Sort file:- Maidstone, April, 2022.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Monday, 18 April, 2022.


Earliest 1969

(Name from)

Saxon Chief

Closed Apr 2013

250 Queen's Road


Saxon Chief

Above photo, circa 1930 when it was the Barming Heath Workmen's Institute.

Saxon Chief 2014 Saxon Chief sign 1991Saxon Chief sign 1991

Above signs, May 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Saxon Chief 2014

Above photo and sign by Roy Moore, 16 April 2014.


Previously known as Jude, Hanbury & Co's houses known as the "Greyhound," that closed due to redundancy in 1917.

The "Working Mens' Club" opened in here 1921, till 1969 when it became a pub again called the "Saxon Chief." The sign showing Beormund, a Saxon Chief, who once lived in the area.


Bought by Chartway Group in April 2013, who wish to use the premises as offices. Thus the pub closed its doors to the public.


Local knowledge, further pictures, and licensee information would be appreciated.

I will be adding the historical information when I find or are sent it, but this project is a very big one, and I do not know when or where the information will come from.

All emails are answered.


From the  17 October 2001.

Life for evil wife murderer.

PUB landlord Martin Illing has started a life sentence for the murder of his wife.

Northampton-born Illing, aged 41, had denied the charge claiming that he was only guilty of the manslaughter of Jennifer Illing by reason of provocation.

But the jury of eight men and four women unanimously convicted him of murder when returning a verdict yesterday.

Illing hung his head as Mr Justice Bell told him: “This was, as you volunteered in evidence, a terrible thing that you did.

“It is perfectly plain that out of a combination of jealousy and anger you were determined to kill your wife and persisted in your knife attacks until she was dead.”

Maidstone Crown Court heard how the former army lance corporal flew into a rage at his pub in Maidstone, Kent, and killed Mrs Illing, aged 39, because he could not accept that the marriage of almost 21 years was over.

He first stabbed her with a knife he had taken into the bar from the kitchen. When it broke he returned to the kitchen and grabbed a larger knife to continue the attack.

Wendy Joseph, QC, prosecuting, said Illing inflicted several deep wounds and at one stage also strangled his wife. Illing had been unfaithful to Mrs Illing but then became possessive of her. He claimed he attacked his wife after she admitted she was having an affair.

He told the jury during his trial: “I don’t know when I realised she was dead. When I did realise, I phoned the police. Before I did, I kissed her and told her I loved her.

“I killed my wife. I just done it. I was angry. It was all so unreal, like it was not going on. I have had 10 months in a prison cell thinking about it. I just loved her very much. It was every emotion you can think of.”

His QC Nicholas Price said: “It is quite clear that this defendant is not a danger to the public, it is quite clear that his remorse is palpable, it is quite clear that his conduct was wholly alien to his usual behaviour as a husband of nearly 21 years.

“He is aware of the inevitable sentence and his sorrow for what he has done to his wife will be ever present with him until the end of his days.”

The judge said he would be making a report to recommend the length of the sentence to be served.

Detective Inspector Nigel Shambler said afterwards: “The circumstances which led to the death of Jennifer Illing were very tragic and while we are satisfied with the verdict reached today, we are very much aware of the loss her family have suffered.”

Illing’s parents declined to comment.


From the  By Kent Online reporter, 19 October 2001.

Pub landlord gets life for killing wife.

A PUB landlord has been given a life sentence for the murder of his wife. Martin Illing, 41, licensee of the Saxon Chief in Queens Road, Maidstone, had denied the charge claiming that he was only guilty of the manslaughter of Jennifer Illing by reason of provocation.

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard how Illing flew into a rage at the pub and killed 39-year-old Mrs Illing because he could not accept that their marriage was over. The court was told Illing had been unfaithful to his wife but then became possessive of her. He suspected that she was having an affair, but did not know her new love was Mark Newitt, a customer at the pub.


From the By Kent Online reporter, 19 October 2001.

Wife killer had 'string of affairs'.

A PUB landlord who is beginning a life sentence for stabbing his wife to death was a serial love cheat, says his sister-in-law. The full extent of Martin Illing's adulterous behaviour and the heartache it caused his wife Jennifer has been revealed by her youngest sister.

Illing, 41, who ran the Saxon Chief pub in Maidstone, had denied murder claiming that he was only guilty of manslaughter by reason of provocation. But a jury at Maidstone Crown Court unanimously convicted him of the murder charge. Mrs Illing's sister, Edith Hitchcock, 34, who lives in France, said: "I spoke to my sister the Saturday before she died. She was happy and had made up her mind to leave home. Jen knew about the affairs but held strong family values close to her heart. She didn't want to split up the family, but had had enough.

"At the end of the day Martin's marriage vows meant nothing to him. My sister was head over heals in love with him for sometime, but there had to be a cut off point. She told me about a new man she had met but it wasn't a physical relationship. It was more of a friendship.

"She wasn't leaving Martin for him. She was going to buy another pub in Maidstone and run it herself. The sad thing is she kept saying Martin could never hurt her again. She had been so hurt by him she said he could never do her any more harm."

Mrs Hitchcock added: "I spoke to Martin four hours before he killed my sister and he told me he had confessed everything to her. He said she was leaving him and he had confessed to all his affairs. He said he had also told her about a longstanding affair he had been having with a woman called Cheryl.

"This was an incredibly jealous and incredibly possessive man who tried to dominate and control his wife. Only one person knows if he truly loved his wife, however, and that's him."

Mrs Hitchcock praised Det Insp Nigel Shambler for his help during the case. She stressed: "He has offered such support for me and my family right from January. I can't thank him enough."


From the 21 Mar 2008.

Wife-killer may be free within three years.

A PUBLICAN who butchered his wife in a frenzy sparked by jealousy will be free to apply for parole within three years due to his profound remorse and exceptional progress behind bars.

Martin Illing

Martin Paul Illing, 48, was jailed for life in October 2001 at Maidstone Crown Court after he was convicted of murdering Jennifer Illing, his wife of 20 years.

Illing throttled his wife and stabbed her 20 times after their marriage hit the rocks and she told him their relationship was over. He claimed he saw red and attacked her when she also disclosed that she was seeing someone else.

After reviewing Illing’s case at London’s Royal Courts of Justice, Mrs Justice Swift ruled he must serve a minimum jail “tariff” of 10 years for his crime. That was a reduction of two years on his previously recommended minimum.

The judge revealed that Illing’s life was dogged by tragedy even before the macabre events of January 19, 2001, when Mrs Illing was murdered.

The couple had wed in 1980, running the Saxon Chief pub, in Queens Road, Maidstone, and although they had two children, two other sons had earlier died in infancy.

It was clear that Illing was “much attached” to his wife, said the judge. Although Illing had “lost control” when he lashed out, he had persisted in his attack after she tried to summon help, even jettisoning his weapon for a larger kitchen knife to pursue his stricken wife.

Mrs Justice Swift said he had carried out a determined and bloody attack, demonstrating a clear intention to kill.

But she also noted Illing’s “exceptional” progress in jail, his deep remorse and his recognition of the crime’s impact on his children.

“He is very highly regarded by all who know him,” said the judge.

The Home Secretary had earlier recommended a 12-year tariff, but Mrs Justice Swift said Illing’s prison conduct merited a 10-year minimum.

That means that, after time spent on remand is taken into account, Illing will be free to apply for parole in January 2011.

However, the judge emphasised that he will only then be freed if the Parole Board consider it safe to do so. When released, he will remain on perpetual “life licence”, subject to prison recall if he puts a foot wrong.





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