Sort file:- Dover, September, 2021.

Page Updated Dover:- Wednesday, 29 September, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1845

(Name from)

Ancient Druids

Latest 1940

11 Stembrook Street Post Office Directory 1874


Ancient Druids 1952

Above photo kindly supplied by Derek Donnelly, showing the Ancient Druids just before demolition, circa 1952. Like busses, this same photograph has also been sent to me by Ken Chapman, only difference being Ken's shows a little more of the Granada than Derek's, so showing that.

Ancient Druids location 2009

Above picture taken from Google Maps shows the position as shown in 2009.

Ancient Druids

Above photo circa 1910.


Stembrook, as a name, is, no doubt, derived from the circumstance that anciently, near this spot, was the pointed piece of land which divided Eastbrook and Westbrook, and as that point "stemmed" the body of the stream, it would be appropriately called "Stembrook." In connection with the very old established public house in Stembrook called "The Ancient Druids," it is of interest to recall that when war in India, at the beginning of the year 1846, necessitated balloting for the Kent Militia, working men's clubs to provide funds to pay for substitutes were formed throughout the county, and one for Dover was held at "The Ancient Druids," Stembrook.


Its earlier sign, when purchased by James Poulter in 1844, had been "Prince of Orange".


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 26 April, 1845. Price 5d.


Thomas Hobday, publican, was fined 11s., including costs, for suffering persons of bad character to assemble in his house, against the tenor of his license. He paid the fine.


Kentish Gazette, 2 January 1849.


Capp - Beer. Dec. 21, at Sholden, near Deal, Mr. Samuel Capp, gardener, to Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. Beer, landlord of the "Ancient Druids," Dover.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 5 January, 1850. Price 5d


FRIDAY - Before the Mayor, and C. B. Wilkins, W. P. Elsted, and G. Graham Esqrs.

Barzillai Birch (Lord Warden), Thomas Hobday (Ancient Druids), and Stephen Minter (Royal Arms), were each charged upon information with three several offences:- 1st for selling beer, 2nd for selling spirits, and, 3rd for selling tobacco, in booths upon a certain ground on which a fair was recently held without being licensed so to do. John Lewis, Esq. Collector of the license, attended to watch proceedings; and the prosecution was conducted by Mr. S. Chalk, the defendants being supported by Mr. Tapley. Birch was first arranged, on the charge of selling beer. Mr. Goodall, of the Excise, supported the information, and the evidence adduced being satisfactory to the Bench, defendant was convicted on this charge in the mitigating penalty of 5. The charge of selling spirits was then proffered against Birch. Mr. Tapley took an objection to the information, on the ground that the charge was not made either in the words or substance of the Act, and that the negative exceptions had not been distinctly enumerated. Several cases were cited in support of the objections; to which Mr. Chalk replied by adopting citation in support of the information. The Bench ultimately ruled that the objection was fatal, and the charge was quashed. The charge for selling tobacco being about to be proceeded with, Mr. Tapley stated that his client would admit the charge; that the other defendants admitted the charges against them, and the whole threw themselves upon the mercy of the court, and praying that the magistrates in addition to conviction in the mitigating penalty on all the offences, would recommend to the Board of Excise a further mitigation, so as to reduce the penalty to 6 upon each defendant, as had been suggested by the prosecution.

The Bench assented to the proposition, and judgement being taken on all the cases the defendants were severely fined in the mitigated penalty of 30, with the understanding that a recommendation would be forwarded for a further mitigation as suggested.


From The Dover Express, Saturday, February 17, 1866; pg. 3; Issue 394.


Feb. 13, at the "Ancient Druids Inn," Stembrook, Dover, Mary, the wife of Mr. William Beer, mariner, aged 71 years.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 15 January, 1869.

Edward Holyman, landlord of the "Ancient Druid's" public-house, Stembrook, for serving, during the hours of divine service on Sunday last, was fined 2s. 6d., which he paid.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7 June, 1901. Price 1d.


Re Edward Swindford Fry, Licensed Victualler, Sandwich, formerly of Dover.

The Official receiver said that the deficiency was returned at 435, but it would not be so much as that, as he had disposed of licensed premises for the debtor. Debtor stated that he commenced business in 1893, taking the “Ancient Druids” at Stembrook, Dover. He then had a capital of 135, borrowed from his mother, which was still out-standing. That was always a good house, and for seven years he carried on the business successfully. During a portion of that time he had certain contracting rights in connection with the Athletic Grounds, but he disposed of them in the latter part of 1899 for 250, which sum was paid by a cheque of Edward Randall, the “Dover millionaire,” who became bankrupt in that court and went away, and had never been seen since.

The Official Receiver said it believed he went to South Africa.

Continuing, debtor said he used to pay 20 a year for the right of catering and supplying refreshments, but he never made anything out of it. On leaving the “Ancient Druids” he took “Ye Olde New Inn,” Sandwich, the valuation of which was 290, 240 of which was provided by the cheque Randall gave him. The balance of the 290 was provided out of the money he received in respect of the valuation on the “Ancient Druids.” This left the sum of 150 balance in his hands with which he paid his Dover creditors. On the 14th February last he gave a bill of sale over his effects for 220, and in this sum was included the amount of the dishonoured cheque given him by Randell. The bill of sale had been abandoned. He was insolvent 18 months ago when he left the “Ancient Druids.”


Dover Express 30th July 1909.


Annie Edwards, a married woman of no fixed abode, was charged with being drunk in Stembrook.

PC Fagg stated that, at 4 o’clock on Monday afternoon, he went to 15 Dolphin Lane in consequence of a telephone message he received from the Police Station and he saw the defendant sitting in the house. She was drunk and, as the occupier of the house wished to get rid of her, witness advised her to leave. She went to the "Castle Inn," the "Victoria Hotel" and the "Ancient Druids" public house, but was ejected from all three. As she became disorderly outside the latter place, witness took her into custody and she was taken to the police station on an ambulance. She was very violent and kept trying to stop the ambulance by taking hold of the wheel.

The Chief Constable said that he had to fetch the doctor to the woman at 4 a.m. He said she was suffering from heart weakness, the result of drink. He gave her hot drink and she had been better since.

The Mayor said the prisoner had been leniently dealt with by the Bench in May and was also charged in August last. She would go to prison for a month.



A Fremlin outlet at the close which was probably in 1940 when licensee Frank Ashbee was killed by enemy action on his way to the pub. Denise Matcalf, Frank's Grand-daughter says that the pub was bomber during the war and Frank was on his way to see the damage and had stopped off as some public toilets and was killed then. I assume by the description of the toilets they were the ones outside the "White Horse".


From the Dover Express 19th August 1949.

Mid-morning to early-afternoon on Sunday 20th October 1940. Mr (Frank) Ashbee of the "Ancient Druids" was killed by a shell in St James Street, Dover.


The end is a mystery. At the close of hostilities, and I seem to recall it still standing then, it would have been in a redevelopment area but I found no mention. My notes merely state that it was demolished by February 1952.


From an email received 17 Oct 2010.

William Beer & Edward Finnis Holyman were actually both related as Edward was married to William's Daughter, Emma Morris.

I'm still looking but I think William Beer died in the late 1860's. If he did, it would explain why, in the 1871 census, Emma Morris Holyman is showing as 'Licensed Victualiser' for The Ancient Druids. Shortly after, Edward is showing as the Licensee.

It would need checking, of course, but this would mean that Emma (Edward's Wife) was possibly publican from 1869 to the early 1870's. If I find out more, I'll let you know but this is all I have at the moment.

Hope this is useful.


Michael .



Last pub licensee had HOBDAY Thomas 1845-49 Next pub licensee had Bagshaw's Directory 1847

BEER William 1849-66+ Post Office Directory 1855Dover Express

HOLYMAN Emma Morris 1871 (Census)

HOLYMAN Edward Finnis 1869-Jan/88 (also gas fitter age 48 in 1881Census) Kelly's 1874Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1878Post Office Directory 1882Dover Express

FAGG Thomas Jan/1888-91 Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1891 (also Fly driver age 29 in 1891Census)


FRY Edward Swinford 1893-Jan/1900 Next pub licensee had Pikes 1895Kelly's Directory 1899Dover Express

BURTON Lewis Herbert Jan/1900-16 (age 56 in 1911Census) Post Office Directory 1903Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Dover ExpressPikes 1909Post Office Directory 1913Kelly's 1913 (Wine merchant foreman)

McKEEN Edward Arthur 1916-20 end Post Office Directory 1918

MARSH John Philip 1920-30 end Post Office Directory 1922Pikes 1923Pikes 1924Post Office Directory 1930

NEVARD Albert 1930-34 end Pikes 1932-33

Last pub licensee had DOLBEAR William John 1934-1/Mar/35 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

Last pub licensee had ASHBEE Albert Victor (Frank) 1/Mar/1935-20/Oct/40 dec'd Post Office Directory 1938Pikes 1938-39Dover Express


Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Post Office Directory 1855From the Post Office Directory 1855

Kelly's 1874From the Kelly's Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1878From the Post Office Directory 1878

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

Kelly's Directory 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Pikes 1909From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1909

Kelly's 1913From the Kelly's Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1918From the Post Office Directory 1918

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Pikes 1923From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Pikes 1932-33From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Pikes 1938-39From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express


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