Sort file:- Maidstone, August, 2023.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Sunday, 20 August, 2023.


Earliest 1798-



(Name to)

11 Middle Row, (High Street Pigot's Directory 1832-34) Bank Street


Sun 1890

Above photo, 1890, by kind permission of Eric Hartland, showing the Landlord Mr Boozer, his wife Mrs Boozer, Mrs Walther Boozer and Arthur Boozer.


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


Above photo date unknown.

Sun Inn

Above photo, date unknown, viewed from the Bank Street entrance.


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

Sun 2011

Photo taken 3 December 2011 from by Jelltex.

Sun 2014

Above photo by Roy Moore 24 July 2014.

Sun sign 1991Sun sign 1994

Above sign left, October 1991, Sign right, May 1994.

Sun sign 1994Sun sign 2014

Above sign left, May 1994, sign right 2014.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Sun painting

Painting, date unknown by Eddie Tucker.


It was mentioned in the song, "The Maidstone Landlords" in 1798.


The Morning Post, 15 August 1829.

Charles Moore was charged with breaking and entering the house of Stephen Stonham, the landlord of the "Sun Inn," Maidstone. and stealing therefrom a silver watch, three sovereigns, two half sovereigns, twelve shillings in silver, come notes of the late Maidstone Bank, and other articles. The house was left safely locked up on the night of the 3rd of May, and on coming down the next morning the landlady was surprised to find the bar window broken, the till broken open, and the cash gone. The kitchen door was shut, but not bolted, and there were marks about the wall as of a person having got over into the street. Suspicion fell upon the prisoner, who had lodged in the house, and the stolen property was found on his person. He said that he had concealed himself under one of the benches in the taproom till the family had gone to bed, and that he then got up, broke open the bar window, and stole the articles mentioned above, and then got over the back wall into the street.

Guilty— Death recorded.


From the Kentish Gazette, 5 May 1846.

On Friday night the anniversary dinner of the victuallers of Maidstone was held at the house of mine host, Stonham, the "Sun Inn." The company consisted of a large majority of the licensed victuallers of Maidstone. Mr. Chas. Hibble, agent of the united towns, was also present. Mr. William Hickmott, of the "Castle Inn," occupied the chair, and well sustained the proceedings of the evening.


Southeastern Gazette, 21 June 1853.

Coroner’s Inquest. Accidental Drowning.

On Thursday last an inquest was held at the "Sun Inn," High-street, before T. Kipping, Esq., coroner, on the body of a little boy named Alfred Tree, aged five and a half years, who was accidentally drowned in the river Len on Sunday, as stated in our last. The child, it appeared, lived with its parents in Wright’s-yard, leading from Bank-street to the river, and after returning from a Sunday school, at about twenty minutes to one o’clock, he took off his cap and went into the yard. At one o’clock, it being dinner time, the deceased was missed, and search being made for him he was found in the water at a short distance from the yard where he lived. He was speedily taken out by a man named Crisfield, and removed in doors, when medical assistance was called in, but life was quite extinct. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally drowned," accompanying it with a strong recommendation that a fence should be placed at the spot where it is supposed the deceased fell in, to prevent a recurrence of such accidents, it appearing that other children also had fallen in at tho same spot. The coroner said the recommendation should be duly forwarded to the owner of the property.


Southeastern Gazette, 26 July 1853.

Uttering Counterfeit Coin at Maidstone.

Margaret Young, 26, was indicted for uttering a counterfeit shilling, well knowing the same to be false and counterfeit, at Maidstone. Mr. Massey Dawson appeared for the prosecution.

The full particulars of the case appeared in last week’s Gazette. The prisoner, on the 30th June, went into the "Royal George" and "Twelve Bells" (sic) public-houses, and attempted to pass counterfeit sixpences, which were detected as bad, and she then paid with good money. On the following day the went to the "Sun" public-house, and in payment for a glass of beer she gave a bad shilling. Mrs. Ongley detected it as bad, and told prisoner of it. The prisoner denied knowing it was bad, and wished for it back again, but Mrs. Ongley kept it and afterwards gave it up to police-constable Beale. She also attempted to pass bad money at other houses in the town. Mr. Powell, inspector at the Mint, proved the shilling produced to be counterfeit.

The jury found the prisoner guilty and she was sentenced to six months' hard labour.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 25 May 1861.

Benefit Societies.

On Monday last several Benefit Societies held their anniversaries at their respective clubhouses. We could but notice the falling off in the numbers that now attend these gatherings. A few years since thousands of the working classes, attired in their holiday dress, might be seen with their bands of music and colours flying, with some garlands, parading the town and attending All Saints' Church, but these customs appear to be fast fading away, this year only one club - the Hand-in-Hand, held at the "Sun Inn," braided the street with a band.

This club has, we believe, been established more than half a century, and musters about 127 members, and their report for this year shows a balance in hand of about 30. They dined together at the "Sun Inn," Mr. Epps, the landlord, having provided them with an excellent dinner.


Maidstone Telegraph, Saturday 6 October 1866.

Robbery from the Sun Inn.

John Farrell another hopping importation, was brought up in custody charged with stealing two pictures and frames, the property of Mr. T. Epps, of the "Sun Inn," on the 28th inst.

Timothy Epps deposed:- I am landlord of the "Sun Inn," Middle Row. I had four lithogrphed pictures in my tap room at the back of my house. I last saw them safe about 10 o'clock yesterday morning. About half past 11 the same night, from information I received of the description of pictures found upon prisoner I was induced to look in my tap room for the pictures I had left their, and found two of them were missing. The pictures produced are those taken from my tap room.

John Apps said:- I am potman at the "Sun Inn." Prisoner came into the house and called for a half quarter of whiskey. He took the whiskey into a room, but came out again and finished it at the bar. I did not miss the pictures till my master spoke about them.

George Knowles deposed:- I was coming from Tolvil to Maidstone about a quarter past 11 o'clock last night when I met prisoner a few yards from the new schools. He appeared to be drunk. I spoke to him and passed on. After going a short distance I found the two pictures produced and a cap lying on the path. I returned and asked him if they belong to him. prisoner replied that he he did not know, and asked what pictures. I then told prisoner I should take the pictures to the station house. Prisoner followed me to the station house and said that the pictures belonged to him, and that he had been robbed of some others.

P.S. Rhodes confirmed statement of previous witness as to prisoner saying the pictures belonged to him when at the station house. He also said that he had a basket full the night before.

Prisoner, in reply to the Bench, said he was drunk at the time, and it was the first time he had ever committed such an act.

One month.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, 1 January 1870. Price 1d.


Alfred Cholmley was charged with stealing about 5lbs. of salt beef, the property of Mr Brissenden, of the “Sun Inn,” High-street, Maidstone, on the 27th Dec.

Adolphus Charles Brissenden deposed that he was landlord of the “Sun Inn,” High-street, Maidstone. The piece of salt beef produced was his property. It was placed on his counter for anybody to “help” themselves if they pleased. It was safe about half-past six. Prisoner was in front of the bar and partook of some of the beef. After prisoner had gone he missed the meat. He then gave information to the police. Prisoner returned to his house about a quarter to seven, with the meat in his possession. He said that he had brought the meat back, and was very sorry for taking it. He told prisoner he had better see the police about it, as he had given them information respecting it. Prisoner returned in company with another man. Police-Sergeant Phipps then came in, when prisoner ran out of the bar. He had not the slightest doubt about the identity of the beef.

P.S. Phipps deposed that he went to the “Sun Inn,” about a quarter to seven, when he saw prosecutor and prisoner. As soon as he entered prisoner ran away. He went in pursuit of prisoner, who ran down Padding-lane. He captured him in Medway-Street. He told prisoner that he was charged with stealing 4lbs. or 5lbs. of cooked meat from the “Sun.” Prisoner said that he knew nothing about it. He then took prisoner to the station-house.

Prisoner said that he was in liquor at the time, and did not know whether he took it or not.

The Bench sentenced him to one month's imprisonment with hard labour.


Starting life as the "Sun" as early as 1798, from 2014 to 2019 it had become "JPs", the "Duke of Earle," "O'Nells Irish Bar," back to the "Sun" again and now (2019) the "Stag."

I have also seen reference to this pub starting life as the "Swan" as early as the 16th century.

Licensee John Claude Porter it is said is remembered for his maroon coloured suit which he had made special to match his maroon coloured car and was a familiar figure travelling down the High Street in it to collect his flowers from the florists that he used to decorate the pub.


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.



STONHAM Stephen 1826-47+ (age 56 in 1841Census) Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

ONGLEY Thomas 1851+ (age 58 in 1851Census)

ONGLEY Mrs Cecillia 1855-58+

EPPS Timothy 1861-67+ (age 28 in 1861Census)

BRISSENDEN Adolphus Charles 1870-82+

BOOZER Mr 1890+

BRATTON James 1891+

BLACKMAN Sidney 1903+ Kelly's 1903

PORTER John Claude 1911-Aug 1918 South Eastern Gazette (Called up for service)

PORTER Norah Aug/1918+

PORTER John Claude to Mar/1939 dec'd (age 35 in 1911Census)


Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

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


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

South Eastern GazetteSouth Eastern Gazette


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