Sort file:- Dover, November, 2022.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 16 November, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1837-


Latest 1893+

Castle Hill

Castle Pigot's Directory 1840

The Heights Bagshaw's Directory 1847

Hougham, South, Drop Redoubt 1868


Possible Castle Canteen

A 1950s view of Dover Castle - St Mary in Castro Church and the Roman Lighthouse on the top right. Bottom left the NAAFI restaurant, and in between the demolished barrack blocks. The NAAFI may well be the "Canteen" as it's the 1868 Regimental Institute.


The "Canteen" was apparently situated inside the boundaries of the Dover Castle and was used as a public house for the soldiers. Little information has been found regarding this public house, but the earliest mention to date is from the Dover Telegraph of May 1837 when an inquest was held there on the body of a James Cork who committed suicide on the morning of the 20th.

Further information suggests that every garrison had their own public house on their premises and called each one of them the "Canteen." The following license changes mentioned in the Dover Express and East Kent News of Friday 11 September, 1868, stated the following:- "Canteen" Heights, Hougham, to William Drawmur; "Canteen" South, From Clements, to William Balfour; "Canteen" Drop Redoubt, to Thomas Cullen.


Kentish Chronicle, 7 April, 1829.


April 4, at Dover, aged 68, the wife of Mr. Samuel Reynolds, late of the "Canteen," Dover Castle.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 20 May, 1837. Price 7d.


An inquest was held on Monday, at the "Canteen," in Dover Castle, before G. T. Thompson, Esq., Coroner for the Town and its liberties, on the body of James Cork, a private in he Second Battalion of the Rifle brigade, who shot himself about eight o'clock that morning. The deceased, who officiated as servant to Capt. Napier, was 42 years old, and has left a wife an six children. It appeared that on Saturday he addressed himself to one of his comrade's wives who was looking over the wall of St. James's church-yard, on her way to the Castle, and asked her if she was looking for a place there? He added that he intended to take his place by the side of Stephen Woods, up at the old Church-yard, alluding to a soldier who shot himself in a similar manner, at the Castle some time ago. The deceased apparently lively at the time, and the witness considered that he only spoke in jest. On Sunday he was met by a comrade on his way to the Heights, to whom he said he was in debt, and wished himself dead. He seemed very dull then, and did not return to the Castle until night, when he was intoxicated. Next morning he went about his avocations as usual; but being missed, and a noise heard, search was made for him; when he was discovered dead, in the privy behind the officers' quarters, having his discharge rifle between his legs, the trigger of which was attached to one of his feet with a cord. The fatal ball had entered his chin, and passed through the upper part of his head.

Verdict - The deceased destroyed himself in a fit of insanity.



It gives no other information other than James Wilkins being the licensee and that this was a Tavern or Public house.

However, on further investigation, there was a James Wilkins who was licensee of the "Lord Raglan" in Biggin Street in 1856, although whether this was one and the same remains unknown to date.

Just as I think I'll find no more on this establishment, the following turned up:-


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 14 May, 1842. Price 5d.


Friday - William Luscombe, landlord of the "Canteen" at the Heights, charged with having a quantity of tobacco in the cellar, not entered agreeable to the Excise regulations.

Mr. Langham who was specially retained for the defendant, contended that the Bench had no jurisdiction in this case. The information was laid under the 3rd and 4th of Victoria, and strange as it might appear, no mention was made of the jurisdiction of magistrates, nor was there any section giving power to recover the penalties. After considerable discussion the Bench decided that they would proceed with the investigation, when the following evidence was adduced.

W, Bayford, officer of Excise said on the 16th March, from information received, I went with Mr. Morefett to the "Canteen"; I saw Mr. and Mrs. Luscombe in the bar, and said I wanted to go down into the cellar. Mrs. Luscombe went down with me into the cellar regularly entered in the Excise books, when I saw folding doors which led to another cellar not entered. I took the candle, and on going in saw a tea chest containing about 40lbs of tobacco, covered over with a sack. I went to Mr. Luscombe, and asked him how he became possessed of the tobacco? He said he bought it off a stranger for 3s. per lb. I asked him if he had any bill with it and he replied - no, he always paid ready-money - and kept no bills. I then seized the tobacco, being in an un-entered cellar.

Cross-examined by Mr. Langham:- Had surveyed the "Canteen" five or six years. The cellar I considered as entered was partly under the passage and partly under the bar. Did not consider any other cellar entered. Had never surveyed that cellar, but would not swear he had never been into it. Did not know if the folding doors were generally open.

Mr. Langham here called for the production of the entries made by the former tenants of the "Canteen," which were the same made as that made by the defendant, viz. four rooms and a cellar under the bar.

Frederick Morfatt, officer of Excise, corroborated the evidence of Mr. Bayford, as to finding the tobacco.

Cross-examined by Mr. Langham - Had only surveyed the "Canteen" since February. Always surveyed the first cellar, and generally accompanied by some of Mr. Luscombe's family. Had seen the folding-doors open, but could not swear he had ever found them locked. Never surveyed the other cellar.

William Challin proved the signature of Mr. Luscombe to the notice of entry, and considered the first cellar as the one entered.

Cross-examined - Luscombe applied to him for advice when he took the "Canteen," and he gave him a copy of that made by the previous tenant.

A sample of tobacco was here produced; it was what is termed Cavendish. Mr. Bayford said it was subject to a prohibitory duty of 9d. per lb. and Mr. Luscombe had stated he only gave 3d. per lb. He would call a grocer to state the value of it, when he was stopped by Mr. Langham, who said, that as his client was not charged with having smuggled the tobacco, he could not allow any such evidence to be given.

Mr. Langham then addressed the Bench at considerable length on behalf of the defendant, and contended, that although the entry made for a cellar which was stated to be under the bar, both were, in fact, under the tap-room, and being only divided by folding doors, which were never opened, his client considered them as one cellar, and had acted in ignorance, supposing he had a right to place excisable goods in either of them. This was a serious charge and liable to a penalty of 100, which could not be mitigated below 25. He would produce a witness, the last tenant of the "Canteen" was called.

Richard Arnold, who stated that he kept the "Canteen" three years ago. Always considered the cellars as one, and used them as such. He often pout beer and porter in the farthest cellar when the other was full.

The Bench, after a consultation of about a quarter of an hour, decided that the information was not substantiated, and dismissed the case.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, 20 July, 1844.


On the 7th inst., at Dover Castle, aged 45, Mr. Handsomebodie, landlord of the "Canteen."


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 20 September, 1845. Price 5d.


SATURDAY: James Butler, a private in the 17th Lancers was committed for trial, charged with stealing a watch, value 4, and a silk handkerchief, value 4s., the property of John Corbel, a seaman, belonging to Shields.

It appeared that the prosecutor and the prisoner went round the Castle together, and afterwards into the “Canteen,” and partook of some beer, where the prosecutor fell asleep, and when he awoke, found his watch, handkerchief, and money gone, (about 8s.) he gave information to the Police, and the prisoner was shortly afterwards apprehended, with the watch and handkerchief in his possession, but only 1s. 10d. money.

The prisoner did not deny the charge, but stated that he took the articles found on him for safe custody, as the sailor was intoxicated.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 4 October, 1845. Price 5d.


James Butler, private in the 17th Lancers, aged 29, charged with stealing at the “Dover Castle Canteen,” a watch, chain, and handkerchief, the property of John Corbett. Mr. Grady conducted the prosecution, and after detailing the case to the Jury, called the following witnesses:-

John Corbett, mariner, deposed, on the 13th of September, I was going up to the Castle and saw prisoner with another soldier and two women. I accompanied them round the Castle, and then we went into the “Canteen” where we had some beer. I fell asleep, and on awaking found the other parties gone. I then missed my watch, money, &c., and went to the landlord who gave me a note to take to the Police Station. The beer had a little effect one me.

John Newcomen, landlord of the “Canteen” deposed: About half an hour after the party came to the “Canteen,” they all left, except the sailor and prisoner who remained in the room alone for a short time, when prisoner followed his companions. I went into the room and found prosecutor asleep. I roused him, but he fell asleep again. Shortly after he came and asked me for his handkerchief. I said I had not got it, and advised him to go and look for his companions. He shortly returned, saying he had lost his watch and money, when I gave him a note to take to the Police Station.

John Pine, Police-constable deposed: prosecutor came to the station house, stating that he had been robbed. I went into the market-place and saw prisoners. Told him he was in custody for robbing a sailor. He said he knew nothing about it, and tried to get away. Took him to the station-house, when I saw the handkerchief in the breast of his jacket. He then said, “I'll give you all I've got,” and took the watch out of his pocket. He said the sailor was drunk and he took them to take care of.

Guilty – Twelve month's imprisonment and hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 28 May, 1864.



William Rowe, a private in the Royal Engineers, stationed at the Castle Hill Fort, was charged with stealing from the "Castle Hill Canteen," early on the morning of the 21st, a till, value 6d. and a quantity of coppers, the property of John Prescott, landlord of the "Canteen."

John Prescott, on being sworn, said he was landlord of the "Canteen" at the Castle Hill Fort. On the night of the 20th inst. about twelve o'clock, he had occasion to go down into the town. A man in witness's employ went with him. On reaching nearly the top of Love Lane witness met the prisoner and a comrade named Bruce. They were going in the direction of their barracks. When witness returned to the "Canteen," with his assistant, he (witness) locked the door, and they both went to bed. On the following morning, between six and seven o'clock, the till was missed. He subsequently heard that a box had been found in the fire-box of an engine in use on the Fort works, and the till produced was afterwards brought to him by Sergeant Russell, of the Royal Artillery. He saw the till in its place on a shelf on the bar about half-past 11 o'clock on the night of the robbery. When he discovered that the till was gone, he went to see if the windows were fastened, but he found they had been left undone, and that a wooden bar that had been fastened across the inside of the parlour window was broken off. Witness represented the case to the Captain of the Royal Engineers, and he ordered it to be brought before the Magistrates. There was about 5s. worth of coppers in the till when he left it on the previous night. The value of the box was 6d.

Cross-examined by prisoner:- I did not tell Corporal Lilley that you were at the "Canteen" at 6 o'clock on the evening of the 21st.

William Hyman, a private in the Royal Engineers, said he had charge of the donkey engine used at the works of Castle Hill Fort. On the morning of the 21st, about 5 o'clock, he went to light the engine fire, and in the fire-box he found the box or till produced.

Frederick Gaton, a corporal in the same regiment, said the prisoner slept in the same room as he did. The prisoner answered his name at tattoo, on the night of the 20th, and, to the best of his belief, went to bed directly. Prisoner could have made his escape from the barracks, as the key of the door had been lost. On the following morning, about a quarter to six, while the men were dressing, a cap containing a quantity of coppers was produced from under prisoner's bed. Prisoner said he had received a great many coppers in change on the previous night. Witness thought the cap contained three or four shillings in coppers.

William Bruce, the man seen in company with the prisoner, said he went part of the way home with prisoner on the night in question. Prisoner left him after getting about 130 yards through the turnpike gate at the top of Castle Hill, and near to the "Canteen." He did not see any more of the prisoner. He (witness) was the worse for liquor at the time.

In cross-examination by prisoner, witness said, to the best of his recollection, prisoner did not go into the barracks with him. He did not go back after reaching the barracks to fetch a stick for the prisoner.

William Forest, a private who slept in the bed next but one to the prisoner's, said that the prisoner came to him on the night of the 20th, about half-past 9, and say on his bed and talked to him. He showed witness eighteen pence in coppers, saying that he had that day drawn 2 shillings from the pay-sergeant, and that the coppers he held in his hand was all the money he had left. Witness did not know whether prisoner went out after that.

John Isaiah Pope, sergeant in the Kent County Constabulary, said he examined the premises at the "Canteen." he found a bar which had been placed across the front parlour window had been forced off, and after making enquiries he took the prisoner into custody on the present charge. He told the prisoner what he had been charged with, but he made no reply. The prisoner's barrack room is in a direct line with the back of the "Canteen."

Prisoner, having been duly cautioned, said Mr. Prescott had told corporal Lilly that he (prisoner) was at the "Canteen" at 6 o'clock on the morning of the 21st, when the till was missed. He called:-

John Lilly, who said:- Mr. Prescott told me that he had seen the prisoner, between 12 and 1 o'clock on the morning of the 21st, on the hill at the other side of the "Canteen" - not barrack side, - and that he missed the money about 7 o'clock in the morning.

Prisoner was then committed for trial at St. Augustine's, Canterbury.


From the Kentish Chronicle 16 September 1865.


Thursday.—Renewal of Public House Licenses.

This was the general licensing meeting, and authority was granted for the renewal of the licenses of all existing public houses.

Mr. Francis Prescott, for the "Canteen" at Charlton, near Dover.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 18 February, 1870.


Charles Taylor, a young recruit in the 4th Regiment, recently quartered in Dover, was brought up on remand, charged with stabbing another private of the same regiment, with his bayonet, on the 2nd of March.

The prisoner had been remanded from time to time in consequence of the injured man's detention in the hospital, but he was now in attendance.

John Law, a private in the 4th Regiment, said the prisoner was also a private in the same company to which he belonged. On the night of the 2nd instant, between seven and eight o'clock, they were both in the taproom of the “Canteen”, at the Western Heights, when some words arose between them. Witness afterward went from the “Canteen” to the barrack-room, where the prisoner followed him, and the quarrel was there renewed. In the course of it, the prisoner, who was drunk, took his bayonet from the scabbard, and stabbed witness in the right side. The prisoner was not wearing his bayonet. It was handing up in the barrack-room and he took it down and pulled it out of the scabbard. A corporal, who was in the room, took the bayonet away from the prisoner, and conveyed him to the guard-room. Witness was taken to the hospital. He was not drunk, but, like the prisoner, he had been drinking.

By the Bench: There had been no quarrel between us previous to this, and we had always been very good friends.

The Magistrates were inclined to treat the charge as one of common assault, and the prisoner having, in answer to the charge stated that he should not have committed the offence had he not been under the influence of drink.

The Magistrates, taking into consideration that he had already been detained in custody a fortnight, sentenced him to imprisonment for an additional fourteen days, advising him to be careful how in future he placed himself under the influence of the fruitful source of crime and misfortune – drink.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 13 June, 1873. Price 1d.


Sergeant McMann, of the 9th Regiment, made application that the “Canteen” at Fort Burgoyne might be transferred to him from Sergeant Blackman, of the 38th Regiment; but as he brought no recommendation from his commanding officer, the Magistrates allowed their decision to stand over until the necessary papers could be furnished.

On the application of Serrgeant Conyard, of the 38th Regiment, the magistrates granted the transfer of the canteen business from the South Front to the Grand Shaft, the former barracks being vacant.

Sergeant-major Kelly, of the 3rd Brigade Royal Artillery, applied for the transfer of the Artillery canteens, both at the Castle and the Heights, from Sergeant-major Shipley, of the 17th Brigade, to himself. The applicant produced a letter from the Mess Committee, assenting to the transfer; but the Chairman said the decision of the bench could not be given until the license given to the Sergeant-major of the 17th brigade was produced.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 20 June, 1873. Price 1d.


The "Canteen" business at Fort Burgoyne was transferred from the sergeant-major of the 38th Regiment to Sergeant Macmahon, of the 9th, who produced the necessary documents.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 25 July, 1873. Price 1d.


The Magistrates granted a new license for the Citadel Canteen, to Sergeant G. Welby, of the 9th Regiment, the usual written authority of the colonel of the regiment having been handed in.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday May, 1893. 1d.


An Artilleryman, Bombardier Philip Cooper of the depot company, was on Tuesday morning found dead in casemate No. 6 at Dover Castle with a carbine between his legs. The inquest was held at the “Canteen” on Wednesday afternoon by the Borough Coroner (Sydenham Payn, Esq.), and a Jury, of which Mr. W. H. Norman was foreman. The following was the evidence taken.

Mrs. Sahar Cooper said the body at the mortuary was that of her husband, Philip Cooper, Bombardier in the Royal Artillery, Eastern District, stationed at the Castle. He was 25 years of age. Witness last saw him alive at a quarter past five, at 37, Oxenden Street, where they lived. Deceased had stayed there two nights with witness. He left at the time to come to barracks. Witness had been married to him a fortnight. He complained of his head aching for the last two days. He did not mention his intention of destroying himself. There had been nothing the matter at home.

Bombardier Edmund Charles Lipihian said that the deceased belonged to his company. He saw him about a quarter to nine, deceased having been absent since Saturday, and asked him if he had seen Bombardier Gaze. Deceased laughed and said “I expect he's gone.” He also said “I am fed up and shall go on Friday.” Witness accompanied Cooper to his room, and showed him some papers relating to a court martial on witness. Witness then left the room. About three minutes later, hearing a commotion, witness went to deceased's room. He saw him sitting on the bed, bleeding from the head, and a carbine between his legs. He appeared to be dead.

George Bradshaw Stainistreet, a surgeon of the Medical Staff stationed at Dover Castle, said he was called to the deceased about three minutes to nine. He found the deceased in the position mentioned by last witness. He was then dead, and there was a penetrating gun shot wound in the skull, with extensive fracture of the skull. The muzzle must have been placed in the mouth. The bullet produced was found in the ceiling. He thought the wound was a self-inflicted one.

Gunner Fred Hills said he slept in the same room as deceased. He last saw him alive five minutes before the occurrence, sitting on his bed he said as witness went past, “have you seen anyone act the goat?” Witness then went outside. There were several men in the room at the time. Witness heard the report of a gun and rushed into the room which was then empty, except for the deceased. He saw him lying on the bed, and a carbine slipping down between his legs. Several others then came into the room, and witness ran for a doctor.

Gunner Arthur Saunders said he also stayed in the same room as the deceased. He was in bed at half past five. Witness next saw him about twenty minutes to nine, when he came into the room and told them to hurry on to parade. He went up to Gunner Brown and asked him to let him see his rifle. Witness did not hear all that was said, but he heard deceased say “It is no use to me.” Deceased tried the lock, and then went to Gunner Matthews and asked him what sort of a rifle he had. He looked at it and walked with it towards the door, and witness saw him open the breech and put something into the carbine. He then looked at the carbine again and took a cartridge out. Witness said to brown “he has got a cartridge; I hope that he is not going to commit ‘susanside'.” Witness was laughed at.

Police Sergeant Nash said that when he got to the Castle he found the deceased in the position described. On the deceased he found a paper on which was written “Good-bye Drake! I am awfully sorry, but I cannot stand the pressure. You will find a mistake in the pay sheet where I have stopped copying, it is the day's pay too much. I am perfectly sane, and understand what I am about. Good-bye” P. Cooper.” He also found the bullet on the floor.

Quartermaster-Sergeant Henry S. Drake, of the depot company, said the deceased had been on furlough from the 1st to the 30th of last month. Witness fancied that the deceased, who was always a reserved man, had been a little more despondent since his return from furlough. The mistake referred to by the deceased was an error on witness' part, and would not be the slightest reason for him to commit suicide. Witness did not think the reference to pressure meant anything.

The Jury after a short consultation returned a verdict of “Suicide during temporary insanity.”




ARNOLD Richard 1839 (Dover Telegraph kept for 3 years before Luscombe)

WILKINS James 1840 (Pigot's Directory 1840 out of date info?)

LUSCOMBE William 1842+ Next pub licensee had Dover Telegraph

SMITH John 1847 Bagshaw's Directory 1847

PRESCOTT John 1864 (Charlton) Dover Express


Fort Burgoyne

Serjeant Major of the 38th to June/1873 Dover Express

MACMAHON Sergeant June/1873+ Dover Express

WOOD G Sept/1878+ Dover Express



WELBY Sergeant G July/1873+ Dover Express



REYNOLDS Samuel 1829+

HENDSOMEBODIE Peter 1841-July/1844 dec'd (age 44 in 1844)


"Canteen" Heights, Hougham, to William Drawmur; "Canteen" South, From Clements, to William Balfour; "Canteen" Drop Redoubt, to Thomas Cullen.


Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express

Dover TelegraphFrom the Dover Telegraph


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