Page Updated:- Saturday, 19 August, 2023.


Earliest 1661-

King's Head

Open 2020+

High Street


01580 891231

King's Head

Above photo, Circa 1900.

King's Head

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly submitted by Mark Jennings.

King's Head 2010

Above photo 2010 by Oast House Archives, Creative Commons Licence.

King's Head sign 1993King's Head 2010

Above sign left, December 1993, sign right 2010.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

King's Head sign 2020

Above sign, 2020, kindly taken and sent by Roger Pester.

King's Head match box

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


It is suggested by Anita Thompson of the Staplehurst Society that the "King's Head" was called the "Bell" as early as 1661.

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 demolished.

The pub won Shepherd Neame's Pub of the Year in 2013.

Thought to have been originally built between 1370 and 1400 but after extensive alterations it is now considered to be an 18th century building that has gained a Grade 2 listing.


As the information is found or sent to me, including photographs, it will be shown here.

Thanks for your co-operation.


From the Kentish Gazette, 12 May 1840.


May 1, of a decline, at the "Royal Oak Inn," Wrotham Heath, Mrs. Butcher, wife of Mr. Butcher, landlord of the "King's Head," Staplehurst.


Southeastern Gazette, 10 May 1853.


On Monday an inquest was held at the "King’s Head Inn," before W. T. Neve, Esq., coroner, on the body of W. Trayton Reynolds, infant son of Mrs. Reynolds, widow of a labourer who died in June last. The child had been subject to hooping cough, and in its fits of coughing struggled hard for breath. The mother had been in the habit of administering to it doses of anodyne mixture obtained for the purpose from the shop of Mr. Bryant, grocer. On Sunday night the infant appeared in its usual health on being put to bed; but when the mother awoke about five o’clock next morning it was dead. These facts having been established by two neighbours, and by Mr. John Penkivil, surgeon, who had been called to see the child, the jury returned a verdict of "Death from natural causes."


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, 5 October 1861.

Staplehurst. The Hop Fair.

This annual fair was held on Wednesday last. The weather was unfavourable, but there was a numerous attendance of farmers and factors, and a fair amount of business was done, at prices varying from 8 to 10.

As usual, Mr. And Mrs. Tomsett provided an excellent dinner at the "Kings Head Inn," at which Mr. Hammond, of St. Mary's Cray, presided. In the afternoon, a considerable number of the company adjourned to the "South Eastern Hotel," where an auction hop sale was held by Mr. J. Apps, of Goudhurst, being the first of a number he has announced. The bidding was spirited, and a good many samples changed hands, at from 8 10s. to 10 10s.


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

Staplehurst. The Improvement Society.

The second Lecture for the season was given in the Assembly Room at the "King's Head" on Monday evening last, by Mr. Fardon, of Maidstone. The subject was "a Gossip with the Poets." Captain Usborne presided, and at the conclusion received in conjunction with the lectorer a vote of thanks from a numerous and respectable audience. We hear the committee have secured the services of Mrs. Balfour.


Sussex Agricultural Express, Saturday 8th November, 1890.

Extension of time.

An hours extension of time was granted to Mr. Tomsett, of the "Kings Head Inn," Staplehurst, on the occasion of an agricultural dinner.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 9th February, 1915.

At Cranbrook Licensing Sessions on Thursday the Chairman (Mr. W. H. Tylden Pattinson) announced that all the licences would be renewed with the exception of the "Kings Head," the "Bell," the "Lamb," and the "Crown," all in Staplehurst; and the "Prince of Wales," in Rolvenden Lane. These, on the grounds of redundancy, would be referred to the March Sessions. He congratulate it the licence holders on the way they had conducted their business.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 18 September 1970.

From a Kent pub to Devon Cottage.

Edwin Cox 1970

Pictured with his hunting horn is Mr. Edwin Cox, landlord of one of the oldest pubs in Kent, the "King's Head", Staplehurst. Mr. Cox, who acquired the horn from his hunting days, blew it for the last time 5-minutes before closing time on Monday; he and his wife, who is also in the picture, are retiring.

Mr. Edwin Cox - known as "Wompo" - in the pub trade - retired as landlord of the "King's Head," Staplehurst, on Monday, after 8 years at the bar.

With his wife, Mrs. Susan Cox, he left to start retirement at the age of 65 in the converted Fisherman's Cottage at Brixham in South Devon.

Mr. Cox, who left his job on the advice of his doctor, was landlord and tenant of many pubs and hotels in the area before moving to Staplehurst.

They included the "Downham Tavern" at Bromley Common the "Victoria" and the "Running Horse" at Maidstone and the "Surrey Hounds" at Caterham. He was also landlord of the "Huntsman" at Eridge (he changed the name from the "Railway" to the "Huntsman" because of his interest in hunting.)

"It is hard work but I have enjoyed it and enjoyed living in Staplehurst, Mr. Cox said.

Farewell parties included a visit from publicans and members of the Licensed Victuallers' Association, who presented Mr. Cox with a tea making alarm clock on Thursday of last week.




WESTON John 1661-64+

STILL William 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

STILL Martha 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

BUTCHER John 1840-58 (age 48 in 1851Census)

TOMSETT Charles Ingram 1858-1903+ (also farmer age 72 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

BATES Charles 1911+ (age 37 in 1911Census)

MERCER Lawrence 1913+

COX Edward 1960s-Sept/70

KEIGHLEY Pam & Dave ????

Last pub licensee had MONKS David & Margaret 1980s-2008

MONKS Richard (son) 2008+

???? Nicola & Robbie 2013+


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



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