The historic market town of Guildford began as a Saxon village by a ford. The village of Guildford grew into a town by the early 10th century. It had a population of only several hundred, nevertheless it was a thriving community and had its own mint.
Guildford was given its first charter in 1257 allowing it the right to hold a market and an annual fair. Today Guildford remains a bustling shopping centre and still retains a Farmers Market on the first Tuesday of each month.
The Kings Head sits at the foot of Guildford Castle. The castle was constructed shortly after the Norman conquest of 1066 and was built as a classic motte and bailey design. William the Conquerer built castles in many important towns. Guildford being an obvious choice as it lay on the strategic route between London and the south coast and west of England. Today Guildford Castle has become a popular tourist attraction with its panoramic views of Guildford from the Great Tower and beautifully landscaped gardens.
The Kings Head is a timber framed construction dating from the late 16th century/early 17th century. Originally it consisted of two houses that in the past have been knocked into one to create a public house. In the cellar there are the foundations of a square corner of the castle's former outer wall which once ran down Castle Street and along Quarry Street.
The earliest records show that the pub was sold in 1819 to Edmund and William Elkins. Subsequently The Kings Head was sold in 1847 to Hodgsons Kingston Brewery who were in turn acquired by Messrs Courage in 1943.
As the most haunted pub in Guildford, a number of paranormal investigations have been carried out and also, The Kings Head is featured on the popular Ghost Tour of Guildford.