Sort file:- Maidstone, January, 2024.

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


Earliest 1700s

Fisherman's Arms

Open 2020+

40 Lower Stone Street


01622 755443

Fisherman's Arms

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

Fisherman's Arms

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

Fisherman's Arms 1988

Above photo March 1988, kindly sent by Philip Dymott.

Fisherman's Arms 2010

Above photo 2010 by Oast House Archives Creative Commons Licence.

Fisherman's Arms sign 1994Fisherman's Arms sign 2010

Above sign left, March 1994, sign right, 2010.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Fisherman's Arms match box

Above matchbox, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.


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.


The building can be traced back to 1430 and is reputed to be one of the oldest buildings in Maidstone.

One time a Mason's tied house, but the brewery was bought out by Shepherd Neame in 1956 and the brewery was subsequently closed and has been demolished.


From the By Ed McConnell, 18 December 2015.

Fisherman's Arms in Lower Stone Street, Maidstone, reopens with former British Queen landlady Valerie Gillingham at the helm.

A historic Maidstone pub is set to reopen tomorrow (Saturday) after the former landlady of another popular pub took it on.

The "Fisherman’s Arms," which dates from 1430 and is believed to be the town’s oldest building, is due to start serving punters from 6pm, two months after it shut.

The Lower Stone Street venue will be overseen by Valerie Gillingham, who ran the "British Queen" in Square Hill for eight years before it closed for development earlier this year.

The 46-year-old said she is confident the pub will be a success and has secured a tie-free lease, meaning she does not have to stock Shepherd Neame ales.

Instead, she hopes to provide at least one house beer from her own brewery, Gem Stone Ales, as well as a variety of craft beers and locally produced spirits.


From an email received 7 December 2018.

John Beeney, licensee of the "Fishermans Arms" in Maidstone in 1881 was my great great grandfather.

John William Beeney was born on April 23, 1843 in Hadlow, Kent. His mother was Elizabeth Beeney, unmarried. It is possible she was a Romany but I have not been able to confirm this. There were Romanies with that name in the area around that time.

From later census information, he had a son, John, at Maidstone in 1863, but I have not been able to trace his address at that time.

In 1871 he was living at 41 Gabriel’s Hill, Maidstone. John, aged 27, is listed as a master greengrocer, born Hadlow. His wife, Eliza, aged 26, is listed as born at Ulcombe. With them are John 8, my great grandmother Emily 6, William 4, Eliza 2 and Walter, under five months, The children were all born in Maidstone.

Later children were Ada Jane, Laura, Bertha, Alice, Frances, Mabel and George.

The Handy Directory for Maidstone published in 1872 listed John Beeney as greengrocer and general dealer at 41 Gabriel’s Hill.

Directories for 1878 and 1882 have John as a greengrocer at 40 Stone Street, Maidstone and the 1881 Census lists him as a beer seller and greengrocer in Stone Street, Maidstone.

40 Stone Street was the "Fisherman’s Arms," reputed to be one of the oldest buildings in Maidstone and haunted by the ghost of “Black Jack” a Roundhead soldier who tried to hide there when he was shot during the Civil War. The building dated back to the 1430s and was occupied by beer retailers from the 1700s.

In the 1881 census John’s age is given as 40, but this may have been just rounding off to the nearest 10. (The 1901 census gives his age more accurately at 57). With him in 1881 were Eliza, Emily 16, William 14, Eliza 12, Walter 10, Ada 9, Bertha 7, Laura, 5, Alice 2, Frances 1.

In 1891, the year before Eliza died, they were living at 39 Lower Stone Street, Maidstone. John was the licensee of the “Monks Head” but does not appear to have been there for more than a year. The hotel had two more licensees before closing in 1894.

Eliza died in Maidstone in 1892 and John Beeney married Charlotte Ann Smith in Maidstone in 1893. She then died, aged 54, in 1899 in Maidstone and he married Rose Jures in 1900.

In 1901 John was a fruitier and shopkeeper living at 38 Union Street with Rose.

A directory for 1911 has John Beeney operating as a greengrocer at 38 Union Street and in 1927 these premises were operating as R.H.Beeney and Son. As these are Rose Hannah Beeney’s initials I assume John had died by then. He would have been over 80.

I hope this information is of use to you.

Mike Murphy.



MISSON William 1867+ Post Office Directory 1867

BEENEY John 1881-82+ Next pub licensee had

JEFFREY John Stephen 1899-1904+ (also fruiterer)

???? Griff & Eileen 1971-75+

Last pub licensee had GILLINGHAM Valerie Dec/2015+


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:-