Sort file:- Deal, July, 2023.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 25 July, 2023.


Earliest 1821-

Saracens Head

Closed  July 2023

1 Alfred Square


01304 448858

Saracen's Head

Above photo, date unknown.

William Licence

Above photo showing William Licence, date unknown, kindly sent by Patty Luttrell.

Sarah Licence 1880

Above photo, showing Sarah Licence, licensees wife, circa 1880.

Saracen's Head 1918

Above photo, 1918, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Showing a celebration for the end of WW1.

Saracen's Head 1945

Above photo showing end of war celebrations, 1945.

Saracen's Head 1952

Above photograph showing the "Saracen's Head" in 1952.

Saracen's Head in Deal

Above photographs by Paul Skelton 2008.

Saracen's Head 2022

Above photo, 2022.

Saracens Head 2023

Above photo June 2023. Kindly sent by Steve Glover.

Saracen's Head sign 1993Saracen's head sign in Deal

Above coloured photographs by Paul Skelton 2008.

Saracen's Head sign right, July 1993.

Saracen's Head sign 1987Saracen's Head sign 1987

Signs above November 1987.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis


The building can be traced back as early as 1806 when it housed a carpenter's shop and tenement. By 1821 the premises was referred to as the "Saracen's Head beer-house," and the licensee, James Walsh, was also licensee of the "Queen's Head" in the same year.


From the Kentish Gazette, 15 January 1839.

A few days since as a poor girl named May was busily engaged in cleaning candlesticks before a large fire at Mr. Hanger's of the "Saracens Head," Deal, a portion of her dress getting in contact with the fuel speedily ignited; the cries of the girl brought the landlady’s sister to the spot, who happily succeeded in extinguishing the flames by means of a large mat.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 16 June, 1900.


Stephen Williams, whose wife was sent to prison on Tuesday  last for drunkenness, was charged with being drunk whilst in charge of a horse and cart in Alfred Square, Deal, on June 6th.

Defendant pleaded guilty.

P.C. Chapman stated that about 5.30 p.m. on the 6th, he was at the top of Alfred Square, when he heard a horse coming at a tremendous rate, and on looking in that direction he saw it come from Alfred Square into High Street. Defendant was swaying from one side of the cart to the other, and in trying to pull up was evidently pulling on one rein, as the horse made a circle in Alfred Square before it stopped. Witness took the horse's head. Defendant who was very drunk, wanted to go into the "Saracen's Head." Witness told him he was drunk, and he said "Yes, I know that." Witness advised him to go with him to his camp in the North Wall Meadow, which he did. The pony ran its head into Messrs. Dickeson's van whilst in Alfred Square. There was a number of children about at the time.

Defendant was fined 10s., and 7s. 6d. costs, or 14 days' hard labour. Time was refused, but the money was paid.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 20 March, 1925. Price 1d.


Mr. Hobday, of the "Saracen's Head," Deal, was granted an occasional licence for Singledge Farm for the West Street Harriers' point-to-point races on Wednesday, March 25th.



October 2012 saw the pub change from open to For Sale.


From the East Kent Mercury, 4 April, 2013.


Fire at Saracen's Head

A quick-thinking passer by raised the alarm late on Good Friday when sparks were seen in smoke coming from a chimney at the "Saracen's Head" pub in Deal.

Landlord Mick Clarkson, who only took over the license last Monday, rand 999 and praised the mystery person.

He said, "It was more than the house warming I was expecting when I arrived at the "Saracen's!"

"The person who raised the alarm averted what could have been a small disaster, so thank you."

Two engines from Deal Fire Station arrived, as well as a turntable ladder from Canterbury and a Kent Fire and Rescue Service height vehicle.

Mr. Clarkson added: "We didn't evacuate the pub but we put the log burner out."

"Firefighters only took about five minutes to arrive and it seems we had timbers alight in the roof. the chimney breast needs rebuilding, but it is business as usual."

Late-night customers took their drinks outside to watch the fire fighters on the roof at the pub in Alfred Square, on the corner of College Road.

Mr. Clarkson added: "One of them told me it was like going through the Blitz." The licensee runs the "Saracen's Head" with his wife Karen and the couple also look after the "Railway" in Station Road, Walmer.


After being closed since September 2015, I am informed that the pub is open again on the 24th March 2016.


From the Dover Mercury, 9 March 2017.

Pub-goers enjoy a taste of Texas at charity fundraiser.

It may not be the most likely place to celebrate the independence of Texas.

However, visitors to The Saracens Head in Deal were briefly transported across the pond for a special event to honour veterans of the Queen’s Regimental Association.

It came after the association helped military enthusiast Lt Col John Buckley, of the 8th US Infantry Division, with his research into a Ferret Scout car he had bought.

John Buckley & Ferret

Above photo showing Lt. Col John Buckley with his wife Carolyn in the Ferret.

The vehicle had belonged to all three battalions of the Queen’s Regiment, Kent’s County Regiment between 1966-92 when stationed in Gibraltar.

Association secretary Major Alasdair Goulden provided information to Lt Col Buckley who, to thank the group, presented them with the State Flag of Texas which had previously flown over the Texas House of Representatives.

On Texas Day on March 2 the association held the Texan event to celebrate the honour while also raising money for its benevolent fund.

Alasdair Goulden and Eleline Burton

Above photo, Alasdair Goulden & Emeling Burton.

Emeline Burton, (right) landlady of historic pub The Saracens Head in Alfred Square, hosted the festivities, which included displays by the Queen’s Regimental Association Corps of Drums.

There was also a chance for guests to sample Texan food of buffalo wings, pecan pie and beef brisket.

The Texas State Flag, which will be displayed in the Regiment’s Museum at Dover Castle, and the Regimental Flag flew throughout the day.

I am delighted that The Queen’s Regiment and the good people of Deal have entered into the spirit of Texas Day and y’all have a good time,” he said.

Mr Goulden thanked everyone for their support.

“The turnout was fantastic and we raised 625 for the benevolent fund which last year gave financial support to over 80 veterans of the regiment who had fallen on hard times,” he said.

The fundraiser was supported by The Friends of North Deal, The Men of Kent, The Royal British Legion and veterans from the Regiment.”


From the Dover Mercury, 22 March 2017.

Leprechauns’ pub crawl helps boost charity fund.

Leprechauns pub crawl

A pub crawl in fancy dress has helped boost sponsorship for a group of carers preparing to climb Ben Nevis.

Jo Allen, Jill Hyland, Collette Eldridge, Nat Lamoon, Sara Banaijee and Karen Kirk from Walmer Care Centre in Marine Road and Alexandra House in Dover, plus fundraiser Kerry Rubins, will take on the 1,345m Scottish mountain in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society on July 8.

Dressed as Leprechauns, they travelled around the pubs of Deal on St Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, collecting 415 in their buckets.

Ms Allen said: “Everyone was extremely generous and really got into the spirit of things.

“There was an Irish band on in the "Saracen’s Head" and people were joining us as we danced around. We’d like to say a big thank you to all the pubs who allowed us to collect and to the people that donated.”

The group has already collected more than 2,600 towards their 3,000 target but will continue to hold fundraisers until the challenge. These include a race night on Sunday, June 25, at the King’s Head, Deal, led by Stewart Brown. To sponsor the climbers, pop into Walmer Care Centre in Marine Road, Deal.

The group visited pubs in Deal to collect donations for the Alzheimer's Society ahead of their Ben Nevis climb.


From the By Sam Williams, 19 February 2022.

Couple take over Saracens Head in Deal and become third generation in family to join pub trade.

It will be a family affair when new owners take over a Deal pub this month.

Husband and wife Matthew and Martine Brett got the keys to the Saracens Head, in Alfred Square, on Wednesday last week and will hold the grand opening this coming Friday.

Matthew and Martine Brett 2022

Matthew and Martine Brett will take over the Saracens Head in Deal. Picture: Matthew Brett.

Mr Brett is the third generation in his family to take on a public house, as both his parents and grandparents have run pubs in Deal.

His grandparents, Bill and Iris, ran the "Three Compasses" for around 30 years, and his mum and dad, Lynda and Trevor, were in charge of "Deal Hoy" for seven years in the late 80s and early 90s.

Mum Lynda will now help pull pints at the Saracens Head, while Matthew takes charge in the kitchen and Martine in the bar.

Daughters Olivia and Georgia will also help out with waitressing.

Mr Brett said: "We're very excited to open.

"We have been making improvements to the trading area and the toilets, giving it a bit of a makeover.

"And we'll have live entertainment on our opening night."

Mr Brett, who has played in pool leagues for the town, found his love for the sport playing in his parents' and grandparents' pubs.

He said: "I remember my grandad would turn over a plastic beer crate so I could reach the pool table. In my parent's pub I would play every day."

Mr Brett and his brother would also help out, including cleaning pipes and hosting barbecues in the summers.

Matthew and Martine already run cleaning company, Brett Cleaning Services, and employ 21 members of staff and look after 70 holiday lets as well as commercial businesses.

Mr Brett, 45, joked: "As if we're not busy enough. We must be mad."

The couple will initially open with a soft launch, which will include breakfasts on Saturdays and Sundays, and pulled pork roasts for Sunday lunch.

They will then look to serving an evening menu and lunches.

They are aiming to source all their food from within a 20-mile radius.

Mr Brett said: "A lot of consumers are aware of where their food comes from these days for environmental reasons.

"We will be serving premium ingredients, all sourced locally."

Themed food nights are also planned, such as German sausage evenings, as well as music sessions, including jazz on Sundays.

The pub will open on February 25, with singer Abigail Cardwell due to perform.


From the By Chantal Weller, 16 March 2023.

Saracens Head in Deal put up for sale by Shepherd Neame as landlord tells of struggle to make profit.

Brewery bosses have decided to sell a historic pub after the latest tenants claimed it is “impossible to make a profit”.

Husband and wife duo Matthew and Martine Brett are stepping away from the Saracens Head in Deal just 13 months after taking over.

The couple say they have done “nothing but lose money” since February last year, blaming the cost-of-living crisis and a lack of community support.

Their decision to leave later this year has led to owner Shepherd Neame putting the pub on the market for 425,000.

Mr Brett says the couple are disappointed to be handing back the keys, but believes they were left with little choice.

“I worked out what I needed to make each month, and we’re not even making half of that,” he said.

“It was an ailing pub when we took it on, and was not busy, but we invested thousands in it in the hope of trying to turn the business around to make it viable.”

The father-of-two, who also owns a cleaning business, says there are three main factors which have pushed the family to leave.

“I thought ‘how hard can it be to make 500 a week?’,” he said

“In a nutshell, very hard, because I’ve done nothing but lose money.

“When a pub is ailing it is very, very hard, from what I have experienced now, to turn it around.

“I think there are three factors why we have struggled - the increase in energy costs, location of the pub and lack of community support.

“There are some pubs that struggle and there are a small handful that it doesn’t seem to matter what society, government and costs are thrown at it, they do all right.

“A lot of small businesses are struggling at the moment. We get some local support but it is nowhere near enough to make it viable.”

Mr Brett says trade was busier in the summer months but has been non-existent this winter.

“Deal is a quiet little place, but we do really have a thriving high street, which is good,” he explained.

“But from a hospitality point of view, when that trade disappears in the winter then it does make it a little bit harder.

“If we could move our pub 500 yards up onto the seafront then I have no doubt we would be busy, or if it was 500 yards down into the high street I think it would be viable.”

Mr Brett says it will be a shame to leave the pub, which is now being sold by Shepherd Neame as a licensed premises.

“I think we have a lovely looking pub, which is all bright after we refurbished it,” he said.

“The brewery has done a viability study and found it is not viable anymore as a pub, so they are looking at selling it on.

“It will be a shame because this pub has been standing for the best part of 150 years.

Saracen's Head bar 2022

Mr Brett says it is a shame the pub has had to go on the market. Picture: Matthew Brett.

“For me, the worry was if I could not make it work we’d be the last landlord and landlady to shut the door, which is a shame.

“Shepherd Neame has been very supportive in the exit and it is very much business as usual at the pub.

“We still have our pie nights, curry nights, weekend breakfasts and Sunday roasts.

“We are also still having live music and comedy nights and trading at 100% passion and energy.”

The building is thought to date back as far as 1806, when it housed a carpenter’s shop and several apartments.

Some 15 years later the premises was first referred to as the “Saracen’s Head beer house”.

The news of the pub going on the market has also sparked concerns about what will happen to a defibrillator which was installed at the site last summer.

Originally it was hoped the town council would adopt the telephone kiosk in Alfred Square from BT and the defibrillator would be housed in there, but this project failed.

Residents are asking any registered charities to convert this kiosk, and any interested parties should email or call 01304 374883.

Shepherd Neame property and services director George Barnes said: “We can confirm that we have taken the decision to sell The Saracens Head, Deal, as it no longer fits our business needs.

"The pub is currently on the market, and is being sold as a licensed premises.”


Appears to have closed in July 2023, and rumoured to have been marketed as suitable for conversion into a private house.



WALSH James 1821 (census) (also "Queen's Head")

SMITH Laura 1830s+

HANGER Mr 1839+

HAMMOND Richard Resker 1844-Mar/69 (age 62 in 1861Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847Melville's 1858Kelly's 1862Deal Mercury alehouse

LICENCE William Mar/1869-96 (age 35 in 1871Census) Kelly's 1874Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1891Deal Mercury

MAY Henry George 1896-99+ Kelly's 1899

PAIN Edmund Joshua 1903+ Kelly's 1903

PAOL/PAIN Arthur Edmund 1913+ Post Office Directory 1913

CULLEN J H 1914 Deal library 1914

HOBDAY John E 1922-34+ Post Office Directory 1922Kelly's 1934

BRIDGER H George 1935-38+ Post Office Directory 1938

THOMPSON Richard Frederick 1940+ (from the brewery)

SAYLE Paul 1943-55+

DOBSON B M 1966+

FRAME John 1970-74+ Library archives 1974 Charrington & Co

POWELL James 1883+

KEMP John 1985+

BURGESS Martin 1990+

WOODCOCK Kenneth 1991

KEMBER William 1991

FEEBURGER Franz & Christine 1994+

CANALE Pamela 2000+

STEWARD John & Marianne 2009+

CLARKESON Michael Apr/2013+

CROCKER Richard & Opal Next pub licensee had Sept/2014-Sept/2015

BURTON Emeline 24/Mar/2016-Oct/2017

LITTLE David 2/Oct/2017+

PHILPOTT Danny & BUTLER Jade 8/Aug/2020-16/Feb-22

BRETT Matthew & Martine 16/Feb/2022-23+


Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Kelly's 1862From the Kelly's Directory 1862

Kelly's 1874From the Kelly's Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

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

Deal library 1914Deal Library List 1914

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Deal MercuryFrom the Deal Walmer & Sandwich Mercury



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