Sort file:- Dover, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 10 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1836-

Dover Castle Tap

Latest 1882+

15 Middle Row


Dover Castle Tap

Above painting by William Burgess, from one of J E Gillham's photographs.


Another example of the trouble and confusion caused by these 'taps' occurred in 1889 when the manager of the "Dover Castle Hotel" was severely reprimanded by the Bench for misconduct at the "Tap". In defence he submitted that it was under separate management to the hotel and was even housed in a separate building.


From the Kentish Gazette, 15 May 1838.

On Saturday evening, the 5th inst., was stolen from the "Dover Castle tap" a large deal box, containing a quantity of women’s and children’s apparel, by a man named John Slade, who is well known to all the coachmen and guards from Kent and Sussex, and has lived in London, Dover, and other places, acting as a porter to coaches, &c. for different inns and coach offices. The box was found the next morning about a mile from the place it was taken from, in a hedge on the Deal road, quite empty.


Kentish Gazette, 11 September 1849.


Lewis:- Sept. 7, at Dover, Mrs. Lewis, the wife of Mr. John Lewis, of the Dover Castle Tap," aged 60.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 30 August, 1889. Price 1d.



In this case the Superintendent of the Police, Mr. O. T. Sanders, opposed the renewal of the license as far as the “Dover Castle Tap” was concerned, Mr. Poland, the proprietor of the “Dover Castle Hotel,” having been proceeded against during the year for the “Dover Castle Tap” being open at prohibited hours, and it then transpired that the “Tap” in Middle Row was under separate management from the hotel without having a separate license.

Mr. Martyn Mowll appeared on behalf of Mr. Poland, the proprietor of the “Dover Castle Hotel,” who submits that the “Tap” is quite a distinct building from the hotel, and ever since he bought the hotel in 1875 it has been under separate management, he only receiving the rent, when, much to his annoyance, he (Mr. Poland) was summoned for an offence committed by the occupier of the “Tap.” He took the opinion of Mr. Findlay, Q.C., which was to the effect that the “Tap” was a separate building, and since then the sale of liquor had not been carried on – at any rate if it had it was contrary to his orders. Mr. Poland therefore wished his license to be made out so as to distinctly state that the “tap” was not included in it. There were, however, four rooms over the “Tap” not communicated with it in any way, that were used by the hotel.

The license was granted to Mr. Poland for the hotel, but the “Tap” was left without a license.



 The Post Office Directory 1874 even lists the name as the "Dover Castle Hotel Tap", but the address is definitely Middle Row.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 23 January, 1836. Price 7d.


On Tuesday, the sloop "Sovereign," William Pratt, of Shoreham, brought up in Dover Roads, on her passage to London, and the master, accompanied by his brother, Thomas Pratt, (mate of the vessel,) and a seaman, came on shore to procure some necessaries. On their leaving the harbour to return, it was nearly low water; and in passing the bar, a heavy sea struck the boat, which was instantly upset. The seaman, named John Hartefold, managed to get on the shoal of the bar, where he was preserved until the boats could get off, but the swell was so heavy as to prevent their reaching the spot where the other had sunk, without both difficulty and danger. After some time the master was got out of the water, an conveyed to the "Dover Castle tap," apparently lifeless; but medical attendance, and the requisite assistance being promptly given, he was restored. His brother, the mate, was unhappily drowned; the persons in the boats being unable to find him until about half an hour after the accident, when the body was washed ashore. It was immediately taken to the Customs Station, and every means used by three medical gentlemen to restore animation; but it seemed to have received some very serious blows, and all was in vain. The deceased was in his 32nd year, and had been married within ten days before. An inquest was held on Wednesday, and a verdict of accidental death returned. On the following day the body was respectably interred in St. Martin's old burying ground.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 5 September, 1846. Price 5d.


On Saturday morning, a punt in approaching Dover harbour got on the Knowle, where it was upset. Two galleys immediately put off from the harbour, and saved 3 of the crew, but the fourth was drowned, and although every search was made for the body, it could not be found. It appeared the boat was coming to the harbour from the smack Albert Edward, of Brightlingsea, Essex, lying in the roads. It is stated that after the close of the oyster season, the smack being fallen in with by the Lion revenue cruiser, with dredges on board, they were seized and taken to the Custom-house at Dover. The season having again commenced, deceased, whose name is Richard Collings, and was a master and part owner of the smack, was coming on shore to claim the dredges at the Custom-house, when from not knowing the force of the current he unfortunately struck on the Knowl at the back of the harbour.


On Tuesday morning a body was picked up at the back of the Railway Terminus, which was supposed to be that of the deceased, The Borough Coroner, G. T. Thompson, Esq., issued summonses to sixteen persons to attend that evening at seven o'clock, at the “Dover Castle Tap,” to hold an inquest on the body found. At the hour appointed the Coroner was in attendance, but after a lapse of nearly an half an hour, there being only ten Jurymen present, Mr. Thompson requested the reporters present to give their services, and stated that he should inflict a penalty of ten shillings each on the absentees, which would be presented to the Recorder at the next sessions for confirmation.

The Jury then appointed Mr. W. Fenton foreman, and proceeded to view the body, which was lying in a shed near the South pier. On their return the following evidence was given by Thomas Johnson, mariner, who deposed, that having been told a body had been seen washing over the groynes near Cheeseman's jetty, he, with four others, went in a boat to the spot, and, after dragging for nearly an hour, picked up the body, which was taken on shore, and left in charge of Police-constable Hogbin. The clothes of deceased were searched by Mr. Lewis in the presence of witness and Hogbin, when a key, two sovereigns, 2 half-crowns, and 2 shillings, were found in the pockets.

Mr. J. B. Knocker, who was present, stated that he had been written to by relatives of deceased, to give them information if the body was found, that they might come and claim it. He then produced a description of deceased, which exactly corresponded with that of the body found, particularly the blue Guernsey, which was marked with the initials R. C.

The Coroner said there could be little doubt as to the identity of the body; but as it would be necessary to have the attendance of one of the persons who was in the boat at the accident, he should adjourn the enquiry till Monday evening, at 7 o'clock, at which hour the Jury were severely bound in a recognizance of 10 to attend.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 12 September, 1846. Price 5d.


The adjourned inquest on the body of Richard Collings, who was drowned at the mouth of the Dover Harbour, was held on Monday evening, at the “Dover Castle Tap,” before G. T. Thompson, Esq., Coroner for the Borough. Precisely at the hour appointed, 7 o'clock, the names of the Jury were called over, and all being found punctual in attendance, the following witnesses were examined:-

George Payn, mate of the smack Albert Edward, deposed: On Saturday the 9th ult., the smack was off the harbour, and having had our oyster dredges seized some time since, Richard Collings, the master, ordered the boat to be manned, for the purpose of rowing him into the harbour, to claim the dredges at the Custom house. The boat was rowed by deceased, myself, and two others. As we drew near the mouth of the harbour a heavy sea rolled over the boat's quarter, and half filled her. Another sea followed, which quite filled her, and she sank, but shortly came up bottom upwards. We were then all in the water, and I saw deceased, who could swim a little, strike out, but he soon appeared exhausted and sank. As he was sinking, I called out to him to catch hold of the boat, which was close by him, but he did not appear to hear me. Myself and the other two men were picked up by a Dover boat. Witness then identified the clothes taken from the body as those belonging to deceased.

Martin Boyles, mariner, was then called, but not sworn – He stated, that on the day in question he was on the pier head, and seeing the boat approaching the shoal of beach, he waved them to keep to the northward, but they did not appear to see him. On nearing the shoal, a sea rolled over, which nearly filled the boat, and seeing the danger, he gave an alarm, and with three others managed a galley and rowed to the spot, to assist in picking up the men. It was nearly low water at the time, but there was sufficient water in either the north or south channel for the boat to have entered the harbour. The accident was entirely caused by going close to the shoal.

A Juror enquired of the Coroner, if Boyles' evidence had been given on the first inquest, whether there would have been a necessity to send for the last witness from so great a distance.

The Coroner replied, that most probably there would not. He had directed the Superintendent of Police to ascertain if any one saw the accident, who reported that he could not hear of any one having done so. It was under these circumstances that he adjourned the enquiry, and sent a summons to Brightlingsea, for the attendance of Payne.

Boyles said, it was well known in the pier that he saw the accident.

A Juror thought greater exertion ought to have been made by the Superintendent to procure proper evidence, as in this case it would have saved considerable expense.

The Jury then returned a verdict, “that deceased was accidentally drowned by the upsetting of a boat.”


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 17 October, 1846. Price 5d.


Mary Ann May, single-woman, aged 20, charged with stealing, at Dover, 4 sovereigns, and 2 half-sovereigns, the property of Peter Vanglabke, mate of the Belgian packet, Chemin de Fer. Mr. Horne appeared on behalf of the prisoner, and Mr. Harenc for the prosecution.

From the evidence of the prosecutor, it appeared he arrived in Dover by late train, and asked prisoner if she could direct him tio where to get a cup of coffee; she conducted him to the “Dover Castle Tap,” when the landlord said, he did not allow girls in his house, and refused to serve them. Witness said, he only wished to treat the girl to a cup of coffee, in return for her kindness in shewing him the way to the house, and they then had two cups of coffee in the front parlour. Having been up two nights, he shortly fell asleep, and on being awoke by the landlord, found his companion and money had gone. He told the landlord, who said, the girl had just left, and directed him to follow her. On reaching Strond Street, he met Sergeant Laker, and told him of his loss.

Police Sergeant Laker, deposed, that shortly before he met prosecutor, he saw prisoner coming up Strond Street. On seeing him she turned back, and suspecting something was wrong, directed P.C. Pine to watch her. He then went with prosecutor up Strond Street, and met Pine, who said the girl was gone up Limekiln Street; directed him to run up Walton's Lane, and on reaching Limekiln Street, found prisoner in custody. Prosecutor identified her as the woman who had robbed him, but she denied any knowledge of the money. Pine said, he heard some money clink on the pavement, and on turning up the rain butt found the money underneath.

Police-constable Puine corroborated part of the above evidence, and further deposed, that on following prisoner he saw her go into a court in Limekiln Street, where he heard the clink of money on the pavement before he took her into custody.

Guilty, 3 months' imprisonment with hard labour.



Nevertheless, four rooms over the "Tap" were used by the hotel. Barker, of Loose, near Maidstone, was the brewer at that time. The property became his for the sum of 610 in September 1881. (Click here.)


That trouble of 1889 could have meant curtains. The licence was not renewed that year and it was 1922 before I saw it mentioned again. It was described at a Council Meeting that year as a dilapidated old building.



LEWIS Mary 1843

LEWIS John 1849+

WHITE Joseph 1851 (listed as labourer age 36 in 1851Census)


ARCHER Jonas 1871-82 (age 59 in 1871Census) Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882

BARKER 1881?


Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882



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