Sort file:- Margate, July, 2021.

Page Updated:- Monday, 19 July, 2021.


Earliest 1732-

Bulls Head

Open 2014+

1 Market Place


01843 224495

Bull's Head

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

Bull's Head bar 1941>

Above photo, circa 1941, kindly sent by Jenny Parnwell.

Bull's Head outing 1950s

Above photo, 1950s, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Outing from Chelsea

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Christine Finch, who says that this was a coach outing from Chelsea.

Frederick George Wells 1965

Above photo showing Frederick George Wells and wife, 1965, from the Margate Local & Family History.

Bull's Head 2010

Photo taken 27 February 2010 from by Jelltex.

Bull's Head plaster sign

Above sign with thanks from Brian Curtis

O S Map 1873

O S Map 1873.


The Isle of Thanet Williams Directory of 1849 infers this was also operating a livery stables.


From the Kentish Gazette, 25 January 1848.

MARGATE, Jan. 24.

During the night of Saturday last, the roof of the stables at the "Bull's Head Inn" fell with a tremendous crash, which greatly alarmed the neighbourhood.


Kentish Mercury 13 March 1852.

Forging banknotes, and singular mode of utterance.

William Brown, tailor, (21, well) but whose real name is Robert Hayward, lately employed by his brother, a printer, Drury Lane, London, was charged with uttering forged 5 Bank of England notes, and also with having five other notes, reported to be five pound notes.

Mr Clarkson, appeared for the prosecution, and the first witness he called was John Bishop, about 12 years of age, who said the prisoner came up to him in High Street, Margate, on the 18th of last December, and promised to give him 3d if he would take a letter to the post office and bring him and answer. He handed him a letter which he took to Mr Gore, the Postmaster. That gentleman after asking him where he received it, called in a policeman who directed him to take a paper back to the prisoner, which he did.

Mr Frederick Gore, Postmaster, Margate, said he received a letter from the last witness, and enclosing 6d, and a piece of paper for purporting to be a 5 note, with a note requesting that the post office order might be payable to "William Vile, bootmaker, Ashton, Kent," from "D Fox, 32, Marine Parade." Witness at once detected the note was a forgery, and he communicated with Mr inspector Marchant, who succeeded in apprehending the prisoner. Some time since there was a person name Fox living on the parade, he has since died, but the brass plate is at present on the door.

Mr William Vile, bootmaker, of Ashford, said he did not expect any money from Mr Fox, who he did not know - the prisoner he had never seen before.

Louise Fisher, said she was the daughter of the landlady of the "Bulls Head," Margate, and that on the 18th of December, the prisoner came there, took a glass of ale and borrowed pen and ink, shortly after he came to the bar and left a bag, for which he said he would call again. He did not, however, do so, and witness gave the bag to the inspector of police.

Mr Inspector Marchant gave evidence of his having been called by Mr Gore, and also to apprehending the prisoner, and finding upon him 15s and a key. Perceiving the key belonged to a bag, he inquired at the several taverns if any person have been there, and upon arriving at the "Bull's Head," he found the bag left by the prisoner. On searching it, which he opened with a key found on the prisoner, he found the pocket book containing eight copies of letters, with blank places for the name; also five forged 5 Bank of England notes, and two 5 post office orders issued by similar means, with forged notes, which had been obtained by the prisoner at Dover and Deal. Two bottles of medicine were also in the bag, which the prison asked to be given up to him.

Mr George Spain, assistant postmaster of Dover, gave evidence of the order found in the prisoners bag, being obtained from him on the 17th of December, under similar circumstances, as in the last case, payable to "Heath, gunsmith, of Reigate," from "George Mulgrave, "London Hotel," Dover.

Mr Heath denied all knowledge of the prisoner, or that any such person as Mulgrave was indebted to him.

Mr Ekins, postmaster of Deal, gave evidence of an order being obtained from him, the one produced found in the prisoners bag, with a 5 note. The letter directed the order to be made payable to "William Ashley, grocer, Tonbridge," from William Judd, cabinet maker, Lower Street, Deal."

A lad said the prisoner directed him to proceed with the letter to the post, and he handed the reply.

Sergent Thompson, the London police, said the prisoners proper name was Robert Hayward, but he was no trade, but had worked for his brother, printer, of Drury Lane. Evidence was given of the note being spurious, and as to the prisoners writing.

Prisoner, in defence, said he found the notes in a railway carriage at Basingstoke, and that he was tempted to commit the offence, by their being thus thrown in his way.

His lordship went through the evidence, commenting at length on its nature; when the jury immediately found the prisoner guilty.

The learned judge in passing sentence, said such crimes called for the most severe punishment, and in this case it was accompanied with a deep laid plan, which made it imperative to carry out the law, he should, therefore, sentence the prisoner to 14 years transportation.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 15 July 1862.

Margate Borough Police Court.

Wednesday:- (Before the Mayor, T. Blackburn Esq., W. T. Gilder, Esq., R. Jenkins Esq., and the Rev. G. W. Sicklemore.)

A Batch of Publicans.

William Kirby Holmans, landlord of the "Bulls Head Inn," was the last one called into the dock, charged with opening his house at 40 minutes pas 12.

Fined 10s. and 8s. 6d. costs.


From the Thanet Advertiser, Friday 5 August 1938.

Publican Objects to licence transfer.

"It is unjust and a slur on my character," declared Earnest Milton, former licensee of the "Bull's Head Hotel," Margate, at the Borough Police Court, on Wednesday, when he objected to a full transfer of the licence to Mr. L. A. Dimmock, representative of Messrs. Club and Co., brewers.

The previous week the magistrates granted the temporary transfer of the license.

When Mr. Milton objected to the transfer and said he wished the magistrates to adjourn the matter pending an enquiry by his solicitor, it was pointed out that he is giving up possession.

Answering the Clerk (Mr. C. C. Maughan) Mr. Milton said "I am out of the house but I cannot see how I can come out into the streets without a stick of furniture or a penny."

The Clerk stated that if he agreed to come out of the house the magistrates were not concerned, but were quite prepared to consider any objection.

Mr. Milton declared that he did not know until after the temporary transfer how much he was going out with.

The Clerk:- The magistrates are prepared to listen to any good ground for your objection.

Mr. Milton replied that he had changed his solicitors and wished to give them a chance of inquiring into the matter. The brewers could continue to have the temporary transfer.

He agreed that he signed an agreement for sale and said "Everything was done in a rush. It is unjust," adding that he signed the agreement the same day that he agreed to the temporary transfer.

After some discussion with the Clerk and his colleagues with Mayor (Councillor G. B. Farrar) announced that the final transfer will be granted.


Thanet Times, Tuesday 27 October, 1964.

The man from Ontario.

Frederick Wells 1964

From Ontario, Canada to the "Bull's Head Hotel," Market Place, Margate, is some Journey, but Mr. Frederick G. Wells the present licensee, didn't do the journey in one hop. In fact, he has been in this country for the past 43 years.

Fred came over here as a young boy at a time when he had lost both parents and the family was split up and among different relatives. "It was then that I lost trace of my brother and it was to be another 40 years before I saw him again," he said.

"All through that long separation I continually made exhaustive enquiries has to my brother's whereabouts and eventually the famous Canadian Mounties traced him to North Bay, Ontario. You can bet we had a grand reunion," said Fred.

Mr. Wells has been in the trade in and around Bedford since 1947, and he and his charming wife, Iris took over the "Bulls Head" 3 years next month.

How have they settled down in Margate?

"Coming here in November was not the best time of the year," said Iris. "Honestly during the first month we could have turned tail and fled. But Margate is a place which grows on you and now we like it very much. We have many friends and have around us a jolly crowd of customers.

Hotel life is nothing you to Mrs. Wells. "I was born and bred in the trade, for my father had a licence on the outskirts of Bedford for many years," she said.

"It was in Bedford that she met Fred and before coming to Margate they had three other pubs in that area.

If you should go into the saloon bar, your eye will immediately spot on the shelves at the back of the counter 300 or 400 match boxes which have come from all parts of the world. "It's a hobby of mine and you will be surprised how our regulars have caught on to the idea and bring back unusual boxes from their travels," Fred said.

During his sojourn in Bedford, Mr. Wells was a director of Bedford Town F.C., and he recalled the famous cup of 1956, when Bedford town drew with the mighty Arsenal, but lost the replay.


From an email received 14 January, 2017.

Good Morning, my great great grandfather William Kerby Holmans was at the Bull's Head 1857-1858, his grandfather and brother-in-law both William Kerby had both died by then, so I think it is possible your entry for William Kerby licensee in 1858 could be wrong.

Also I am enclosing a copy of his calling card which you might like to enter with the photographs.

Regards Mrs Gay Holmans Seguro.

William Holmans card


Eric Morcambe plaque

According to the Saunders family there has been a pub on the site since before 1732. The four storey building with a Bull's Head projecting from its frontage, stills strikes a fine balance between the old and the new, with its five bars becoming one open planned affair in the late 70s. Eric Morecambe married the daughter of a previous landlord Miss Margate, Joan Bartlett on 11 December 1952, and the wedding reception was held in the first floor function room.

Eric Morcambe wedding 1952

Above photo, showing Eric Morecambe and wife cutting their wedding cake, 1952. His parents, George and Sadie are seated right.

Eric Morecambe's wedding reception 1952

Above photo showing Eric Morecambe's reception 1952.

From the Thanet Extra, 30 October 2020.


A town centre pub with flats and an outbuilding has been sold before it got to auction.

The "Bull's Head," in Market Place in Margate, was dut to go under the hammer but was snapped up beforehand.
The pub and flats are let on separate leases and the freehold guide price for the lot was 650-700,000.

Before it was sold, auctioneer Jon Rimmer said it was an incredible opportunity and predicted there would be much interest from investors.



DUNKIN D 1792+

FRANCKLIN John 1823+

FRANCKLIN Elizabeth 1826+

LEADER/LOADER Thomas 1832-41+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

FLISHER Edward 1847-49+ (age 38 in 1851Census) Williams Directory 1849

FLISHER Emma Mrs 1851+

HOLMANS William Kerby 1857-67+ (age 35 in 1861Census)

HOLMANS Hannah Mrs 1871-74+ (widow age 42 in 1871Census)

WATTS Frederick 1881-91+ (age 60 in 1881Census)

WATTS Sarah M A 1901-03+ (age 55 in 1901Census)

WATTS William 1911+ (age 29 in 1911Census)

ASH Charles W 1930+

MILTON Ernest 1938+

GRAY C W Mr 1941+

WELLS Frederick George Nov/1961-65+

Last pub licensee had SULLIVAN Mick & Shirley 1997+


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


Williams Directory 1849From Isle of Thanet Williams Directory 1849


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