Page Updated:- Wednesday, 14 February, 2024.


Earliest 1784

Rising Sun

Open 2024+

Cliff Road


01304 373983

Rising Sun, Kingsdown, 1908

Above picture kindly supplied by Sue Solley, date 1908.

Rising Sun 1910

Above postcard, 1910, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Rising Sun date unknown

Date unknown. By kind permission of Rising Sun from Jim Davies.

Rising Sun

Above photo by kind permission of the "Rising Sun," date unknown.

Rising Sun 1929

Above postcard circa 1929, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Rising Sun

Above photo circa 1930.

Rising Sun 1952

Above photo 1952. Creative Commons Licence.

Rising Sun ledger

Thompson & Sons ledger 1950-1967. Creative Commons Licence.

Rising Sun at Kingsdown Rising Sun Sign 2008Rising Sun Sign 2011

Photos by Paul Skelton, left 12 July 2008, right 29 Sept 2011.

Rising Sun winter 2010

Photo probably taken in 2010. By kind permission of pub.

Rising Sun painting

Above painting by Brian Petch, date unknown.

Rising Sun 2020

Above photo, 2020.


This inn known by the name and sign of the "Rising Sun" was built in the realm of William III and Mary II in 1692.

When first built it was a dwelling house and was referred to as the "newly built tenement or messuage of Thomas Broadley." In 1703 Broadley sold the house to Isaac Pittock, fisherman who at the time was occupying the house and had been for some years. At the time of this transaction the property is described as ".... and all that messuage or tenement together with stable, other buildings, land and moorings close in the occupation of Isaac Pittock, situate and lying at the beach, undercliffe and being in Kingsdown.

This description of the house and all that belong to it remains much the same throughout history, except for the odd occasion when the outbuildings are listed as tanning-houses. This was where those that occupied the house hung the fishing nets that they had made to dry once they had tanned them. Isaac Pittocks wife Nyomi and daughters Susan and Sarah were all engaged in the trade of making and tanning nets during the time that they occupied this house, whilst he himself fished the surrounding waters and became a man of some affluence acquiring many small fishing vessels, which upon his death in 1731 he bequeathed to his widow and she in turn upon her death a year later made the same bequest to her daughters.

In 1735, Susan Pittock, spinster, married Daniel Ladd, a fisherman of Beach Street, Deal, who thereafter came to live in this house. In 1761, Sarah Pittock spinster who had continued to live here with her sister and her husband, died of a consumption disease and was buried in the churchyard of St. Mary at Walmer. Two years later her sister Susan Ladd passed away and in 1764 Daniel Ladd sold this house, all it contained and all that belonged to Stedman Finnis, a rigger and fisherman of Farrier Street, Deal. He in 1771 sold it for 180 pounds or lawful money of Great Britain and Ireland, to Richard Sutton, whose descendants were to figure in the history of the house many years later.

Sutton was a former mariner who during his time here traded under many guises connected with the seafaring trade. Not long after buying the house he advertised himself as a silmaker and fisherman, by 1775 he was trading as a sailmaker, rigger and fisherman, to which a year later he added the description of net making  and by 1780 had combined all these with that of a rope-maker. In 1784 he added one more trade to his list by obtaining an ale-licence for the house, "that he must take oath to keep in an orderly manner, from which he may suffer ale for the rightful tender, that he must not suffer ale to be tippled during divine services, nor from pots of illegal measure, nor from pots not having the county or district (Deal) stamp and that adulterated ales must not be suffered."

And so having agreed to abide by the terms of his license Sutton registered the house under the title of the "Rising Sun" and in the summer of 1784 opened the doors of this house and sold ale under that sign for the first time. Sutton was the first keeper to draw ale here at the "Rising Sun" and was keeper of it from 1784 until his death in 1801, throughout which he managed to carry on with one or more of his original trades as well as run the house. In that year of 1801, by the terms drawn in his will Richard Sutton bequeathed "his tenement or messuage hereto commonly called and known by the name of the "Rising Sun" to his widow Eliza.

The widow Sutton served here until her own death in 1804 whereupon her daughter Hannah inherited the house. Hannah Sutton died here a spinster in the parish in 1826 and because there were no legal or rightful descendants the "Rising Sun" passed into the hands of George Fitzgerald, surgeon at prospect Place, Deal who was to act as executor to the estate of Hannah Sutton. Instructions were given to comfort Kingsmill, an auctioneer of King Street, Deal to auction the house and its contents. In May 1827 whilst in the occupation of Joshua Mockett the "Rising Sun" came under the hammer and was purchased by Edward Thompson a brewer of Walmer for 275 guineas.

Joshua Mockett remained keeper of the "Rising Sun" until 1832 when he was succeeded by Robert Spinner who served here till 1839, at which date Edward Thompson tenanted the house to Harry Saffrey keeper of the "Fleur-de-lis Inn," Union Street, Deal. Saffrey served here until 1846 when he was succeeded by Robert Arnold who in December 1848 was granted a wine and spirit licence and the "Rising Sun" became a registered tavern.

The "Rising Sun" was to remain in the hands of the Arnold family for many years, when Robert Arnold died in 1863 his son William took over the house, whilst his brother Jarvis took over the running of the nearby "Zetland Arms." Another brother, Edward, who lived in the parish was a master mariner, William Arnold died here in 1881, whereupon his son William John Arnold took over and was here until 1905 by which time the Walmer brewery was in the hands of the company of Thompson and sons Ltd. in 1905 they tenanted the "Rising Sun" to Thomas Charles Harden who served here until 1929 being succeeded that year by Alec E. Sutton who was a descendant of the first keeper of the house.

Sutton gave up the house in 1936 to James Hylam, who was here many years to follow. In 1950 the Walmer brewery was taken over by Charrington & Co. of London. In 1982 they sold the "Rising Sun" as a Free House which remains today, owned by Ralph and Pam Charles.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 3 January, 1846. Price 5d.


George Johnson, barber, aged 61, charged with stealing at Ringwould, a jacket, the property of Richard Arnold. Mr. Grady conducted the prosecution, and called:-

Richard Arnold, who deposed- I am landlord of the public house at Kingsdown. On Saturday, the 27th of December, prisoner came to my house as a "professional barber," and cut the hair of one of my children. He then had a pint of beer and went into the tap-room, where he remained alone for some time. The jacket hung in the tap-room, where I saw it safe at two o'clock. I missed it on Sunday morning, and gave information to the police at Deal.

Edward Browning, police-constable at Deal, deposed that he took prisoner into custody at a public house in Deal, with the jacket on his back, the buttons of which had been cut off.

The prisoner entered into a long rambling appeal to the Recorder and to the jury, who returned a verdict of guilty, and he was sentenced to six months imprisonment and hard labour.


From the KINGSDOWN 1851 Census.

Richard ARNOLD 45 Licensed Victualler born Ringwould

+ Elizabeth “ 45 born St Margaret's

+ family and grandfather John PIERCE wid 82?


From the KINGSDOWN 1861 Census.

Richard E. ARNOLD Licensed Victualler born Ringwould

+ Elizabeth + Family



From Deal, Walmer and Sandwich Telegram. December 1860.

Wreck of the "Earl of Eglinton"

10 Reward - Whereas some evil-disposed Person has circulated a report that I have withheld a portion of the money due to the First Salvors of the wreck of the "Earl of Eglinton", I offer the above reward for information that will lead to the conviction of the originator of this scandal.

Further, I am prepared to show my receipts and accounts to any of the Salvors interested.

Richard E. Arnold.

Rising Sun Inn, Kingsdown.

4th December, 1860


From the Kentish Chronicle, 6 February, 1864.

On Saturday afternoon Mr. W. H. Payn, Coroner for Dover and its liberties, held an inquest at the “Rising Sun,” Kingsdown, on a man aged 42, who had died suddenly on the previous day. It appeared from the evidence that on Friday morning, about seven o’clock, a large full-rigged ship named the “Croshaw,” having on board a valuable cargo, stranded within about a yards of the shore, putting the boatmen of Kingsdown on the alert to render assistance. The deceased, with several other boatmen, rowed to the vessel, and all exerted themselves to the utmost to reach her speedily. Shortly after the crew got on board the deceased suddenly fell down, and did not rally, although he was promptly conveyed on shore, and every effort made to recover consciousness. The deceased had been subject to fits, and Mr. Davey, of Walmer, gave it as his opinion that the deceased died from apoplexy. The jury, therefore, returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 8 September, 1882. Price 1d.


Mr. W. J. Harman, the landlord of the “Rising Sun,” Kingsdown, was called up and cautioned for having his house open after prohibited hours, and he promised that it should not occur again.


From the East Kent Mercury, 19 November, 1992


One of East Kent's most popular landlords, Arthur Silbery, has died of a heart attack at the age of 73.

Arthur Silbery

Mr. Silbery was proud to have been one of the first members of the SAS, seeing action as a paratrooper in several important actions of the Second World War, including being dropped into Morocco and the ill-fated Operation Market Garden (Arnhem) in 1944, where he was taken prisoner, spending the remainder of the war in one of the infamous Stalag camps.

After liberation and repatriation Mr. Silbery joined the Metropolitan Police. Returning to physical fitness, he took up athletics, throwing the hammer for the British Police team and taking part in international games in Sweden, beating Olympic standard competitors.

After a spell with the Flying Squad, he left the police to become a publican, eventually coming to take over the "Rising Sun," at Kingsdown.

In the forefront of pub catering, he quickly built a reputation at "The Riser" for good food and service, collecting in the process a local pub "family" so much so that when he left to take the licence of the "Foresters," on the marina, his regulars presented him with a leather bound volume containing their signatures.

At the "Foresters" he gained such a reputation for fresh seafood food that yachtsmen used to sail in from neighbouring ports, anchoring off the beach to have lunch in the pub.

From the "Foresters," he went to the "Plough," Ripple, where he continued to enhance his reputation until he retired to his cottage in West Street, Finglesham.

The funeral was held on Tuesday ay Barham Crematorium, after which his ashes were scattered in his garden, where in summer he enjoyed , in the company of his ducks and friends, an occasional glass of sustenance.

he will be sorely missed by many people across the area, not least his long time best friend Lizzie, for his sense of humour, honesty and joy of living.


From the Dover Mercury, 29 March, 2012. 80p


Ralph Charles with wife Pam and son John

Above picture:- Ralph Charles with wife Pam and son John

By Paul Amos PD2006461

YOU can always rely on Ralph Charles, landlord of the "Rising Sun" pub in Kingsdown, to engage in a bit of banter about his beloved West Ham or his last round of golf.

But, 40 years ago this week, Ralph was involved in the much more serious sporting business of trying to win a world boxing title.

It was on March 28,1972, in front of a packed Wembley Empire Pool (now Arena), that he took on the defending champion, Cuban-Mexican Jose Napoles, for the WBC and WBA world welterweight titles.

It was the 43rd professional fight for the former Fleet Street printer who began boxing at school at the age of 10 before joining West Ham ABC and and then going on to become British, Commonwealth and European welterweight champion and holder of a Lonsdale Belt, which is awarded to any boxer who wins a British title and then successfully defends it at least three times.

Ralph had turned pro at the age of 20 after winning two junior ABA titles and he became one of the first boxers to be managed by Terry Lawless, another East End boy, and had built an impressive record of 39 wins and three losses by the time he was pitched against Napoles in the spring of ‘72. Although Napoles was Cuban-born, he became a naturalised Mexican and national hero.

He won 80 of his 88 pro fights, including 54 by a knockout and is frequently ranked as one of greatest welterweight fighters of all time.

So Charles was under no illusions about the size of the task ahead of him when he stepped into the Wembley ring on that night 40 years ago.

Sitting in the lounge of his home in Kingsdown, he recalled: “We knew that Napoles was a great fighter. He had a smooth and silky style and could throw a deadly combination of punches.

“My normal style was to be pretty aggressive right from the start but we decided to adopt a different tactic for that fight.

“I didn't try to force it too much and the first few rounds went OK. By the time we got to the seventh, he was probably a couple of rounds ahead but I was still right in it.

“But then he just caught me with a couple of big punches and that was that.”

Jose Napoles and Ralph Charles in 1972

Above picture:- Jose Napoles and Ralph Charles in 1972.

Ralph, now 69, was counted out and minutes later he left the ring for what proved to be the last time, as a few weeks later he announced his retirement from boxing aged 29. “To be honest, I think the Napoles fight came a little bit too late for me. I had been a pro for nine years and I was becoming fed up with all the training.

“I hated road running but I used to do six or seven miles every morning and then spend five nights a week in the gym.

“I felt I had had enough and so, after the Napoles fight, I talked it over with my wife Pam and we decided to call it a day, even though I had some good offers to carry on.”

Ralph earned 10,000 for his fight with Napoles, which enabled him to buy a house in Romford for Pam and his two Ralph, Pam and John ran the pub as a family business, with John in charge during the week and his parents taking over at the weekend.

Golf is now Ralph's major sporting pastime and he admits: “I don't follow boxing much nowadays. There are so many different world titles you can't keep track of it all.”

Back in 1972 there were just the two on offer, the WBA and WBC versions and if Ralph had beaten Napoles, maybe he would have decided to carry on fighting as world champion. He said: “We thought Napoles was past his best but clearly he wasn't and he went on for another four years. I have got a video of the fight which I watch every now and again and it still gives me a headache!"



As of July 2015, the pub was owned by Tom & Kerensa Miller.


From the By Secret Drinker, 27 January 2020.

Secret Drinker at the Rising Sun, Cliffe Road, Kingsdown, near Deal.

Taking the opportunity to tick Z off my list of pub names, not to mention looking forward to a pint right on the beach, I headed for the "Zetland Arms" just outside Deal.

Negotiating the shale almost to the water’s edge, we parked up carefully only to have my hopes dashed by a sign declaring it was closed for a private party.

The views may be great and the recommendations just as impressive, but if it closes without notice on a Saturday night I’m not sure it deserves such favour.

Having made a special journey I backtracked a few hundred yards to the nearby Rising Sun on Cliffe Road in search of a much-needed pint and hearty pub meal.

I received a hearty enough welcome but race night fever had gripped the locals and although menus were spread liberally around I was informed all food was off.

With three barmaids on duty there were plenty of staff serving but they were neither as cheery, nor chatty, as the punters.

Just in time for Race 3, the Old MacDonald Stakes, a 2 stake on Woof Woof secured me winnings of 3.70. Adding 4 to my ill-gotten gains was enough for a pint of Timothy Taylor, a 4.3%, and a coke for my driver.

I might have still had the munchies but at least I’d got my hands on a decent drink – it’s not overpowering or even over fruity but nonetheless delivers subtle, impressive flavours.

Pint in hand I took a good look around. A flashy dartboard and a decent selection of trophies suggest there must be serious dart players in at least once a week. On the subject of games, there’s even a skittle alley in the garden with a concrete track and a challenging looking camber (they’re seeking ladies to play – ring 01304 373983 if you’re up for it). I assume the landlord/landlady favours Spurs and is determined to demonstrate their allegiance with a THFC sign over the bar.

Rising Sun bar 2020

There's no doubt which football team the pub favours.

There are plenty of beams, they even run through into the fresh smelling gents with its lengthy metal urinal, and the trendy olive green paint is evident throughout, along with tartan curtains. The ladies, on the other hand, only offer a single cubicle so make sure you lock the outside door!

The flowers in jars on each table might be false but the hanging baskets outside certainly aren’t and offer a blaze of colour.

The video races might have kept the locals inside but there was healthy evidence this is a boozer which really benefits from its outside space – dogs are welcome as long as they’re kept on leads and there are plenty of picnic benches.

Rising Sun inside 2020

The Rising Sun was built in 1692 and was used to make fishing nets but this changed in 1784 when Richard Sutton opened it as an ale house and it has been selling pints ever since.

However, the front of the pub is busiest and is the clear choice for smokers. For some reason the Rising Sun has decided it needs a waterfall and construction is well under way.

Water feature 2020

I finally got fed at a chippie in Deal, coincidentally I noticed the Royal Marines Association next door was also holding a race night.

I’m only too well aware cash-strapped pubs face tough challenges but I don’t think Saturday night lockouts or taking food off the menu will prove to be long term solutions.

Rising Sun garden 2020

Part of the outside seating area.



SUTTON Richard 1784-1801

SUTTON Eliza (widow) 1801-04

SUTTON Hannah (daughter) 1804-26

MOCKETT Joshua 1826-32

SPINNER Robert 1832-39

Last pub licensee had SAFFREY Harry 1839-4

ARNOLD (Robert) Richard E 1846-May/63 Bagshaw's Directory 1847Deal Telegram (Beerhouse Bagshaw's Directory 1847) Census

ARNOLD William May/1863-81 Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882 (age 34 in 1871Census)(Nephew of above Dover Express)

(HARMAN W J Mr Sept/1882 Dover Express possibly incorrect info)

ARNOLD William John (son of above Arnold) 1881-Apr/1903 (age 64 in 1901Dover Express) Kelly's 1903

HARDEN Thomas Charles Apr/1903-29 (age 51 in 1911Census) Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1913 brother of Alfred A Harden, "Lord Nelson."

SUTTON Alec E 1929-Jan/1936 Dover Express

HYLAND James Jan/1936-Aug/43 (age 58 in 1939) Dover Express

BAGSHAW Mr C L W Aug/1943+ Dover Express

MAIN P A 20/Nov/1944-54

BAIN K S 1954-56

KINGHAM M 1956-Feb/60

SILBURY Pan & Arthur Feb/60-Sept/1969 Next pub licensee had

YARMAN L F June/1967

STEVENS Peter J & BRUNT M 1974+ Library archives 1974 Charrington & Co

CHARLES Ralph & Pam 1982-2012+

READ Jude July/2015+

JOHNSON Dan Mar/2018+


Peter J Stevens was also licensee of the "Mill Inn," Deal and the "Railway Hotel," Walmer.


Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Deal TelegramFrom the Deal Telegram

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:-