Sort file:- Dover, January, 2022.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 08 January, 2022.


Earliest 1966-

Hotel St. James

Latest 1990

Harold Street


Hotel St James 1860

Above photo, circa 1860, kindly sent by Paul Wells.

St James church

Above engraving, date unknown, showing the Hotel St James on the right under the castle. Originally this was the vicarage to St James church which is now the playing fields for St Mary's school.

Hotel St. James

Above photo, date unknown, again showing the New St. James Church and what later became the Hotel St. James to the left of the photo.

Hotel St James advert

Above advert, date unknown. Kindly supplied by Paul Wells.

From a Folkestone paper, 1 June 1990. By Dam Lennon.

Arson Destroys Hotel.

Hotel St James fire 1990

Police believe a fire which wrecked a 600,000 hotel could have been started deliberately only days earlier a Porsche car belong to Henry Leach, owner of the "Hotel St. James," in Harold Street, Dover, was set alight. Someone had put a petrol bomb inside the car after smashing a window.

"Whether or not the two fires are connected I don't know," said Mr. Leech, 35.

Police and fire investigators have been probing both cases.

Meanwhile Mr. Leach, a chef, says he is determined to rebuild his three storey hotel which he has improved and redecorated since buying it 3 years ago.

"We will definitely be open for business again but when that will be I can't guess," he said.

He and two others, hotel resident Bob Ireland and staff member Elizabeth Late, escaped unhurt when the blaze erupted at about 10:15 p.m. on Monday. They were the only three in the building and had been watching TV in the basement.

Mr. Leach heard banging and noticed water streaming down the walls, he rushed upstairs to his office and saw smoke.

A neighbour, who spotted the blaze, dialled 999 and 40 firemen with 7 engines and a turntable ladder race to the scene.

Using breathing apparatus they battled for an hour and a half to control the blaze.

At the height of the fire all of Taswell Street and part of Harold Street was sealed off.

Huge clouds of smoke could be seen across the town. People crowded around Harold Street to watch the fire gutting the second floor and ceiling of the fine 125 year old building and destroyed its roof and top floor.

One witnessing the drama was district councillor Clive Hyde who lives in Castle Avenue. He was alerted by his 22-year old daughter Jennifer just as she was going to bed.

"He said:- "We could see the fire from our house. It's very sad because the hotel is one of Dover's landmarks.

Mr. Leach's next door neighbour, Mike McFarnell, owner of the Amanda Guesthouse, was indoors when a woman walking her dog rushed inside and told him. He said:- "I brought in Henry and the other two for a cup of coffee. Henry was in a shocked state.

Most of the building was damaged, including 11 of the 17 bedrooms, the restaurant and valuable furniture.

insurance investigators was surveying the damage, along with police forensic experts and fire officers on Tuesday "May 29th.)

Mr. Leach is a member of the Dover Hotel and Guest House Group and McFarnell, its chairman, said:- "The organisation will rally round Henry and try and help him every way possible."


Hotel St James

Above photo shows the Hotel St James 2 April 1994.

From the Dover Express 27 May 1994.

Fire hit hotel for sale.


A FORMER Dover hotel is coming up for sale at an auction next month and could be demolished.

The Hotel St James, in 'Harold Street, was badly damaged by fire a few years ago and has not opened since.

The hotel had 16 bedrooms, a main bar, residents' lounge, committee room, restaurant and health club.

Planning permission - has been given for the hotel to be demolished and for 14 flats to be built on the site.

The property comes up for sale at Clive Emson's auction at the Great Danes Hotel, Maidstone, on June 6.


From the Dover Express 28 June 1994

Blaze Hotel unsold

A FORMER Dover hotel, severely damaged In a fire a few years ago, has failed to sell at auction.

Hotel St James, in Harold Street, was among the properties at Clive Emson's auction at Maidstone.

"The auction produced some notable results despite one building society's prediction that house prices had started going down again," said Mr Emson.

But the hotel was among the lots that did not sell. A spokesman for the auctioneers said the 16-bedroom hotel was still available at about 90,000.

Planning permission has been given for the demolition of the building and the redevelopment of the site with 14 flats.


Hotel St James

COMING DOWN: The former Hotel St James being demolished.

From the Dover Express 16 July 1998.

Disappearing Landmark


ANOTHER well-known building is disappearing in Dover.

The former Hotel St James at the end of Harold Street is being knocked gown to make way for new homes.

Fire swept through it in the early 1990 and despite hopes that it might be restored to its former glory, it has remained derelict.

Planning permission was given for the hotel to be demolished and for 14 flats to be built on the site and in June 1994 it was put up for sale with an asking "price of about 90,000. But it failed to sell.

The demolition men have now moved in and started pulling it down. A doctors' surgery is now planned for the site.


Hotel St James site 2014

Above image from Google 2014, showing the site today.


The hotel was certainly operating in 1966 when Chloe Scamp says she had her Wedding Reception held there.

I have heard the name Mrs Karmy and also the Bellone family mentioned as being the proprietors, but dates unfortunately known.



KARMY Mrs ????

BELLONE family ????

LEACH Henry to 1990


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