Page Updated:- Tuesday, 28 December, 2021.


Earliest 1830

(Name from)

King's Arms

Open 2020+

The Square


01303 840242

King's Arms 1900

Above postcard, circa 1900. This was an advertising postcard that also said the following:- " The Noted House for Luncheons, Dinners, Teas, Large Room for Parties, G. D. Pitcher, proprietor." Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Arms 1900

Above photo, circa 1900, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Arms 1905

Above postcard, circa 1905, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Arms 1906

Above photo, circa 1906, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Arms 1910

Above photo, circa 1910, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Arms 1910

Above photo, circa 1910. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Arms 1949

Above photo, 1949, kindly sent by Tim Timpson.

King's Arms 1949

Above photo, 1949, kindly sent by Tim Timpson.

King's Arms 1950s

Above photo, 1950s, kindly sent by Paul Wells.

King's Arms 1950s

Above photo, 1950s, kindly sent by Paul Wells.

King's Arms 1966

Above postcard, circa 1966, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Elham map 1896

Elham O.S. Map 1896.

King's Arms at Elham King's Arms at Elham King's Arms sign 1991King's Arms sign at Elham

King's Arms sign left, March 1991 with thanks from Brian Curtis

Above photographs and sign right by Paul Skelton, 22 Aug 2008.

Further details about Elham at 2006.

King's Arms hunt 2002

Above photo, 2002, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Arms 2005

Above photo, 2005, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

King's Arms 2019

Above photo, July 2019 kindly taken and send by Rory Kehoe. he says the premises also doubles as the local Post Office.


This pub was previously called the "Cock" due to cock-fights that took place at what is now the rear of the pub and remained as the "Cock" until 1830 when it changed to the name we know today.

Reference should be made to  the Swing riots of 1830 when farm workers were smashing up mechanical machinery as it was taking their work, it was said the first threshing machine was destroyed at Lower Hardres, near Canterbury in East Kent, on the night of 28 August 1830, but this has not been verified.

From an article written by Derek Boughton:- On 6 October, Ingram Swain, who lived at Mill Down, but was in custody in Canterbury, really spilled the beans. The magistrates had targeted him, because they believed, quite wrongly, that he was a ringleader, having got ideas from West Kent men when working with them on the harvest in the Isle of Thanet. Swain says “On Wednesday about 6 weeks ago I met Selden Bayley in Mr Fagg's barley field at Ottinge.”

He said “We broke a machine at Wingmore Court last night”

“How many of you?” “Three or four and twenty”

“We are going to break another tonight at Grimsacre – there will be 30 of us tonight.” For those of you who don't know, Grimsacre is up the track from Worlds Wonder, and Park Gate.

I asked him what time they were going to meet. “Eight o'clock at Silverdown Gate”. There was nobody there – I went home to bed. Apart from Sir Edward Knatchbull putting the date 25th Aug. against the name of William Webb, nothing more is mentioned about the Grimsacre machine, but I can confirm, through the late Wally Palmer, that it was destroyed. As to the Wingmore Court machine, other evidence confirms that it was destroyed on the night of Tuesday 24th August, so it was the very first.

Swain continues “The following Saturday I was at Ashbees the grocers in Elham. I went from there with my father to the "Kings Arms" and had a Quart of Beer in the Tap Room. Charles Carswell was there. (It sounds in fact as if Charles Carswell was usually there. He was a 28 year old butcher, known, according to Richard Marsh of Ottinge as “Fat One”, and John Cramp, who worked for Mr Dodd at Hardres Court, gives a graphic description of him: “a man dressed in a dark flap coat made use of a gross expression, and I thought the voice was like Carswell's and I the more thought so on account of his dress and the grossness of his language”).


This was a tied "Fleet Brewery" pub in 1865 when the brewery was put up for auction. Rigden's bought it in 1865 and improved the property and added the porch in 1902. This porch now (2019) houses the village Post Office.


From the Kentish Gazette, 25 March 1845.

The directors of the Elham 50 burial Society held their quarterly meeting at the "Kings Arms" in on Wednesday last, when, on inspecting the accounts, it appeared that only one death had occurred during the last 12-months. Although this institution has been established 5-years, we are informed that they have been only 5 deaths during that period. It has not yet obtained its full number, but it is gradually increasing, 40 plus members having been admitted during the last year; and the scale of payments, in proportion to the age of the members, on entry, is so equitable, that there can be but little doubt of its future completion.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 3 October, 1846. Price 5d.


A dreadful murder of a woman and child, with the suicide of the perpetrator of the deed, took place on Wednesday morning, at Elham, between the hours of five and six o'clock which has excited the greatest horror and consternation throughout the neighbourhood.

Mr. T. T. DeLasaux, Coroner, on receiving information of the catastrophe, lost no time in issuing his warrant for summoning a Jury, and, early in the afternoon, the enquiry was gone in before him, by which it appeared that Sharruck Rudd Bragg, bricklayer, had murdered his wife and child, by beating them over the temples with a hammer, and afterwards cutting his own throat.

When the deed became known, which was discovered through the blood draining from the floor of the bed-room to the room below, the man was dead, but the woman and child though totally senseless, still breathed. The child, aged 5 years, died about two hours after the discovery was made; but the woman lingered till about 10 o'clock in the forenoon, when death put an end to her sufferings. When discovered, an infant aged 4 months, was found by the side of the woman, uninjured.

The Coroner, in opening the proceedings, explained to the Jury, it would be their duty, first to enquire into the cause of the death of the man, as also to the state of his mind he was at the time he perpetrated the deed by which he had depraved himself of life; and the verdict which they might feel themselves bound to return on that inquiry would guide them to the verdicts on the other two bodies. From the evidence adduced no doubt could exist on the question as to the man at the time being insane, and verdicts to that effect were accordingly returned.


From the Kentish Gazette, 6 October 1846.


On Wednesday great horror prevailed at Elham and the surrounding neighbourhood, distant a few miles from Canterbury on the Hythe road, by the discovery of the murder of a woman and her daughter, and the suicide of the perpetrator of the deed. Richard Bragg, a bricklayer, lived in a house occupied also by other persons, who, for same time past, had observed him in a low desponding way. At an early hour on Wednesday last while his wife was in bed with an infant by her side, he struck her several violent blows on the temple with a hammer which rendered her insensible, and then committed the like violence on their child five years old, which lay in a side bed, leaving an infant unhurt. He afterwards committed suicide by cutting his throat. The discovery was made by some blood running through the floor into an under room, when the chamber was opened, the suicide's dead body was found on the floor streaming in blood, and the mother and daughter in the agonies of death.

Mr. T. T. Delasaux, the coroner, summoned a jury in the afternoon at the "King's Arms," to enquire into the cause of the deaths.

The following evidence was adduced:-

William Jaggers, of Elham, schoolmaster, stated that he had lodged at the houae of the deceased about ten months. The family consisted of Bragg, his wife, and two children, the eldest a girl, aged about five years, and an infant, aged about four mouths. The conduct of the deceased man towards his wife and children had been most kind. He had frequently appeared low and melancholy during the last month. Witness went to bed about half-past ten last (Tuesday) night. The deceased, his wife, and children, had retired before that time. He did not hear any noise in the bedroom of the deceased. About half-past five in the (Wednesday) morning he heard something heavy full on the floor in the chamber of the deceased; shortly before which he believed he heard the wife of the deceased groaning. About five o'clock, he heard a person call the deceased by the name of Sharruck, and he believed he heard him answer. The wife continued to groan, and for some time the groans continued louder, appearing to be at a greater distance. About six o'clock witness got up and dressed himself, and on looking out of the window saw a little girl knocking at the front door. He went down stairs and opened the door, but the child was gone. He then discovered some blood lying on the floor of the foreroom, which is under the chamber of the deceased, and on looking up he perceived more coming through the ceiling. He thereupon called Mrs. Quested, desiring her to go and open the bedroom door of the deceased. He occupied a sitting room and bed room in the same house. He had seen in the washhouse of the deceased a hammer similar to that produced; it had been used for breaking up coals. The wife of the deceased was a quiet well conducted woman.

Ann, the wife of Richard Quested, blacksmith, stated that at about half past six this morning, she was called by last witness, and went to the bedroom of the deceased, and saw the deceased lying on the floor, covered with blood. The bed was also saturated with blood, and she heard the infant cry.

Richard Foreman, carpenter, deposed, that for about the last six weeks deceased had been low and melancholy. He saw him last evening at his own house, and remained with him about three quarters of an hour. He was then low spirited, and complained of two or three things as annoying. He always appeared very fond of his wife and children, and behaved affectionately towards them. He stated he had not lived a good life, and he feared there was no mercy for him. During the last six weeks he had attended at chapel more frequently, sometimes on a week day.

James Bragg, bricklayer, brother to deceased, examined:— Deceased had laboured under a depression of spirits for the last month. Was at work with him about three weeks ago; he was then strange in his conversation, and different from what he had been in the habit of being.

Clement Riches, bricklayer, of Elham, deposed to the same effect.
Richard Vidgen, hairdresser, identified the razor produced as having belonged to the deceased, and which he set eight weeks ago.

Sarah, the wife of James Bragg, deposed to deceased's spirits having been much depressed for the last six weeks, but from what cause she did not know. The depression of spirits commenced at the period he left off going to church, and attending chapel. She was one of the first to enter the bedroom that morning after the deed, and found a razor covered with blood, lying in a chair. She took the infant from the bed, the mother being perfectly insensible and groaning. The other child was also groaning, and was covered with blood; she was lying in a side-bed. The man was lying on the floor quite dead.

George Gale, tailor, corroborated the last witness. He also saw the razor now produced lying in the chair, and the hammer on the floor near the deceased.

James Beattie, surgeon, of Elham, had been sent for to the house that morning. The throat of the deceased man was cut. His wife was in the agonies of death, her head being covered with blood. On entering the room, he saw on the left hand a large pool of blood, and near it the hammer produced. He found, on examination, that the right temple bone was fractured protruding through the skin, and the other end forced into the brain, which was consequently exposed. Further injuries on the head and face were also perceptible, and the right eye was destroyed. Blood was flowing from the temporal artery. The injuries, which were the cause of death, appeared to have been inflicted by a blunt instrument, like the hammer, and by a right handed person. He believed the first blow must have rendered her insensible. He found the left temple and left mallor bone of Ellen Bragg the child, fractured, with a large lacerated wound over the mallor bone—which injuries were sufficient to have caused death, and were, doubtless, inflicted by a heavy instrument like the hammer. The child, who was insensible, died about eight o'clock.

The jury having heard the evidence, returned verdicts that the deceased, Sharruck Richard Bragg, committed suicide while labouring under insanity; and that he killed and slayed Mary Bragg, his wife, and Ellen, his daughter, while in that state of unsound mind, and that, therefore, the act was not felonious.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 10 October, 1846. Price 5d.


Our Journal of Saturday last furnished a succinct statement of this tragic affair, which occurred on the morning of the previous Wednesday; we have since been enabled to obtain additional peculiars, of which the following is a condensed report:-

The Coroner having opened his court of enquiry, which was held at the “King's Head,” the Jury at once proceeded to the cottage of the deceased, near Elham mill. On entering the chamber the first thing that presented itself to the view was the lifeless body of Bragg, extended on the ground, with his shirt dyed in blood, and a large gash in his throat. On the bed lay the body of his unfortunate wife, and near the foot of the bed lay the body of the child Ellen, both weltering in gore, and exhibiting marks of the most fearful violence. Having viewed the body, the Jury returned to the “King's Head,” when the evidence as follows was given:-

William Jaggers, schoolmaster to the British and Foreign school established at Elham, stated that he lodged with deceased, and had done so for the last ten months; that deceased and wife appeared to live very comfortably together; deceased always appeared very fond of her, and also of his children, which were two, Ellen the deceased child, aged five years, and a baby about 4 months' old. About four weeks ago the deceased came into witness's room, and said he expected to be transported, but he did not give any explanation why he apprehended that he should be so punished; when asked by witness what law he had broken that deserved such a sentence, he said he had been a bad man, and had not acted rightly towards his wife; but he did not say in what manner. Witness spoke to Mrs. Bragg respecting what deceased had said, when she replied that he had never struck her in his life, nor swore at her, except when she had been out and got tipsy, but this he had not been in the habit of doing often, nor lately, and she added, that when he came home from his work, on the days of the last monthly meeting of the Magistrates at Elham, he asked her if she had not been to the monthly meeting to take out a warrant against him. From this time up to that of his death he appeared low and melancholy. On Wednesday morning, shortly after 5, witness heard something fall heavily to the ground in deceased's bed-room, and immediately after heard groans, which he thought came from Mrs. Bragg, and he concluded that she had been taken ill. On going downstairs he discovered a quantity of blood on the floor, which had drained through the ceiling and down the walls from the deceased's chamber. Witness was alarmed, and immediately applied to the neighbours for assistance, when Mrs. Quested went up to deceased's room, and returned immediately, saying that Bragg had cut his throat. Witness then went down the street, to give information and procure further assistance. – This evidence, as far as it concerned herself, was corroborated by Mrs. Quested.

Richard Foreman, carpenter, was next examined. Had known the deceased for the last 20 years, and had visited him at his house the previous evening. He was not then so low in spirits as he had at other times seen him, but there was something preying on his mind.

Sarah Bragg, wife of deceased's brother: In consequence of hearing that deceased had cut his throat, witness went up to the bedroom, and saw her sister on the bed, and in the state seen by the Jury, moaning and insensible. Witness passed round the bed by the body of her brother to take the baby and saw in the little side bed the child Ellen, who was not dead, but in the same state in insensibility as her mother.

Several other witnesses were examined, but no further arterial evidence was elicited; and the Jury, after a brief address from the Coroner, returned the following verdict:- “That Sharrack Rudd Bragg had died by cutting his throat, being at the time labouring under temporary insanity;” and “That Sharrack Rudd Bragg slew Mary his wife, and Ellen his child, being at the time he committed the act not in a sound state of mind.”

The interment of the bodies took place on Sunday morning last, and was witnessed by a large concourse of spectators. An extensive circle of relations and friends of the deceased followed the bodies to the grave, who afterwards retired to the church, and attended divine service, when an impressive sermon was delivered by the Rev. W. Woodhouse, the minister of the parish, to a very numerous congregation.


From the Whitstable Times, 1 March, 1902.


The East Kent Coroner (Mr. B. M. Mercer) held an inquest at the “King’s Head,” (sic) Elham, on Tuesday, touching the death of Mary Whitnall, aged 90.

It appeared that on Tuesday the 18th inst., when Richard Whitnall, a son, got up to have his breakfast he found deceased lying on the floor downstairs where she slept. The deceased died on Sunday the 23rd at 5 a.m. Mr. Percy Charles Burgess, surgeon at Elham, was called in to see the deceased on Tuesday the 18th and found her in bed in a collapsed condition. There was an abrasion on the side of both legs and on the side of the head. The deceased had been some hours on the floor, and it was a cold nights. Death in the surgeon's opinion was due to shock from the fall and exposure and senile decay.

The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

From the Dover Express, 20 February 2003.

King's Arms at Elham

Relax and enjoy the King's Arms.

DATING back to the early 15th century, the King's Arms in the pretty village of Elham is a traditional English pub.

Originally a grain-store, the building became a brewery supplying ale to local hostelries before being licensed as a pub.

Debbi and Barry Preston took over the Kings Arms nearly a year ago. (2002) Debbi said: "The King's Arms is a lovely pub and one of the oldest buildings in the village. There have been just two landlords here in the past 40 years and I think that demonstrates the happy and warm atmosphere."

On cold winter days, open fires blaze in the beamed bar and the separate restaurant. Customers can relax and choose from an extensive menu.

Delightfully varied, the dishes on offer at the Kings Arms are all prepared and cooked to order. Snacks and light meals such as sandwiches, baguettes, baked potatoes with your choice of filling and ploughman's lunches are featured along with meals for those with a bigger appetite. Prime quality steaks and delicious pies are included on the menu as well as a choice of fish dishes. There is a frequently changing specials board and a list of truly scrumptious desserts.

Traditional Sunday lunches are served with a choice of four roast meats and a vegetarian option at a surprisingly affordable 5.95.

The King's Arms is very much the centre of village life, with locals and visitors alike appreciating the friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

Debbi and Harry have hit upon a winning formula incorporating traditional values of hospitality and excellent fare. For further information call 01303 840242.

Below is shown an advert that appeared in the Dover Express, 20 April 2003.

Kings Head advert

Advert appeared in the Dover Express, 12 May 2003.

Kings Arms advert Elham

From the By Chris Price, 17 August 2016.

Grade II listed pub the Kings Arms in Elham put up for sale.

A Grade II listed pub has come on the market for 115,000.

The Kings Arms in Elham, between Canterbury and Folkestone, has been run by its present owners for 13 years.

The pub, which has a beer garden capable of holding 60 people, has a main bar and a restaurant at the back.

Kings Arms 2016

The Kings Arms in Elham.

There are three double bedrooms above for the new owners, plus a bathroom and large living area.

The pub has gone up for sale with Christie & Co, which is selling the leasehold, which carries an annual rent of 24,384.

Business agent James Hughes, at the advistor’s Maidstone office, said: “The Kings Arms is located in a lovely village and possesses all of the charm and character that you would want in a pub.

“The market is very buoyant in villages surrounding Canterbury, due to the beautiful locations and wide ranging footfall, and this would provide the perfect opportunity for someone who wished to take over a successful, established business.”



GARLAND Charles 1841 (age 30 in 1841Census) (King's Buildings, High Street)

COLTHAM William 1841-58 (age 67 in 1851Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847Melville's 1858

COLTHAM John 1862-82+ Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882

PITCHER George Dixon 1891-1913+ Kelly's 1899Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913

FILE Leo John 1930-38+ Kelly's 1934

ROWNAN William John 1948-60+

PRESTON Barry & Debbie 2002+

???? Rose & Will 2006+


Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

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

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934


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