Sort file:- Maidstone, May, 2022.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Thursday, 05 May, 2022.


Earliest 1786


Closed Oct 26 2019

301 Loose Road (Sutton Road 1900)


01622 752624

Wheatsheaf 1880

Above photo circa 1880.


Above photo, date unknown, by Chris Lilley.

Wheatsheaf 1904

Above photo, circa 1904, showing Maidstone's Horse Bus that operated between Barming Asylum and the Cemetary.


Above photo, date as yet unknown, showing the Style & Winch Foden, driven by Arthur McCaffrey, which hit a tram in Loose Road. It is said that the Foden was able to continue its journey but it took 2 days to get the tram put back on its rails. Mind you, the Foden did weigh 3 tons.

Wheatsheaf 1920

Above photo, 1920.

Above postcard, postmarked 22 May 1928. Showing Charles Joseph & Louisa Matilda Moss.

Wheatsheaf 1939

Above photo, September 1939, by Andrew Clark.

Wheatsheaf 1939

Above photo, circa 1939, by Andrew Clark.

Wheatsheaf 1939

Above photo stating:- "The Wheatsheaf Inn, 1939, after the kerb and other obstacles had been painted with black and white stripes to help pedestrians and drivers negotiate the junction during the "black out". In the picture at the top of the page, taken in Sutton Road, a notice about "Lighting Restrictions" and a Maidstone & District bus timetable are on the wall beside the entrance to the Gents' lavatory." By Andrew Clark.

Wheatsheaf 1950s

Above photo, circa 1950s.

Wheatsheaf 2010

Above photo 2010 by Chris Whippet, Creative Commons Licence.

Wheatsheaf Loose Road 2017

Above Google image, June 2017 showing the Wheatsheaf from the Loose Road.

Wheatsheaf Sutton Road 2017

Above Google image, June 2017 showing the Wheatsheaf from the Sutton Road.

Wheatsheaf 2019

Above photo, 2019.

Wheatsheaf sign 2019

Above sign 2019.

Wheatsheaf matchbox

Above matchbox, circa 1980s, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.


It is said that a pub has been on this site since the 1600's but the one we see today was built in 1830.

However, the premises has been bought by Maidstone District Council who wish to demolish it for a roundabout to help traffic congestion.


From the Kentish Gazette, 18 October 1836.


Thursday week an inquest was held at the "Wheatcheaf," Loose road, Maidstone, on a stranger, who came by his death in the following dreadful manner. He was a fine athletic young man about 21, and had been hopping at Staplehurst. On Tuesday he left employment, and was walking towards Maidstone, when he fell in with a wagon from Ticehurst, laden with hops, and the wagoner gave him permission to hang his kettle under the back of the wagon, beside which he walked.

On arriving at the "Wheatsheaf" the stranger called for a pint of beer, of which the wagoner also partook. On leaving the "Wheatsheaf," the driver proceeded, leading deceased, as he supposed, behind. He had, however, unknown to him, got up on the shaft on the off-side of the wagon, which was a double team. After they had proceeded some distance, a van, in passing, to avoid some women on the other side of the road, drove so near the off-side as to graze the legs of deceased, who, probably, trying to shield himself from the van, fell into the road. The fore-wheel of the wagon came in contact with his neck, which, in the words of one of the witnesses, "skidded the wheel for half a rod." It then passed over him; the hind-wheel also passed over his face, killing him on the spot. He had on his person two half-sovereigns, a half-crown, and sixpence-halfpenny, with a bill of his work as hopper made out in the name of "J. Edmunds." In his left-hand waistcoat pocket was found a charm against the ague, which was sealed with three seals, and which the coroner had opened to discover his place of abode. It was in the following terms:—

"Whene Jesus bore the cross Whene He Was crucified His Bones did trimbled and shake. Peter asked him if he Was troubled with an ague or Fever. Jesus answered he Was Neither troubled With the Fever or ague, and he or she that Keepeth these Words about them Shall Nither Be troubled a With ague Nor Fever. Good lord for thy Mercy Sake good lord bless this thy serveant serveant Mr. Edmunds aucterden."

This last word was so illegibly written, that it gave no clue to the residence of the deceased, who was supposed to have come from Hampshire.

The Jury found a verdict of "Accidental Death"— with deodands of 5s. each on both the van and the wagon.

Maidstone Gazette.


From the Kentish Gazette, 11 June 1839.

An inquest was held on Monday at the "Wheatsheaf" public-house, Maidstone, before the borough coroner, on the body of a little boy named Alfred Fever, aped 7 years, who fell under the wheel of a wagon which passed over his head and caused immediate death.

Verdict "accidental death."


Wheatsheaf party 1953

Above photo showing a party in 1953.

From the By Alan Smith, 24 October 2019.

Maidstone pub The Wheatsheaf on corner of Loose Road and Sutton Road to be demolished.

This Saturday sees the end of an era.

Rossa and Renee Kenny who have run The Wheatsheaf pub in Maidstone for more than 35 years are retiring.

Rossa and Renee Kenny 2019

Rossa and Renee Kenny.

Furthermore, the pub itself is closing, bringing to an end 170 years of history.

Mr and Mrs Kenny, who took on the pub in 1984, have held an old folks party every Christmas for those in need or on their own and they are well known in the community.

They have also continuously fundraised for local charities, including Heart Of Kent Hospice and the Alzheimers Society. They are presenting a final cheque to the Alzheimers Society on Saturday - their last night.

The pub has been purchased by KCC and will be demolished to make way for a new roundabout at the junction between Loose Road and Sutton Road (the A229 and A274).

The Wheatsheaf junction is a notorious traffic blackspot, but the demolition of the iconic pub raises an important question - what will the junction be called in the future?

Wheatsheaf 2019

The Wheatsheaf pub at the junction of the Loose Road and Sutton Road.

Wheatsheaf traffic 2019

Traffic at The Wheatsheaf, Maidstone Picture: Matthew Walker.

From the By Alan Smith, 28 October 2019.

The Kennys call time at The Wheatsheaf in Maidstone.

Rossa and Renee Kenny have pulled their last pints at The Wheatsheaf pub in Maidstone.

The couple hosted a farewell party for their regulars at the pub on the corner of Loose Road and Sutton Road on Saturday, after 35 years behind the bar.

Renee & Rosa Kenny 2019

Renee and Rosa Kenny who are retiring as licensee's from The Wheatsheaf pub in Loose Road, Maidstone. Picture: Chris Davey.

Mr Kenny first started in the licensed trade 52 years ago, when as an 18-year-old he got a job as a barman in his native Ireland.

He then came to the UK, working in pubs in London, before returning to Ireland to manage his first pub. By the time he returned to London in 1979, he had married Renee, and the two bought the "Wheatsheaf" in 1984.

Mr Kenny said: "It was a very traditional male pub where women did not feel particularly comfortable. We set about changing that straight away."

The couple introduced a food menu, and over time they saw the nature of their clientele change.

Mr Kenny said: "At first, we had a lot of bank managers, police officers and firemen who would call in for a drink at lunchtime."

"But that lunchtime drinking culture while at work has ceased." So much so that the Kennys eventually decided not to open at lunchtime.

The introduction of the smoking ban also greatly affected the business, despite the construction of an outdoor shelter for smokers. Mr Kenny said: "The ban did keep a lot of people at home. Though it was a major benefit for people who work in the industry, as we no longer had customers sitting just across the bar puffing smoke in our faces."

Mr Kenny said some of the changes had been gradual, so that it was only now looking back that he noticed.

He said: "When we started, young people would come in for a pint with their fathers or uncles, and learned how to drink responsibly. You don't see much of that now.

"The drinking culture has changed with young people tending to go to town and binge drink."

They couple had also had to deal with an increased prevalence of drugs. He said; "We've not really had any problems at the "Wheatsheaf," but it's something you have to be aware of.

"You can generally contain someone whose had too much to drink, but if they've also taken drugs, you never know what might happen."

The couple have always tried to make their pub part of the community. They have helped numerous good causes over the years, raising money to buy equipment for Maidstone Hospital and for the Leonard Cheshire home for the disabled when it was at Mote House, as well as the Kent Association for the Blind and the Heart of Kent Hospice.

Indeed on Saturday, their last night, they presented a cheque for 2,000 to Denise Lintern, who was representing the Alzheimers Society.

For the last 34 years, they've also given a free Christmas dinner for between 30 and 40 old folk in the area, laying on a four-course meal and a drink on the house.

The pub, which has been a local landmark since 1830, is now set to disappear. The Kennys have sold the building to KCC who intend to demolish it to make room for a roundabout at the junction, a notorious congestion blackspot.

It is perhaps the couple's only regret. Mr Kenny said: "We've always taken a tremendous pride in the look of the pub, ensuring it is kept swept and clean and never going more than five years without repainting."

Mr Kenny, 70, and Mrs Kenny, 65, intend to retire to Folkestone.

The "Wheatsheaf" has given its name to the junction of the A229 and A274.


Kent Messenger Maidstone, 7 Nov 2019.

Time called, so get memories in order.

Whether you associate it with a cool beer or traffic gridlock, everyone knows the set to be demolished "Wheatsheaf" pub. We reflect on its long history...

One of the distinctive buildings of Maidstone’s architectural heritage is soon to be lost to us.

The pub that commands the "Wheatsheaf" junction of the A229 Loose Road and the A274 Sutton Road looks set to be demolished.

The inn, which has stood on the corner since 1830 - the last year of the reign of George IV, is to be pulled down to make way for a roundabout, in a 2.5m scheme designed by Kent County Council.

Landlords Rossa and Renee Kenny have already closed their doors and departed for the sunnier climes of Folkestone, but before they went they left behind a full history of the pub.

It turns out the building has existed since Charles II was on the throne, and there has been a drinking establishment on the site since 1786.

It was then that Samuel Coggins who lived there, described as a carpenter and furniture-maker, first applied for a licence to sell beer. He was given permission to sell ales and ciders, but not during the hours of divine service and not spirits.

Mr. Coggins only leased the property - the freehold was held by Thomas Hackwood of Boughton Monchelsea who had extensive land-holdings throughout Boughton and the Suttons. When Mr. Hackwood died in 1803, the freehold passed to his son Geoffrey and by that time the beer house was run by Joseph Hutchins, but was still limited to ales and cider.

Mr. Hutchins remained behind the bar until his death in 1821, when his widow Emily took over and stayed till 1828. Thomas Barrow then applied for the licence. Perhaps a little surprisingly, he was refused. The reason being that the building had fallen into disrepair and was considered structurally unsafe.

That led to the demolition of the first "Wheatsheaf" and in 1830 Maidstone builder Johnathan Tills constructed the pub we see today. The work was completed in March 1830. The property was bought by Walter Cemy of Maidstone and registered under the title of the "Wheatsheaf." A full liquor licence - as opposed to just for beers - was granted to his tenant Eli Twiddy.

He was succeeded in 1841 by Thomas Shodden, but it seems Mr. Shodden did not find tavern-keeping sufficient for his entrepreneurial instincts. He described himself as a "tavern keeper and corn merchant" and in 1845 he left the pub to open a corn and seed store in Gabriels Hill. Next to take up residence was George Demmett, who had previously run a pub in Ashford. He stayed 13 years, until 1858.

It was then that George Brown moved from running the "Kings Arms" at Boxley to take over the "Wheatsheaf." He too felt the need for an extra line of business and also ran a removals firm from the premises.

In 1875, he handed over to John Field, who stayed until 1881, when John Hickmott became the landlord.

His father, also called John, had taken over the "Kings Arms" in Boxley from George Brown, with the business was now run by his wife Harriet. From 1890 until 1907, the "Wheatsheaf" was run by William Isaac, who was also described a horse trader.

Then it was the turn of Arthur Perrin until 1913, when Harry King took over and ran the pub throughout the First World War.

Between the wars the landlords were Oliver Leigh (1918) and Charles Moss (1923). George Finch arrived in 1936 and was the landlord throughout the Second Word War, staying on till 1947 when Robert Shaw took over.

Carl Donavan (1964) and Arthur Fiddy (1966) followed until finally, in 1984, the Kennys purchased the pub. They were there 35 years. Rossa Kenny was the "Wheatsheaf’s" longest serving landlord, the 19th and last to run the pub.


From the By Alan Smith, 29 March 2021.

Plans submitted to demolish Wheatsheaf pub in Maidstone.

The death knell is tolling for one of Maidstone's most prominent pubs.

The Wheatsheaf, which presides over the junction of the A229 Loose Road and A274 Sutton Road in Maidstone, is to be pulled down.

Wheatsheaf from the air 2021

A bird's eye view of the Wheatsheaf supplied by Hawkeye Aerial Media (45636021)

The pub has been closed since January 1 last year, after KCC purchased the property from the landlords Rossa and Renee Kenny, who had run the inn since 1984.

The highways authority intends to pull down the building to make room for a larger junction arrangement.

KCC has submitted a planning application to Maidstone council seeking permission for the demolition.

The plans says demolition is expected to take six weeks and will include the three-storey main building, three extensions and two outbuildings.

Work will be carried out between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays, with no work on Sundays or bank holidays.

Any slab waste will be broken up on site into manageable sizes and taken away in 20-tonne lorries.

KCC acknowledges there will be dust created, and with residential properties nearby, pledges to keep that to the minimum by frequent hosing down with water. Lorries will also be hosed down before leaving the site.

KCC has already encountered two problems.

A survey carried in January found evidence of a bat roost in a chimney on the first floor. Bats are a protected species. KCC will now have to carry out further surveys to determine whether the roost is in use and if so will need to obtain a special licence from Natural England.

Additionally, asbestos is present in part of the building which will require specialist handling to remove it safely.

The demolition will make way for a junction improvement as part of KCC's Delivering Growth Without Gridlock plan, 2016 - 2031.

It said the new junction would improve traffic flow and reduce air pollution.

The Wheatsheaf has been a local landmark since 1830.

The planning application can be viewed on the Maidstone council website. Planning application 21/501019 refers.



COGGINS Samuel 1786 (also carpenter & furniture maker)

HUTCHINS Joseph 1803-21 dec'd

HUTCHINS Emily (widow) 1821-28

BARROW Thomas 1828 licensed refused premises rebuilt

TWIDDY Eli Mar/1830+

MILES Richard 1840+ Pigot's Directory 1840

SHODDEN Thomas 1841-45 (also corn merchant)

PENNETT/DEMMETT George 1845-58? Bagshaw's Directory 1847

ANTRIM/ANTRUM William 1851-55-Sept/1863 (age 39 in 1851Census) Maidstone Telegraph

Last pub licensee had BROWN George Sept/1863+ (also removals firm) Maidstone Telegraph

BROWN George 1867+ Post Office Directory 1867

BROWN /Susan 1871+ (widow age 50 in 1871Census)

FIELD John Lashmar 1874-81+ (age 60 in 1881Census)


MORRIS Edward 1891+

ROBSON Henry 1891+ (age 64 in 1891Census)

ISAAC William Sydney Levy 1899-1903 ( also horse trader age 43 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1899Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

ISAACS Mrs 1904+

PERRIN Arthur to 1913

KING Harry 1913+

TOMLINSON William 1911+ (age 42 in 1911Census)

TOMLINSON Herbert William J 1913+

LEIGH Oliver F 1918-22+

MOSS Charles Jepson 1923-26+ (age 48)

FINCH George H 1936-47

SHAW Robert 1947-64

DONOVAN Carl 1964-66

FIDDY Arthur & Lilly 1866-84

KENNY Rosa & Reney 1984-2019


Maidstone TelegraphMaidstone Telegraph

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Post Office Directory 1867From the Post Office Directory 1867

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

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:-