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Farmhouse, corn market, inn: a history

The original King and Queen inn was a bow-fronted two-storey Georgian building on the site of a farmhouse. This had gained a licence in 1779 to cater for various sporting events held at that time on the North Steine. In addition the inn was also the venue for Brighton’s corn market until 1868 when the Corn Exchange opened.

The present building was built in the Tudor style by architects Clayton and Black in 1931-32 with carved timber framing, herring-bone brickwork, stained glass and tapestries. The interiors were fitted out by Heaton, Tabb and Company, a well-known firm of pub decorators. Despite the figures of Henry VIII and one of his wives, the inn’s sign more accurately shows King George III and Queen Charlotte. In 1967 three rooms were knocked through to make a mediaeval nobleman’s hall.

The King and Queen pub
Photo by John Desborough

Comments about this page

  • I am a descendant of the Edlin family who once owned and ran many pubs within Brighton and it is a delight to see it on this website.

    By Neil Edlin (04/11/2005)
  • I too am a descendant of the Edlin family whose HQ for their Brighton pub chain was the King and Queen. After the First World War it was a garage run by Walter Edlin and Neville Hodgson before reverting to a pub in 1932. My grandfather Tubby Edlin was a comedian, his mother Emily and his brothers built the Brighton pub business.

    By Simon Edlin (25/07/2006)
  • Does anyone have any more details of what the bulding was like from the 18th century up to 1931 when it was re-designed in the Tudor style? It is a fascinating old place.

    By Pauline (28/07/2006)
  • My mum used to use the Edlins pubs: the Western, King and Queen, one in West Street that used to be known as ‘Jimmys’, and one on Kingsway in Hove, I can’t recall the name, I used to work in that one. They were friendly family pubs.

    By Sandie Waller (24/05/2007)
  • Was the Edlins pub on Kingsway in Hove The Abinger?

    By Adrian Baron (06/06/2007)
  • I am researching the Edlin family tree and would love to make contact with other Edlins from our family.

    By Mandy Edlin Gulley (14/09/2007)
  • The Abinger was on Kingsway but in Brighton not Hove. It was situated between the bottom of Montpelier Road and Oriental Place.

    By Alan Phillips (18/10/2007)
  • My Grandfather used to frequent this pub in the 1940s and 1950s, he was Councillor C. G. Manton and later an Alderman. I often used to stop by when I lived in Brighton from 1946 until 1957 and my Grandfather would buy me a lemonade. He was well known as the Councillor from Moulscombe. I would like to hear from anyone that knew him and has any information about him that I can include in my memoirs.

    By John Manton (07/01/2008)
  • The pub in West Street was called Christies. Jimmy’s was a super restaurant just off the bottom of St James’s Street.  The Sussex is still on Hove seafront.

    By Stephen Edlin (28/01/2008)
  • I have some old photographs and other items relating to Tubby Edlin in his theatrical days. I believe he was a relative of my grandfather, possibly a cousin. I remember mention of him visiting relatives in the Brighton area.  I’m happy to send scans of these items to any of his relatives who are interested.

    By Jane Robinson (01/02/2008)
  • The original Georgian King and Queen backed onto Church Street Infantry Barracks. Soldiers did not have to leave the barracks to drink, they could buy their alcohol from a serving window in the rear. Whilst on Guard duty in 1862, John Flood of the 18th Hussars got enough dutch courage from the K & Q, he took his musket and shot John O’Dea who was the barrack room bully. In an earlier incident (1822) Private Thomas Blamy of the Second Regiment of Foot also visited the K & Q, but in a state of depression after having been falsely accused of stealing. He left intoxicated, returned to the barracks, passed a string through his toes from the trigger of musket, and in the words of the Brighton Gazette, “scattered his brain over the walls of the immediate buildings.”

    By Roy Grant (06/03/2008)
  • I would love to hear from Jane Robinson. I too have some Tubby Edlin information and it seems we are related.

    By Mandy Edlin (08/03/2008)
  • “Jimmy’s Bar” was part of the old Southern Hotel in St. James’s Street. The Southern Hotel was an Edlins pub and hotel. The main entrance to the Southern was in St. James’s Street, but you got to Jimmy’s Bar by going round the side to Steine Street, where the entrance was opposite The Queen’s Head. The bar was on the first floor but it’s now flats. You can still see the remains of the magnificent facade of the Southern Hotel in St. James’s Street above the slot machine arcade on the south side of the street below Manchester Street.

    By Chris Taylor (26/03/2008)
  • I am the daughter of Geoffrey Tabb who worked for many years at Heaton Tabb & Co, who were also involved in interior design for passenger liners. Ashby Tabb the co-owner of the company was my great uncle. As a child (about 1955) I remember being introduced to a Mr Edlin when visiting Heaton Tabb’s works in Willesden, London NW10. Could he be a relation of Neil and/or Simon Edlin? I imagined as a child that he was one of my father’s co-workers at Heaton Tabb but on finding this site, suppose that he most likely was the then current owner of the pub chain. It is really interesting to find this link as I am currently researching into Heaton Tabb & Co and Aldam Heaton before the companies merged. Most records were destroyed when Heaton Tabb closed down in the 1960s.

    By Susan Tabb (17/04/2008)
  • A message for Susan Tabb. My father James Riley was chief setter out for Heaton Tabbs in Liverpool in the 1960s and he is very interested to find out what became of Ashby Tabb, your Great Uncle, and from what my dad says a very fine artist! He believes Ashby married and left Liverpool. He would be very gratefull of any information you could give him, Kind Regards.

    By Michael Riley (28/05/2008)
  • John Aldam Heaton was my great-great-great uncle. I’d love to find out more about him and his work. We have a bedspread that we believe was designed by him and probably embroidered by his wife and daughter: See it here.

    By David Edwards (05/06/2008)
  • I am very interested in the history of the King and Queen before the new build – ideally 1800s but any era would be of interest. I am building a case file of interest. There have been a few tales of scandal and goings-on that bring this place to life in the eyes of History, but I would like to know what is just hearsay and what is possibly true. If anyone has any stories that have been passed along through families etc I would love to hear from you. Many thanks.

    By Miss V. Langford (07/09/2008)
  • I used to go every Thursday to Jimmy’s, the Sussex Uni Blues Society events. I recall seeing in this very small venue (upstairs) Jethro Tull, Blodwyn Pig Mississippi and Fred Mc Dowell amongst others. Anybody else go there?

    By SJS (05/12/2008)
  • A wonderful pub in the 1970s. Even though it is pretty big it was often heaving on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. People three or four deep for the full length of the bar. We used it as a meeting place and often we would have 10 or 12 people, sometimes a lot more and would take over a corner. Getting a round in with that many took a while. After a few pints we’d go along to Ledbellys for a posh burger or The Cottage to mellow. Also enjoyed sitting by the hearth with a mate in front of the log fire on a winter’s night when it was quiet night early in the week. No problem parking anytime, we parked our bikes in the courtyard or lent them against the wall (A Royal Enfield Constellation that seemed top weight half a ton but didn’t have a stand). We hired the upstairs gallery for a party a few years back, the place still has loads of character.

    By Pat Bates (18/12/2008)
  • I remember the King and Queen and its huge round table in the 1970s when we used to come down in our old U.S army Jeep from Leeds to meet up with our biker friends in Brighton. ‘great pub’ , just wonder what became of our friends, like Paul Ammy, Blind Pete and his Triumph and all the other guys from the King and Queen , good times in there

    By Mick, Dave and Brian from Leeds (23/01/2009)
  • I am looking into the history of The Ancient Order of Froth Blowers (!) and Tubby Edlin was a “Blaster” (title denoting recruiter for the Order) residing at the Sussex Hotel, Hove (this would be between 1924-31 when the Order folded) -if anybody sould supply me any info or better, pictures of Tubby I would be grateful – for the full story of the Froth Blowers see:

    By Chris Murray (25/02/2009)
  • I have some furniture – a stool and a table – and on the underneath of both is the Heaton Tabb and Co Decorators Liverpool badge. Did this company actually make the furniture or did they get it from elsewhere and just supply it? Or does anyone know of a website which can tell me more about this company?

    By Tim Robathan (09/04/2009)
  • In response to Tim Robathan, please see my earlier e-mail 28/05/2008, my father was chief setter out and draughtsman for Heaton Tabbs in Liverpool, circa 1960. He was responsible for the cabinet makers’ shop and the setting out of all the joinery/cabinet makers refurbishment work undertaken on the last of the great liners that entered the Port of Liverpool. My Father likes to talk about his work and would be pleased to recieve any enquiries about his work.

    By Michael Riley (16/04/2009)
  • Micheal Riley, thank you for your reply. I would love to get in touch with your father. He seems a fascinating character and I would be really interested to hear about the work he carried out. There are so many questions I would like to ask. Once again, thank you and hope to hear from you soon.

    By Tim Robathan (20/04/2009)
  • I would very much like to hear from Susan Tabb as I am interested in finding out more about Heaton, Tabb and Co and I am interested to know how extensive their role was at the King and Queen. I am in touch with an architect who says that he knew Kenneth Black well and that Kenneth assured him that Clayton and Black were not responsible for the design. This is despite the fact that the architectural press of the time give Clayton and Black as the architects. It is not typical of their work, might Heaton, Tabb and Co have had more of a design input?

    By Nicholas Antram (28/04/2009)
  • Possibly my great grandparents owned or managed the King & Queen from 1891-1901. Would love to hear from Miss V. Langford about her file of historical information about the original tavern. My ancestor’s names are Thomas Henry Bonner and Rosa Jane Pain Bonner. Any information is greatly appreciated.

    By Ms. Mulvey (04/05/2009)
  • I have a booklet with photographs entitled ‘Inns & Outs in Brighton and Hove’ – dated 1933 which details all of the hotels belonging to the Edlins. Also I have a photograph of Tubby Edlin and programmes for his appearances in ‘Alf’s Button’ and ‘Pins and Needles’. I have photographs also of Fred, Sadie and Max Edlin (as a child). Anyone interested in copies of any items, please contact me.

    By Jane Robinson (06/05/2009)
  • Jane – Please contact me re the information you have on the Edlins. I also have memorabilia that may be of interest to you.

    By Mandy Edlin (08/05/2009)
  • Message for Tim Robathan. If the web editors could pass on Tim’s e-mail address I can get in touch.

    Editor’s note: Our data protection policy is not to share or publish email addresses without the individual’s specific permission.

    By Michael Riley (15/05/2009)
  • I would love to be contacted with any of the scanned pictures of Tubby or especially Max Edlin who is my father-in-law.

    By Sally-Ann Edlin (15/07/2009)
  • I have a chair made by Ashby Tabb Ltd. in Liverpool for Sir Hugh Fraser’s boardroom in Glasgow. Can anybody tell me about it?

    By Stephen Eadie (15/09/2009)
  • The plaster work on the King and Queen was done by the builder of our house – John Barchard Over. He was a master plasterer, who was also responsible for plaster work at Herstmonceux Castle. He built our house for his family in 1935 and our dining room still has many of the plaster reliefs he used on the King and Queen around the top of the room. His son-in-law still lives next door to us which is how I found this out.

    By Tracey Bowers (17/01/2010)
  • I have recently came into possession of two small Mappin & Webb silver goblets / bowls marked with Edlin Brighton on the front of them. Can anyone give me any more information, please?

    By Lorna Taylor (16/02/2010)
  • For Susan Tabb – I am the great grand daughter of Ashby Tabb and have recently inherited some beautiful water colours done by him. I was wondering if there any other paintings out there?

    By Sarah Aston (15/09/2010)
  • In the back of my shed somewhere I have an old oak screen with two windows (stained glass) about four feet by three feet from the King and Queen that I acquired in the 60s. Does anyone have any history of it?

    By Ray Jones (27/09/2010)
  • I used to hang out here a lot in 1972 onwards with chums Nigel Thomas and Garry Nunn. I can remember there being live music of varying quality 7 nights a week. I was drinking under-age but at a fairly slow pace, especially during weekdays. One Tuesday night two bar staff followed me down to the gents and gently threatened me for not drinking enough, saying they had their overheads to think of in winter and it wasn’t worth them opening if everyone nursed half a bitter all evening!

    By steve Andrews (20/03/2011)
  • I spent years in the K and Q from 68-76. To answer the Leeds crew, Pete is still about but now has a mean Harley Davidson. I have not seen Paul Amey for forty years. I used to park my Green Norton 99 then Triumph T100 straight outside, no double yellows then.

    By Peter Kelly (23/04/2011)
  • My uncle told me some years ago that my Great Grandfather ran a fleet of hansom cabs from outside the King and Queen. From research James Evans was a cabman, he lived in Over Street from 1891 (he was in Queensbury Mews before that) and two of his sons lived in Brunswick Row and were both grooms, so they were all close enough. Is there anything in the items people have that could verify this story? I would love to know if it was true or not. Thanks

    Editor’s note: Perhaps you might like to post a query on our Message Board where it can be dealt with by one of our resident local historians?

    By Sue Warner (27/04/2011)
  • I can recall a Judy Edlin who went to school at St Mary’s Hall in Kemp Town in the early 50’s.

    By Vic Bath (07/04/2012)
  • My dad took me there on odd occasions when I used to have to sit on some benches in a sort of undercover porch area. Bag of crisps and a bottle of pop, bored to death! Peter Kelly mentions Paul Amey, he was my boyfriend in 1962/3. He was mad on The Rolling Stones, I can see him now in a blue and white shirt, jeans and a black cardigan. We used to go to a cafe on The Fiveways, can’t remember the name. We loved bikes but weren’t old enough to ride then.

    By Anne Newman (08/04/2012)
  • I would love to hear from Susan Tabbs, Tim Robathan and David Edwards as I am the Grandson and Great Grandson of both Edwin James Hamptons (both Father and Grandfather had the same names). Both worked as Directors for Heaton & Tabb in Liverpool and London. My Father closed the company down in 1964. I have some furniture and a painting but would love to know more. Any information would be gratefully received. Best Wishes, Ian Hampton

    By Ian Hampton (17/04/2012)
  • Ah the old K&Q. Seems to be an integral part of my formative years.  First serious fight I ever witnessed – in the K&Q – the Scorpions beat up some  poor hippy. First time I ever danced with my future wife – upstairs at the K&Q. Wedding reception – K&Q. Sunday lunchtime ploughmans lunch with live jazz… I wish there was a pub like that where I currently live.

    By Marc Turner (20/07/2012)
  • I would love to hear from any of the descendants of the Tabbs. I have some information about the work completed by Ashby Tabb and what happened to him. I would also love to hear from Ian Hampton as I interviewed your fathers brother as part of my research and may be able to assist you also. Anyone interested in contacting me will be able to do so at the following e-mail address As a note for those of you who have paintings by Ashby Tabb, it may seem a strange question, but do they contain horses?

    By Stuart Lythgoe (21/08/2012)
  • I am Tubby Edlin’s youngest Grandson now living in Iowa U.S.A. The theater blood is strong is me – I have written and performed a one-man play of Churchill over the last 15 years and recently produced and played King Lear. Happy to hear from any relatives or others interested in Tubby.

    By Andrew Edlin (14/10/2012)
  • I am interested in finding out more about the company Ashby Tabb & Co. My grandfather Richard Bromley Gardner was a partner of the firm we believe, until his death in 1934, and I have a brochure for the Opening Luncheon of the Dorchester Hotel in London, on Saturday 18th April 1931, where both Mr & Mrs Ashby Tabb and Mr & Mrs R B Gardner were seated. I believe they designed the interiors of a significant number of rooms in the Hotel, also of the Queen Mary.

    By Caroline Bromley Gardner (12/01/2013)
  • My grandfather Quinto Barontini ran Jimmy’s Restaurant until the outbreak of WW11. He was Italian and was considered an enemy alien and therefore was not allowed to live on the coast during the war. The restaurant was quite renowned and anyone who was anyone knew my grandfather! I have a photo of the entire staff taken before the war. I would really like to have other photos or press cuttings from that time so perhaps I should contact The Evening Argus archives. I believe the restaurant was above the bar and an elderly lady who died last year aged 102 told me that Jimmy’s had been her all-time favourite restaurant and she had travelled all over the world.

    By Sue Boxell (07/02/2013)
  • I would very much like to hear from Susan Tabb as I am interested in finding out more about Heaton, Tabb and Co and your father Geoffrey Tabb. My name is David Leidenborg and I am a Swedish Design Historian doing research on Swedish American Line’s last ship Kungsholm of 1966. Your father was the coordinator between the Shipyard John Brown in Clyde and the owners, and he designed several of the interiors on the ship. I saw the contract in the Swedish American Line’s records. Any information would be gratefully received. Kind Regards, David Leidenborg

    By David Leidenborg (01/04/2013)
  • Does anyone remember the Friday Night Club, in the basement directly opposite the K&Q? We used to go there (on a Friday night) after the K&Q closed, it was the only place where you could still get a beer after 11pm. The place was “awash with students and spilt beer” and very dark inside I seem to remember, mind you my memory might not be that good! I recall the only beer they sold was Newcastle Brown Ale, that could have something to do with my poor memory.

    By Peter Groves (30/08/2013)
  • I have 6 Jacobean chairs made by Ashby Tabb Ltd. with the # 732 on each chair. I would like to know when the chairs were made and the approx. value

    By Closs Gilmer (15/02/2014)
  • I work at the National Portrait Gallery, and we would very much like to have a photograph of Tubby Edlin for our archives, if any of you would be willing to donate it? He performed at “‘Ciro’s Frolics” at Ciro’s Club in 1918, with Odette Myrtil and the Two Bobs, which is the very same building in which our archive is housed. If you have a photograph of him in ‘Ciro’s Frolics’, it would be coming home! Email me on, and we can get your ancestor the attention he deserves.

    By Julia Webb (05/12/2014)
  • I loved the Friday Night Club when in the late 1960’s
    we danced to Tamla Motown /Stax/Soul music in the dark!
    Sweet memories.

    By Sylvia Latter (18/12/2019)
  • I am related to Eric Edlin. In the 50s I spent a great deal of time at the King and Queen. A family member is currently covering the family tree. Is there anyone out there who can help/information.

    By Christine Whyman (25/07/2020)
  • The Edlin’s in Hove was the Sussex. It is still a pub, but new ownership and much renovated. I worked there when a student 60 years ago.

    By Tony Tidbury (28/04/2022)

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