Page Updated:- Tuesday, 08 March, 2022.


Earliest 1841-

Watering House

Latest 1851+



Watering House 2011

Above photo 2011 by David Anstiss Creative Commons Licence.

Watering House 2012

Above photo 2012 by Marathon Creative Commons Licence.


The census of 1841 made reference to a "Watering House" in either Lydd or Dungeness. This could, of course be at this time an un-named public house that later became known by another name.

Further research says that it perhaps was not a licensed premises, or at least probably not officially, and was built in the late 19th century to house the family who provided fresh water to passing shipping.

The census of 1851 did refer to John Herring as being  licensed Victualler though.


Dover Chronicle, Saturday 25 February 1843.

Dungeness. (From our own correspondent)

Shipwreck and seven lives lost. Feb 23.

The Schooner Francis, of Cork, 101 tonnes, from London to Bristol, was totally wrecked, near the Government "Watering House," in the East Bay, on Saturday, 18th instant; and, melancholy to relate, Captain Madden and 6 men were drowned.

John Owen, coast guardsman, heard their cries for assistance; and Lieutenant May, and the men from No. 1 Battery, endeavoured to render them aid by throwing a grapple iron, and line attached, but without success. The cargo consisted of Russian tallow, logwood, saltpetre, white lead, &c., which washed ashore around the Ness. It blew hard from the N.E., with snow and sleet, and the sea was terrific at 2 o'clock in the morning of Saturday.

It is most probable that she struck on the Newcombe Sand and beat up with the tide, as she know lies high on the beach. From the thick states of the weather it seems impossible that they could have seen Dungeness Lighthouse, although only a mile distance from it, and the surf was very heavy; and it is said that the lantern on the top of the light is too low to be seen under such circumstances, especially as the new formation of beach is high at the extreme points of the Ness under the hill, so that it is not easy to discern the light from the deck of a loaded vessel. Be this as it may, a word to the wise is sufficient; and the Trinity will, without doubt, improve Dungeness Light as they have done the South Foreland and others, by burning naphtha, procuring new reflectors, or erecting a new lighthouse.


From the Dover Chronicle, Saturday 1 June 1844.

The Government "Watering House" in the East Bay is ordered to be repaired today without delay, to supply the Queen's ships, such as the Nautilus, and others, with water when required. This, in addition to the new pump at the Lighthouse and other wells, will secure to the shipping at anchor an abundant supply of water at all times.


From the Folkestone Chronicles, Saturday 30 March 1861.

Mr George Bates, of Lydd, is appointed keeper of the "Watering House," vacant by the death of Mr. Richard Marsh.


From the Folkestone, Hythe and District Herald.

Woman Lifeboat Launcher.

Death of Old Dungeness Resident.

For many years one of the gallant band of Dungeness women who assisted in all weathers to launch the life-boat there, the death has occurred of Mrs. Rose Sarah Brignall, wife of Mr. John W Brignall of Dungeness.

Mrs. Brignall, who was 75, died at "Watering House," Dungeness, the home of one of her daughter's, on Saturday last, after a fairly long illness.


Born at Lydd she came to live at Dungeness before her marriage and as a young woman volunteered her services as a woman life-boat launcher, a duty which she, like others womenfolk of the "Ness" carried out for many years in all weathers and under the severest conditions at times.

Her husband was a member of the life-boat crew until he retired a few years ago. To-day her two sons are life-boatmen.

R.N.L.I. Vellum.

In 1883 she went to London with Mr. D Oiller, the coxswain of the Dungeness life-boat, and his wife, and at the Mansion House Mrs. Brignall and Mrs. Oiller were presented with a vellum by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in appreciation of their services rendered by the woman of Dungeness in launching the boat.

Mrs. Brignall will long be remembered by the people of Dungeness in whom she took a motherly and very kindly interest.



MARSH Richard 1841+ (age 50 in 1841Census)

HERRING John 1851+ (age 47 in 1851Census)

BATES George Mar/1861+





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