was 8 p.m. when the enquiries were completed. At 9.16, the next available train, Superintendent Peacock despatched Inspector Farmery to Dover to complete the investigations. On arrival at Dover the Inspector, assisted by an officer of the Dover Police force made enquiries at several leading hotels. At 11.30 p.m. “Connaught House,” was visited. The manageress of the hotel informed the Inspector that a gentleman had arrived that evening and taken rooms for a fortnight. The terms arranged were 2 15s. a week. After hearing the description of the man the Inspector asked to be shown to the bedroom occupied by him. The manageress led the way and pointed out No. 14 on the third landing. The Inspector knocked and simultaneously opened the door. The man was then seen to be sitting in an easy chair with the stolen Gladstone bag before him. He was examining the contents. Inspector Farmery speedily introduced himself, and having had the contents of the bag re-packed, secured the man. He had him lodged in the Dover Police station for the night, and the following morning taken to Canterbury, when he was brought before the Magistrates of that city and remanded.


Pigot's of 1828 lists George Jarvis twice in their Directory. Both times at the "Queen's Head" but first addressed as Castle Street under the Inns and Hotels, and secondly addressed as St. Margaret's Street under Taverns and Public Houses.



JARVIS George 1824-28+ Pigot's Directory 1824Pigot's Directory 1828-29

JONES Julia 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

DUNCAN Robert 1834-47+ Stapletons GuidePigot's Directory 1840Bagshaw's Directory 1847

PIERSON W Mr 1852+

RATCLIFF Isaac 1858-Jan/67+ Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1862Whitstable Times

OVENDEN Robert Jan/1867-82+ (age 39 in 1871Census) Whitstable TimesPost Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

PILCHER George 1891-03+ Post Office Directory 1891Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

Last pub licensee had CONE Joseph to Aug/1927 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

SMALLWOOD John (Jack) & Maude 1936-63

JOHNSON Joan & Fred 1963-1970+

HOWES Geo & Kate early 1970s-mid 80s


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

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express

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:-