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The King and Queen public house

King and Queen public house 1921

Originally a farmhouse stood on the site of the King and Queen public house in Marlborough Place. In 1779 the owners were granted a licence to sell liquor to the local agricultural community. When cricket matches and other sporting activities on The Level were instituted, its liquor selling business became very successful. Sales improved even more from the business of selling beer to the soldiers from the infantry barracks in Church Street.

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King and Queen interior after 1930s rebuilding

King and Queen interior after 1930s rebuilding

King and Queen interior after 1930s rebuilding

King and Queen interior after 1930s rebuilding

Serving hatch for the Infantry Barracks in Church Street

The inn was also the venue of the town’s corn market from the early nineteenth century until October 1868 when it was transferred to the Corn Exchange. The two-storey, bow-fronted Georgian building which had replaced the farmhouse, was itself replaced in 1931-2. The architects Clayton and Black rebuilt the public house as a Tudoresque facsimile. It contains seemingly authentic details such as carved oak timbers, tapestries and heraldic glass. The inn’s name originally referred to King George III and Queen Charlotte, but they were replaced in the new frontage by Henry VIII and one of his queens, a duo more appropriate for the new design.

The hatch which can be seen here on the left, was saved from the demolition of the old King and Queen building and replaced, when it was rebuilt. In 1793, fearing that Napoleon might invade England and take the shortest route to London by landing his troops near Brighton, a barracks for the infantry were built in Church Street. This hatch was originally fitted so that  ‘the thirsty soldiery were ensured their supply of liquid refreshment at any time‘.

King and Queen public house 2012

Comments about this page

  • Many a happy evening spent upstairs in the late 50s and early 60s. In those days you could just pull up outside and park as long as you wanted. Who ever I was with for the evening and I would then move on to the bar in the basement of Queens Hotel and then to the basement bar of the Royal Albion Hotel, where a pianist would be playing the latest tune. Regards to anyone who remembers me.

    By Ken Ross (10/12/2012)
  • The Corn Exchange that was at the K&Q [mentioned above] was moved to its present location in Church St due to the influence of the local Quakers. One of the major local grain farmers was Mr Ernest Robinson, a Quaker who had moved into Saddlescombe Fm in the 1860s, from SE London. Quakers, many of whom were corn traders, objected to corn-dealing taking place in a licensed premises and were instrumental in the transfer of the exchange. As the Steine Enclosures were used as seasonal sheep and horse markets in the 1820s the old K&Q was well placed to take advantage of that trade. The loss of the animal and corn markets must have created a difficult economic climate for the tavern.

    By Geoffrey Mead (10/12/2012)
  • More memories: In the late 60s and 70s, we used to pile into the K&Q after concerts in the Dome. Lovely huge place, big bar and lots of nooks and crannies to hide in if you wanted privacy!

    By Ellie Roe (07/04/2014)
  • Many a happy afternoon when we should have been in Tech in Pelham Street – late 70s early 80s – hasn’t changed that much!

    By Graham Boyce (08/07/2014)
  • Wasn’t this an Edlins pub? I remember my mum and I going there when I was little. I used to have a lemonade and she would have a small bitter.

    By Sandie Waller (16/12/2015)
  • Me too.

    By Roy Gibbs (04/01/2018)
  • Hi there,

    Does anyone remember the tobacconist/confectioners at 23 Marlborough Place in the 1950s?

    My Great Aunt and her husband ran it at the time and I’d love to find out more about it.

    Thank you

    By Stephen Pickup (02/01/2020)

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