Kentish Arms Hotel

First owner/occupier:
John Collard Cocker

The hotel was established in 1848 by John Collard Cocker, a cricketer of note.  In September 1848, prior to securing his licences, he invited all lovers of cricket to rally around him with the object of forming a club.  He had brought out from England the necessary cricket materials and the level ground of Mann Terrace became the pitch.  He succeeded in forming what was known as the Kent and Sussex Cricket Club.  It has been stated that he would often play nearly all day in front of his hotel, no matter how disagreeable the weather might be.  If unable to induce men to practise with him, the assistance of lads would be secured.  He entertained his guests in the evenings with this fiddle and debated cricket matters.  Upon the SA Cricket Club securing the lease of a piece of park lands where the Adelaide Oval now exists, the making of the wicket was entrusted to John Cocker.  He remained landlord of the Kentish Arms for many years and died in 1885.

The current hotel on the site was built in 1881 to the design of architects Hamilton and Campbell.  It was built in an Italianate style with an arcaded verandah and balcony at a time when simple colonial inns had given way to a more sophisticated fashion.

Current status and listings

ACH Status:
Heritage Protection:

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4 thoughts on “Kentish Arms Hotel

  1. My Grandfather was the licencee of the hotel in 1913-15 his name being Royston Francis Drage, and I have a photo of him with my 3 year old mother by his side standing out side the hotel on the foot path.Do you have any further information or photos that may be of interest to me, I would like to hear from you.
    Kind Regards

    • Thank you Joan. We’ll have a look and see what we have in the archive. We would love to see your photograph too. It’s a great little hotel with an interesting history.

  2. I am interested in Mrs. Joan Simpson’s photo, and any others of the first Kentish Arms.

    I found a news report stating that he could accommodate up to 20 people sleeping in the parlour!