Sort file:- Dover, December, 2023.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 10 December, 2023.


Sept 1852

Lord Warden

Latest 1939

South Pier

Admiralty Pier Kelly's Directory 1899

Beach Street Pikes 1924Pikes 1932-33


Lord Warden 1860

Above from a steroview image 1860, kindly sent from Paul Wells.

Lord Warden Hotel 1883

Above print by Scrivens 1883, titles "Waiting the Arrival."

Lord Warden Hotel, 1939

Above picture kindly supplied by Sue Solley, date 1939.

Former Lorden Waden Hotel 2010

Former Lord Warden Hotel, 2010.

The large hotel at the South pier, which opened in 1853 never had a public bar so does not come within the limits of Barry Smith's original work. However, I (Paul Skelton) think it such an important part of Dover that I am going to include it along with these pubs with photographs.

Lord Warden Hotel, 1921

Lord Warden Hotel, 1921.

Lord Warden Hotel

Lord Warden Hotel, date unknown.


 On the other hand, the title was reported on Commercial Quay in 1846-47. A "Lord Warden Tap" was evident in 1847 but I have no address. A "Little Lord Warden" was reported in Union Street in 1864 and the authorities were quick to close it that year. Also another "Lord Warden" in Snargate Street.


Kentish Gazette, 14 September 1852.

Annual Licensing day.

A special session of the magistrates was held at the New Sessions House, an Monday last, for the purpose of granting licenses to new hotel and public-house keepers, and renewing those already existing.

E. Poole, Esq., occupied the chair; and there was a full bench of magistrates on the occasion.

The most important case, and one which excited a considerable degree of public interest, was the application for licensing the new hotel—the "Lord Warden"—recently built at the pier, contiguous to the railway station, which has a capability of providing 100 beds per night, and which, it is calculated, will realize a rental of from 1,500 to 2,000 per annum.

Mr. F. J. Smith, instructed by Messrs. Bass and Stillwell, appeared on behalf of Mr. Birmingham and several other hotel- keepers, who opposed the application; and J. Macgregor, Esq., M.P., the applicant, was supported by Mr. Church. The Court was densely crowded. After very lengthened proceedings, the licence was granted.


Southeastern Gazette, 9 August 1853.

The "Lord Warden Hotel."

This splendid hotel, the property of the South Eastern Railway Company, is shortly to be opened. The extent of the building may be estimated from the fact that between 200 and 300 gas burners will be required to light it.


Southeastern Gazette, 13 September 1853.


The handsome and commodious new hotel, the "Lord Warden," was opened on Wednesday last by a sumptuous dinner. The position which the building occupies is probably the best for its purpose that could have been found in the town, being situated close to the Admiralty pier, so that passengers from the Continent must needs disembark at its very door; on the opposite side of the street, one way, and within a dozen yards, is the Custom-house, and the other way, at about the same distance, is the railway station. The structure itself is large and elegant, bearing some external resemblance to the West-end club houses in London. It is constructed of stone, stands four storeys high, and with its handsome portico, and noble windows, set in massive sculptured frames, forms an ornament to the port.

The extent of the building may be estimated when we state that it can make up more than 80 beds, with more than the usual complement of sitting and dressing rooms en suite, the whole furnished in a tasteful and luxurious style. The windows from three sides of the hotel command extensive views of the channel, the coast of France, and the English coast as far as Dungeness, with the fine old Castle, the cliffs, and fortifications of Dover. In lighting the building all the most recent improvements have been adopted, and the chandeliers and burners, there being altogether no less than 150 lights, are of the most magnificent description; while the profuse number of large mirrors, the gilding of the walls and ceilings, and the highly polished furniture, when the lofty rooms are lighted up, wear the dazzling aspect of a palace in Eastern fable. There are also billiard rooms, saloons, coffee rooms, and baths, with all the conveniences of a first-class establishment.


Kentish Gazette, 4 April 1854.


The Spring Quarter Sessions of the Borough of Dover, were held on Friday, in the New Sessions House, before the Recorder, William Henry Bodkin, Esq., Q.C., and other magistrates.

On the opening of the Court, the case of appeal against the rating of the "Lord Warden Hotel" was called on, when it appeared that, since the last Sessions, an arrangement had been effected between the two parties—a reduced rating of 750 instead of 1600 being agreed to by consent. Mr. Poland appeared as the council for appellant, with Mr. Church; and Mr. Addison, with Mr. Gravener, for respondent, the parish of St. Mary. On the matter being introduced, it transpired that council had not been instructed in reference to a rate for August, 1853, since which another had bean made; but this defect was speedily adjusted, and the matter satisfactorily disposed of. Mr. Gravener, in reply to an observation from the Recorder, said that the parish had not been in a position to value the property. 750 was the rent now paid for the hotel.


Kentish Gazette, 23 May 1854.

Grand Ball, at the "Lord Warden."

On Wednesday evening last a grand ball was given at the magnificent salon of the "Lord Warden Hotel," by the officers of the Kent Militia Artillery.

The entertainment was upon a superb scale, and was attended by the moat distinguished residents of the town and neighbourhood.


South Eastern Gazette, 31 January, 1860.


On the 18th inst., in Townwall-street, Dover, the wife of Mr. Ellis, of the "Lord Warden Hotel," of a son.



In 1862, the authorities pointed out that were twenty six licensed premises between the "George" and the "Clarendon Hotel". But perhaps more damning, that 115 to 120 Snargate Street contained four of those premises. Even so, it did survive and it was 1868 before the licence was finally suspended, although the hotel continued to operate.


Lord Warden Hotel

Lord Warden postcards by kind permission of Dover Library. ILL/1752

Lord Warden

Above photo, kindly sent by Kathleen Hollingsbee.

Lord Warden Hotel

Lord Warden postcards by kind permission of Dover Library. ILL/1115

Lord Warden Dining Room

Above shows The Dining Room at The Lord Warden Hotel. Picture by kind permission Dover Library

Dover Express, Friday 23 March 1934.

THE EAST KENT FOXHOUNDS will meet at 11.30 a.m. on Friday. March 23rd, at Acryse Schools. Monday, March 26th, at the "Black Robin," Kingston.

Thursday, March 29th, at the "Gate Inn," West Wood.

Thursday, April 5th, at Penny Pot, Denge.

On Monday, April 2nd (Easter Monday), the Hunt point-to-point races will be held at Brabourne, commencing at 1.30 p.m.

THE WEST STREET HUNT will meet at 12 noon each day on Tuesday. March 27th, at Stodmarsh, Thursday, March 29th, at the "Horse and Hound," (sic) Herne.

Tuesday, April 3rd at the Dower House, Knowlton.

To finish the Season.

The West Street Hunt point-to-point races will be held at Whitfield on Saturday, 24th March; first race at 1.50 p.m.

April 2nd.—East Kent Hunt point-to-point races at Brabourne; first race, 1.30 p.m.

West Street Hunt Damage Fund dance at the "Lord Warden Hotel," Dover, at 10 p.m. Tickets from Mrs. Monins, Ringwould House, near Dover.


From the Dover Express 20 October 1994.

HISTORIC Southern House the former Lord Warden hotel in Dover's dockland - is gelling a facelift.

The massive building, hemmed in at the Western Docks by railway lines, is undergoing repairs and a paint-up.

Owner Stena Sealink said it was still looking for tenants for the property that is virtually empty. A spokesman said its policy was to try to keep its properties in good order.

The Lord Warden, this week clothed in scaffolding, was once Dover's top hotel and guests there included Louis Napoleon and his family, Charles Dickens and a host of diplomats and titled heads of Europe.

During the war years it became a headquarters for the Royal Navy in Dover and in the days of peace was the local headquarters of British Rail Board and the seat of the Dover Collection of Customs.

Stena, who inherited the property via British Rail and Sealink, at one stage was preparing to offer it for sale but later decided to keep it.

It is next to the area zoned for development under Dover Harbour Board's 100 million ten year plan for the regeneration of the Western Docks.


From the Dover Express 3 September 1998 by Bob Hollingsbee.

Lord Warden Hotel pre 1900

HOTEL SPLENDOUR PRE-1900: The former Lord Warden Hotel which once entertained important guests from around the world, including Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie.


SOON after joining the Dover Express in 1954 as a very raw junior (after a false start in engineering, which I soon discovered was not for me), I realised what a rich source of local history the files of a newspaper are.

So, when I heard the good news that the former Lord Warden Hotel, for many years in recent times used as railway company offices, was to be taken over by the Dover Harbour Board, I knew where to find a 'potted history' of the building.

And that was a cuttings file I have built up over many years of Express features written by members of the editorial staff over four decades I have been with the paper, and before that back to the legendary local historian and editor of the Express, John Bavington Jones.

In fact the year before I joined the staff there was a feature about "The Building which knows 100 years of Secrets." It tells how the building opened a century before, in 1853, having been built by the South Eastern Railway Company as the Lord Warden Hotel.

It entertained a long line of distinguished men and women from England and overseas and its fame for entertaining soon spread throughout the world.

Commanding fine views along the coast, across the harbour and out to the Channel it also had the advantage for passengers of having a covered walkway at first floor level to the old Town Station which was just across the street.

Also but a short step across the road on the seaward side of the hotel was a station on the Admiralty Pier, and later the much grander Marine Station which replaced it. The latter of course has now been converted in to a modern liner terminal.

It was within the hotel walls that in March 1671 Napoleon III was reunited with his faithful wife Eugenie after his release from Wilhelmshole Castle, Germany where he had been kept since his surrender at the fall of Sedan.

Charles Dickens was a regular guest and in a letter dated 1863 he described mine hosts at the hotel, Mr and Mrs John Birmingham as "my much esteemed friends," at the same time adding that they were "too conceited" with the comforts of the establishment, especially when the night mail boat or train was about to start.

The hotel was owned at one time by Gordon's Hotels and later by Fredericks. Between the wars the hotel still attracted a polished clientele and many still recall the nights of dancing and eating in the once celebrated ballroom. During the Second World War it played an important military role as a rest and signal centre but by the end presented a sorry sight for those who remember its past splendour.

Then it became offices for British Railways as Southern House, later had a Customs role and then Stena took over.


Lord Warden Hotel

In the picture, above, the Western Docks area, is shown as it appeared in about 1865, when the Admiralty Pier extension was being constructed. The Granville Dock had been drained of water at the time. In the foreground is Strond Street with Holy Trinity Church and the old harbour station on the right. There was no Marine Station but the old town station can be seen linked by a bridge with the Lord Warden Hotel - now Southern House. Two early cross-Channel paddle steamers are in the outer, tidal dock. Top left are the North and South Piers - and the open sea. There was no Admiralty Harbour then.

Lord Warden Hotel print

This attractive old print above depicts the Lord Warden Hotel and the pilot tower before the line to Folkestone was cut through its base to the station platform on the Admiralty Pier. If the artist's drawing is accurate it would appear that there was then no protection from the weather or heavy seas breaking over the pier for passengers waiting to board the little Paddle steamer operating across the Channel.

Pilot Tower

Again a print of the Pilot Tower before the train entrance cut through the base. Image courtesy of Derek Donnelly.

Lord Warden Hotel and Pilot Tower

Above photo showing the Pilot's Tower to the left with the train going through its base. From Paul Wells.

Lord Warden Hotel and Pilot Tower

Similar photo to above. Circa 1913 before the Marine Station was built. From Paul Wells.

Lord Warden Hotel and Admiralty Pier print

This picture above, is from the same series of engravings, which were published in booklet form but not dated. It shows one of the first boat trains of the old London, Chatham and Dover Railway heading for the Admiralty Pier.

Information taken from John Bavington-Jones' book "A Perambulation of the Town, Port and Fortress of Dover", 1906. (Reprint in The South Kent Gazette, April 9th, 1980.)

Shah's visit including Lord Warden Hotel.

The Shar's first step on English ground, showing the Lord Warden Hotel.

From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 20 February, 1864.


Louisa Skates a kitchen maid at the Lord Warden Hotel, was charged with stealing a piece of mutton value 1s 6d from that establishment, and Elizabeth Winter an elderly woman with receiving the same knowing it to have been stolen. P.C. Irons saw the last named prisoner coming up the area steps with a parcel containing the meat and upon enquiries it turned out to be stolen. Mrs. Birmingham appealed to the clemency of the Bench on behalf of the prisoner's the first of who was sentenced to fourteen days hard labour while the elder woman was dismissed.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 24 April, 1864.


The alterations now being carried out at the "Lord Warden Hotel," Dover, will have the effect of adding very materially to the comfort and convenience of what is already one of the finest salles manger in the kingdom, and will be hailed with considerable satisfaction, we doubt not, by the numerous guests who patronise Mr. Birmingham's magnificent establishment. The improvements comprise a ladies' withdrawing room on one side of the salle, and a library and reading-room for use of gentlemen on the other. Both will be spacious rooms, and will meet in every respect the requirements to which they are to be devoted. They are being rapidly constructed, and will be fit for occupation in a very short time.


From the Dover Express. 1865.


Ann Stiff a woman of the town, was charged with drunkenness and resisting P.C. Bowles at midnight on the previous night. The constable said that about twelve o'clock on Sunday night he was on duty in Snargate Street when he had occasion to speak to the defendant as to her disorderly proceedings. He had already spoken to her several times when he saw her go from the Lord Warden Inn opposite the Grand Shaft with a pot containing something to drink and give it to a sentry who was on guard at the foot of the shaft. She remained on the pavement and witness had to tell her she must not loiter about. She then returned to the Lord Warden with the pot and afterwards came out and stationing herself on the footway defied him to remove her. He had to get assistance to convey her to the Station House and she resisted with very great violence on her way thither. The defendant seemed to have lost her crinoline in the struggle with the police judging from the appearance of her dress. She had nothing to say in her defence.

The magistrates said she would be fined 2s. 6d and the costs 6s. A voice in the court, it will be paid. The money was then handed in and the defendant on leaving the court was cautioned to be more careful of herself in future.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 5 June, 1868.


Frederick Knowles, the young man charged with stealing certain articles of jewellery from the "Lord Warden Hotel," was further remanded till Friday (this day), at the request of the Superintendent of Police.


Frederick Knowles, who had been remanded on the charge of being concerned in the stealing from a dressing-case at the "Lord Warden Hotel" a quantity of jewellery value 400 or 500, was again brought up.

The police now stated that there appeared to be doubts respecting the prisoner's guilt, although the circumstances were very suspicious, and they therefore did not intend proceeding with the charge.

Prisoner was therefore released from custody.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 13 May, 1870.


Frederick Hicks, the conductor of an omnibus, was charged with obstructing the footway in front of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway Station, in Strond Street, on the previous Monday.

Police-constable George Baker said he was on duty in Strond Street on Monday evening last on the arrival of the 6.50 train of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway. Three omnibuses were drawn up close to the kerb with their backs facing the doors of the station, and when this was the case and a conductor stood with the door of his omnibus open, the passage of the footway was obstructed .Four gentlemen came out of the station and said they were going to the "Lord Warden." Three got into an omnibus; but the prisoner caught hold of the fourth and said, "This is the 'bus for the "Lord Warden." Witness told him that he must not molest passengers, and informed the gentleman that all the omnibuses went to the "Lord Warden." Passengers, the policeman said, were greatly annoyed by the conductors of omnibuses touting and obstructing the footway, and he had cautioned the defendant.

The defendant said the omnibus being backed in to the kerb, he was compelled to open the door to let people get into the vehicle, and this was what the policeman called touting and obstructing the footway.

The Magistrates said the omnibuses must back so that when the door of the vehicle was open the conductor would stand clear of the kerb. In this case, the defendant, as he had been previously cautioned, would be fined 2s. 6d. and the costs 9s. 6d.

The money was paid.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 8 December, 1871. Price 1d.


A fatal accident of a very singular and at the same time fatal nature occurred to a man names Henry John Phipps, a waiter engaged at the “Lord Warden Hotel,” on Wednesday evening last. The accident happened in Liverpool Street, through which thoroughfare the deceased had occasioned to pass, between seven and eight o'clock. He was first discovered by a woman named Mary Ann Greenaway, who happened, owing to the bad state of her eyesight, to trip up against him. Air having been procured, a light was brought, and on the deceased's head being extricated from some spikes on the top of the iron pilings fronting a house, between which it appeared to have been jammed, he was discovered to be dead. An examination of the man's head was made by Dr. Marshall on the following morning, and a wound was discovered in the neck 2 inches in depth, from the effects of which he, in all probability, died.

The Borough Coroner, W. H. Payn. Esq., held an inquest yesterday afternoon at the “Mail Packet Inn,” in Woolcomber Street. Mr. Edward Todd was chosen foreman of the Jury, and the body, which lay in a house near at hand, having been viewed, the following depositions were made:-

Mary Ann Greenaway, a nurse, residing at Waterloo Crescent, said: Last night, about seven o'clock I took my mistress out to dine. I left her at the door of the house, and returned home to fetch a letter for the post. On my way home, through Liverpool Street, after having posted the letter, I tripped against a man who appeared to me to be kneeling on the pavement, facing No. 14. My eyesight is rather dull. I did not see the man until I tripped against him. I asked him what business he had there; and, as he did not reply, I asked him in a sharp tone, why he did not get up. I then saw that his head was jammed between the railings. I immediately went to the door of No. 14 and asked for a light. Mrs. Dorker, a person residing there, brought one out. Some persons then came up; but when I first saw him there was no one near, except a little boy, who was standing near Dr. Marshall's door. I had known the deceased previously; bit I did not recognise him on the night in question. Medical aid was sent for, and Dr. Marshall came immediately. The pavements were very slippery at the time. The deceased appeared to me to be quite dead.
George Gibbs, a fly-driver, residing at Douro Cottages, Douro Place, having been worn, said: Lat night, about twenty minutes to eight, I was walking home by Liverpool Street; and, on arriving opposite No. 14, I saw some people standing by the gate, and the lady, the last witness, I believe, standing at the door. The lady asked me to see what was the matter with the deceased, and, on proceeding to the spot, I found his head fixed between the iron railings, his hands grasping them on either side of him. I endeavoured to extricate his head; but I could not do so. A boy connected with the Post Office came along. We both tried to raise his head, but we were unsuccessful. A man, who appeared to me to be a baker, next came up, and with his assistance we removed the deceased's head from between the railings. I did not notice that the spike was driven into his neck, nor did I afterwards see any mark there. He had no blood on his face. He seemed to me to be dead. Dr. Marshall was present before we removed the deceased's head from between the railings, and assisted us in doing so. The pavement was slippery, as it was freezing sharply at the time. The deceased's age was 56 last May. When I first saw deceased there were only two children and a lady near to the spot.

The Coroner enquired whether there were any person present who could identify the deceased, and the witness said he had known the deceased for six years. A waiter also came forward and said he had worked with the deceased for two years, and during that time he had known him to be a steady and sober man.

John Marshall, a surgeon, residing and practising in Dover, deposed: At a few minutes before eight last evening, someone came to me and asked me to look at a man who had fallen on the railings of the next house. I went out immediately and found the deceased's head resting between two of the large spikes of the railings, it being fixed in that position by a smaller spike, which had passed into his neck just below the chin. A candle was brought to the door at the moment, and I at once perceived that he was quite dead. I directed two young men who were standing by to raise deceased's shoulders, and lift his head off the spike, which they did. He was then carefully laid down on the step at the door of No. 14. I had recognised the man, having attended upon his professionally some two or three years since. I have occasionally seen him about in the town, and I believe he was a waiter. I examined the deceased's neck this morning in the presence of two of his friends; and after a portion of his beard had been cut off, I found a wound in the neck immediately below the chin. I passed a probe into the wound to the depth of two inches and a half. The direction of the wound was upwards and then backwards. There was no external bleeding. I believe death to have been caused by the pressure of the spike upon the upper part of the windpipe, accelerated probably by internal haemorrhage.

Dr. Marshall said the deceased must have fallen with considerable force to have wounded his neck with the smallest spike, as he had since measured the large and smaller spikes, the smaller one being three and five-eighths inches and the larger ones eight and five-eighths inches in length. The spikes, he added, were by no means sharp.

The Coroner then summed up, and the Jury immediately returned a verdict of “Death caused by accidentally falling upon a spike.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 29 May, 1874.


On Sunday night a London bank manager, named Frederick Boulderman, shot himself with a five chambered revolver in his bedroom at the “Lord Warden Hotel.” Particulars will be found in another column.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 29 May, 1874.


On Monday morning it was discovered that a gentleman named Frederick Bolderman, a banker, and general manager of the Anglo-Austrian Bank, had shot himself with a revolver in his bedroom at the “Lord Warden Hotel.” It seems that the unfortunate gentleman arrived at Dover by the Calais boat about four o'clock on Saturday morning. The chambermaid who showed him to his room noticed nothing in his demeanour except that he seemed exceedingly anxious to obtain possession of his portmanteau. On the Saturday evening he dined at the hotel, and the waitress described him as being particularly chatty and jolly. On Sunday morning he rang his bell at about half-past nine, and ordered some tea and toast. He remained in his room the whole day on Sunday. About noon the chambermaid having knocked at his door, he gave out the tray on which his breakfast was served, and said he should not require anything more. He was then partially dressed, and appeared somewhat strange in manner, for when asked if he intended sleeping at the hotel on the Sunday night he gave no answer. Several times during the day the servants knocked at the room door, to inquire if the occupant wanted anything, but after giving out the tray at noon he gave no answer. On Monday morning nothing was heard in the room, the door of which was locked inside, and the manager of the hotel (Mr. Pearse) was called, and he having failed to get an answer directed the dorr to be forced open. On going in he found the deceased lying in a corner of the room with a travelling rug thrown over his head. The Superintendent of Police (Mr. Sanders) was sent for, and he soon arrived, accompanied by Dr. Marshall. The doctor removed the rug and saw that the deceased was lying on his back, with a five chambered revolver on the floor, the barrel of which rested on his right hand. Blood was issuing from a wound in the right temple, which on examination proved to be a gunshot wound from which death had ensued. On searching the deceased's property, the Superintendent of Police found address cards with “F. Boldemann, General Manager, Anglo-Austrian Bank,” upon them, and other papers giving his private address as 34, Marborough Hill, St. John's Wood, London; about 40 in English money, a cheque for 20 in the Westminster Bank, two blank cheques, and a quantity of foreign money. The revolver, three chambers of which were still loaded, was of the XXX standard, containing five chambers, the maker being “Martin, New Haven, Con., U.S.A.” There were amongst deceased's property two boxes containing about 90 cartridges for the revolver, also a dagger knife and a large clasp knife. It had been suggested that the deceased was distracted by financial matters. A small scrap of paper found in the room seems to favour that theory. There was written on it in a very illegible hand, “I advise you to sell your ______ as best you can. Will explain reason on return. Do not let _____ know of this.” It did not appear from the paper whether the deceased received or whether he intended to dispatch the message. We believe he was not known to post or receive any letters while at the hotel. Another theory is that the deceased was a great sufferer from neuralgia, and that he destroyed himself while distracted with pain.

On Tuesday afternoon, W. H. Payne, Esq., held an inquest on the body at the “Lord Warden Hotel.” The jury was composed of the following gentlemen:- Messrs. J. R. Adams, Austin, Burt, Elgar, J. I. Fletcher, Fuhr, Gandy, Horsnaill, D. Houlden, C. Pain, Smith, G. Spain, and A. Wells. Mr. Elgar was chosen foreman. The body having been viewed, the following evidence was taken:-

Colonel Richard Andrew Doria said: I reside in Bury Street, London. I have known deceased about two years. He is a native of Germany, and I know he was a banker, or connected with the banking interest – the Anglo-Austrian Bank. He resided at Marlborough Street, London. His age was, I should say, between 50 and 60. After I made his acquaintance about two years since, I left England and did not renew the acquaintance until about two months back. He used to suffer from neuralgia, and I have seen him very lately in intense pain from the same cause. I last saw him alive about 16 or 17 days ago in London. He looked very ill, and was then suffering from neuralgia. I have not seen him since till I saw him dead. He never hinted at self-destruction. Indeed, he is the last person in the world I should have thought would have done it.

Elizabeth Moses said: The deceased came to the hotel from the Calais boat on Saturday morning about four o'clock. I am chambermaid and I conducted the deceased to his room. The deceased was polite and civil, but rather excited. He seemed in a very great hurry for his portmanteau. After the gentleman asked for his portmanteau I said it might be some time in coming from the Custom-house, but the porter should bring it as soon as it came. He followed me down almost immediately for the portmanteau. It was afterwards taken to his room. I saw no more of him afterwards.

Elixa White, chambermaid, said: On Sunday morning the deceased rang his bell at half-past nine and had tea and toast in his bedroom. He had a hearty breakfast. About 12 o'clock I went to the room again, thinking he might be gone down, but he was in the room. I knocked, and after a little time he came to the door with his trousers on only, and gave me the tray. I went again at about half-past one and knocked. I heard some shuffling, but he made no answer. I went again at half-past three and knocked and shouted to know if he wanted anything, but he made no answer. About seven o'clock in the evening I spoke to the house-keeper, Miss Forster, that there was a very strange gentleman in the bedroom; he had had no dinner. I knocked several times after that, and could get no answer. I thought he was a foreigner, for when I asked if he would sleep here the night he seemed undecided. On Monday morning I mentioned the matter in the house, and told the manager. We went upstairs and getting no answer, a locksmith was sent for, and the door was forced open. I did not see the deceased, but I believe he was found in the room dead.

Mr. John Pearse said: I am manager at the “Lord Warden Hotel.” On Monday morning at about half-past nine, the last witness came and said that the gentleman in 75 had seemed very ill on the previous day, that she had knocked several times at his door, and that she had had no answer. I at once went up with her and knocked as loudly as I could. I could get no answer, and I looked through the keyhole, and saw that the key was inside. There was a locksmith at work downstairs. I had him upstairs to see if he could pick the lock. He came up and forced the door open. The first thing I saw was deceased lying down on the carpet in a corner of the room near the fire-place. There was a sort of rug over his head, and some blood on the carpet. I came to the conclusion that he had cut his throat, and at once sent for Mr. Sanders, who came, accompanied by Dr. Marshall. We all entered the room, and on removing the rug I saw the revolver produced clenched in his right hand. Dr. Marshall turned his head, and I then saw a wound on the right side of his head near the temple. He was quite dead, and his fingers were beginning to turn black. I did not see deceased arrive on the Saturday, but I saw him in the coffee-room, and he then seemed very jolly.

Mr. Wells: Did he have any conversation with you?

Witness: No; but he was very chatty with the waiters.

Mr. Austin: Were any letters of importance found on him?

Witness: No; only foreign business letters.

Mr. Superintendent Sanders said: On Monday morning shortly after ten o'clock, I was sent for from the “Lord nelson Hotel” relative to this case. Accompanied by Dr. Marshall I went at once, and being sent to the bedroom upstairs we saw deceased lying in the corner of the room with the rug produced over his head. [The rug was here shown to the Jury, and it was seen that there was a small perforation through which the bullet had passed.] he had the five chambered revolver produced I his right hand. Dr. Marshall looked at him and pronounced him dead. I searched the body and the room and amongst other property found 44 3s. 3d. in English money, a crossed cheque for 20 on the London and Westminster Bank, three blank cheques of the same bank, two Prussian notes, one 25 and the other 10 thalers, a gold watch and tortoiseshell chain, one dagger knife, and a clasp knife, keys, a large quantity of papers, and 35 pieces of foreign money. I found no paper to indicate the cause of the act, but several cards “F. Boldemann, General Manager, Anglo-Austrian Bank,” and a card addressed “Mr. Boldemann, 34, Marlborough Hill, St. John's Wood.” In consequence of that address I communicated with the Police in London. I afterwards examined the revolver produced and found there were three of the chambers loaded, one empty cartridge and one chamber empty. I also produced two boxes of cartridges which I found in the portmanteau.

Mr. Fuhr said it seemed by the coupon found on deceased that he had come from Hamburgh on the 21st.

Dr. Marshall said: On Monday morning at about ten o'clock I was requested by Mr. Sanders to accompany him to the “Lord Warden Hotel,” to se a gentleman who was supposed to have committed suicide. I accompanied him to the hotel, and was shown into a large bedroom on the upper floor. On entering the room I observed the body of a man lying on the floor between the door and the fireplace, with his head and shoulders covered with a rug. I removed the rug and then saw a quantity of blood on the floor. On closer examination I saw there was a revolver in deceased's hand, the barrel being grasped by the fingers. His head was turned to the right side, so that I did not discover the wound until I moved the body, when I saw a wound on the right side of the head, from which blood had issued. I believe the cause of death to have been a penetrating gunshot wound of the skull. I think deceased must have been in a sitting or lying position when he fired the revolver.

Mr. Pain: How long do you think he had been dead?

Dr. Marshall: Eight or ten hours, or longer.

The Coroner having summed up, the Jury returned a verdict of “Suicide whilst in a state of temporary insanity.”


Two years later the same firearm was used in the Suicide of a Policeman. (Click here)


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 1 January, 1875. Price 1d.


Parker Young, a youth of 17 was charged with stealing 20 from the "Lord Warden Hotel." Mr. Birmingham being reluctant to prosecute, the case was dismissed.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 1 March, 1878


Samuel Campbell was charged with being drunk and disorderly and using obscene language in Beach Street.

Police-constable George Edward Pilcher said: I was on duty in Beach Street last night at 11.30 and saw the prisoner and six or seven more at the corner of the South Eastern Railway Custom House. The prisoner was drunk and very noisy. He wanted to fight with another man. After a lot of trouble I got them away from there, and then they went to the other side of the “Lord Warden Hotel.” The prisoner's language was very bad, and I told him I should summons him if he did not go away. He still used the bad language, and said I might summons him if I liked. I found they would not go away and I took this man into custody, and told the other man I should summons him for creating a disturbance.

The Superintendent said there was a lot of trouble at the “Lord Warden” corner with people.

Mr. Mowll said that no doubt the defendant was a very decent man when sober, but very troublesome when drunk. Quiet people when, they were in bed, did not care to be disturbed by a noise in the street. Somebody who did not sign a name had written a letter recommending the prisoner to mercy, but the officer could not be looked over, and the defendant would be fined 2s. 6d. costs, or 7 days in default of payment. A week was allowed for payment.

Bail for Louisa Ford was applied for but refused.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 1 March, 1878


Henry Johnson was summoned by the Police for creating a noise in Beach Street on the 22nd inst.

Police-constable Pilcher said: On Friday night I saw the defendant and seven or eight others near the “Lord Warden Hotel” in Beach Street. The defendant quarrelled with another man. The defendant was not drunk, although he was in drink. Campbell, the other man, was drunk. I separated them, and told them to go away. They went close to the “Lord Warden Hotel” on the other side, and commenced quarrelling again. They were swearing. The disturbance lasted from 11.30 to a quarter past twelve. I took Campbell into custody, and told the defendant I should summon him.

The defendant was ordered to pay 2s. 6d. fine and the costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 4 October, 1878


William Clayson, a sailor, was fined 5s. and costs, and James Dunn, also a sailor, 2s. 6d. and costs, for using bad language near the “Lord Warden Hotel.”


From the Dover Express, 1879.

Lord Warden advert 1879

Above advert says the following:- LORD WARDEN HOTEL, DOVER, FACING THE ADMIRALTY PIER.

From whence the Mail Packet starts twice daily (via Calais and Ostend) for France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, AND ALL THE PARTS OF THE CONTINENT.

This Hotel is connected by a covered way with South Eastern Railway, and is closely adjacent to the London, Chatham and Dover Railway; it contains upwards of 200 rooms, with extensive PUBLIC DINING and BILLIARD ROOM. All commanding the finest Sea View in the United Kingdom.

This establishment is very largely patronised by all the European Royalty, Nobility, Gentry, and First-Class Families.

The Hotel Porters and Commissionaires attend both Railways Stations on the arrival of every train, and also at the Pier on arrival of the Day and Night Continental Mail Packets.

The Calais Douvre Twin Ship commence running 1st June, and starts for Calais, weather permitting, every morning at 9.30.

Private Cabins on this and the other Mail Boats, especially reserved for the Lord Warden Hotel, can be booked in advance on application to:- W. R. Swainton, Proprietor.

Tariff sent on application.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 3 November, 1882. Price 1d.


Elizabeth Thompson, an unfortunate, better known as “Topsy” was brought up charged with being drunk and disorderly in Clarence Place the previous Saturday afternoon.

Police-constable Wickham said: At about half-past 3 o'clock on Saturday afternoon, I was on duty at Clarence Place at the Pier, when I saw the prisoner drunk and disorderly. She was making a great noise by shouting to the passers by and was trying to go to the “Lord Warden Hotel” to see Sir Garnet Wolseley. She was drunk and refused to go away when I told her to do so. The prisoner was in a most deplorable condition, being wet through. She held her dress up to her waist, and had her stockings down, and her hair was like a lot of rats tails. (Laughter.)

The prisoner: You are highly complimentary, I must say. (Laughter.)

The Superintendent said that the prisoner had frequently been “had up” for the same offence and had various terms of imprisonment.

The prisoner promised to join the Blue Ribbon Army again, she knew she had been much better when she kept the pledge before, but if they would let her off, she would join the pledge for life.

The Bench sentenced the prisoner to 14 days imprisonment with hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 23 January, 1885. Price 1d.

Mr. Swainston, the proprietor of the "Lord Warden Hotel," is seriously ill.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 9 August, 1889.


An American gentleman, Mr. Milano Carey Tilden, who had for the last few days been staying at the “Shakespeare Hotel,” and previously at the “Lord Warden,” died suddenly at the former hotel early on Thursday morning. The deceased gentleman was staying at the hotel with his wife and family, and died from epilepsy a certificate to that effect being given by Dr. Barton, who attended him. Mr. Tilden was born at new York, and was 35 years of age. The body was removed the same evening to Mr. Flashman's, the undertaker, who had charge of the funeral arrangements.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 13 February, 1890. Price 1d.


Frederick George Hoskins was charged with being drunk and disorderly on the South Pier, near the “Lord Warden Hotel.”

Sergeant Stevens said that on Monday afternoon, about 3.50, he was called to a disturbance on the South Pier, near the Pilot Tower. He there saw the prisoner and another man drunk, and making use of bad language towards some pilots who were standing there. He got between the prisoner and Mr. Paton, the pilot, and told prisoner he must keep quiet or go away. He refused to do so, and with the assistance of Police-constable Hanson, he removed him a little way. Prisoner came back again, and put himself in a fighting attitude towards the pilot, and became very violent, all three of them falling down together. He again asked him to keep quiet, but he would not, so he took him into custody. They had very great difficulty on account of prisoner's resistance, and had to handcuff him and tie his legs, and then sent for the ambulance.

Mr. Paton also gave evidence.

The prisoner was fined 10s., and costs 7s.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 24 April, 1896.


During the work of renovating that is being carried out at the “Lord Warden Hotel,” a bricklayer named Albert Ford, 29 years of age, was taken in a fit on Monday, and falling backwards on to the ground sustained some severe scalp wounds. He was taken to the Hospital and found to be suffering shock to the system.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 June, 1904. Price 1d.



In accordance with notice, Mr. Rutley Mowll applied for the final confirmation of the license granted to Mr. Coxan of the “Lord Warden Hotel,” to supply refreshments at a building (which he had completed according to plans previously approved by the Bench on the Prince of Wales Pier, which will shortly be used for the embarking and landing of passengers using the Atlantic liners which will call at Dover on and after the 1st of July. Mr. T. A. Walmsley, Engineer of the Dover Harbour Board, proved that the building in which the refreshments would be served had been completed in accordance with the plans previously submitted to the Bench, except that it had been put a little further towards the west for the convenience of the Station.

Mr. Bottle: And the building is actually completed?

Yes, I saw it half an hour ago – Mr. Mowll said that there was a little telegraph office and other conveniences for travellers in the course of erection, but the building in which the refreshments would be served was completed. The license was confirmed.


Dover Express 23rd July 1909.

Edith Dear of Seven Star Street, a little girl 2 years old, was knocked down and run over by a cab driven by her father outside the "Lord Warden Hotel" on Monday and one of her legs was broken. She was taken to the hospital and remains in the childrens’ ward.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 19 March, 1915. Price 1d.


The decision that took place I regard to the Assessment of the “Lord Warden Hotel,” on Friday afternoon, at the meeting of the Overseers, will come with great surprise to the ratepayers of Dover. It appears that the Assessment Committee, which is nominated by the Guardians, have reduced the assessment of the “Lord Warden Hotel” from 2,000 to 500.

The matter was coming before the Recorder to be decided on its merits, but instead of allowing this straight-forward course the Assessment Committee have intervened and reduced the assessment I this extraordinary manner.

The public ought to as the Guardians, who are responsible for it, these questions:-

1. Is it true that the “Lord Warden Hotel” is held on a repairing lease at 2,000 a year?

2. Id there any property in Dover that is rated at 25 per cent. of the rent paid?

3. If the Assessment Committee are going to treat other properties in this way and if not, on what grounds can they justify their action in regard to the “Lord Warden Hotel?”

If the Assessment Committee do not publicly justify their actions the ratepayers of Dover should take every step possible to get rid of the members of the Assessment Committee which have acted in this manner.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 29 August, 1924. Price 1d.



The disgraceful state of Dover Mortuary was called attention to on Friday by the Borough Coroner, Mr. E. T. Lambert, at the inquest held at the “Lord Warden Hotel” on the body of Mrs. Margaret Josephine Charlton, of 1, Horbert Mansions, 35, Sloane Street, London, who died suddenly on Wednesday afternoon at the “Lord Warden Hotel.” The Mortuary is situated in the midst of the debris of the Dover Shipbreaking Company, and for years has been in a very bad condition.

Mr. Patrick Maurice McMahon, of Epsom, said he had been the deceased's solicitor for ten years. She was the widow of Mr. George Robert Deighton Charlton, a retired fleet Surgeon in the Royal Navy. Deceased was 61 years of age. Witness last saw her alive six months ago. She was then in good health. She suffered from her heart, and complained on going upstairs. She was a Nova Scotian, and had no relatives in England. Witness heard of her death on Wednesday evening. He had no reason to think that her death was due to any but natural causes.

Maria Athfield said she had been main and companion to the deceased since October, 1914. Deceased suffered considerably with her throat, and was subject to spasms of coughing. Her doctor had told her it was not serious and that she would not die from it. Deceased also had heart trouble. On Wednesday last they left Victoria by the 1.30 p.m. boat train with the intention of going to Boulogne. About ten minutes before reaching Dover, witness noticed the deceased was looking unwell, and asked her if she was ill. Deceased made no answer, but became sick. She appeared as if she was going to slip off the seat. Witness called for assistance and sent for a doctor. On arriving at the Marine Station, a doctor came and looked at the deceased. He asked witness where they were going, and said that the deceased would not be able to cross that day. He advised witness to have her removed to some hotel. Witness had her brought in an ambulance to the “Lord Warden Hotel,” where she was put to bed. Dr. Osborne attended her, but she died within a few minutes. Deceased had seemed as well as usual until just before they reached Dover.

Dr. Frank Osborne said that he found a summons waiting for him at 5 o'clock on Wednesday afternoon to attend the “lord Warden Hotel.” He went there immediately, and found the deceased on the bed dying. He performed artificial respiration, and she improved for a few minutes, and then died from what appeared to be sudden heart failure. Witness reported the matter to the Police, and on Thursday made a post mortem examination. He found no external evidence of injury, but some oedema of both legs. The cause of death was valvalar and fatty disease of the heart. The oedema of the legs showed that the heart failure had started previous to her journey.

Miss Athfield said that everybody at the “Lord Warden Hotel” and on the Pier had been most kind, and had left nothing undone to assist her.

The Coroner brought in a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence. He said that the state of the Mortuary was disgraceful. The Police Sergeant and the Constable had to remove a lot of rubbish before they could get in. He also thought there were rats in the building.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 27 March, 1925. Price 1d.


The improvement of the financial position of the Gordon Hotels, Ltd., was called attention to by the Chairman of the Company (Major-Genereal Guy Dawnay, C.B.) at the annual general meeting of the Company on Tuesday. Referring to the capital assets of the Company, which now stood at 3,660,000, he said: "This item includes the cost of your new hotel, the "Hotel Bristol" at Beaulieu. It has not, however, been materially decreased by the apparent loss incurred in freeing ourselves from the leases of the "Lord Warden Hotel" at Dover and the "Royal Pier Hotel" at Ryde. I use the words 'apparent loss' because, of course, so far from there being any actual loss to you, the result is a definite gain of some 3,000 a year. We believe that any apparent loss is more than compensated by the fact that we have agreed to continue to contribute to the leasehold redemption find of the "Lord Warden Hotel" and "Royal Pier Hotel" Ryde, although we no longer have any leases to redeem.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 22 January, 1926. Price 1d.


At the Dover Police Court on Friday, before Messrs. W. Hollis and W. B. Brett, the Manager of the "Lord Warden Hotel" was granted extensions for "Burns' Night" dinner on January 25th, and the West Street Harriers' Ball on January 29th.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 25 March, 1927. Price 1d.


The management of the “Lord Warden Hotel” having received so many requests for the Hotel Russell Dance Band to continue playing for the Saturday night dances, this band were re-engaged and supplied the music for the dance last Saturday. They are undoubtedly a band whose techniques, versatility and teamwork combine to produce a harmony of quality of true colour which with their large and varied repertoire ensure dancers at the “Lord Warden” enjoying all the attractions of a London hotel dance. This band, will again appear at the “Lord Warden” on Saturday, March 26th. Miss K. Kerridge will continue to act as hostess.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 2 January, 1931. Price 1d.

At the “Lord Warden Hotel” on New Year's Eve a dinner dance in aid of the funds of the Dover branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution was held, and proved a great success. At midnight a piper of the Seaforth Highlanders played a skirl, and the Lifeboat crew in oilskins and sou-westers came into the dance room, whereupon Dr. J. W. Richardson, the local Hon. Secretary, proposed the health of the gathering and wished all a Happy New Year in the name of the Lifeboat Institution. Many of the dancers were in fancy nautical dress, and for these Mr. Kenneth Piggott won first prize (a case of champagne, presented my Munn and Co.; whilst Miss Joan Brett was awarded a fine basket of fruit. The decorations were characteristic of the sea, the guests entering by the gangway of a ship built up for the occasion. There were many parties of dancers present, representative of the County, Garrison and Town, including Brigadier Sir Hereward and Lady Wake.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 April, 1931. Price 1d.


A Shakesperean ball was held at the “Lord Warden Hotel” on Easter Monday Evening. The dancers wore Shakesperean costumes, and there was a Shakesperean touch to the decorations of the supper room. Prizes were given for the most artistic costumes, and the first prize (the complete works of Shakespeare bound in brown leather) went to Mrs. Reed as “Countess Olivia,” from the “Twelfth Night.” Prizes were also awarded to Mrs. Negus as “Ann Boleyn,” Mrs. R. Cundell as “Vera,” and Mr. V. E. Negus as the “Duke of Buckingham.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 25 November, 1932. Price 1d.


The Directors of the Frederick Hotels, Ltd., presented the following report at the annual meeting of the Company at the Hotel Russell, London, on Wednesday.

“The profit for the year amounted to 31,273 13s. 8d., out of which has been paid: Interest on 4 per cent. Debenture Stock for the year ended June 30th, 1932, 28,000, leaving a balance of 3,273 13s. 8d., which the Directors recommend should be added to the amount of 67,051 6s. 6d., brought forward from the preceding year. The effect of the depression in the trade of the country, together with the large reduction in the number of visitors from overseas, has been reflected in the business done at the hotels of the Company, and the Directors regret that the balance of profit, after paying the interest on the debenture stock, does not permit of a dividend on the preference or ordinary shares.”

The “Royal Pavilion Hotel,” Folkestone, and the “Lord Warden Hotel,” Dover, are owned by Frederick Hotels, Ltd., who also have contracts in respect to the cross-Channel boats.


Dover Express, Friday, 9 December 1932.

The manager of the "Lord Warden" applied for an extension until 1 a.m. on New Year's Eve, for a dinner and dance. An extension until 11:45 p.m. only was allowed, as the next day was a Sunday.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 January, 1933. Price 1d.


There was a large number present at the staff dance held at the “Lord Warden Hotel” on Wednesday evening. The ballroom was tastefully decorated, and the coloured lights gave the room a very delightful glow. Dancing was carried on until 1.30 a.m., broken only by an interval when refreshments were served in the dining room. At the conclusion, Captain S. J. Ritchie, M.O. thanked Mr. McGhee, the manager, on behalf of the guests, for a very pleasant evening. Those present showed their appreciation in no uncertain manner by their applause.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 3 February, 1933. Price 1d.


Queen Victoria of Spain, accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Lecera, arrived at Dover on Friday evening and spent the night at the “Lord Warden Hotel.” During the evening the Queen and the Royal party paid a visit to the Granada, where the film, “Grand Hotel” was being shown simultaneously with its release at over 100 cinemas. She witnessed it being shown to the second house from the circle. The Queen, previous to seeing the film inspected the building and expressed her admiration. The Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Lecera proceeded to London on Saturday and is staying for a fortnight at the Dorchester Hotel. King Alphonso has gone to Ceylon to visit his son, who is serving there as a midshipman in the Royal Navy.


Kent & Sussex Courier 17 January 1936.

"November 19 last, aged 74 years, left gross estate of the value of 24,806 6s. 1d., with net personality 23,151 15s. Miss Alice Gertrude Prevost, of the “Lord Warden Hotel,” Dover, formerly of the “Calverley Hotel,” Tunbridge Wells, who died on October 7, aged 66.

17 January 1936 - Kent & Sussex Courier - Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England."


Kent & Sussex Courier 24 January 1936.


Pursuant to the Trustee Act 1925.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to all creditors and other persons having claims against the Estate of ALICE GERTRUDE PREVOST late of the "Lord Warden Hotel," Dover, Kent, Spinster, who died on the 7th day or October, 1935 and whose Will was proved in the Principal Probate Registry on the 13th day of January 1936 by the Public Trustee, the sole Executor therein named to send particulars of their claims to us the undersigned on or before the 25th day of March 1936, after which date the assets of the deceased will be distributed among the persons entitled thereto, having regard only to the claims on which particulars shall then have been received by the Executor.

Dated this 18th day of January, 1936.



From East Kent at War by David Collier.

Royal navy UPP football team

The Royal Navy UPP party football team outside their quarters in HMS Wasp, the former "Lord Warden Hotel" in Dover. Royal Marine Doug Bulger recalls that their ‘rocket guns’, based on the Prince of Wales and Admiralty Piers in Dover, could be fired singly or in a salvo of twelve, and claimed at least three enemy aircraft. Cables from the PAC rockets fell around the harbour, but made good fishing traces.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 28 May, 1937.

Lord Warden and Fire Ladder 1937

The Fire Brigade show off their new ladder.

This picture shows the ladder at its full height. The Lord Warden Hotel is about 70ft. high. The fireman ascends 25ft, and the ladder is then automatically extended to the required height.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 1 December 1939.

Mr. H Stanley Wharton, the Chairman, speaking at the annual meeting of the Frederick Hotels, said in reference to the Lord Warden Hotel:- "After the closing of the port of Dover we decided to close the Lord Warden Hotel, the boat service no longer in operation, resulting in the loss of the catering on the cross-Channel steamers to Dover. This hotel is in course of being requisitioned.


Former Lord Warden 1986

Above photo circa 1986, kindly sent by Martin Welch. Also showing the former "Archcliffe Fort Inn." (Centre front.)

From the Dover Express. 4 March 1999.

Customs will be new 'guests' hotel which greeted Napoleon.

Dock project is under way.

WORK has started on a project to move Customs clearance staff and others from the crowded Eastern Docks to the western dock.

The plan, to provide more operational space at the Eastern Docks, was revealed in the Dover Express last year.

Lord Warden 1999

Dover Harbour Board has bought from P&O Stena Line the former Stena-owned Southern House in Lord Warden Square and is converting the large block to offices.

This historic building was once the famous Lord Warden Hotel where wealthy travellers used to stay before crossing the Channel.

Guests have included Charles Dickens, the 19th century English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray and Napoleon Ill.

The port authority has renamed the property from Southern House - it was once owned by southern region of British Railways - to Lord Warden House.

"Lord Warden House is undergoing refurbishment to accommodate the freight agents making it more convenient for everyone," said a harbour board spokesman. In addition, a large building costing 2.5m is being constructed for Customs clearance facilities near the Viaduct that leads to Lord Warden Square and the western docks. These extra facilities should be available by the Spring, says the port authority.

This month, construction is due to begin on the dual carriageway access from Whitfield roundabout on the A2 into Dover Harbour Board owned Old Park Barracks.

When these road works are completed the former barracks can be opened up for port-related users.

Dover District Council officials, working with the port authority; are devising new traffic routing plans.

Traffic from Whitfield and heading for Melbourne Avenue on Buckland Estate will have to divert to the roundabout near Tesco before entering the estate, if proposals go through.

Drivers leaving the council offices at Whitfield will also have to divert to the Tesco roundabout.

This week saw the completion of the scheme to reclaim seven acres from the sea at the Eastern Docks to provide even more space for freight operations.


From the Dover Express, 25 March 2010

Report by Terry Sutton in his "Way We Were" articles.


FEW majestic structures in Dover have suffered such a riches-to-rags existence as the majestic Lord Warden Hotel, now renamed Lord Warden House.

The four-storey hotel, known by many as Southern House, near what is now Dover cruise terminal, has over the years welcomed scores of lords and duchesses, artists, writers, diplomats and rogues.

Now in the ownership of Dover Harbour Board, it provides accommodation for ship forwarding agents and freight clerks dealing with Customs clearance.

The hotel, with its opulent ballroom, was opened in September 1853 by the South Eastern Railway which bought the site 10 years previously from the Dover port authority which was the ground landlord for the whole area.

Originally South Eastern Railway bought the waterfront land in order to provide space for a railway station, goods sheds and the tracks to serve it. Documents indicated the railway company paid 23,500 for the land.

The station was brought into use in 1844 and the hotel welcomed its first guests nine years later.

It quickly became popular with scores of well-heeled passengers waiting for favourable weather to catch a packet boat sailing from what is now the Western Docks. They arrived at Dover by train and just popped across the station to the hotel.

At one stage, and remaining in place for many years, there was an overhead covered walkway linking the station to the hotel building. Many around today will still remember it.

The Dover Express a century ago used to list the guests staying at the Lord Warden, at other hotels and boarding houses in the town. Personally, I wonder, why aristocrats and others would want the populace of Dover to know they were in town. The listings must have given the opportunity for some false titles while some of the guests would want to suppress the lady's name with whom they were travelling.

But we do know the hotel was regularly frequented by Charles Dickens on his way to France. Indeed he used the hotel scene for one of his yarns. Another writer who sat and watched his fellow guests was William Makepeace Thackeray.

Napoleon Ill, the Emperor of the French, was a guest at the Lord Warden several times but none so sad as the day he arrived in Dover from Ostend from a Prussian prisoner-of-war camp.

He had been released by the Prussians on his abdication and in March 1871 arrived at Dover quietly to be guided to the hotel to be reunited with his wife Eugenie and their son the Prince Imperial. (The occasion is marked by a Dover Society blue plaque on the exterior wall of the building.)

Between the two world wars the hotel continued to attract the rich and famous including members of the wealthy Rothschild family.

It was at the Lord Warden where, in July 1909, the French aviator Louis Bleriot was feted on his pioneer flight across the Channel before heading off for more praise in London.

Ironically it was flight and the early days of air travel that began to change the fortunes of this splendid hotel. The rich began to fly between London and Paris, instead of catching Dover steamers.

The hoteliers, who at one stage also owned the now-demolished Burlington Hotel in Dover, must have realised the writing was on the wall. They stepped up their advertising to attract the Dover and East Kent gentry to dinners, balls and social events at the hotel. It became a popular centre for higher ranking off-duty army officers of the Dover garrison and those stationed at Canterbury.

Leading Dover citizens, including mayors, held their civic dinners in the hotel, served by Dover waiters and waitresses. Occasionally I have met some who worked there immediately before the Second World War and they have told me of the hotel's glory days.

During the war the hotel was taken over by the Royal Navy and was named HMS Wasp. It became the headquarters, with plotting rooms, of the navy's coastal force of motor torpedo boats and other fast craft. (A planning application is being made to erect a plaque on the building recalling its HMS Wasp wartime days.)

At the war's end the building was in a poor shape but was acquired by Southern Region of British Rail and renamed Southern House, accommodating a legion of accountants and other clerical workers.

Then part of the run-down building became the headquarters of the Dover Collection of Customs with port workers scurrying in to report to officials in the Long Room. Accommodation for the Customs was not comfortable and they moved out to Burlington House in Townwall Street before moving to their present headquarters off St John's Road.

There were doubts about the future of the once-posh hotel as it became the property of Stena Lines but when that company vacated Dover it reverted to Dover Harbour Board which refurbished it for freight agents.

DHB spent nearly 1 million repairing and repainting the property so that today it stands as a proud landmark.

What of the future of this protected 'Iisted building? Could it one day become a hotel again, serving the growing number of cruise passengers who wish to stay in Dover before catching their ship or at the end of their cruise?






WHEELER 1855 Folkestone Chronicle

HASTIER Auguste 1856

Last pub licensee had BIRMINGHAM John 1858-70 dec'd Melville's 1858

Last pub licensee had AMOS Henry

EVENDEN 1868 At this stage the liquor license was terminated, but the hotel continued.

BIRMINGHAM Alfred 1870+ (age 31 in 1871Census) (son of owner)

BIRMINGHAM John 1874 Post Office Directory 1874

SWAINSTON William Richard 1875-85+ Post Office Directory 1882

SWAINSTON John P 1889-95 (age 31 in 1891Census) Pikes 1889Post Office Directory 1891Pikes 1895

GORDON HOTELS LIM. 1899 Kelly's Directory 1899

AMANS J A 1901 Post Office Directory 1903


HARVEY A 1908-11

GORDON HOTELS Ltd. 1923 Pikes 1923Pikes 1924


FREDERICK HOTELS LTD 1932-Feb/49 Pikes 1932-33Pikes 1938-39Dover Express



Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Pikes 1889From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1889

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

Pikes 1923From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

Pikes 1932-33From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33

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

Folkestone ChronicleFrom the Folkestone Chronicle



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