Page Updated:- Monday, 19 July, 2021.


Earliest 1623

Pilot Inn

Open 2020+

East Bay (Battery Road)


01797 320314

Pilot 1909

Above photo circa 1909, taken from accessed March 2021.

Pilot rear 1910

Above photo circa 1910, showing the rear taken from accessed March 2021.

Pilot Inn

Above photo, date unknown.

From Barclay, Perkin's Anchor Magazine. Volume XV, No.6, June 1935. Sent by Rory Kehoe.

The "Pilot" Inn Dungeness.

Pilot Inn 1935

South of Lydd, Kent, the Dungeness headland points out into the Channel. Locally, the area is known as "the Beach" and it would be difficult to find a larger stretch of pebbles anywhere in England, or a finer area for sea-fishing.

From Lydd, the road goes as far as the "Pilot," the well-known house of call, where there is good accommodation for fishing parties and others.

Mr. William Browne, who has recently taken over the licence, can offer every comfort to those wishing to stay in the district, either for the fishing or to explore part of the coast which is unique.

The road ends at the "Pilot" and beyond, travel is difficult, except in a peculiar form of "snowshoes" found only at Dungeness and consisting of a shaped board strapped to the feet. Carts too require wheels eighteen inches wide to prevent them sinking into the pebbles and it is best to leave your car at the "Pilot" garage.

We can recommend a visit to the beach and a tramp over the pebbles to the lighthouse or the coastguard station and eventually back to the "Pilot," calling perhaps on the way at the "Ship," or the "Jolly Fisherman," the "Britannia," or the "Hope & Anchor."

The photo caption reads...

The lighthouse and coastguard station on the Dungeness Headland. This is a most interesting spot to visit when one wants a quiet but delightful day by the sea in Kent. The above article describes a pleasant ramble.

Pilot inside 1950

Above photo, circa 1950, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Playing a game of "Ringing the Bull."

Pilot Inn 1969

Above postcard circa 1969.

Pilot 2010

Above photo 2010 by P L Chadwick Creative Commons Licence.

Pilot 2017

Above photo, 2017.

Pilot sign 1990Pilot sign 2015

Above sign left, 1990, sign right, 2015.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Above map taken circa 1945 during Operation Pluto.

Pilot Inn map 2018

Similar map from Google 2018 showing the "Pilot Inn" is a slightly different place.


The "Pilot" was built in 1623, and in 1644 three Spanish frigates were lured on to the shingle beach nearby. Their crews were brutally murdered, the ships looted, and the hull of one of them was installed as a ceiling for what was later the saloon bar of the pub.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 19 March 1867.

Kentish Chronicle - Saturday 23 March 1867

Wreck and Loss of Life.

On Tuesday night, the weather being severe and boisterous, a Swedish brig came ashore near No. 1 battery, and became a total wreck. The brig was called the Nora; she belong to Langesund and was bound from that port to Barrow, in Cumberland, with a cargo of timber.

The deck-load of planks was saved. The vessel has been stripped. The crew, with the exception of the master, were rescued by the coastguard by means of the rocket apparatus.

The captain unfortunately did not properly secure himself to the warp, and was drowned. His body was recovered.

An inquest was held on Thursday, at the "Pilot Inn," Dungeness, before Thomas Finn, Esq., and a respectable jury, on the body of Nils Theodore Moglestone, captain of the brig Nora. According to the evidence of the mate, Peter Antonia Peterson, the captain mistook the Dungeness light for the Varsa light, and consequently came ashore near No. 1 battery.

The rocket apparatus was worked under the superintendence of Mr. George Sweetman, chief boatman, in charge of No. 2 station; and the captain, in being hauled on shore, caught the warp attached to the apparatus, and not having secured himself properly he was dragged out of the breeches. He let go the warp and fell into the sea. The remainder of the crew was saved by means of the apparatus. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidentally drowned."


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 1 September 1928.

French Steamer Sunk. Collision with German Barque. Crew of 21 Jump to Safety.

The French trading steamer, "Daphne," was sunk about 20 miles of Dungeness in the early hours of Saturday after a collision with the German four-master barque, "Passat."

The cause of the collision is a mystery, since it is stated that at the time of the impact the atmosphere was clear and there was visibility over a considerable distance.

The crew of the French vessel, numbering 21 had a remarkable escape from death.

The "Daphne" was struck amidships and almost at once began to sink beneath the bow of the barque. There was no time to launch the lifeboats.

Very quickly the steamer sank, amidst a swirl of water and the loud hissing of steam from the boilers.

The "Passat" at once turned for the shore with her bows badly damaged and water pouring into her hold.

The rescue crew were landed at Dungeness at 11 a.m.

Mr. G. Bates, of the "Pilot Inn," Dungeness, brought the crew from the barque to the shore by motorboat.

They were little the worst for their exciting experience.

The "Daphne" was a vessel of 1,467 tons, carrying a general cargo which went down with her. She was on a journey from Caen to Ghent. Her port of register of was Caen.

Most of the French crew were able to jump onto the deck of the sailing vessel as the ships rode interlocked, but those who took to the water were picked up by the sailing vessel. All hands were saved.

The Passat was damaged under the waterline of the bow.

Two of the French crew were injured, one rather seriously in the leg, while the other had a slight cut on the head.

Mr. G. Bates, pilot and steam tug agent of Dungeness, was out in his motor launch off Dungeness on Saturday and noticing that something was wrong with the sailing vessel hailed her. He then brought the French crew ashore, the first party landing at about 8:30 a.m.

The Daphne, whose port of registry is Caen, was of 1,467 tons and was bound from Ghent to Gaund, with a general cargo, and the Passat, which is a Hamburg boat, was bound from Hamburg to Chili with general cargo.

The French crew were taken to the "Britannia" at Dungeness and after being supplied by the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society they proceeded to Folkestone making the first part of the journey by way of the Light Railway.

They had been unable to save any of their property and possessed only the clothes in which they stood. They were little the worse for their exciting experience.


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 03 June 1933.

Fatal sting of fish. Dungeness fishing man's sad death.

We regret to record the death on the peculiarly tragic circumstances of Mr. William Robert Tart, of the "Pilot Inn," Dungeness, who died at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Folkestone, early on Thursday morning.

Mr. Chart, who was 39, was mackerel fishing about a fortnight ago when he was stung by a weaver fish when hauling in the nets. When he arrived home he treated the sting, and the next day it appeared to be going on all right. Later, however, the sting became swollen, and after consulting a doctor Mr. Tart was removed to the Folkestone hospital on Monday. Everything possible was done for him, but his condition became worse and he died in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Mr. Tart was a second son of Mr. I. B. Tart, and the late Mrs. Tart, of the "Pilot Inn, Dungeness.

He has followed the calling of a fisherman since he left school when he was 14. He was to have been married shortly.

Mrs. D. Oiller, of Dungeness, a sister of Mr. Tart, told the Herald that there was no doubt her brother's death was caused by the sting of the fish.

"My husband was stung some years ago and he suffered a very bad arm.

"I have no recollection of my brother having been stung before.

An inquest.

The facts concerning Mr. Tart's sad death have been reported in the Folkestone Coroner, and an inquest will be held at the Town Hall, Folkestone, this (Saturday) morning at 11 o'clock.

The weaver fish has sharp dorsal spines with which they can inflict a painful wound. It is held that the spines are not in themselves containers of poison, but they have a covering of slime which causes the wound inflicted by the spine to fester. The wound bears some similarity to that inflicted by the tail spine of the sting-ray.

Weavers are scavenger fish and prey on mackerel.

Weaver fish


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 23 December 1933.

Miniature Railway Wedding Trip.

From home in a lonely spot on Romney Marsh a bride will be taken by the specially chartered train of the Marsh coast miniature railway part of the way to her wedding at Lydd this (Saturday) morning.

The bride is Miss Annie Elizabeth Young, and her home at Lade is 2 miles from the nearest road, although only a short distance from a line of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway.

When Mr. B. Hardie, the traffic manager of the Railway, heard of Miss Young's forthcoming marriage to Mr. J. A. Bingham, of the Royal Engineers at Dover, he readily placed a special train at the disposal of the bride, knowing that otherwise she would have a 2 miles' walk across shingles to the nearest road. The Light Railway service to these parts normally consists of one train per week during the winter months.

Miss Young will now have only a short walk across pranks to the railway line, where she will enter a specially decorated carriage. She will be taken for a 2 mile journey to the "Pilot Inn," Dungeness, which is on the road from Lydd to the Points, and from there she will travel to Lydd by car.

She will be married at Lydd Parish Church at 10:30 a.m., and after the ceremony she will return to the "Pilot," and will meet the special train which will take her back to her home.

Miss Young's eldest sister had a similar experience, when she was taken to her wedding by the Light Railway a few days after the Railway was opened in 1929.


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 24 August 1935.

New Coastal Road Opening Ceremony Today.

The magnificent coastal road from Greatstone to Dungeness, which has been constructed by the owner and developer of the Greatstone and Lydd-on-Sea Estates, Councellor C. E. Andrews, is now completed and will be opened this (Saturday) afternoon at 3.

The road is all part of a scheme to develop the wastes of Dungeness Point and turn them into a holiday resort. Where formerly they was just an expanse of shingle, there are now hundreds of houses of dozens of shapes and sizes, complete with all the amenities of a town, and all the advantages of an open seaside resort.

From Littlestone, through Greatstone to the "Pilot Inn," Dungeness, the road now extends for 5 miles, giving easy access to the Point and providing immense possibilities for development.

To-day's program will include the cutting of a tape on the boundary of Lydd and New Romney by the Mayors of the two towns.

Guests will include the Mayor and Mayoress of Folkestone and a number of well-known country people.


Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald, Saturday 14 December 1935.


At Lydd Police Court on Saturday, Mr. W. Brown, licensee of the "Pilot Inn," Dungeness, applied for an extension of licence for 2 hours on Christmas Eve.

Superintendent Issac objected to an extension for this period.

The Bench granted an extension for one hour only.


Daily Mirror, Tuesday 28 August 1945.

No smoking since Pluto. Now it's ok.

"Time gents please and put your pipes out."

That's what they've been saying nightly in the "Pilot Inn," Dungeness, Kent, ever since the Pluto pipeline began to pump petrol from here to the D-Day armies across the Channel.

But now there's no reservoir of petrol for a spark to explode, so the local smokers can light up fag or pipe out of doors once more. Can...
But they're doing it very gingerly.

The ban on visitors to the area has been lifted too. So Dungeness welcomes its sons, its daughters and its holidaymakers with arms that have not held them since Dunkirk.

But smoking? This is what timorous Dungeness told me last night.

The Police:- "Yes, the public can enter again, but as far as we're concerned, smoking out of doors is still forbidden. We've had no instructions to the contrary.

Notices taken down.

The fire force:- "The law still stands which says you can't smoke outside. But most of the non-smoking notices have been taken down. People do smoke outside, so it's alright, really. Let me put you through to the Army."

Who said:- "There are still a few places where you can't smoke out of doors. Who's enquiring? I must have your name...

Like another world.

And finally, Old Joe Simmons, licensee of the "Pilot Inn." "This place has been like a concentration camp. The King himself couldn't get in.

"I believe we can smoke outside now. Once I drove to market in Epsom. It was like going into another world, seeing folk smoking in the open. We'll get used to it.



HERRING John 1841-81+ (age 77 in 1881Census)

HERRING John 1891+ (age 59 in 1891Census)

TART Isaac B 1899-1903+ (also fisherman age 45 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

TART Ellen Elizabeth Mrs 1911-22+ (widow age 52 in 1911Census)

TART Alfred I 1930+ (son age 30 in 1921)

BROWNE William J 1935-38+



Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-