Sort file:- Maidstone, March, 2024.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Monday, 11 March, 2024.


Earliest 1538-

Bull Hotel

Closed 2011- (Name to)

9 (42) Gabriel's Hill


Bull Hotel

Above photo, date unknown, by kind permission of Maidstone Museum.

Bull Hotel

Above photo, date unknown, by kind permission Stephen Golding,

Bull Hotel

Above photo, date unknown from Chris Carter.

Bull Hotel 2013

Above photo 2013.

Bull Hotel 2014

Above photo, 2014, by kind permission of Roy Moore.

Concert poster 1777

Above concert poster dated 1777, kindly sent by Wietske Laura Phillips.


The "Bull Inn," one of five which once stood on Gabriel's Hill, was a coaching inn during the 1700s, and recalls the days when a livestock market was held in the town centre.

The premises was mentioned by local historian John Leland in 1538 as a Commercial Inn, and also exists in the song, "The Maidstone Landlords" in 1798.

I am told that at the time of closing the premises had changed name to "Gabriels." Then I believe also to the "Tutt and Shive," and lastly "Ethos Bar." If anyone has photos of these in that guise I'd be very interested in adding the photo thanks.

As of December 2013 the premises was identified as the Paddy Power betting shop.


From Kentish Gazette 27 July 1768.


Begs Leave to inform the Nobility, Gentry, and others, That he has taken the "Bull Inn" at Maidstone, and fitted it up in the gentlest Manner for the Reception of those who are pleased to favour him with their Custom. He has likewise laid in a large Stock of the best Wines and other Liquors.

N.B. Post-Chaises, etc, on the shortest Notice to any Part of England.


Kentish Gazette 23 October 1770.

Joseph Drywood, from Cranbrooke, Worsted and Yarn Maker, in Mill-Lane, Maidstone. Advertising his products, also continues that he delivers the Kentish Gazette every Tuesday & Saturday, setting out from his house or the "Bull."

While delivering the papers he calls at the following named Public-Houses, to collect parcels & orders.

The "Seven Stars" At Barmin, the "George" at Teason, the "King's Head" at Wateringbury, the "Buffalo's Head" at Mereworth, the "Kings Head" at Hadlow, the "Rose And Crown" at Tunbridge, as also at the Wells, the "Bull" at Sevenoaks, the "Crown and Sceptre" at Seale, the "George" at Ightham, the "Royal Oak" at Wrotham, the "Black Horse" at Offham, the "White Swan" at Townmalling, the "Ship" at Eastmalling, and the "Bull" at Larkfield.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 17 January 1797.

To be LET,

THAT well known Inn called the "BELL-INN, situated in Week Street, Maidstone, Kent, late in the occupation of Mr. George Hopkins, deceased.

Its situation in the county town; its well known connection of trade with the principal nobility and gentlemen on all public occasions — makes it a very desirable situation for any person wishing to engage in that line of business.

Further particulars may be known by applying at the premises, or to John Whitehead, Esq. St. Margaret’s Bank, Rochester, or to Timewell Bentham, Maidstone.

Immediate possession may be had.


Kentish Gazette 21 August 1801.

Monday se'nnight died, after a lingering illness, in the 70th year of his age, Mr. J. Olliver, formerly of the "Bull Inn," Maidstone, but had retired many years.


Kentish Gazette 2 April 1802.

A few days since died, after a long illness, Mrs. Bailey, wife of Mr. William Bailey, at the "Bull Inn" Maidstone.


From the Kentish Gazette, 16 October 1838.


Oct 7, aged 68, Mr. George Rachell, many years landlord of the "Bull Inn," Maidstone.


From the Kentish Gazette, 12 February 1839.


Jan. 31, at Maidstone, Mrs. Hards, of the "Bull Inn," leaving a husband and eight children.


Kentish Gazette, 3 August 1852.

Awfully Sudden Death.

On Wednesday a man named Arnold, died very suddenly. The deceased, was a sherriff's officer, had been engaged at the Crown Court all day on Tuesday, and in the afternoon complained of feeling unwell. He had previously had an attack of apoplexy, and an Tuesday be expressed his fears that he should have another attack. The unfortunate man lodged at the "Bull Inn," he retired to rest at his usual hour on Tuesday night. He got up on Wednesday morning, and went down stairs to breakfast, when he was seized with apoplexy. The fits lasted for some time; the poor man never recovered. He died about eleven o'clock on Wednesday morning.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 26 October 1852.

John Bates and Henry Rigden surrendered to their bail. They were charged with having, on the 29th of September, assaulted John Jackson, parish constable of Rolvenden, while in the execution of his duty.

Mr. Worsley appeared for the defendant's.

The constable having heard a disturbance opposite the "Bull Inn," close to his own dwelling, went out with the intention of quelling it. he found person's fighting and Bates appeared to be acting as second to one of them. They were told to go away, but Bates put himself in a fighting attitude. A man named Dewhurst said "For God's sake don't strike him; he is a constable in the execution of his duty." This advice had no good effect, however, for no sooner were the words uttered then Rigden knocked the constable down. He was knocked down twice afterwards, the last time by Bates. The constable used his staff liberally and the prisoners had each of cracked crown on the occasion; they were eventually locked up, with great difficulty.

Mr. Wolseley contended that the constable had overstepped his duty, and brought the attack on himself by interfering without making it apparent that he was a person in authority.

Guilty. 12 months imprisonment, and enter into sureties to keep the peace for 6 months, themselves in 10 each, and two sureties of 10 each, and to be further imprisoned until the sureties are entered into.


Kentish Gazette, 27 June 1854.

Testimonial to Superintendent Turrall.

On Thursday last, a handsome testimonial was presented to Mr. Turrall, Superintendent of the Bearsted division of police, at the "Bull Inn," Maidstone. Mr. Turrall, it will he remembered, was the means of breaking up a clever and daring gang of horse stealers, who for years had pillaged the farmers of Kent, Surrey, Sussex, and Hampshire, with impunity.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Saturday 1 January, 1859. Price 1d.


This case was tried before the Guildhall, London, last week, before Lord Campbell.

Mr. Chambers, in opening the case, said that the plaintiff and defendant were medical practitioners, and had not been on very good terms. It appeared that in 1857 Mr. Morrell took a business at Cranbrook, and in March, 1858, Mr. Baker succeeded to a practice in the same town. In the beginning of June last, Mr. Baker hinted to Dr. Dunhill that Mr. Morrell was not a licentiate of the Apothecaries' Company, and his name only appeared as surgeon in the Medical Directory in 1853; and on the 24th June, at a meeting at the “Bull Inn,” Mr. Baker made use of words, signifying that the plaintiff was an unqualified person; in consequence of which the present action had been brought.

Mr. John Morrell, the plaintiff, said, he became a licentiate of the Apothecaries Company in 1855, and a member of the College of Surgeons in 1840, and in 1857 he purchased a practice from a Mr. Blackwell, in Cranbrook, for 85. In March last, Mr. Baker succeeded to another practice, he did not, as is usual, call upon him. At the “Bull Inn,” on the 24th June, there was a meeting with respect to forming a doctor's club, in connection with the Cranbrook Provident Institute, at which he attended, and on being called to make his proposition, was about stating his intentions with respect to the club when Mr. Baker entered the room. He approached the table in a very excited manner and said, before the proceedings went any further he would make a few observations, when he said that he (the plaintiff) was an unqualified practitioner, and quite incapable of taking this club; and wondered how he could have the impudence to show his face in the room, knowing that he was not a legally qualified man, which he could prove by a book he (the defendant) then held in his hand, in which his name was down only as “John Morrell, Surgeon;” and further stated that he never looked upon him as a respectable, qualified practitioner, and would not take the slightest notice of him; whereupon the members put it to the vote and that he (the plaintiff) should leave, and he left in consequence; Mr. Baker remaining. Subsequently a correspondence took place between the attorneys, with a view to settle the matter, and the present action was brought. An execution had been put into his house, and all the goods were sold in consequence, and he then went to stay at Dr. Jobsons.

Cross-examined:- have a reason to declining to state where I now reside. Had drawn up an apology, but Mr. Baker refused to sign it. I subsequently went to another firm in London, but they refused to act, and I then employed my present attorney. Had practiced at Carshalton; but refused to say why he left. Had never told Mr. Dunk, a tailor, living at Cranbrook, that I refused to pay his bill until I had my damages in the action.

The correspondence with Mr. Baker was then read, and it appeared that the plaintiff drew up an apology, in which Mr. Baker was to confess that he had made a most unwarrantable and slanderous attack upon the plaintiff, and to retract everything of an injurious nature which he might have said against him; and also to confess that all he had said was wholly without foundation, and had just reason to consider that Mr. Morrell was a duly qualified and honourable member of the medical profession. To which Mr. Baker replied that to such an apology no gentleman could affix his name; but would sign an apology dictated by any respectable attorney, admitting that he had made an erroneous statement.

Mr. Macauley in addressing the court, contended that it was a shabby action on the part of the plaintiff, who was not entitled to damages to pay his debts.

Mr. Thomas Baker, the defendant, said he was first qualified as a medical man in 1833, and had practiced since in Bristol and Hampshire. On the 2nd June he called upon Mr. Dunhill and asked him to join with him in a letter to the Apothecaries' company, to interfere with Mr. Morrell. Mr. Dunhill said, “Is he not duly qualified,” and I said I believe he was not, for I could not find his name among the list of apothecaries as late as 1853, to which Mr. Dunhill replied that he should not interfere; he could not get more than 100 a year, let him alone, and he would soon work himself out. Mr. Morrell was speaking when he (the defendant) entered the room and walked quietly up to the table, and said that he believed (Mr. Morrell) was not a duly qualified practitioner, and the book he then held in his hand would prove it. Mr. Morrell said, “You're a liar.” A member was then voted to the chair, and a motion was carried that he should withdraw.

Cross-examined:- had written to Mr. Davis, at Weston-Supermare, and a few days afterwards heard that an execution had been put in and Mr. Morrell was sold up.

Lord Campbell, in summing up, remarked that the plaintiff and the defendant did little credit to their profession, and that defendant had acted most unjustifiably in endeavouring to persecute the plaintiff, and injure him in his profession. On the other hand, the plaintiff was a rolling stone, and his antecedents did not appear very distinctly. He had refused the defendant's offer of conciliation, and proposed to him such an apology as would have most likely blasted the defendant's reputation for life had he signed it. He Lord Campbell thought that if they found a verdict for the plaintiff small damages would suffice.

The Jury then returned with a verdict for the plaintiff, damaged 50.


Local News on this day 3rd February 1863.

At the Maidstone Police Court on Saturday 31st January, before the Mayor G. Edmett. Michael Fitzpatrick, who stated he came from Liverpool, was charged with stealing from Mrs Emily Benze, a gold watch chain, with the following appendages:- two gold seals marked "E.B", a plain locket set with hair with the initials "H.C.A.K", a gold key, an eye glass, a gold clasp and a gold oval ring, attaching the chain to the watch. The prisoner, who was a deserter, was described as a sullen and dissipated looking fellow. He was remanded on Wednesday, to allow Superintendant Blundell to make enquiries and to ascertain, whether there were any other charges to be preferred.

Mrs Emily Benze deposed that on the Tuesday, at about 12.30, she was standing outside the shop of Mr Grundy, Bank Street, looking at some pictures she was about to buy her daughter, when the prisoner came close to her side and made a grasp at her watch chain. The prisoner immediately ran off, and she gave the alarm to some people who were standing close by. The prisoner was followed and finally captured in the yard of the "Bull Inn," King Street.

Edward Robins "Boots" at the "Bull Inn," deposed that the prisoner, followed by another man, came running down their yard and thinking that something was wrong, he stopped the prisoner outside the kitchen window, when he began to show fight, and afterwards got a cracked bottle in his hand, threatening to strike anyone who dared to stop him. A policeman then came up, when the prisoner tried to make his escape and threw something behind a door. After the policeman had taken him into custody, the witness looked behind the door and found a part of the chain produced, which he afterwards gave into the hands of the police. P.C. Richard Sunnucks, who apprehended the prisoner, stated that he made a careful search in the "Bull" yard for the stolen articles, and had made enquiries at Mr Grundy's, but could not find them.

The prisoner, who made no defence, and refused to sign his name or put his mark to the paper, usually signed by prisoners, was committed for trial at the Assizes.

At the Lent Assizes, he was sentenced to four years' penal servitude and one of the witnesses in the case, Edward Robins, after leaving the court, fell down and fractured one of his legs.



REEVES Mr 1720+


OLIVER John 1768+

LAMPREY John 1791+

HOPKINS George to Jan/1797

BAILEY William 1802+

SIMONDS Joseph 1811+

RACHELL George 1826-Oct/38 dec'd Pigot's Directory 1832-34Kentish Gazette

JURY Henry 1840-58+ (widower also land agent appraiser age 56 in 1851Census)

TANTON William George 1867+ (also saddler) Post Office Directory 1867

AMBROSE William 1871 (age 57 in 1871Census)

WYBURN Frederick E 1881-91 (age 53 in 1871Census)

PETTITT Sarah 1891+ (age 40 in 1891Census)

COLE James 1899-1904+ (also Wine & Spirit Merchant)

RUSSELL William 1911+ (age 51 in 1911Census)

EFFORD William John 1913-30+

SQUELCH Kate Mrs 1938+


Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette


Post Office Directory 1867From the Post Office Directory 1867


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