Sort file:- Dover, October, 2021.

Page Updated:- Friday, 29 October, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1841-

Five Alls

Latest July 1968

13 Market Street


Five Alls 1920

Above photo from the John Gilham collection, 1920.

Five Alls painting 1942

Above painting by W. Fairclough, June 1942.

Five Alls circa 1958

Above photo circa 1958.


The pub closed on 14 July 1968. It was a compulsory purchase by the town and the ground then lay idle for twenty two years before being redeveloped. I never saw any price or compensation figure divulged.


It was rumoured to be over two hundred years old and to have formed part of a smuggling chain in the past. A secret room was indicated and underground tunnels were purported to run to the "New Inn" and the "Cause is Altered", both in the vicinity.


8th September 1864 saw this public house auctioned at the "Royal Oak" as Lot 3 of 27 lots owned by the "Jeken, Coleman & Rutley" Brewery of Custom House Quay. The advert stated:-

"All that Freehold and eligibly-situate Public-house, known as the "FIVE ALLS," with the out-buildings thereto belonging, situate in Market Street, now in the occupations of  Mr. C. Hudson."


Many inns have this title but often different characters are used. The five faces portrayed here were those of a lawyer, priest, farmer, soldier and the devil, with the caption, "I plead for all", "I pray for all", "I work for all", "I fight for all" and "I claim all". You were served by George Hudson in 1849 and at the close by Mr. Pratt.


The street was closed to traffic from 1971 and to pedestrians from 1989.


Five Alls

From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports Advertiser, 28 August, 1849.

George Isted alias Durgan, remanded from Friday, on suspicion of being concerned in a robbery at the "Five Alls," Market Street, was again brought up, and, from the absence of direct evidence, released from custody - the Bench significantly telling the suspected party to remember that the police had very peremptory orders to observe his conduct.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 15 May, 1858. Price 4d.


The residents in this part of Dover were thrown into a state of alarm on Monday in consequence of a fire breaking out in the locality. Immediately on its discovery intelligence was communicated to Captain G. T. Parks who with his staff and apparatus promptly repaired to the scene of the conflagration in an outbuilding in the rear of and connected with the Five Alls occupied by George Hudson fly proprietor &c. The flames were bursting through the roof on the arrival of Mr. Parks. A hasty glance sufficed to show that there was not a moment to be lost but only in confining the devouring element to the premises in which the fire originated but in preserving from destruction the heterogeneous mass of buildings in immediate proximity thereto.

A double branch service was instantly attached to the nearest hydrants and the influence of well-directed and ample supply of water in retarding the progress of the flames was soon observed. In a moment of apprehension parties occupying adjacent property had commenced removing their goods. Such was the energy displayed in extinguishing the fire. So effective the means available in connection with the Dover Water Works that half an hour sufficed for Mr. Parks to announce that the fire was controlled and its spread beyond the walls of the doomed edifice in which it broke out prevented. The alarm had been given about six o'clock and before seven o'clock the order to turn off the water preparatory to an examination of the interior of the premises was issued. The majority of those who had congregated to witness the catastrophe were at that hour retiring from the spot. The subsequent proceedings principally had reference to a pre-cautionary removal of the smouldering wreck of the conflagration but no fresh outbreak resulted.

As we have already stated the buildings in which the fire originated and to which happily it was confined was in the rear of the “Five Alls” Market Street. It was of two storey's the ground floor forming the wash-house or scullery of the “Five Alls” as well as a portion of “The Tap” and the second floor (formally dormitories for travellers) being used as a straw and fodder loft. On Saturday a ton of straw was stored away there and on Monday a ton of sainfoin was added to the contents of the loft.

The cause of the fire was correctly conjectured on Monday evening but it was not satisfactorily ascertained until Tuesday morning. It appears that in the washhouse of the ground floor there was a copper, which was used on Monday. The flue of the copper passed into the chimney of the premises but at its junction with the chimney there was a fracture sufficiently large to admit lighted soot or other ignited substance falling immediately on some rafters below. The state of the rafters showed that such an occurrence must have taken place and hence the conflagration. The premises are the property of the Messrs Coleman &c. brewers and are insured in the Globe.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 31 October, 1890. Price 5d.


William Bonsor, a lad not quite 16 years old, was charged with stealing on the 27th, from a till at the “Five Alls” public house, six shillings and nine sixpences. The landlord, Mr. John Golder, said that he went to his till which is under the counter, about twenty minutes to eight that morning, and put five shillings, and ten sixpences there. Miss Ellen Golder, daughter of the last witness, said that about five minutes past eight that morning, a customer came in, and she served him with a penny-worth of tobacco, he offered her a shilling in payment, and she gave him sixpence and fivepence in coppers. About two minutes afterwards, the prisoner came in, and asked for a penny-worth of tobacco, she served him and he gave her a 1d. he went out, and about three minutes after he came back; she was in the passage then, and could see in the bar, she served him with a short pipe, but he did not pay for it. He then went out again and shut the door after him. She took two books from the bar into the parlour, but did not hear anyone come in whilst she was in there. About two minutes after, she went back into the bar, and saw the till was open and also the door, the bowl and its contents were gone, as well as the keys. Anyone could reach over the counter, and get at the till. She told her father, and he gave information to the Police. The coppers were left in the till. Sergeant Stevens said that at twenty minutes past eight that morning, in consequence of information received, he went in search of the prisoner. He went to Mr. Mowll's coal yard, and found that the prisoner worked there. He had him called into Mr. Mowll's office, and asked him if he had been home to breakfast, he said he had; he then asked him if he had called anywhere on his way back, and he said he called at the “Five Alls” for some tobacco and a pipe, but denied having robbed the till. He admitted having 9s. 6d. but said he had picked up a purse containing it going through Chapel Place. When charged before the Magistrates, the prisoner pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to three months hard labour.


The following letter has been kindly sent to me by Dennis Groombridge. I assume it was on display in the pub between 1934 and 1938 while Bill Bates was licensee.

Five Alls letter

Again, kindly sent by Dennis Groombridge, is Bill Bates membership card for "Ye Ancient Order of Froth Blowers.

Ancient Order of Froth Blowers Card


Dover Express 03 February 1933.


Mr. F. G. Hickman. The funeral took place on Saturday, at St. Mary's Cemetery, of Mr. Frederick George Hickman, landlord of the "Five Alls" Inn Market Street. who died on January 24th, at the age of 60 years. The Rev. W. A. M. Parker officiated. The late Mr Hickman was educated at the Hastings Grammar School., and was well known in that town. He served with distinction during the South African War, and was for some years in the South African Constabulary. Subsequently he travelled extensively in Russia and Poland. During the European War Mr. Hickman with the Recruiting Officer at Hastings, and afterwards at the offices of the Southern Railway Company at London Bridge, eventually resigning to become licensee of the "Five Alls" Inn at Dover. The mourners present were:—Mrs. P. G. Hickman (widow), Miss Hickman (Hastings) (sister). Mr. R. F. Parkhouse (Luton) and Mr. H. McLellan Smith (Cheam) (Brothers-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. W. Marsh, Mrs. Perry. and Mr. G. Elve, The Dover & District Licensed Victualler' Association was represented by Mr. G. Taske (President), Mr. T. Selth (Chairman), and Mr. Terry (Vice-President).


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 9 June, 1933.


The "Five Alls," Market Street, from Gladys Hickman to Ernest Simmons, late of the "Five Bells,” Brabourne.


From the Dover Express, Friday 1 September 1939.


Inn sign lore for the public is being provided by the brewing industry. Many thousands of copies of an illustrated beeolet, "Inn Signs: Their History and Meaning," by Sir Gurney Benham, F.S.A., are to be issued during the next few days, by the Brewers' Society, to inns all over the country. They will be dispensed over the bar to any customer buying a glass of beer.

A Dover Inn is one of those referred to, i.e., "The Five Alls." This sign varies pictorially and there is no hanging sign at the Dover Inn. Of that shown in the book, Sir Gurney Benham writes:

"This eccentric sign, of uncertain origin, dates from the 18th century. It shows the four leading estates or professions of the realm; The Ecclesiastic ('I pray for all'); the Lawyer ('I plead for all'); the Farmer ('I feed all') and the Soldier ('I fight for all') and last, but not least, is shown the Devil ('I take all'). The sign has died out in London, but is found in Dover, at Walpole St. Peter in Norfolk, and it occurs elsewhere. Sometimes it shows the King ('I govern all'); a Bishop ('I pray for all'); a Lawyer ('I plead for all') and a Labourer ('I pay for all').

One Dover in sign, that of "The Cause is Altered" is not referred to and it would be interesting to know if it exists elsewhere. The story is that the name dates from 1826. In the late John Bavington Jones' "Dover," the writer says, "An old inhabitant told us that he saw the sign fixed there before he went to sea, in the year 1826. The sign of this house was originally "The Black Horse," and, being situate on a lonely spot on the Town Walls, was a resort of smugglers, but when Mr. Bourne took the house, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, he resolved to make a change for the better and put up a new sign "The Cause is Altered."

Sir Gurney Benham's explanation of some other Inn signs removed various misconceptions.

The "Elephant and Castle," for instance does not derive its name from "Infanta of Castille," but is the crest of the Cutlers Company, the elephant being included "possibly because cutlers use bone for knife handles and like to pass it off as ivory."

The "Elephant and Castle" is also the Crest for the Corbet family, but the old and famous inn of this name at Newington Butts, is said to commemorate the discovery of an elephant's skeleton there, in 1714.

The booklet also refers to the "pretty tale that the "Goat and Compasses" is a corruption of 'God encompasses us'." "There is not a word of truth in it, it is stated. "This was a beckoning sign to thirsty shoemakers and builders." The arms of the Cordwainers (shoemakers) were three goats' heads, and those of the Carpenters contained three compasses.

The "Pie" (or magpie) may have been chosen as an appropriate sign for taverns where men met for social chatter, and the "Swan" may have been a favourite sign because the long neck suggested a good imbiber - which may account for the popularity of the "Swan with Two Necks."

Sir Guy Benham discloses also that Queen Elizabeth had portrait signs at various "Queen's Head" Inns destroyed unless they complied with her official portrait.


From the Dover Express, Friday 11 March, 1949.

A music and singing licence was granted to the "Five Alls," Market St.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 17 June, 1949.


Plans for the removal of partition between the public and private bars were approved by the Magistrates on Friday.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 17 November, 1950.


Former licensee of the "Five Alls," Market Street, Robert George Burton, appeared at Southampton Bankruptcy Court last week, with liabilities of 593/3/4.

At one time gardener to the late Mr. Walter Hutchinson, at Stanbridge Earls, near Romsey, he left that work in November, 1948, to become a licensed victualler at Dover. He ceased that business in March of this year.

Burton told the Court he borrowed money and used his savings up to fit up the public house in Market Street, Dover. He attributed his failure to competition, the loss of 33 by a robbery, and fluctuations in trade. He had now, he said, returned to his old job as head gardener at Stanbridge Earls.


From the Dover Express 19 June 1968


ANOTHER of Dover's ancient inns closed this week. It's the Five Alls public house in Market Street, which is to come down to make way for the proposed York Street road. The premises have been purchased under a compulsory order.

The hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Pratt, called "Last orders" on Sunday.

Dover will lose little in architectural value with the destruction of the pub. But it is one of the most interesting in the town. Its age is not known but it is believed to be more than 200 years old.

Miss O. M. Rookwood, former teacher at Dover Grammar School, and who now occasionally lectures on ancient Dover, says there is a "secret room" on the premises. This cannot be seen from outside.

Miss Rookwood says that there is an underground passage leading from the "Five Alls" to the nearby "Cause is Altered" public house - although the passage is partially blocked.

Another interesting public house, the demolition of which is now complete, is the "Trocadero," in Snargate Street. This has also come down to make way for the new road.

Under present plans, it is expected that the "Cause is Altered" -probably the town's oldest public house - will also be demolished to make way for the road.

The name "Five Alls" is a bit of a mystery. But a picture in the bar shows five faces - a lawyer, a priest, a farmer, a soldier, and the Devil. The caption reads; I plead for all, I pray for all, I work for all, I fight for all, and I claim all.


From an email received, 8 January, 2017.

I have just been reading the information on your site.

I am the Grandaughter of George Percival Nightingale and I lived in the "Five Alls," Public House Market Street Dover between 1953 and 1956.

The tunnel was under the public bar and did indeed go to another pub and further to the cliffs. My Grandfather told me that it was used to smuggle brandy in from the boats.

There was indeed a secret room, access was from a secret door on the middle landing, up a winding stairway to a loft bedroom with a small oval window in the roof. This was my bedroom.

The Roman Painted House was found behind the pub in the 1970s. We found several items of Roman Pottery and several large canon balls in the cellars (I don't know what happened to them). There were also several sets of stone steps also in the cellars going in different directions (the cellars were huge and arched). The tunnel was chalk with some stone steps and quite tall. My Grandfather was 6ft 6ins and he had to bow his head so maybe 6ft tall and about 3ft wide. The tunnel went in for about 12ft straight towards the back of the pub, then veered right and down a slope. (We were not allowed to go in really but we did) eventually my grandfather fixed a wooden door to the opening to stop us.

In the yard (towards the back of the pub, but on the left of the building behind the men's toilets) there was a huge stone rimmed hole with a grating on it. We were told it was for air to the tunnels.

I hope this interests you, I have many memories of my time there.


C. B.



SHILLING Thomas 1841+ (age 50 in 1841Census)

HUDSON George 1849-Jan/60 dec'd Post Office Directory 1851Melville's 1858 (Extra history)

HUDSON Mrs Elizabeth C 1861-Oct/69 dec'd Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1861

POST Elizabeth S Mrs 1861-74 (daughter of above) (age 63 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1874

TOMLIN John 1881-July/1882 (age 55 in 1881Census) Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1882

Last pub licensee had SIMMONS Bayden Mr July/1882+ Dover Express

COMFORT Mr Jessie Jan/1883-Mar/84 Dover Express

GOLDER John Mar/1884-Dec/1902 Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1891Pikes 1895Kelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

(Golder was referred to as also a basket maker as well as publican)Kelly's Directory 1899

LLOYD Arthur Dec/1902-09 end Dover ExpressPikes 1909

BLACKMORE William Head 1907-Nov/11 (age 43 in 1911Census) Dover Express

PAYNE/PALEDover Express? William Nov/1911-13 end Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1913

DIXON George 1911-13 end? Post Office Directory 19221922

DIXON Mrs E R 1913-Dec/21 Dover Express

SMITH William James Dec/1921-28 end Pikes 1923Pikes 1924

HICKMAN Fred George 1928-24/Jan/33 dec'd Post Office Directory 1930Pikes 1932-33

HICKMAN Mrs Gladys M Mar/1933-April/33 Dover Express

Last pub licensee had SIMMONS Ernest Apr/1933-Dec/34 Dover Express

Last pub licensee had BATES William James Elliott Dec/1934-38 end Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1938Pikes 1938-39

MALTBY Reginald Harry Next pub licensee had 1938-Jan/40 Dover Express

MARTIN Wilfred Jan/1940+ Dover Express

RUFF Ernest Frederick to Jan/1949 Dover Express

Closed during the war and reopened 7 Jan 1949

BURTON Reginald C Nov/1948-Mar/50 Kelly's Directory 1950Dover Express

WADE William A 1953 end Kelly's Directory 1953

NIGHTINGALE George P 1953-60+ Kelly's Directory 1956

PRATT Harry 1963-68 end


William Payne was written as William Pale in the Dover Express, and was reported as formerly being a book binder.


Wilfred Martin in 1940 was Secretary to Messrs. George Beer, Rigden and C0., Ltd. brewers, Faversham. Dover Express

William James Smith was previously a fireman platelayer on the South Kent and Chatham railway. Dover Express


Post Office Directory 1851From the Post Office Directory 1851

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1861From the Post Office Directory 1861

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

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

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

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

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

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Kelly's Directory 1950From the Kelly's Directory 1950

Kelly's Directory 1953From the Kelly's Directory 1953

Kelly's Directory 1956From the Kelly's Directory 1956

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:-