Sort file:- Dover, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1857

(Name from)

Great Gun

Latest Sept 1884

(Name to)

26 Adrian Street


Great Gun

Above photo, kindly sent by Paul Wells, showing the "Great Gun" circa 1881-84.


Previous to 1857 and I believe to 1854, the pub was called the "Rising Sun."

On the top corner with Adrian Row and obliging thirsty customers in 1857. The Kingsford brothers paid Satchell or his executors 570 for this in 1881. I think the "Cambridge Arms" would have stood on the opposite corner at another time. It became the "Nottingham Castle" in 1884.


Dover Express, 16 October 1858.

Drainage of Adrian Street the compulsory clauses of the public Health Act.

The inspector of nuisances reported that several houses in Adrian Street, near the "Great Gun" public house formerly the "Rising Sun," were undrained, and that a great nuisance to the neighbourhood was there by occasioned.

The Surveyor, in reply to a question from Mr. Dickeson, said he had inspected the houses referred to by the inspector, and that they were truly in a filthy and deplorable condition. He should recommend that these premises be dealt with under the Nuisances Removal Act.
Mr. Duke complained of the inactivity displayed by the local board in the application of the compulsory clauses of the Public Health Act. A great number of orders for compulsory drainage had been made, it was true, but few, he regretted to say, have been pressed to a satisfactory issue. He could not conceive, after reference to the Local Management Act, that there was any legal difficulty whatever in applying the clauses in question.

The surveyor said that Mr. Duke was in error, and that there was great difficulty in applying these clauses of the Act of Parliament, although he did not deny that great additional powers were given to the Local Board by the Local Management Act. The more direct method of reaching the particular evils now in question, however, would be to recource to the Nuisance Removal Act.

The Inspector having furnished the Town Clerk with the particulars of the nuisance, and also with certain information as to an offensive drain near to 16, Adrian Street.

The Town Clerk gave it as his opinion that for the purpose of obviating the nuisances referred to, it would be better to resort to the Nuisances Removal Act than to the compulsory clauses of the Public Health Act.

Mr. Duke, while he fully believes that there was no difficulty in dealing with matters of this kind if the powers conferred upon the Local Board by the compulsory clauses of the Public Health Act were exercised, was content if the nuisance was got rid of, no matter how, and therefore moved that proceedings be adopted under the Nuisances Removal Act, in accordance with the Town Clerks recommendation.

Mr. Robinson asked whether, under any clause of the Public Health Act, the local board had power to enter by its offices the dwelling-house of any inhabitants?

The Town clerk said he had no doubt Mr. Duke could advise the Local Board on this point better than he (the Town Clerk) (Laughter.)
Mr. Duke said the Town Clerk was quite correct. He could advise the Board upon the subject better than the Clark, inasmuch as he had paid more attention, he ventured to say, to these clauses of the Act of Parliament. (Renewal laughter.)

Mr. Duke's motion, having been seconded, was carried unanimously.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 16 May, 1863.


A Militiaman with a "Blank" Discharge - Charles Stiff, a young man well known to the police, a bricklayer by trade, who said he had just received his discharge from the Kent Militia Artillery, was brought up by police constable Johnson and Corrie, who had found him, in company with an artillery soldier, attempting to scale the garden wall of the "Great Gun" public house, Adrian Street, shortly before one o'clock the same morning. On ascertaining that they were pursued by the police both the men endeavoured to make their escape, and the soldier succeeded in getting away, but the prisoner was taken into custody in the adjoining garden, when, he was charged with being on the premises for an unlawful purpose.

Police-constable Johnson said he had watched the prisoner for some time on the previous night, and that at about a quarter to one the same morning he saw him run up Adrian Street in company with an artilleryman. He followed them and saw them enter a passage near the "Great Gun" public-house. When he got up to them they were climbing over the wall. Still had previously changed coats with the soldier. Witness sent to the police station for assistance, but the soldier managed to effect his escape. The prisoner was subsequently found on some premises adjoining the garden of the "Great Gun," and he was then taken into custody.

Captain Noble:- What do you expect was the object of the men scaling the wall? - Constable: To commit a burglary perhaps.

Prisoner: Nonsense, I was going to get lodgings.

Constable: The prisoner told me he lodged at the "Great Gun," and was going to get his lodgings by the back way; but the landlady of the "Great Gun" is here, and she says the prisoner has not lodged at her house.

Jane Hedgecock, wife of John Hedgecock, said he kept the "Great Gun" public-house. She knew the prisoner by sight, but he had never lodged at her house.

Captain Noble: Has he slept there lately? - Witness: No, I do not think he has; I have never known him to sleep there.

Captain Noble: Had he any right to be on the premises? - Witness: No, Sir, there is no thoroughfare through there, and he could have had no business there.

In reply to the Magistrates, Still said he belonged to "nothing" now. He had belonged to the Kent Artillery, but he had served his time, he supposed, as he had received his discharge.

Captain Noble: Where is your discharge?

Prisoner supposed he had lost it.

The police said the fact was the prisoner had received a "blank" discharge. He had another militiaman named Rowe, who was now in prison for an assault on the police, had each received a blank discharge a day or two since.

Captain Noble: You seem to be an incorrigible character. I find you had a month's imprisonment but a very short time since; and I now give you six weeks, with hard labour.

Prisoner: You are giving it me very wrongly this time.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 4 December, 1868.


On Tuesday last the borough coroner, W. H. Payn, Esq., held an inquest on the body of a young woman named Jane Wilson, who had been found dead in her bed the previous day, at the "Great Gun" public-house, Adrian Street. The inquest was held at the "Liberty," another public-house, situated on the corner of Five Post Lane.

Mr. R. Elgar having been chosen foreman of the jury, and the body having been viewed, the following witnesses were examined.

John Wilson: I am a sergeant of militia, living at Canterbury, and father of the deceased. When I last heard of her she was living in services in Wincheap, Canterbury, at a public-house called the "Railway Inn." I don't know when she left her services in Canterbury, but I heard she had quitted Canterbury some three or four months ago, and I did not hear whither she had gone. I never received any letter or message from her, and did not know she was living in Dover until her death occurred. The first I heard of the circumstance was from a servant connected with the militia whose duties occasion him to visit Dover, and whom I saw yesterday. When I last knew anything about my daughter she was in good health. She was a girl of good constitution. She was seventeen years of age. I know nothing whatever as to the cause or the circumstance of her death. I have heard nothing to incline me to the belief that she came to her end in any unfair manner.

By the Jury: Had I known of the circumstances under which she was living here, I should have undoubtedly taken means for fetching her home. I have always brought up my family strictly, and my belief is that she was well conducted up to the time of her leaving Canterbury. She was always on sociable terms with myself and the other members of my family before leaving home.

The foreman of the Jury expressed his surprise that, if this was the case, the girl should have gone away, and kept from her home so long without corresponding with any of her friends, and in this remark some other members of the jury concurred.

John Hedgecock: I am landlord of the "Great Gun" public-house at the top of Adrian Street. The deceased, Jane Wilson, has been living in my house for the past three weeks. She was engaged as a servant, and received one shilling per week and her board. I am a married man, and the father of twelve children, eight of whom are at home. The deceased appeared very well in health during the time she was living in my house, and I never heard her complain of anything. About five o'clock yesterday morning I heard a call, and went to the upper part of the house, where the girl Wilson slept, for the purpose of calling my son and daughter. I passed by the door of the room in which the deceased was in the habit of sleeping. I observed the door to be open, and knowing this to be unusual I looked into the room and saw the deceased lying on the bed, with her clothes still on. I at first thought she was asleep, but on trying to wake her I could make nothing of her, and I thereupon raised an alarm. My wife responded to my call, and I then had to leave the house, to go to my work, I left the deceased in their hands. I never saw the deceased the worse for liquor, and from what little I knew of her I should conclude her to have been a steady girl. I never heard that she was on bad terms with anybody.

By a Juror: I did not know that it was the deceased who called. My son and daughter, and others sleep upon the same floor.

Jane Hedgecock, wife of the last witness: The deceased was living with me for three weeks. She was a sober, temperate, and steady girl, while with me. She had a bad cold and complained of her throat being sore, but in other respects she was in good health immediately preceding her death. She had had a cold for about a week. She took no medicine that I am aware of .Yesterday morning, on being called by my husband, I went into the bedroom. My husband told me that she was lying on the bed and did not answer him when he had spoken to her, and as he thought there was something the matter with her asked me to get her up. He said he had thought he had heard her call before getting up; but instead of the deceased calling, it was my little girl, who had called her father to know if it was time to get up. On going into the room I went to the bed and found that the deceased was dead. The body was quite cold. She had her clothes on. I dressed immediately and at once sent for a doctor. Mr. Walter attended in less than half an hour, and he pronounced her dead, but did not state the cause of her death. I am not myself aware of the cause.

By the foreman: I heard that she lived at the "Crispin" before coming to live with me, and that she was keeping company with a corporal of the 27th. He was going to fetch her at Christmas, to marry her, and he had given her a little money to get a piece or two of clothing. She had recently received a letter from the corporal which the policeman will produce. I had no character with her. She came home in good time on Sunday night, and went to bed without making any complaint, except as to her cough; but the cough was accompanied by retching. I do not think, however, the retching was occasioned by anything but the cough. The deceased, when I sent up to her, on my husband raising the alarm, was lying in the bed composedly, with her hand up to her face.

Police-sergeant Stevens produced the letter in question. It was dated Isle of Grain, 27th November, and expressed the writer's inability to come to Dover at Christmas, but that he had received permission of the captain of his company to come in January.

Mr. John Walter, surgeon, of Dover: Yesterday morning, soon after half-past five, I was called to see a girl at the "Great Gun," the people who called me not knowing whether she was alive or dead. I went immediately and saw the deceased lying in bed as the last witness had described. I had her clothes taken off and examined her, and found no marks of violence upon her person, but I discovered that she was suffering from a natural ailment that would render her very weak. I observed nothing else remarkable, and I attributed her death to apoplexy. The last witness's evidence does not tally with what I had previously heard from her, for I had understood that the deceased was in the habit of drinking to excess; and I think the apoplexy was accelerated by drink. The ailment under which the deceased was suffering would tempt her to drink, and her state would occasion the drink to have more effect upon her than under ordinary circumstances.

The Jury found a verdict of "Death from natural causes."


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 31 August, 1877. Price 1d.


William John Collins applied for a licence to sell beer off the premises at 26, Adrian Street. The applicant produced several satisfactory testimonials, and the licence was granted.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 8 August, 1878


John Bayley was granted permission to draw at the “Great Gun,” vice John Bacon.

Permission was also granted to John Thomas to draw at the “Lord Clyde,” Limekiln Street.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 2 September, 1881. 1d.


The “Great Gun,” at the top of Adrian Street, Dover, let to Mr. John Bailey at 18 per annum, was bought by Messrs. Kingsford Bros. for 570.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 5 September, 1884. 1d.


Mr. Coleman applied on behalf of the landlord of the “Great Gun,” Adrian Street, for the name to be changed to the “Nottingham Castle,” as the house had rather bad character, and he wished to get rid of the old name. It was granted.




Last pub licensee had HEDGECOCK John W 1863-May/78 Post Office Directory 1874Dover Express

IRVINE Francis May/1878+ Dover Express

COLLINS William John Aug/1877+ Dover Express

Last pub licensee had BAILEY John Aug/1878-82+ Next pub licensee had Post Office Directory 1882 (age 34 in 1881Census)

To the "Nottingham Castle"


Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

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:-