Sort file:- Dover, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1937

King Lear

Latest 2007

Old Folkestone Road


King Lear 1972

Above photo, 1972, by Lisa Hudson.

King Lear 31 October 1991
King Lear 31 October 1991

Above two photos showing the King Lear on 31st October 1991. By kind permission of Dover Library.

King Lear circa 1980
King Lear circa 1980
King Lear circa 1980
King Lear circa 1980

All pictures above of King Lear circa 1980 by Barry Smith.

King Lear

Above photo, August 1967 showing railwayman Charlie Howe.

King Lear 1988

Photo taken in July 1988 from by John Law.

King lear sign 1990

King Lear sign 1990.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

King Lear 2007

Above photo (July 2007) by Tony Wells, showing current owner Mr N McSloy sitting outside.

Above photo 1993.


Built as a private dwelling  for the station master to live in and was originally called Aycliff House in 1877 but transformed into a pub in 1937. That year Leney wanted the full licence of the "Bowling Green Tavern" transferred here. He was refused then and also the following January. His appeal to Quarter Sessions in April however proved successful. The premises had meanwhile been altered to conform with regulations and the public were welcomed from 30 April 1938. Today it offers the beverage of Whitbread.

Howard Libauer from Burnsville in Minnesota, USA informs me that licensee Ernest Peters (1949-70) wrote a book called "Shanghai Policeman" which was probably ghostwritten, published in 1937 and re-released in 2011. He describes his enlistment in 1929 and activities in the Shanghai Municipal Police, as well as his being arrested and tried for murder there, his subsequent acquittal and forced "retirement" from the police and return to England in 1936.


King Lear pre pub

The above photo, kindly sent by Paul Wells, show the house we believe before it was transformed into a pub on 30 April 1938. At the time this would have been lived in by the station-master of I believe the Dover Town Station.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 1 April, 1938



The adjourned appeal against the refusal of the Dover Licensing Justices to grant the special removal of the full on-licence of the "Bowling Green Tavern," Dover, to Aychiffe House, came before the East Kent Quarter Sessions at Canterbury on Tuesday, and following  the reversal of the decision the "King Lear" opened at Aycliffe the next day.

At the last East Kent Quarter Sessions, when the appeal came up it was decided to adjourn the appeal, as the majority of the Bench felt that appellant (Mr. James W. Hover) should be given the opportunity of carrying out alterations to make the house suitable for an Inn.

Mr. B. H. Waddy, for appellant, now stated that alterations had been carried out according to plans produced at the last Quarter Sessions.

Colonel F. G. Hayward, F.S.I. produced the plans, and said the premises had been inspected by the Clerk to the Justices and the Chief Constable.

Mr. E. N. Langdale, for the Justices, intimated that no objections were now being raised.

Mr. Justice Luxmore said that in that case the Court was in a position to make an order transferring the licence from the old to the new premises. The appeal would be allowed and an order made approving the transfer.

After hearing arguments as to costs, Mr. Justice Luxmore said that in mercy to both parties the Bench would make no order as to costs, the Justices' costs to come out of borough funds, such costs to be taxed out of Sessions.


Dover Express 13th June 1947.

Town, port & Garrison.

Dover Fire Brigade received two calls on Wednesday, the first to a grass fire near the “King Lear” on the Old Folkestone Road and the second to a barn on Mr. Challenor’s Bell Farm, Lydden, where some agricultural instruments and straw were damaged.


Dover Express 15 September 1950.


The Kent Police Authority have prepared plans for three pairs of Police houses and two garages on the north-west side of Old Folkestone Road, between the railway cottages and the "King Lear" public house.

The Dover Planning Committee gave their approval on Tuesday.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 14 August, 1953.

Dover Magistrates on Friday agreed to the carrying out of proposed structural alterations to the private and public bars at the "King Lear."



Andrew Cuenca was an Italian and was landlord between 1982-87. By 1990 the licensee was Bob Bliss who made Carol Ann Mercer manageress during his reign. The next licensee was a Dutchman called Cas Maho who shared he license with Carol Mercer. He kept his Harley-Davidson in the porch for safety. I can remember going into the pub one Boxing day shortly after he was host and nearly fell over the bike, being an avid biker the pub soon started to attract bikers from all over the world.

The pub was always very interested in sports for the locals, having I can remember both bat and trap teams, something that is non existent in the Dover area today, being played mainly around Canterbury, but also housed a skittle alley and good number of teams.

Cas was also responsible for building the new covered skittle alley. This one was at right angles to the original, splendidly built, carpeted inside, doubled for parties, receptions when there was no skittle matches being played and was also used for self defence classes at one time. From the outside the building somewhat resembled a house.

The next licensee, Mr. N McSloy sold that building to someone from Folkestone, who wanted to make it into a bungalow. I think that could well have been the first thoughts to build houses on the land.

Now closed, demolished and you guessed it... flats being built. Great to put even more people in that area, but what are they going to do for entertainment in the evenings and at weekends? The housing estate at Ayecliff now has no pub in the area, the nearest one being literally miles away.


All photos below by Paul Skelton, 17 May 2008.

King Lear new flats

The new buildings on the site of the former King Lear. The building on the right being that which housed the skittle alley.

New flats on King Lear footings

Close up of the only part (centre) that is left of the old building.

King Lear new flats from other side

Ling Lear AdvertView from the back of the site, looking up at the top of Shakespeare Cliff. The sea is the other side after a 300 foot drop where the grass meets the sky.




Advert for new flats that now occupy the site of the King Lear.



GOLDING William Alfred 1939 Next pub licensee had

LEWIS Barrington Edgerley 1939-Mar/42 Dover Express

BURFIELD William Henry Mar/1942-45 Dover Express (of Woolage Green)

HOLMES Leonard 1945-49 Next pub licensee had Pikes 48-49

PETERS Ernest William 1949-70 end Kelly's Directory 1950Kelly's Directory 1953Kelly's Directory 1956

Last pub licensee had THOMAS Alfred C 1970-75 dec'd Library archives 1974 Whitbread Fremlins

THOMAS Mrs Anna 1975-77

CUENCA Andrew 1982-87

Holding manager from the Primrose to be confirmed

BLISS Bob 1990

MAHO Cas & MERCER Carol Ann 1990s+

McSLOY Mr N 2007


Pikes 48-49From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1948-49

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

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:-