The Kings Arms Hotel

Strand St, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9HN

Tel: +44 (0)1304 617330

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Elizabeth 1 coat of Arms

History of the Kings Arms

The Inn itself dates back to early Tudor times and was first recorded as being known as the Queen Arms. Indeed the cast iron plaque on the front of the building depicts the royal coat of arms of Elizabeth I (1558 – 1603). 

Elizabeth herself visited Sandwich in 1573 and stayed opposite the inn at Kings Lodgings, built for her father, Henry VIII.

The depiction of Pan on the corner of the building was carved during Elizabeth's reign and is dated 1592.


Kings Arms in Victorian Times

King Henry VIII

Old Photo of Kings Arms

Change of Name

It was during the reign of James II in 1687 that the inn changed name to the Kings Arms.

Through the 1700's and into the 1800's the inn was a well known coaching house within the historic town.

For the best part of its history the inn was a 'freehouse', owned by individuals or their families, but in 1869 the East Kent Brewery Co Ltd purchased the property.

They sold the freehold to Mackeson & Co Ltd of Hythe in 1923 who were bought out by Whitbred & Co in 1961.

Present Day

Tony Calnan and Richard Beard are the present custodians of the Kings Arms . 

Both are life long caterers and innkeepers, and they hope you enjoy the charm of this ancient building.

Present Day Kings Arms

Famous Customers

Although thousands of people have visited this inn over its 500 years of history more famous patrons have included: 

John Profumo, Mandy Rice-Davies, Boy George, Oz Clark, Sandy Gall, Virginia Wade, Paul Young, Hugh Grant, Jonathon Dimbleby, Lord Digby Jones, Sir Peter Irwin, Mick Clark, Dermot O'Leary, Christine McVie, Greg Wallace, Rob Bonnet, Jan Leaming, Chris Barry, Professor Heinz Wolff, Professor Neil Oliver, Jamie Foreman, Julian Lloyd-Webber, Harry Carpenter, Squadron Leader Stanford-Tuck, Sir Clive Whitton and Ralph Mitchell.