Sort file:- Chatham, June, 2021.

Page Updated:- Friday, 25 June, 2021.


Earliest 1768-

Sun Family & Commercial Hotel and Posting House

Latest ????

76 High Street


Sun Hotel 1926

Above photo 1926 showing the entrance to the hotel on the right.

Sun Hotel

Above postcard, date unknown.

Sun advert 1864

Above advert 1864.

Commercial Hotel

Above photo showing what was described as the "Commercial Hotel and Dining Rooms" on the High Street, circa 1930s.

Sun Hotel 1960

Above photo 1960.

Above photo, date unknown.

Sun Hotel 1965

Above photo, circa 1965.


The Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre has referenced a set of documents, that I haven't seen yet, and is part of the Watts Charity MSS, 1579-1972.

Reference is made as follows:-


T38. Premises at Chatham, Maidstone and Milton-next-Sittingbourne [including land next to the "Sun Tavern;" The "Globe Hotel;" The "United Service;" The "Criterion" beershop; the "Red Lion;" and cafe, formerly the "General Havelock," all in High Street, Chatham; land, part of Room Lane Farm, Old Maidstone Road, Chatham; Fant Farm, Maidstone; Church Field (29 acres). Church Farm, Milton next Sittingbourne] (8 docs.)


The Licensing Records of 1872 stated the premises held a Full License and was owned by Edward Winch of Chatham.


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.


Kentish Gazette, 16 July, 1774.

"Sun Tavern," Chatham, July 15th, 1774.

Thomas Champion begs leave to acquaint his Friends, that being greatly distressed by the late dreadful fire, was thereby rendered incapable of proper Accommodations, as usual; but has used his upmost endeavours in having fitted up his House and Stables in the best Manner, for the Reception of his Customers, whose Favours shall ever be most gratefully acknowledged in every Respect.


Kentish Gazette 10 January 1778.

John Aldersley, Late Servant to Mr. Farley, of the "Fountain Inn," Canterbury, begs leave to acquaint his friends and the public in general, that he has taken the "Sun Tavern," at Chatham, in Kent. Late in the Occupation of Mrs. Champion.

He has laid in a fresh stock of Wines of all sorts, with a good Larder, pleasant Lodging Rooms open to the River Medway, with a fine prospect to his Majesty's Dockyard.

Those Gentlemen, who please to favour him with their Commands, may depend upon the best Accomodations, which will be gratefully acknowledged, and esteemed by their most humble Servant at Command. John Aldersley.

Neat Post-Chaises, with able Horses and careful Drivers.


Kentish Gazette, 3 January, 1792.

On Tuesday night last, about half past 11 o'clock, Mr. Greenwood of the Stamp Office, London, went to the "Sun Inn," at Chatham, where he supped and went to bed; at about 10:30 next morning, the charwoman heard a pistol go off in his bedroom, and ran to the door, which was locked; she called for assistance, and the door was broke open, when they found he had shot himself with a pistol by putting it in his mouth.

The Coroner's inquest sat on the body the same day, and brought in their verdict Lunacy.

He was interred on Saturday evening. Mr. Greenwood had slept at the above house three nights in the preceding week.


From the Kentish Gazette, 19 December 1837.

On Friday morning last the 15th inst. a man of the name of Evans, in a state of intoxication, was unfortunately drowned at the "Sun Inn," Hard, Chatham. A jury sat on the body the following day, at his residence, in Ordnance Place, before R. Hinde, esq. the coroner, and a verdict was returned of "Found drowned.”


From the Kentish Gazette, 17 September 1839.


On Monday last Madame Panormo had announced a concert to take place at the "Sun Inn." However, the awfully sudden death of her husband, which took place that day, deprived the inhabitants of the performance. It appeared that the gentleman's death took place in one of the rooms where he was lodging, which was on St. Margaret's Bank, Rochester, and that he had been in excellent spirits throughout the day. He was watching the arrival of the vans from Gravesend, as his son, who was coming from London to take part in the performances of the evening, was expected by one of them; and having caught sight of him, he exclaimed, "here he is," when he instantly fell down dead. A coroner’s inquest was held on Wednesday, at the "Nag's Head, before R. Hinde, Esq., touching the death of the deceased, when the jury, after a patient investigation, returned a verdict of "Died in a fit of apoplexy."


From the Kentish Gazette, 1 February 1842.


On Saturday a public meeting was held at the "Sun Tavern," Chatham, the High Constable in the chair, for the purpose of considering the best mode of celebrating the christening of the Prince of Wales. It was proposed to have a public dinner on that day at the "Sun Tavern;" and also suggested that the inhabitants should close their shops, and that business be suspended.


From the Kentish Gazette, 10 November 1846.


Alarming Accident to Capt. Scott and his Lady.

A frightful accident occurred yesterday afternoon in the High-street of this town, by a dray, drawn by two powerful horses, which had run away from the lower part of Chatham, and taking the course of the High-street, just as Captain John S. Scott, of the 31st Regiment, accompanied by his lady, was driving in an open carriage drawn by two spirited horses. The dray came in contact with the hind wheels of the carriage, which forced it round, and the concussion threw Captain Scott and his lady into the road with much violence. The horses, with part of the dray, proceeded with alarming velocity towards Rochester, upsetting everything in their way, and the horses of Captain Scott’s carriage started off down Chatham, and came in contact with a cart laden with coals, the force of which caused the body of the carriage to separate from the pole, and the horses being uncontrolled, one of them (a valuable animal worth 80 guineas) was so severely hurt that it was taken to the stables of the "Sun Hotel," where it died this this morning. Captain Scott and his lady were promptly taken into the "Sun Hotel," and were attended immediately by Mr. A. Robertson, surgeon; several military medical officers were also quickly in attendance. Owing to the severe contusions about the legs and body of Captain Scott, it was deemed expedient to remove him to his residence, at Brompton, and he was taken to the carriage in the arms of three serjeants of his regiment. It is hoped that no bones are broken. Mrs. Scott fortunately escaped unhurt. The dray and horses were the property of Mr. Woodham, of Strood.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 31 May 1859.


Mr. J. T. Skinner, HAS received instructions from the Proprietor to SELL by AUCTION, at the "Sun Hotel," Chatham, on Wednesday, the 15th June, 1859, At five o'clock in the evening, The following valuable FREEHOLD ESTATES, in seven lots, vis.

Lot 3.— Two brick and tiled DWELLING-HOUSES, with outbuildings in rear, and valuable piece of BUILDING LAND, at the north side thereof, situate opposite the "Plough" public-house, Upper Britton-street, New Brompton, Gillingham, Kent, and now in the tenures of John Shorter and James Southgate, at weekly rentals amounting to 12 11s. 4d. per annum (less rates and taxes).

Lot 5:— A brick and slated DWELLING-HOUSE, containing 5 rooms, washhouse and cellar, together with the outbuildings, front and back gardens, and passage-way at side, situate adjoining the "Lord Exmouth" public-house, Exmouth terrace, Gillingham, now in the tenure of Richard Sears, at an annual rental of 8 (tenants paying rates and taxes).



Henry Spurrier died of complications following surgery. He had lived in Chatham only for five years, taking over the "Sun Hotel", Chatham, in 1884. Before this he ran an hotel at Deal, ("The Black Horse"), prior to this he was in the slate business at Folkestone.

His time at the "Sun" was so successful that he purchased the freehold recently, he had also run the "Mitre Hotel", also in Chatham.
Six years before his death, he was elected to Chatham Council for St. Mary's Ward, he was a Conservative, but not dogmatically so. He was for some time on the Board of Guardians; he was a Director of the Rochester and Chatham Savings Bank and a Director of the Chatham Constitutional Club.

Tribute from the Mayor of Chatham, ".....not only had the family been deprived of a good husband and excellent father, but the Borough had lost a good citizen, whose memory would be cherished by his colleagues on the council and by his brother tradesmen ("hear, hear")"


The pub also housed the "Sun Tap" at the rear.

Pigot's Directory of 1828 called the premises the "Sun Tavern and York Hotel."

In 1927 a new building was erected to the right hand side of the original.

According to the book called "Royal Bastards" by Peter Beauclerk-Dewar and Roger Powell, the eldest bastard of George IV lived at the "Sun Hotel," Chatham after he quit the army in approx 1831 after the King died, and lived the rest of his life there.



CHAMPION Thomas 1774+

CHAMPION Mrs to Jan/1778 Kentish Gazette

ALDERSLEY John Jan/1778+ Kentish Gazette

GURR John 1793+ Trade Directory 1793

ASHENDEN William 25/Mar/1803+

GREENSTREET William 1828-32+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34 (Sun, High Street)

RICKMAN Thomas 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29 (Sun Tavern and York Hotel)

BIRCH Henry 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34 (Sun Tavern and York Hotel)

WINCH Edward 1838-64+ (also brewer and wine merchant age 53 in 1861Census) Wright's Topography 1838

WILLIS William 1872-82+ (age 60 in 1881Census) Licensing Records 1872

Last pub licensee had SPURRIER Henry 1884-91+ (age 49 in 1891Census)

DOWLAND Douglas 1911-13+ (age 45 in 1911Census)



Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette

Trade Directory 1793Universal British Directory of Trade 1793

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

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

Wright's Topography 1838Wright's Topography 1838

Licensing Records 1872Licensing Records 1872



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