Sort file:- Dover, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1870

Canterbury Bell

Latest 1908

59 (49 in 1871Census) Tower Hamlets Street


Former Canterbury Bell 2007

The above house is listed as number 59 Tower Hamlets Street and is reputed to have once been the Canterbury Bell.

However, what I first thought was the beer delivery hatch just seen on the pavement between the two cars in the photo, disappointingly turned out to be a services man-hole cover. Photo by Paul Skelton 6 Oct 2007.

However, from the information below stating that the road contained no more than 65 cottages at the time, renumbering may mean this is not the house in question. More research will be needed here. Just discovered it was addressed 49 in 1871,


A beer-house of George Beer, Star Brewery, Canterbury and that is the only reason I can advance for the unusual name. No doubt a pretty sign. The closure here came on 28 December 1908 when the authorities considered it surplus to requirements.


A description at the time mentioned two front bars but no parlour. A large room was available in the rear. Sixty five cottages comprised the street at the time but nine were unoccupied.


George Beer and Company received 932 in compensation and Albert Shorter the tenant 100.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 24 June, 1870. Price 1d.


William Thomas Bond, landlord of the "Canterbury Bell," Tower Hamlets, was fined 10s. and costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 8 July, 1870. Price 1d.


Richard Shillito and William Newing were charged with being in a public-house  on a Sunday morning during prohibited hours.

Newing answered to his name. Shillito did not appear; but Mr. Fox attended on his behalf, and stated that Shillito was employed in the prison in connection with cooking arrangements, and it would be only with great difficulty that he could be spared. The offence with which he was charged was moreover one in which a defendant could appear by attorney, and he explained the cause of Shillito's absence only in order that the Magistrates might understand that the man had stayed away out of no disrespect to the Bench.

The Magistrates remarked that, supposing the Magistrates ordered the defendant to be imprisoned, Mr. Fox would be ready, as he representative, to take the punishment. (A laugh.)

Mr. Fox said he should not; but he pointed out that the defendant was already "in custody," being employed at the gaol, so that to send him to prison probably would be no punishment. (Laughter.)

Police-constable Corrie; I visited the house of Mr. Thomas Bond (the "Canterbury Bell"), at Tower Hamlets, on Sunday the 10th June, at 11.55 a.m. When I went in I saw ten men in the room - among them Shillito and Newing - and on the tables were a number of pots and glasses containing beer.

By Mr. Fox: I don't know the names of the others; but I think I could find the men. I picked out Shillito and Newing because I knew them the best. Shillito did not give any explanation to account for his presence in the house; but he spoke to me, and said he hoped I should say nothing about it, and asked me to have something to drink. I declined.

On Shillito's behalf, Mr. Fox said that, though it was of no use to struggle against a conviction, it might be urged that his client was totally ignorant that he was committing any offence against the law when he went to the public-house. There was no doubt that this ignorance was extensively shared by people in general, who, although perfectly aware that a publican was liable to a penalty for having his house open, he did not know that they were equally liable in there being found there as customers. He hoped, therefore, that, under the circumstances, the Bench would be as lenient as possible. Shillito was a respectable man, as was testified by his holding a situation under the Dover Corporation, and would not wilfully do anything to break the law. He trusted therefore that the Magistrates would think the smallest fine possible sufficient to meet the justice of the case.

Newing admitted having been in the house; but said he did not buy anything to drink. He could not say he did not have anything to drink, as the landlord had given him a pint of beer as a sort of acknowledgment for his getting a handful of herbs for one of the landlord's children who had the whooping cough.

The Magistrates said this was not the first time a case of this description had been before them. On the former occasion, in consideration of that, ignorance of the law to which Mr. Fox had referred respecting the liability to penalty of persons found in a public-house during prohibited hours, the Magistrates had simply dismissed the defendant with caution, hoping that the fact of such a case having been before them, and of its being pointed out that the offender was liable to punishment, would operate as a sufficient caution. This, however, did not seem to have been the fact; and they must therefore proceed a step further. They would now inflict a nominal penalty and the costs, reminding the defendant that they were liable to a penalty of 40s. and costs. The penalty would be 1s. and 9s. 6d. costs. In default, seven days' imprisonment.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 16 September, 1870. Price 1d.


George Dennis, W. T. Bond, and W. Langridge, who had been convicted for some infringement of their license, were severely cautioned.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 18 December, 1874. Price 1d.


The landlord of the "Canterbury Bell" applied for an extension of time, the next evening to entertain a party of friends for whom entertainment he was going to pay.

The Bench declined to make any order.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 27 September, 1878


John Cullen was summoned for keeping his house open on Sunday morning during illegal hours.

Police-constable Baker said: At eleven o'clock on Sunday morning I and another Police-constable visited the defendant's house, the “Canterbury Bell,” at Tower Hamlets, and there saw six men in the top-room, one being a soldier in the Royal Artillery. We took their names and the landlord said five of the men were lodgers. On our first entering the landlady took two pots of beer off the table and put them in the cupboard, and one pot was put under the seat by one of the men. I asked the landlord what this meant and he said “Five out of the six are lodgers and the soldier slept here last night.” I asked the soldier for his pass, and the landlord then turned the soldier out and another man went with him. The soldier had no pass.

The defendant said the men were navvies on the line and were lodgers, and he had kept the house between two and three years and had had no complaints.

The Superintendent stated that he had had no other complaint against the house.

The defendant was fined 40s. and 9s. 6d. costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 14 February, 1908.



The first of the objections by the police was to the "Canterbury Bell," Tower Hamlets Street. Mr. Rutley Mowll applied for the renewal of the licence on behalf of the licensee.

Inspector Fox said: The "Canterbury Bell" beer-house, situated in Tower Hamlets Street, Tower Hamlets, belongs to Messrs. George Beer and Co. Canterbury. The present licensee is Albert Shorter, who has held the house since August 2nd, 1907. On the 2nd June, 1905, it was transferred to F. Lawrence, and on the 2nd June, 1906, to A. Hill, so that there has been three tenants in 2 years. The rateable value is given is gross 18, nett 14 10s. The licensed houses in the immediate neighbourhood are the "Dewdrop," fully licensed, 36 yards away on the opposite side of the road in the same street; "Coach and Horses," 66 yards away on the opposite side of the street; the "Carriers Arms," West Street, 119 yards away. There are altogether ten licensed premises in Tower Hamlets, over the bridge. The house has a 24ft. frontage, and has two front bars, no parlour; there is a large room at the back which is seldom used. I visited the house with company  with the Chief Inspector  on January 20th last, at 11.45 a.m. and found no customers there; on Thursday, January 30th, in company with Detective Mount, at 2.50, and found two persons there; on Thursday, February 4th, I visited again with Mount at 9 p.m. and found four customers in the bar; and on Friday, February 7th, I visited again with Mount, at 5.40 and found three customers there. There are 68 cottages in Tower Hamlets Street, and at the present time nine are unoccupied. The "Coach and Horses" is a double rated house, rated at 30 gross and 24 nett. The "Dewdrop" has recently been rebuilt.

Detective Mount corroborated the evidence as to the number of customers.

Mr. Rutley Mowll said that as the case would go to the Quarter Sessions he did not propose to address the Bench that day.

The whole of the four cases ("Canterbury Bell," "Old Fountain," "Ordnance Arms," and "Devonshire Arms," were referred to  the East Kent Quarter Session for decision whether they would grant compensation for the non-renewal of the licenses.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 24 October, 1908.


The supplemental meeting of the East Kent Licensing Committee met at the Sessions House, Longport, Canterbury, on Monday for the purpose of considering claims for compensation under the Licensing Act of 1904. Lord Harris presided, the other members of the Committee present being Lieut.-Colonel S. Newton-Dickenson, Messrs. F. H. Wilbee, H. Fitzwalter Plumptre, J. H. Monins. F. E. Burke, F. Cheesmsn, and A. Flint. The majority of the agreements as to terms of compensation between owners and tenants were signed, only four cases being referred to the Inland Revenue. The following agreements were signed:—

"Canterbury Bell," Dover, G. Beer and Co. 932, A. Shorter 100.




BOND Thomas to Nov/1870 Dover Express

HASTINGS Thomas Nov/1870-71+ Next pub licensee had (age 30 in 1871Census) Dover Express

BALDOCK Henry Aug/1874+ Dover Express

LITTLE Edward 1875-May/76 Dover Express

MILLGATE John May/1876+ Dover Express (of Lenham)

COLLINS John 1876

CULLEN John 1878-81 (also Agricultural Labourer age 59 in 1881Census)

BROWN William M 1882

GOLDFINCH Walter Pascal 1882 Next pub licensee had

PIPER L 1886

NEWBLE Robert Frank 1899-Dec/1902 Next pub licensee had (beer retailer age 31 in 1901Census) Kelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903

SMITH Edward William 1902-Apr/05 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

LAWRENCE Frederick E Apr/1905+ Dover Express (Late of Margate, beer retailer.)

HILL Alfred 1906-7 end

SHORTER Albert Aug/1907-08 Dover Express


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

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

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:-