Page Updated:- Wednesday, 08 June, 2022.


Earliest 1841-


Closed Jan 2011

144 Canterbury Road


Hope 1930

Above photo, circa 1930, kindly sent by Graham Butterworth.

Hope Inn, Lydden, 1935

Photos above and below shows the Hope Inn 1935. Kindly sent by Lynne Burlingham.

Hope Inn, Lydden 1935
Hope at Lydden date unknown

Above photo of the Hope Inn at Lydden by kind permission of Dover Library. Date unknown.

Hope Inn, Lydden, date unknown

Hope Inn, date unknown. Picture taken from a postcard by kind permission Dover Library.

Hope Inn army late 1930's
Hope Inn army late 1930's

Above two photographs show military manoeuvres outside the Hope Inn in the late 1930's. By kind permission of Dover Library.


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. There were five applications for spirit licenses for houses which have not hitherto had them. Two only were granted and three refused.

The following were refused:— Mr. Charles Golder, the “Hope,” Lydden.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 16 September, 1887. 1d.


Mr. Golder, of the “Hope Inn,” Lydden, applied for an extension of one hour on Saturday, 17th inst., on this occasion of a harvest supper at his premises.

The Magistrates granted an extension of one hour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 5 October, 1888.


On Tuesday a miller's son named Boughton, about 16 years of age, of Barham, was sent by his father with a trace horse to meet a returning waggon from Dover to assist in going up Lydden Hill. The youth was sitting sideways on the horse and also leading a dog by a string. A gentleman came up the road with two dogs, and when they met the lad's dog ran under the horse's heels and the animal taking fright galloped off, throwing the lad and entangling him in the trace. he was dragged in that way nearly half a mile. When the horse was stopped he was found dead and very badly knocked about. An inquest was held on Wednesday afternoon at Mr. Golders, "Hope Inn," when a verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.


From the Dover Express, 31 January,1902.

By Order of Executors and Others.


Sale of a Freehold Beerhouse, 4 Cottages and 7 acres of Pasture Land, and Freehold and Leasehold Shops and Residences.

Messrs. Worsfold & Hayward will Sell by Auction at the "METROPOLE HOTEL," DOVER, On THURSDAY, 6th FEBRUARY, 1902. At Three o'clock in the afternoon, the undermentioned PROPERTY. By order of the Trustees of the Will of Charles Golder, deceased.

The valuable FREEHOLD BEERHOUSE known as THE “HOPE” INN, LYDDEN, Commandingly situated on the Canterbury-road, about 4 miles from Dover, with general shop and Post Office attached, excellent outbuildings and large productive garden; also


Let to weekly tenants, and producing 23 8s. per annum; and


Containing about 7 acres, which together with the house has been in the occupation of the Golder family for many years.

The sale presents a rare opportunity of purchasing a a free house in the Hamlet of Lydden on the high road from Dover to Canterbury.


From the Dover Express, 7 February ,1902.


A sale of property situate in Dover and district was conducted by Mr. Henry Hayward, of the firm of Messrs. Worsfold and Hayward, at the "Metropole Hotel" yesterday, when the following prices were realized:

The "Hope Inn," Lydden.....................................1150

Four freehold cottages, Lydden..........................230

7 acres of meadow, Lydden.............................280

“Sunnyside,” Shepherdswell .............................350

2, Guilford-terrace, Dover ..................................300

Stores (Gardner's) Northampton-street ..............250

374, Snargate-street and stables.......................300

12, St. Andrew's-terrace, Buck land ..................305

10, Branch-street ..............................................110


From the Dover Express, 28 February ,1902.


We understand that the "Hope Inn," Lydden, after an occupation of many years in the family of the late Mr. Golder, passes into the hands of Messrs. Mackeson & Co., the famous brewers, of Hythe, and will shortly be tenanted by a well known London caterer, who will devote his experience and energies to the comfort and welfare of the many cyclists and visitors using this popular road.


From the Dover Express, 18 April,1902.


The Sessions of the Wingham Division of the County of Kent took place on Thursday at Dover, the Magistrates being Major Banks (in the chair), W. H. Burch Rosher, Esq., P. Rose Innes, Esq., J. L. Bradley, Esq., and Captain J. H. Monins. Mr. Kingsford acted as clerk.


A transfer of the licence of the "Hope Inn," Lydden, from Rosetta Golder to Frank Marshall, was confirmed.


From the Dover Express, 20 June,1902.


The County Petty Sessions were held on Thursday at Dover before Messrs. W. H.; Burch Kosher, J. L. Bradley, and T. A. Terson.


Applications were made by the landlords of the "Bell Inn," Lydden, "Three Ravens," Tilmanstone, and "Four Bells," East Langdon, for an extension on June 26th, Coronation night.

Superintendent Chaney said he had a very strong objection to this being granted, as it would cause a great deal of unnecessary drinking.

The Chairman said the Magistrates were unanimously of opinion that the occasion did not warrant the extension of the hours for the sale of intoxicants. There was ample time during which people who were celebrating the occasion could drink as much beer as was good for them. The applications would be all refused.

Mr. Rutley Mowll produced plans of the recently improved house, the "Hope Inn," Lydden, for the approval of the Bench, the owners, Messrs. Mackeson and Co., thinking it right that a slight alteration that had been made should be brought to the notice of the Bench.

The Bench signified their approval.


Dover Express, Friday 21 October 1904.


Permission to draw at the "Hope Inn," Lydden, was given to Mr. S. Barden, a master mariner, of Chatham, the outgoing tenant being Mr. P. Jennings.


From the Dover Express, 23 November, 1906.


A handsome new post office has been erected at Lydden in the place of the small and inconvenient one which had been in existence about six years. Previous to that time the post office used to be at the public house, the "Hope." The new post office is almost the nearest building to Dover in the village, and is an immense improvement on its predecessor.


Dover Rural District Tribunal meeting of 27th July 1916.

Mr. F. W. Tucker appeared before the Tribunal in order that his conditional exemption should be reviewed. He stated that he was the licensee of the “Hope” Inn, Lydden. His brother was not now living at home; he left a week ago and went to London on Pearson’s works.

The Military Representative:- Why did he leave Snowdown? Mr Tucker said his brother’s health was bad and the work knocked him up. He came home for a week or two as he was so bad and then found more suitable work.

The conditional exemption was not altered.


Dover Express 15th June 1917.

East Kent Appeal Tribunal.

The Military Representative appealed against exemption to 5th July granted to Frederick Tucker, aged 29, single, of the “Hope” Inn, Lydden, innkeeper and grocer, on the ground that it was no longer necessary for this man to remain in civil employment. In reply to Lord Harris, respondent said he was passed for general service. Respondent said it was entirely a one man business and he had an invalid mother solely dependent on him. Respondent’s married sister, who lives in Dover, said they had a brother lying in hospital who was not expected to regain the use of his arm and he would be coming home again when this brother now appealed for would have to support both his mother and brother.

Lord Harris:- Why cannot you go and look after the place?

The sister said she had a family of her own to look after and her husband was a mason in the Admiralty. Besides, she could not undertake a shop.

Lord Harris:- We find ourselves capable of doing lots of things, you know. It is a pity if the home has to be broken up in consequence of your inability to do this.

The sister:- It will mean all the little life savings will go.

Military Representative’s appeal dismissed.


Dover Express 27th July 1917.

East Kent Appeal Tribunal.

Fred Tucker, 29, single, of the "Hope" Inn, Lydden, innkeeper and baker.

In reply to the Rev. S. G. H. Sargent (the Military Representative), Mr. Tucker said that his brother was now home but he was a helpless cripple and could not do the work. He agreed that he would be better described as a grocer than an innkeeper. They made more of their living from selling groceries than out of beer.

Military Representative's appeal dismissed but Tucker to join the Kent Volunteer Regiment.

(Note: I think the KVR was a kind of Home Guard. Sargent was the Vicar of Nonington).


Dover Express 16th August 1940.

Wingham Petty Sessions 15th August 1940.

Licence transfers "Hope", Lydden Thomas W. Solley to Harry Hubbard.


From an email sent 4 October 2009

I have just come across the website for the Hope Inn, Lydden and was amazed to find photos there that I recognized, especially that of my grandparents Tom and Ethel Solley. They were indeed licensees of the Hope Inn (I think from about 1926). I am not sure about the couple with them - it could be relatives, although I do not recognise them - or friends or customers.

I also have another two photos of the military manoeuvres. These I believe to have been taken by my late father Bill Solley, who was a keen photographer.

After my parents died in the late 1990s, I inherited their collection of family photos and negatives. These include more photos of the Hope Inn with other relatives, friends, neighbours and regular customers. Again I can identify a few people, but the majority are unknown.

I also inherited a cast iron table which came from the Hope. My parents used it in their garden and it has been used in our garden, although it now resides in our garden shed!


Tom Solley (Thomas Walter) was born in 1882, at Potts Farm, Ash-next-Sandwich, son of William and Charlotte Solley. He was one of the youngest children in a large family of brothers and sisters (William and Charlotte later became Custodians of Richborough Castle and lived in an ex-army hut on the site).

Tom married Ethel May Sidders (born Canterbury 1889) in December 1913. He seems to have been a bit of a Jack-of-all trades.

During the First World War he was a Grocer in Bench Street, Dover. At some point he also worked for the man who later became Lord Brabazon at his home in Sandwich (apparently my father used to wear his childrens hand-me-downs when he was little). He also worked at Watersend, probably before taking over the Hope. I think they lived in a cottage there and Dad went to Temple Ewell school (I have several school photos), before going on to Dover County School for Boys in about 1925.

After Tom and Ethel left the Hope Inn, they moved to Heckfield near Reading to be closer to my parents. They married at St Mary's, Lydden in April 1938 and went to live in Woodley just outside Reading, where Dad worked for Miles Aircraft.

Mum's maiden name was Marjorie Vaughan and she lived at Rosemount, Canterbury Road, Lydden. Towards the end of the War, Tom and Ethel moved back to Eastry (2 Model Cottages), where Tom died in April 1945. Ethel remained there for some years and ran a small sweet/cake shop from a lean-to beside the cottage, before moving to Ramsgate for a few years and then to Coopers Houses, Lower Chantry Lane, Canterbury. She died in 1975.


Lynne Burlingham

Military Manoeuvres Lydden Hope circa 1930 Military Manoeuvres Lydden circa 1930

Above 2 photos kindly submitted by Lynne Burlingham, showing more military manoeuvres circa 1930.

Hope Inn, in snow date unknown

Above, Hope Inn, in snow, date unknown, kindly sent by Lynne Burlingham.

Hope Inn in snow date unknown

Above, Hope Inn, in snow, date unknown, kindly sent by Lynne Burlingham.

Hope Lydden, Thomas and Ethel Solley 1930's

Centre couple are licensees Thomas and Ethel Solley outside the Hope Inn, Lydden, 1930's. Kind permission Dover Library.


Hope Inn Bill Solley

Above photo kindly submitted by Lynne Burlingham who says:- "photo shows my father Thomas William James Solley (Bill) outside the "Hope Inn." The two with him may be friends from the village or relations. The other boy could be Herbert Charles (Bert) Young, Dad's friend from the County School, also his Best Man and my Godfather.

Ethel Solley

Also from Lynn Burlingham:-

The woman in the photo holding a toddler and standing beside Ethel Solley outside the Hope, Lynn thought it might possibly be Beatrice Parry with her son Keith, but her cousin says it's definitely them, so they remain anonymous. Incidentally, Beatrice was the daughter of Tom Solley's older sister Pauline Selina Solley and her husband Arthur Cook.

Hope group

Another from Lynn Burlingham:-

The photo Hope Group - left, Bill Solley holding Spot (Tom and Ethel's dog), my mother Madge, unknown man, Ethel Solley at the back and four other unknowns.


Hope Inn, Lydden, regulars circa 1930.

Above photo and next 3 below sent by Lynne Burlingham showing Hope Inn  regulars circa 1930

Hope Inn, Lydden, regulars circa 1930.

Outside the side entrance of the Hope Inn circa 1930.

Hope Inn, Lydden, regulars circa 1930.

Hope Inn circa 1930. If anyone can name these people, please contact me at the email address at bottom of this screen.

Hope Inn, Lydden, regulars circa 1930.

Hope Inn regulars, circa 1930.

Hope Inn, Lydden regulars 1930s

Hope Inn regulars again, circa 1930s. Kindly sent by Lynne Burlingham.

Hope Inn from hill, June 1930

Above, Hope Inn from hill, June 1930, kindly sent by Lynne Burlingham.

Hope Inn from hill, June 1930

Above, Hope Inn from hill, June 1930, kindly sent by Lynne Burlingham.

Hope Inn circa 1951

Above photo again kindly sent by Lynn Burlingham circa 1951, who says:- "I am the small child who obviously didn't want her photo taken! I would probably have been about 4 then or at most 5, on one of our summer visits to Kent. Mum (Madge Solley nee Vaughan) is in the centre.

Hope Inn sign 1970

Above sign, in 1970.


Whitbread Inn Sign Hope Inn 1953Hope Inn card 1953

Above card issued March 1953. Sign series 4 number 14. Design by Harvey James.

Dover Express 18th May 1945.


Mr. Thomas Walter Solley, who died at Model Cottages, Eastry on April 28th was the son of the late William & Charlotte Solley of Richborough Castle, Sandwich, and was licensee of the “Hope” Inn, Lydden for 12 years until 1940.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 February, 1950.


Mr. Bracher made an application on behalf of the "Hope Inn," Lydden, the licensee, Harry Hubbard stating that there was a persistent demand for spirits, especially for people coming off the cross-Channel boats. He produced a petition signed by 70 people and the acknowledgement of the formal notice by the Chairman of the Parish Council, who had written that he thought that there should be a full license for the house as some people wanted to get spirits as medicine.- Approved, subject to an additional monopoly value of 430.


From the East Kent Mercury, 15 February 15, 1990.


Journalist and public relations man George Pepper has gone back to his roots.

He and his wife Ann have taken over The "Hope" public house, at Lydden, and plan to return the historic hostelry to its former glory.

George's father was licensee of The "Rose Inn," West Langdon, and then at The "Royal George" - now named The "High and Dry" - at Waldershare.

So, from boyhood George has had experience of pub life.

George was educated at St Ethelburga's in Queen Street, Deal, and he worked on the Dover Express for nearly 30 years. He was editor from 1964 to 1987.

For the last two years he was an account executive with Plus PR the Ashford public relations company.

Ann Pepper is the cook at The "Hope" and she is delighting customers with finely flavoured and distinctive dishes. [...]

The pub is fast becoming a popular lunchtime rendezvous for businessmen and for those who enjoy eating out in the evening.


Hope Inn at Lydden 2000

The above picture was taken off the Lydden calendar 2001, so I would assume it was taken in 2000.

Hope Inn, Lydden circa 2004

Circa 2004.

Hope Inn Lydden advert

Above shows an advert that appeared in the Dover Express 1 November 2007.

Hope Inn at Lydden Hope Inn at Lydden Hope Inn Sign

Three photos above taken by Paul Skelton, 7 June 2008.

Hope sign 2010Hope sign 2010

New signs painted by Scott Perry October 2010.


Originally a Provisions Shop and can be dated back to 1847. Earliest reference to selling beer is in the census of 1861 when it was an unnamed beer-shop. In 1914 the licensee was also listed as a grocer and I would assume that it was around about that time when the licence was granted allowing the the sale of wines & spirits.


From the Dover Express, 4 June, 2009


Hope licencees 2009

New life: From left, Cassie and Steve Samme with head chef Chris Setchfield.


A MARRIED couple have staked their financial future on a village pub.

Steve Samme, 35, and wife Cassie, 21, moved from Chesham, Buckinghamshire, with their children after taking on an indefinite lease at the Hope Inn in Lydden.

The pair were recently made redundant from brewer Marston's and admit going it alone when pubs are being hit hard by recession, taxes and the smoking ban is a gamble.

Former relief pub manager Mr Samme said: "I've been in and out of the pub trade and catering for years. I'm a chef by trade so I have not gone into this blindly.

"It's going to be difficult. We have managed to negotiate with our brewery to reduce the prices on beer. For example a pint of Guinness was 3.20, that's now 2.95."

The couple hired a firm to scout for pubs and were impressed by the Hope.

Mr. Samme said: "The pub has a lot of potential. It had a massive refurb in February and we have also had a bit of a cleanup. We have brought back the skittles team, the darts team and pool team. We are looking at having car boot sales on Saturday mornings.

"We know it won't survive on drinks alone. Because of its village location we realise food is important, which is why I want to bring my experience as a chef to bear."


From the Dover Express, 21 January, 2010


Elaine Smetham and son Luke

Smells like community spirit: New owner of the Hope Inn, Elaine Smetham, pictured here with son Luke, is grateful for the support of the community.

Elaine 'fell in love' with the inn

THE Lydden community has thrown its support behind a local pub, according to the new owner.

Elaine Smetham, of the "Hope Inn," has been bowled over by the help from local residents since buying the business.

She believes this is because people desperately want it to do well following a series of different owners in recent times.

While the mother-of-three was putting things in place with son Luke, locals lent a hand decorating and prepping the bar and restaurant.

Elaine, 48, Said: "The people around here are very friendly. Everybody in the village is behind us and wants the pub to survive. It's had quite a few different owners in the past, and it's fair to say it had fallen into quite a state when we took it over."

Elaine has worked in the trade since she was 13 and says owning her own pub fulfils a lifelong ambition.

She moved from Bedford after "falling in love" with the Hope Inn.

She said: "It's only in the last 12 months that I've had the funds to do something like this. Before this, I was working for three years with a friend doing mass catering at weddings and sales work.

"I always wanted a country pub and my partner suggested the "Hope Inn." I fell in love with it and visualised what I could do with it."

Determined Elaine says she has been working 18 hour days to get things up to speed.

She said: "People talk about the recession and it being a bad time for pubs, but I'm actually in favour of the smoking ban, and I know through hard work that this place can be a real success."

Elaine has introduced a senior citizens' menu, and regular jam and salsa nights.


From the Dover Mercury, 24 June 2010.


FOUR houses are planned at The Hope Inn, Canterbury Road, Lydden.

Applications have been submitted for the demolition of part of the single-storey section of the existing building and the construction of two three-bedroom and two four-bedroom houses on the land north-east of the car park.


From the Dover Express, 2 September, 2010


Elaine Smetham and supporters

Above shows Hope Inn landlady Elaine Smetham and Lydden villagers appealing against plans to demolish part of the pub.

House-build plans raise fears for pub.

Report by Kathy Bailes

RESIDENTS in Lydden are on a mission to save their village pub, fearing development on part of the grounds will mean its closure.

Last month Dover council granted permission for four houses, access and car parking changes to be built on land at the rear of the Hope Inn. But the proposal by land owner Martin Richards will entail part of the pub being demolished, car parking spaces cut from 30 to 12, and loss of garden space and the popular skittles alley.

Furious landlady Elaine Smetham says she has ploughed 15,000 into the business since taking it over in January and had hoped to extend her tenancy for another three years when it ends in November, but now fears the proposal will shut her down.

The mum-of-three, 49, said: "It will mean knocking my pub down. The plans are to knock down the side extension but this is not a residential extension, it is business. It means the bar, pool table, darts and toilets will go. My 28-seat restaurant will also be affected.

"This was a failing business last year but now it is on the up. It has grown. It is not just a pub, I have the restaurant, camping, and bed and breakfast. And I employ three local people. If my pub is knocked down it will be the end of all that."

The planning permission was granted at a Dover District Council meeting on August 19 despite objections from Lydden Parish Council and a number of villagers who attended the committee hearing.

In a report to councillors, planning officer Sarah Platts acknowledged the scheme proposes "demolition of the single-storey pub building," but added "none of the matters raised are considered to override the conclusion that permission may be granted."

Parish councillor Ben King said: "The Hope Inn is our only village amenity.

"If the single-storey extension is demolished I don't see how the pub can remain viable."

He confirmed the parish council is to appeal against the decision.

Regular Bryan Merry, 37, is one of those opposed to the development. The Kent Top Travel bus driver said: "It is important to us to keep the Hope Inn as it is. It is the only place in Lydden where people can meet, there are no village shops and the village hall has no real facilities. This is the hub of the community."

Elaine and villagers are due to meet with Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke tomorrow to discuss fighting the decision.



Unfortunately closed early in 2011. Now boarded up.


Hope Inn May 2011 Hope Inn 2011

Above photo kindly taken by Stuart Kinnon, 10 May 2011.

Hope May 2011

Closed Hope taken by Tony Wells, 23 May 2011

Hope Skittle Alley 2011

Above, also by Tony Wells showing the skittle alley at rear.


Information just received, November 2011 says:- Planning application 10/00488: Erection of four dwellings and construction of vehicular access on pub land has been granted.


Demolition of Hope Inn

Looks like demolition has started, photo by Ray Newson 21 October 2013. And below on 3 November 2013.

Hope demolition

From the Dover Mercury, 14 December 2014.

Hope runs out for pub.

The owners of a closed village pub have been granted permission to legally change its use and build a four bed house.

The Hope at Lydden shut in January 2011 but despite efforts to market it as a pub, it has never reopened, prompting the request to develop the land.

Cllr Sue Nicholas said she was concerned there are few traditional pubs nearby and changing the use of the Hope would leave none in the village, except the Bell which is more of a restaurant now. She suggested the possibility of opening a micro pub. Her motion to refuse the application failed and permission was granted.


Former Hope 2019

Above photo 2019, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.



GOULDER Charles 1861-Nov/1882 dec'd (also farmer age 72 in 1881Census) Dover Express

GOULDER Edward Nov/1882-Nov/96 dec'd Dover Express (son of above)

GOULDER Rosetta (widow) Nov/1896-Mar/1902 Dover Express

MARSHALL Mr Frank Mar/1902+ Dover Express

JENNINGS Mr P to Oct/1904 Dover Express

BARDEN Mr S Oct/1904+ Dover Express

PARKS Percy Alfred 1905-June/09 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

WEBB Mr June/1909+ Dover Express

TUCKER D J D to July/1911 Dover Express

TUCKER Mr F July/1911-17+ Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1914 (Grocer)

SOLLEY Thomas W Apr/1928-Aug/1940 Dover Express More info

HUBBARD Harry Aug/1940-50 Dover Express

ORME Andre 1970-82 dec'd Library archives 1974 Fremlins

ORME Lesley 1982+ Whitbread

RAINE Robert Reginald 1986-89

PEPPER George Jun 1990+ (father was at "Rose," West Langdon)

KNELL Roy Peter Mar/1996-Oct/2006

SPARKS Glenn 2008-Jun/09

SAMME Steve Jun/2009-Nov/09

SMETHAM Elaine 29/Nov/2009+


Post Office Directory 1914From the Post Office Directory 1914

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

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:-