Sort file:- Minster on Sea, September, 2023.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 19 September, 2023.


Earliest 1755-

King's Arms

Open 2020+

68 Minster Road / 2 High Street

Minster on Sea (Sheppey)

01795 229462

King's Arms 1912

Above postcard, 1912, showing the pub being the building on the left.

King's Arms 2009

Above Google image, July 2009.

King's Arms 2016

Above photo 2016 by Robin Webster Creative Commons Licence.


The "King's Arms" was the scene of a tragedy in the 1780s, when Richard Scoales blew himself up on Guy Fawkes Night.


I have reference to this pub from the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle September 1768, when the paper advertised the sale of household furniture at Minster Abbey, on the Isle of Sheppey. It was stated that catalogues could be obtained from this public house. See Notes of 1768.


Wendy James is currently transcribing the diaries of a Steven Rouse and has found the following:- 17 Sept - …on a Jury at the "Kings Arms" on Robert Coomber who died suddenly there yesterday by bleeding out of his mouth.

3 Oct - ....John Alexander and Bob at my house....with them at Copperas Feast at "Kings Arms"

From what I can gather Copperas is some sort of rock or substance found on Sheppey that was used for industrial was processed by "Copperas" in Queenborough. So the feast was presumably organized by the people who dealt with that.


The following passage is from a book by Brian Slade published in 1988 called Mysterious Minster.

"It is thought by some, that on the hill at Minster, there once stood a stone circle like Stonehenge. Local tradition has it, that over the centuries large stones have been found on or around the hill, (one such stone can still be seen in the wall of the "King's Arms" public-house near the Abbey entrance). The story goes, that the builder finding the stone far to heavy to move, simply built the Public House around it. As there is no natural stone to be found native to the Island, apart from the suggestion that these stones may have been left over when the Abbey was being built, it has also been suggested that they are possibly Sarsen stones, in other words stones that once formed part of a pagan stone circle. The idea of there once being a pagan stone circle at Minster isn't as unlikely as it first sounds, on the contrary, when investigated it makes very good sense. For when in 597, Saint Augustine landed in England to convert us horrible pagans, he first landed at Pegwell Bay in Kent, from where he journeyed to the next Island around the coast from Sheppey, the Isle of Thanet, where he had a meeting with the British King.


Kentish Gazette, Wednesday 3 May 1755.

To be Sold by Auction, by John Wright, Auctioneer, on Thursday the 4th day of May instant, and the two following days.

The household Goods, Plate, Linen, China, and Wearing Apparel, of Mrs. Ann Aggar, lately deceased, at her dwelling house, the Sign of the "Kings Head," at Blue houses, Sheerness; consisting of Four-post Bedsteads with Check Furniture; Goose and other Feather beds, Quilts, Blankets, and Counterpanes; Mahogany Chairs; Card and other Tables, Looking-glasses, and great Variety of Kitchen Furniture; fine China; a great Quantity of Linen and Wearing Apparel.

Catalogues to be had at the "George" at Queenborough, the "White Hart" at Milton, "Red Lion" at Sittingbourne, "Ship" at Faversham, "Bull" at Newington, "Cricketers" at Rainham, "Kings Arms" at Minster, and the Place of Sale, at John Wright's Chatham, and at Fishers Printing office, Rochester.

The sale to begin each day at 10 o'clock; the Goods to be viewed the Day before the Sale, and to the time of Sale each Day.


From the Stephen Rouse diaries transcribed by Wendy James.

4 Sept 1771.

Mr Broad at the "Swan," Milehouses, and Baker at the "Thatched House," licences was taken away by the Justice at the Sitting, Greenstreet.

The Reverend Mr David Martin, Curate at Minster, the only instrument, and would have put down the "Chequers," "Highlander," and all the others, except his nephew (William Gardner’s "Kings Arms") if he could have had his will....


From the Stephen Rouse diaries transcribed by Wendy James.

25 Sept 1771

At night - Mr Brett’s servants, men and maids, Mr Head’s maid, Mr Moor’s maid, Thomas Cheeseman and Ann his sister, John Small, William Mummery and James Avery my servant, was at Mr Gardner’s ("Kings Arms") all the night, dancing, and making a noise in the open streets and disturbing the peace. ...


From the Stephen Rouse diaries transcribed by Wendy James.

23 Sept 1789.

At a Parish Meeting at "Kings Arms" to sign Agreement to finish the Poor House by New Year’s Day or forfeit 40. Mr Penn, Banister, Crayden, Burbridge, Bigg, Hills, Down, Brisley, Rice and Boarer there."


From the Kentish Gazette, Friday 14th December, 1792.

Militia club. Parish Road Minster, Isle of Sheppey.

Whereas there was a Militia club held from years since at the "Kings Arms Inn," in the same place, and a balance of cash left in the hands of the treasurer to the said club, and it now being the intention of the subscribers president in that parish, to renew and extend the principles of the club, they do hereby publish that there will be a special meeting at the "Kings Arms" aforesaid, for that purpose, on Saturday, January 5th 1793, when and where all the parties concerned are invited to attend.


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 2 March 1861.

Daniel Thomas and Samuel Carpenter, labourers, were charged with stealing six live tame rabbits, at Minster, in the Isle of Sheppey, on 15th January. Thomas pleaded guilty, and Carpenter was put upon his trial. Mr. Russell prosecuted.

William Smith deposed that he was groom to Mr. Coveney. His master kept some rabbits in a lodge, and on the evening of 15th January he fastened and the rabbits in their hutches. On the following morning he discovered the doors of the hutch was open, and six of the rabbits gone. He saw the prisoners on the same evening at 7:30. They were then in the back lane, going in the direction of his master's house.

The prisoners were afterwards seen in Stickfast Lane by prosecutor's waggoner, when Carpenter, on seeing witness, ran down the lane.

George Terry deposed that on the evening of the 15th he saw the prisoner Carpenter at the "King's Arms" public house. He (prisoner) said he wanted to show him something, and on going into the back yard prisoner showed him a rabbit, and asked him to purchase it.

John Thomas, landlord of the "Shipwrights Arms," Sheerness, said that Thomas came to his house and offered to sell him a rabbit. Witness purchased it for 2s., and afterwards gave it to police-constable Ovenden. This witness stated that the prisoners had been lodging together at the "King's Arms."

Prisoner was found guilty, and a former conviction having been proved, he was sentenced to 9 months' hard labour, and Thomas to 4 months' hard labour.


From the  14 January, 2011.

Clean sheet after seven pubs raided.

A "MOB-HANDED" police operation to crackdown on drug use in Sheppey pubs has left a bitter taste in the mouths of some landlords.

At 9.15pm on Thursday, December 9, simultaneous raids were carried out at the "Prince of Waterloo," the "Highlander" and the "Kings Arms" in Minster.

Later that night The "Shurland Hotel" and the "Castle Inn" in Eastchurch and The "Nore" and the "Castle Tavern" in Sheerness were visited by officers and drugs dogs.

Over the course of the evening, just three men were searched – one each in The "Shurland," the "Castle Tavern" and the "King's Arms" – but none were found to be carrying drugs.

Sergeant Stefan Martin of the Island Neighbourhood Team said: "Although we didn't find anyone in possession of drugs on this occasion we found evidence of drug use in some of the pubs. We will continue to work with the licensing officer and pub staff to prevent drug use and violence."

Mr Martin said police will work with landlords to "create safe environments in which our communities can socialise".




OWLETT Edward 1851+ (age 36 in 1851Census)

COUTRIP William 1858+

GARDNER William 1871+

JARRETT George 1861-74+ (also baker age 52 in 1851Census)

SPARKS Samuel 1881-1903+ (also butcher age 35 in 1881Census) Kelly's 1903

YATES Frederick Henry 1913+

PEARSE Ernest 1922+

WILSON James 1930+

LUTMAN Jack 1938+

BIDGOOD Ted 1960-70s

FOSTER ???? 1971+


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:-