Page Updated:- Saturday, 31 July, 2021.


Earliest 1674

Half Moon and Seven Stars

Open 2020+

The Street


01227 722296

Half Moon and Seven Stars 2013 Half Moon and Seven Stars 2013

Above photos taken by Paul Skelton, 21 August 2013.

Half Moon and Seven Stars at Preston

Above photo shows the Half Moon and Seven Stars at Preston. Photo taken from

Half Moon and Seven Stars sign 1986Half Moon and Seven Stars sign 2013

Half Moon and Seven Stars sign left July 1986.

Sign right, 2013, photo by Paul Skelton.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Half Moon and Seven Stars inside 2011

Photo taken 28 January 2011 from Jelltex.

Half Moon and Seven Stars 2017

Above photo, June 2017, kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe.


In 1730 W. Simmons, a Margate brewer, acquired the premises.

Next earliest reference found so far is in the Wingham Division Ale Licence list, which shows the "Seven Stars," Preston, (without the Half Moon prefix) to be re-licensed for the sum of 8 shillings in 1740 indicating that the pub was present before 1740.

The pub was still being referred to as the "Seven Stars" in 1844 and the "Moon and Stars" in 1874 & 1882. Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882


From information displayed inside the pub.


This inn known by the name of the "Half Moon and Seven Stars," was built in the 3rd year of Charles I, in 1672.

When first built the property was a farm dwelling, consisting on a main tenement with stables and outbuildings. The amount of land attached to the house is hard to determine, it was at this early date bounded on all four sides by its own land, but these boundaries were interrupted by land belonging to other farms. It was owned by one Sladden Holness, a farmer of Preston Parish, who probably commissioned its building. He lived there from 1627 until the year of his death in 1849. He bequeathed his house and his estate of seventeen pounds to his widow Nyomi, however she had little benefit from her bequest since she died within a week of her husband. She had bore him ten children, but as was usual of the times not all of these survived the perils of infancy and at the point of the widow Holness' death only five were recorded alive.

It was to a son Gaylor, that the property eventually passed in 1649. In 1653, he sold eight acres of land belonging to the property to Jacob Culmer, farmer of Preston. In 1661, he disposed of a further five acres and in 1663, sold the house to Thomas Lynn, a saddler and harness maker of Minster. In 1674, he stood before Magistrates at Canterbury and offered two sureties on his good character to keep an ordinary house and was granted a license to sell ales under the terms of the licensing legislation of 1552. And so it was that in May 1674 the first ale was sold from this house, which at first bore no title of registration other than that of an ale-house at Preston-next-Wingham and that Lynn a saddler, harness maker and ale keeper was of that house.

in 1677, Lynn sold the house to Henry Mockett, a farmer of Ash-next-Sandwich. in 1693, he made it over in his will to his son Jacob and he in 1732 sold the property as a thriving ale house to William Symmonds, a brewer of Margate. In that same year, at a hearing to transfer the license, he registered the house under the title of the "half Moon and Seven Stars." He leased the house to James Streeter, a miller of Littlebourne, who kept it until his death in 1765, whereafter the lease extended to his widow Marie. In 1768, she gave up the house to Edwin R Jay and he in 1776 to Isaac Keel, a draper of Palace Street, Canterbury.

Keel kept the house and continued to conduct his original trade from it as well as sell ales, until his death in 1781, whereafter his son was granted an extension of the lease. He kept it until June 1803, when he was succeeded by John Hills, gaoler of Mill Hill, Sandwich. Hills son Lewis went on to fill his fathers position and was gaoler at Sandwich from 1828 until 1869. John Hills gave up the lease of the "Half Moon and Seven Stars" in July 1825, and was succeeded by Daniel Ralph junior. Daniel Ralph senior was a farmer of Mellon's Farm, Preston.

In 1833, the Symond's Brewery of Ramsgate sold out to Francis Cobb and Son, Brewer, also of Margate. As well as the brewery, Cobb's purchased the "Half Moon and Seven Stars," the "First and Last," at Herne, the "New Inn," the "Six Bells," the "George," and the "Prospect," at Margate, the "King's Head," at Sarre, the "Crown and Sceptre," at Acol, and several excise licensed beer-houses. In that same year of 1833, the "Half Moon and Seven Stars" was granted a wine and  spirit license. One Walter Haynes was granted a lease on the house and kept it until 1846, when he was succeeded by William Hughes. in 1853, part of the title of the house was dropped and it became the "Moon and Stars". In 1854, Hughes gave up the tenancy to George Goldfinch and he in 1857, to John Harris, a pork butcher in Canterbury. He kept it until 1863, when he was succeeded by Ralph Sulley, a boot-maker of Preston Parish. His uncle Charles was parish clerk of Preston, whilst his father Stephen was a farmer... and his brothers, millers all of Preston. In 1866, Solley gave up the tenancy here in the partnership Thomas Huskins and Charles L Gibbs. Like the Solley's the Gibbs' family were prominent members of the parish. William Gibbs was a tenant at Deerson Farm whilst others were bakers and gardeners.

 In 1870, Robert Harvey took over the house, but was replaced in the same year by James Sabin, who was here until 1877, when Benjamin Palmer, a tea dealer of Sandwich took over. He kept the house until 1893, when Thomas William Johnson took over, staying until 1902, when he was succeeded by Robert H Miles farmer of Preston parish. In 1906, the name of the house changed back to the "Half Moon and Seven Stars." In that year Robert Miles was succeeded by Thomas Henry Wilkinson, butcher of Sandwich, who kept the house until 1929, when he was succeeded by Victor Danes and he in 1932 by William Arthur Grounds. Grounds was succeeded by Lawrence Cox and he in 1944 by Ernest Davidson, who was the last tenant of the Cobb Brewery. in that they sold out to the Whitbread Brewery. Their first tenant was John Barlow, he was succeeded in 1959 by William Murray and he in 1966 by Frederick Parnard. He gave up the tenancy in 1976 to James Bettis and he in 1986 to Michael Murphy who was succeeded in the same year by Richard Williams the present keeper of the "Half Moon and Seven Stars."

Date unknown.


Kentish Gazette, 26 March 1844.

PRESTON NEXT WINGHAM. Caution to Publicans.

A short time back a number of silver tea and table spoons of about 6 value, the property of Mr. Hughes, the landlord of the "Seven Stars" public-house, was stolen from a cupboard which had inadvertently been left unlocked in the parlour. As soon as the robbery was discovered, Mr. Hughes made it known to the Canterbury Police, who exerted themselves in a very praiseworthy manner to obtain a clue to the theft, but unfortunately without effect. There is a Prosecuting Society in this neighbourhood for the mutual protection of the property of its members, and to which Mr. Hughes belongs, so that no doubt every available means will yet be exerted to discover the guilty party.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 13 September 1879.


The Court Baron of the ancient Manor of Elmstone was held on Saturday, the 30th ult., at the Manor House of Mr. William Chandler Heald, the Lord. In consequence of the court being appointed for a Saturday, the attendance of the tenants was not so numerous as heretofore. We were pleased to see, however, that the respected Rector of the parish and Mr. Dowker, of Stourmouth were represented. After the usual routine business, the Lord of the Manor and his steward (Mr. Thomas Dale, of 6, Furnival’s Inn, Holborn) accompanied the tenants to the "Moon and Stars Inn," at Preston, where the host, Mr. Palmer, had provided an excellent dinner. After this had been thoroughly well discussed, to the evident satisfaction of all present, the usual loyal and patriotic toasts were given and received with that feeling always observant amongst the loyal gentry and yeomen of Kent. The healths of Mr. and Mrs. Heald, and more particularly that of Miss Heald, were duly given and responded to; nor was that of Mr. Dale, so well known amongst the tenants of the manor, forgotten. After a very pleasant afternoon the meeting broke up. We congratulate Mr. Heald upon the kindly feeling he has created amongst all the tenants and inhabitants round Elmstone. This is the more noticeable from the fact that unavoidable circumstances compel him at present to reside a considerable distance from his manor.

Eastry Rural District Tribunal 19th June 1918.

The following applicant was granted 6 months exemption (to 19th December 1918)

T. A. Wilkinson, aged 45, married, Grade 11, publican of Preston, one month exemption (to July 19th) granted.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 19 April, 1929. Price 1d.


Thomas Henry Wilkinson, of the “Moon and Stars,” Preston, was summoned for selling whiskey which was 46.81 under proof.

Supt. Lane. K.C.C., Wingham, said on February 26th, at noon, he visited the “Moon and Stars” kept by defendant, and purchased a quartern of Irish Whiskey. Analyst's certificate showed the whiskey was 46.81 per cent. under proof, whereas genuine whiskey should not be more than 33 per cent.

Defendant gave evidence. He said he had been at the house for nearly 24 years. The whiskey was in a bottle corked up, and it was filled from a half gallon jar from the brewers. He never interfered with the whiskey in any way.

Supt. Lane: Do you realise that the amount of water in your whiskey represents no less than two pints to the gallon?

No. I did not. I should not understand it.

Two pints of water would mean 1 a gallon extra profit!

I suppose so.

Mr. Shea, defending, said that the defendant only committed a sin of omission in not seeing to the condition of the quartern measure into which a washed funnel dripped.

Supt. Lane, after the Bench had decided to convict, said that there was no previous conviction, but in 1919 he was summoned for supplying rum 43.50 under proof, and the case was dismissed on payment of costs.

Fined 2.


Bill Murray licensee 1960

Above photo showing the licensees Bill Murray circa 1960. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Half Moon and Seven Stars matchbox 1970

Above matchbox, circa 1970.


In 1840 the pub was owned by Delmar and Co and was referred to as simply the "Seven Stars." William Hughes was listed as the licensee.

Licensee Benjamin Palmer was identified as being the KCC village police constable in the 1871 census, and 20 years later was a jobbing gardener.

In 1934 the telephone number was 6.

The pub gained Grade II listed status on 26 November 1987.



LYNN Thomas May/1674

MOCKETT Henry 1677-93 dec'd

MOCKETT Jacob (son) 1693-1732

SYMMONDS William 1732-

STREETER James (John) 1732-65 dec'd Wingham Ale Licences 1740

STREETER Marie (widow) 1765-68

JAY Edwin R 1768-76

KEEL Isaac 1768-81 dec'd

KEEL (son) 1781-June/1803

HILLS John June/1803+

HILLS Lewis (son) to July/1825

RALPH Daniel July/1825-33

HAYNES Walter 1833-46

HUGHES William 1840-54 Bagshaw's Directory 1847 (age 60 in 1851Census) (Seven Stars)

GOLDFINCH George 1854-57

HARRIS John 1857-63

SULLEY Ralph 1863-66

HUSKINS Thomas & GIBBS Charles L 1866-70

HARVEY Robert Sennock to Mar/1870 Whitstable Times

SAVIN John Austin Mar/1870-77? Whitstable Times

RYE Richard 1874+ Post Office Directory 1874

PALMER Benjamin 1877-93 (also coal dealer age 36 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

JOHNSON Thomas William 1893-1903 (age 50 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1899Kelly's 1903

MILES Robert H 1902-Apr/06 Dover Express

JOHNSON Thomas Henry Wilkinson Apr1906-July/29 (age 45 in 1918) Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1914

DANES Victor Harold July/1929-Sept/32 Dover Express

GROUNDS William Arthur Sept/1932-June/40 Next pub licensee had Dover ExpressKelly's 1934

COX Lawrence (Leslie) T June/1940-44 Dover Express

DAVIDSON Ernest (Edward) June/1944+ Dover Express

BARLOW John to 1959

MURRAY William 1959-66

BARNARD Frederick (Frank W) 1966-76 Library archives 1974 Fremlins

BETTIS James 1976-86

MURPHY Michael 1986+


PHOEBALD Barbara 1993-11/Dec/98

CAWSTON Michael William & SHARPE David John Dec/1998-Oct/99

CAWSTON Michael William & Margaret Dorathy Oct/1999-June/2005

BULL Colin 2005-2010

MOON Jason 2010-13+

JORDEN Mark 2013-15

CULLEN Dave 2015-17+


Wingham Ale Licences 1740From Wingham Division Ale Licences 1740 Ref: KAO - QRLV 3/1

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1914From the Post Office Directory 1914

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald


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