Sort file:- Canterbury, December, 2023.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 16 December, 2023.


Earliest 1803-

(Name from)

Sun Hotel

Open 2014+

16 Palace Street/7 Sun Street


01227 769700

Sun circa 1910

Above date circa 1910.

Sun Inn

Above postcard, date unknown.

Sun Hotel date unknown

Above showing the "Sun Hotel," date unknown.

Sun Hotel 1920

Above postcard, date 1920, kindly sent by Mark Jennings.

Sun Hotel 1951

Above photo December 1951.

Sun Hotel Sun Hotel signSun Hotel sign Sun Hotel sign

Above photos taken by Paul Skelton, 19 May 2012.


Located just a few steps from Canterbury Cathedral in a cobbled street, this 15th century hotel is steeped in history, with former guests including Charles Dickens.

Formally known as "Little Inn" and made famous by Charles Dickens in David Copperfield, it was transformed back to this stylish hotel in 2006. It is just 20 minutes from Dover and the Channel Tunnel.

The great fire in 1865 destroyed many of the timber framed buildings in Sun Street, Guildhall Street, High Street and Mercery Lane block, but luckily this building was saved from the flames.


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 11 March 1803.

Tuesday evening, died Mrs Crux, wife of Mr. John Crux, of the "Sun Inn," in this city.


Kentish Gazette, 11 March 1803.

Tuesday evening, died Mrs. Crux, wife of Mr. John Crux, of the "Sun Inn," in this city.


Kent Gazette Reports 8 February 1805.


STOLEN or STRAYED, from the "Sun Inn," Canterbury, on Saturday last,

A dark, brindle-colour DOG, between a terrier and bull, cropped very close, short tail, stands about eighteen inches high, and answers to the name of Jim.

Whoever will give information where the said Dog may be found, or bring him to the "Sun Inn," Canterbury, shall receive Ten Shillings.

N. B. No higher reward will be offered.

February 7, 1805.


Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal 9 March 1810.


RESPECTFULLY informs his friends and the public that he has taken the above INN, of Mr. John Crux, and begs leave to solicit their support, assuring them, that it will be his utmost endeavour to give satisfaction by the strictest commands, and by keeping an assortment of Wines and Spirits of the very best quality.

Excellent Beds and good Stabling.


Kentish Gazette, 7 March 1820.



WILLIAM BAX RESPECTFULLY acknowledges with gratitude, the numerous favours he has experienced from his friends and the public, for several years, during his residence at the "Sun Inn;" and begs to inform them, that he has removed to the "Star Inn," St. George's Place, recently occupied by the late Mr. Heresden, which he has fitted up with excellent beds, and with every possible convenience for the reception and accommodation of families, travellers, and those who may do him utmost exertions to render them comfortable, and hopes, by an unremitting attention, to merit their patronage and support.

An Ordinary every Saturday at One o'clock.

Good Stabling and lock-up Coach horses.

Neat Post Chaises.


Kentish Gazette, 4 April 1820.



STEPHEN FOLWELL. RESPECTFULLY informs his friends and the public, that be has taken the "SUN INN," which he has fitted up with excellent Beds, and with every convenience for the reception and accommodation of travellers and of those friends who may favour him with their support, which it will ever be his most anxious study by strict attention to deserve.

An ordinary on Saturday's at one o'clock. Good Stabling.


From the Kentish Gazette, 10 April 1838.

Another Police Indictment.

James Rickes was charged with stealing, on the 9th March last, a quantity of dung or manure, the property Mr. Robert Fill, of the "Sun inn."

Mr. Robert Fill having been called, said he knew nothing of the transaction. The policeman called upon him and said he had taken a man into custody for stealing some dung from the Sun yard.

The policeman Spratt was then called:— He said that between six and seven o’clock on the morning of the 9th of March, he saw the prisoner turn into the "Sun-yard" and bring away a large armful of dung, which had been cleared out of the stable. He put it into his cart, which was standing in Guildhall-street, and then proceeded down the street. Policeman took him into custody, and, with his cart, conveyed him to the Station-house. No conversation passed between them on the way to the Station-house.

Robert Fill re-called:— Saw the dung at the Station-house. He could form no idea of its value. It was of very little value. He did not know that he should have liked to give more than sixpence for it.

The prisoner in his defence said, he was going down Guildhall-street with his cart, he saw as he passed the "Sun-yard," which is a thoroughfare, a little dung lying. He took it up in his arm and threw it into his cart, he thought he was doing no harm. He saw the policeman standing at the corner of the street when he went into the yard and when he came out.

Spratt being recalled, said the prisoner saw him when he came out of the yard only. He did not draw back when he saw him. He put the dung into the cart very deliberately, and proceeded on without manifesting any thing in particular. The dung had been seen by him before the prisoner took it away. It was lying near the stable-door.

Not guilty.


From the Kentish Gazette, 19 May 1840.

Sun Inn Farmers' Dinner.

A dinner was given on Saturday last by the farmers who dine at the ordinary at the "Sun Inn," in this city, to Mr. John Wootton, of Chislett, who for many years has filled the chair at the market dinner. The worthy host supplied the company with an excellent repast of old English fare, served up in his customary first rate style. After the removal of the cloth, the usual toasts having been drunk, the health of "uncle" was rapturously received, and acknowledged with excellent effect by the worthy subject of the toast. The day was passed in the spirit and conviviality of the olden time.


From the Kentish Gazette, 30 May 1843.


ROBERT FILL, IN announcing his intention to relinquish the business of this Establishment to his Son and late Assistant, begs to acknowledge most gratefully the extensive and liberal patronage he has received from the Citizens of Canterbury, and his Agricultural and other Country Friends, and trusts that they will continue to bestow that support upon his successor which they have so kindly awarded him for a long series of years past.

ROBERT YOUNG FILL, Junior, In entering upon the "SUN INN," begs respectfully to solicit the support of the City and Country Friends of his Father, and begs to assure them that it will be his constant desire and study to merit a continuance of their favours, by an unremitting attention to their accommodation and comforts, and he keeping on hand wines and spirits of the best quality.


From the Kentish Gazette, 9 December 1845.


TO BE PEREMPTORILY SOLD BY AUCTION, By Messrs. WHITE, AT the "Sun Inn," CANTERBURY, on MONDAY, the 15th DECEMBER, 1845, at One o'clock in the Afternoon, subject to such conditions as will be then produced, in Five Lots:

Lot 2— A very commodious FREEHOLD PUBLIC-HOUSE, with extensive buildings, formerly used as wool lofts, stable and premises, situated in North Lane, CANTERBURY, now occupied by Mr. James Feakins.

For further particulars, apply to the Auctioneers, Sun-street, Canterbury.


South Eastern Gazette, 28 August, 1860.

Complaints against Publicans.

At the city petty sessions, yesterday, complaints were made against the landlords of the "Sun," the "Woolpack," and the "William IV.," of having opened their houses for the sale of liquor at illegal hours on the previous day (Sunday).

The landlord of the "Woolpack," in North-lane, did not appear, and was ordered to be summoned.

The case against Thos. Attwood, of the "William IV.," was gone into and proved, and having been previously cautioned by the Bench, he was fined 10s. and the costs.

The complaint against Mr. Bassenden, of the "Sun," was also proceeded with, when he stated that the two gentlemen who were seen in his house were about to proceed to Herne Bay, and were merely partaking of a glass of stout and some bread and cheese while their horses were being prepared.

Defendant was dismissed with a caution.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 1 September, 1860.

Mr. Bassenden, of the "Sun Inn," Sun-street, was charged with having company drinking in his house before half-past twelve on Sunday.

Mr. Bassenden stated that he did supply some gentlemen with refreshments while their horses were being put to in the stable; but as he had never been complained against before, the bench, after cautioning him, dismissed the complaint.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 20 April, 1861.

George Tomkinson, labourer, was charged with stealing a quantity of beef and suet, the property of James Field, butcher, Northgate. Mr. Field stated that, on Saturday he weighed up 371bs. of beef and suet and sent it to the “Queen’s Head Inn,” to be forwarded by a carrier to a customer of his at Chilham. He afterwards ascertained that the beef had been taken away. He identified the beef produced as a portion of that which he weighed up.

It was proved by other witnesses that on Saturday afternoon the prisoner took the beef to the “Steam Packet” public-house. North-lane, where he had been lodging, and where the prisoner was apprehended on Saturday night.

The prisoner, who pleaded not guilty, was committed for trial at the next Quarter Sessions.

There was a second charge against the prisoner of stealing a bullock's head and a quantity of meat, the property of James Gammon, from a cart in the “Sun Inn” yard on the same day. This case was very similar to the above, and the prisoner was also committed for trial upon the second charge.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 7 December 1867. Price 1d.


The Inspector complained of the tenants of the “Sun Inn,” Sun Street, causing a quantity of manure and refuse to be removed at prohibited hours, viz., at quarter past eleven a.m.; and desired the Board to forward a notice cautioning him not to do it again.

This excited much discussion, at question being raised by Mr. T. S. Cooper as to whether the nuisance complained of came within the jurisdiction of the Board, it being understood that the yard was private property. The Clerk, however, said there was no doubt whatever that the Board had power to deal with the matter; and that a person who loaded a cart with manure between the hours of 9 a.m., and 11 p.m, became liable under the Bye Laws.

The Mayor said he thought the liable person was the one who removed the manure, and not the tenant of the “Sun.”

The Inspector said that if such were the case he should have to be continually calling on the neighbouring farmers instead of the residents in the City. In his opinion the party who caused the manure to be removed was liable, and not the one who acted upon his instructions and removed it.

The Clerk said both the owner of the premises and the farmers were liable.

Alderman Collard said he should not hold a man liable if he loaded a waggon with manure on private premises whether it was during prohibited hours or not.

The Clerk then read the Bye Law, from which it appeared that all occupiers of premises were to provide a proper receptacle for manure and refuse providing the Board had not taken any precautions to do it themselves, and that the manure or refuse was to be removed from such premises by the occupier between 11 p.m., and 9 am.

Alderman Collard asked what precautions the Board had taken? He should contend that a load of stable manure was not a nuisance.

The Mayor said that, if, as the Inspector had stated, house refuse was mixed with the manure, the matter assumed a different aspect.

Alderman Collard said he only considered it a nuisance when a man leaded a cart in the street after 9 o'clock.

The Clerk suggested that the Inspector should be instructed to inform the tenant of “Sun” of the bye-law; and this was agreed to.


From the Whitstable Times, 5 April, 1902.


Mary Taylor and Emily Gilbert, of no fixed abode, were charged with being drunk and disorderly in West Street on the previous night.

P.C’s. Campion and Moon proved the case. The first named prisoner was turned out of the “Sun Inn,” and when outside she threw a bottle through the window, breaking the glass.

Each of the prisoners had been convicted twice previously, and the Bench fined them each 5s. and 6s. costs, or seven days’ bard labour.


A 15th century Tudor building brought back to life after being vacant for 40 years. The building was restored in 1992 by Debenhams and extensively refurbished in 2006, today the hotel offers a warm welcome with modern comforts, combining traditional architecture with contemporary design.

The bedrooms are stylishly furnished, most with a beautiful four-poster bed. Enjoy lunch, light bites and the renowned cream teas, served daily in the licensed tea rooms in the famous Sun Street.

I am informed that after it closed as the "Sun Inn" in 2014 it reopened again for a very short time as its original name of the "Little Inn" but soon shut again. It is now (2017) a restaurant and the bar is still in the same place.



CRUX John 1803-10+

BAX William 1810-Mar/20 Next pub licensee had

FOLWELL Stephen Mar/1820-28+ Pigot's Directory 1824Pigot's Directory 1828-29

FILL Robert 1832-May/43 (age 45 in 1841Census) Pigot's Directory 1832-34Historic Canterbury web siteStapletons GuidePigot's Directory 1840Bagshaw's Directory 1847

FILL Robert Young 1843-May/51+ (age 32 in 1851Census)

MOSS Rhoda 1851+ (widow age 45 in 1851Census)

BASSENDEN John Edward 1858-67+ Next pub licensee had (age 57 in Census) Melville's 1858Historic Canterbury web sitePost Office Directory 1862

OSBOURNE Chappe H 1868-71+ (age 37 in 1871Census) Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

BEKEN Alfred 1874+ Post Office Directory 1874

LEE John 1881-82+ (age 51 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

MOSS Rhoda 1889-98 dec'd (age 45 in 1891Census) Historic Canterbury web sitePost Office Directory 1891

MOSS Kate Louisa (daughter) 1898+

MARSH Charles Henry Longhurst 1901-03+ (age 32 in 1901Census) Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Historic Canterbury web site

PULLEN Miss Mary Emily 1911-17+ (age 38 in 1911Census) Post Office Directory 1913Historic Canterbury web site

ALLEN Mrs E 1922+ Post Office Directory 1922

BEACH John 1930+ Post Office Directory 1930

MARTIN F W 1938+ Post Office Directory 1938


Pigot's Directory 1824From the Pigot's Directory 1824

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

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

Stapletons GuideStapleton's Guide 1838

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Historic Canterbury web siteHistoric Canterbury web site


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