Sort file:- Maidstone, April, 2024.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Thursday, 04 April, 2024.


Earliest 1839-

Ancient Druids

Latest 2011-

17 (73) Brewer Street, Wheeler Street


Ancient Druids 1890

Above photo 1890.

Ancient Druids

Above photo, date unknown, by kind permission of Eric Hartland.

Ancient Druids 1985

Above photo, 1985, by kind permission of Eric Hartland.

Ancient Druids July 2011

Above photo July 2011.


It has been suggested that the Maidstone East to Ashford railway line ran underneath the pub and you could feel the vibration as the train passed through the tunnel whilst in this pub.

Closed as a pub and as of 2011 was being used as an Indian restaurant.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 7 January,1860. Price 1d.

ANCIENT DRUIDS INN. Brewer Street, Maidstone.

Edward Deall, Jun., begs to acquaint his friends and the public generally, that he has taken the above house, the business of which was formerly carried on for many years by his father. The Ales &c., will be found first rate, and the stock of Wines, Spirits, &c., of the very best quality.

E. D. Jun., hopes by strict attention to the wishes of his customers to ensure liberal support.

A free and easy, every Saturday Evenings, which professional gentleman are engaged.


South Eastern Gazette, 27 March, 1860.

The late Burglary.

At the Maidstone Petty Sessions, on Tuesday before H. Argles, Esq., in the chair, C. Ellis and T. W. Allen, Esqrs.).

Assaulting the Police.

At the same time as the above, John Allman, 17, baker, was charged with assaulting Police-constable Bachelor, in the execution of his duty, and rescuing a prisoner from custody, on the 18th inst. From Bachelor’s statement it appeared that on the previous Saturday night he was on duty in Brewer-street, at about 12 o’clock, when a Mrs. Dann (who was some time ago charged with stabbing her husband) was given into his custody for again assaulting her husband, with a poker. While going down Wheeler-street, prisoner came up, and asked where she was going. She replied, "To the station." Prisoner said she should not go, as he would sooner go himself. He then seized hold of the constable, and a violent struggle ensued, in which they both went down. The constable twice regained his hold of the woman, but in consequence of the present prisoner’s repeated assaults upon him, she ultimately escaped altogether, and had not since been apprehended; and it was only with the aid of Mr. Deall, landlord of the "Ancient Druids," Wheeler-street, that the constable succeeded in getting the prisoner to the station. Prisoner admitted having assaulted the constable and rescued the woman, but said he did not threaten to stab Bachelor, as the latter had stated.

The magistrates said it was a great question with them whether they ought not to commit the prisoner to the Quarter Sessions. Had they done so, he would have undergone a very severe punishment. They did not see a single feature of mitigation in the case, and should therefore inflict the penalty of 5, or one month’s hard labour. The prisoner was removed in custody, but the money was afterwards paid.


South Eastern Gazette, 28 August, 1860.


Saturday. (Before C. Ellis, Esq., in the chair, and H. Argles, Esq.)


Edward Deall, landlord of the "Ancient Druids" public-house, Wheeler-street, was charged with assaulting Samuel Stonham, pork butcher, King-street, on the 20th inst.

Complainant said that the defendant had purchased a leg of pork of him, but wished him to fetch it away again, as he said it was not good. Complainant did so, when some words arose between them, upon which defendant took hold of him, threw him down, "boxed his ears," and threw his hat across the road.

Defendant positively denied having assaulted complainant, but said he had only turned him out of his house, in consequence of his abuse.

The magistrates, however, fined defendant 5s. and 9s. costs.


South Eastern Gazette, 27 November, 1860.



Apply to Messrs. Day and Son, Appraisers, Maidstone.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 23 February 1861.

Coroner's Inquest.

An inquest was held on Wednesday last, at the "Ancient Druids Inn," Wheeler Street, Maidstone, before the coroner T. Kipping, Esq., touching the death of Robert Woodman, supposed to have died from the effects of poison.

The first witness examined was deceased's wife, Sophia Woodman, who deposed that she lived in Carey Street, and that deceased was her husband. During the last 3 months her husband had been suffering from ill health and had been in a very weak state. He had been in the employ of Mr. Mills, egg merchant, in whose employ he had been for about 16 years. He died on the previous Sunday, at 11 o'clock at night. He had not previously been under any medical advice. She further stated that she left home about 2 o'clock on Sunday afternoon, and returned about 7. Her husband pressed her to take the two youngest children to Farleigh, and to return about that hour. She went to see an intimate friend, Mr. Judges. Before going out she locked the back door on the inside, and took the key of the street door with her, leaving her husband in bed. He had frequently laid down during Sunday afternoon, more particularly if he was going in the country on the following day. Upon her returning home about 7 o'clock she lighted a candle and proceeded upstairs. On opening the stair door she heard a peculiar noise, and on going to the bed, she saw that her husband was black in the face and breathing with great difficulty. She immediately called in a neighbour, and sent for Mr. Saunders, surgeon. Before he arrived, she found in a jacket pocket of deceased two vials, one full and the other nearly empty. Neither of the bottles were labelled. One was filled with laudanum and the remaining portion of the other bottle contained camper and laudanum. Her husband appeared to be in a state of stupor and never rallied. Had not seen the bottles in his position before. He had not been in the habit of taking laudanum. He had had a great trial with his children, and deceased has said he would make off with himself. His family were composed of two sons and three daughters. In June last he attempted to destroy himself in the washroom. He, on that occasion, between 5 and 6 o'clock in the morning, went into the attic, got a piece of rope and proceeded to the wash house. Witness jumped out of bed and followed him, when she found the door locked but upon his hearing her he came out, and subsequently admitted to her that he was going to hang himself, but would find an easier death. He had since been in a very strange way, was exceedingly bad-tempered, and would accuse her of many things which she had not the least idea of. He had suffered of late very much from indigestion.

Mr. Saunders, surgeon, deposed that on Sunday evening last, shortly before 7 o'clock, he was called to the house. On arriving there he found deceased insensible, and it was quite impossible to arase him. From his appearance witness thought he had taken opium. He enquired of his wife whether she was aware that he had been taking anything. She then produced the bottles, one of which contains camphor and opium and the other tincture of opium. From the appearance of the bottles produced, deceased had taken from the one that contain camphor and opium. Enough of which had been taken from the bottle to cause death. He found it was impossible to get deceased to swallow anything and introduced the stomach-pump, but found no trace of the poisonous liquid. He afterward try to administer some strong coffee and ammonia, but to no purpose. Deceased never rallied and expired about 11 o'clock that night. He had no doubt that death ensued through taking laudanum.

Mr. Price, chemist deposed that he knew the deceased. He had occasionally been to the shop and he had sold him powders composed of calomel and jallup, and also laudanum. About 3 or 4 times during the last 12 months he had purchased laudanum and had bought an ounce and a half at a time. On the previous Friday he purchased of witness same quantity. Witness knew nothing about the bottle containing the tincture of opium. Deceased told witness that he purchased the laudanum for an old lady, one of his customers.

This was the whole of the evidence, adduced the coroner having briefly addressed the jury, the following verdict was returned:- "That deceased destroyed himself while in a state of temporary insanity."


From an email received 1 March 2015.

I used to drink in the "Druids" back in the 1970s the landlords name was Gerry and he ran the pub with his wife Rita.

Gerry originally came from Govan which is a part of Glasgow and his wife was from Ireland.

They had 2 boys one was quite a good football player he may have been signed for Maidestone.

It was quite a lively and friendly pub and was busy.. sorry to see the place closed as I had a lot of good memories of the place and the customers at the time.

Sorry I could not help more with their second names.

Robert Hill.


From an email received 20 June 2019.

I believe my dad's brother, Uncle Frank Ernest NEWMAN & his wife Evelyn Newman (nee Stockman) were the licensees of the Ancient Druids, Brewer Street, Maidstone, Kent during the1960's/70's. (Possibly 63/64 to 73/74)

They had two children, Paul born Oct 1946 and Tina born in 1955.

It was a family concern with Evelyn's brother, Jeff Stockman residing there and working as a barman. Mrs Stockman, Evelyn's mother also lived with them and worked hard preparing meals and looking after the lodgers who also resided at the "Ancient Druids."

There were three bars - the main Saloon, the Snug where the ladies liked to drink and the Men's bar where there was a snooker table, darts, dominos and a one arm bandit machine.

My family have many happy memories of weekends and holidays spent at the pub. The highlights being Friday and Saturday nights when the pub walls would be rocking to the regular three piece musical group with Cliff on keyboard and many patrons singing their hearts out. My late husband would always give a stirring rendition of Danny Boy when handed the microphone.

Theme nights were also popular where Publican, staff and patrons would dress up and get into the spirit of the occasion. My favourite memory is of Friar Tuck, alias Uncle Frank, pulling pints of beer for the packed out pub.

Another favourite was local Lady who would read your palm for a pint. Many of her prophecies have proved spot on for myself and my family.

Uncle Frank retired to Cornwall and passed away in 2000.

Hope this fills in some blanks for you, it has certainly bought back some wonderful memories for me.

Kind regards,

Maureen Ascott.


Further information from Anthone Pope.

The keyboard guy was usually my father Neville Pope, I remember Frank, Eve, Jeff and Nan very well. I believe Cliff did a bit of singing. Jeff had a small engineering company in Sandling, where my brother did an apprenticeship. Frank's son Paul was a plumber. Happy times.

Anthony Pope.



DEALL Edward 1839-Jan/1860+

BUNYARD Thomas 1851+55 (also Grocer age 50 in 1851Census)

DEALL Edward 1860-62 (age 36 in 1861Census)

HEATHORN John Thomas Lee 1867+ Post Office Directory 1867

DANN Luke W 1881-82+ (age 67 in 1881Census)

DANN Louisa Miss 1891+ (age 61 in 1891Census)

DANN Luke 1891+ (age 61 in 1891Census)

DANN Horace 1899-1904+ (age 35 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

HORTON Thomas Templar 1913-18+

CRIPPS E E 1922+

CRIPPS Frederick Ernest 1930+

DE CAMPO Giovanni 1938+

NEWMAN Frank Ernest 1963-74

WALSH Gerry & Rita to 1978 (Gerry dec'd)



Post Office Directory 1867From the Post Office Directory 1867

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


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