Hospitality to travellers has long been a tradition on this site, dating from the time of Ethelred the Unready (866-871). The site of this building is referred to in Anglo Saxon deeds and has belonged to Canterbury Cathedral for at least a 1000 years. In 1438 the Priory built the Sonne hospice here.
Between 1510 and 1517 the west end of the building was altered by the erection of the Christchurch Gate (known as the Cathedral Gate). Some of the buttressing for the Gate utilized the existing back wall of the hotel.
In 1539 the Sonne hospice was leased by the Priory and the monks of the Cathedral to a member of the public Mr Thomas Gylham for 13/4d per annum. It is believed the hospice then became a resting place for pilgrims visiting the holy site and has remained accommodation for travellers to Canterbury ever since.