11 Stembrook Street
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
Above picture taken from Google Maps shows the position as shown in
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.
DOVER POLICE REPORT
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.
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General
Advertiser, Saturday 5 January, 1850. Price 5d
DOVER PETTY SESSIONS
FRIDAY - Before the Mayor, and C. B. Wilkins, W. P. Elsted, and G.
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 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.
A LICENSED VICTUALLERS BANKRUPTCY
Re Edward Swindford Fry, Licensed Victualler, Sandwich, formerly of
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
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
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
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.
HOBDAY Thomas 1845-50+
BEER William 1855-60s
HOLYMAN Emma Morris 1871 (Census)
HOLYMAN Edward Finnis 1869-Jan/88
FAGG Thomas Jan/1888-91
(Fly driver of Dover)
EDWARDS S 1895?
FRY Edward Swinford 1893-Jan/1900
BURTON Lewis Herbert Jan/1900-16 end
(Wine merchant foreman)
McKEEN Edward Arthur 1916-20 end
MARSH John Philip 1920-30 end
NEVARD Albert 1930-34 end
DOLBEAR William John 1934-Mar/35
ASHBEE Albert Victor
(Frank) Mar/1935-40 dec'd
From Bagshaw Directory 1847
From the Post Office Directory 1855
From the Kelly's Directory 1874
From the Post Office Directory 1874
From the Post Office Directory 1878
From the Post Office Directory 1882
From the Post Office Directory 1891
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895
From the Kelly's Directory 1899
From the Post Office Directory 1901
From the Post Office Directory 1903
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1909
From the Kelly's Directory 1913
From the Post Office Directory 1913
From the Post Office Directory 1918
From the Post Office Directory 1922
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924
From the Post Office Directory 1930
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33
From the Post Office Directory 1938
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39
From the Dover Express