Sort file:- Dover, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 29 September, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1845

Neptune Hall

Latest 1910

21 Hawkesbury Street



A fully licensed house of Mackeson, Hythe. In 1882 the number was 21 and in 1884 it was referred to as "Neptune Arms". Pilcher received a new licence in 1845.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 15 December, 1855. Price 7d.


George Challis, a publican (I am assuming this was the pub in question,) was summoned for having his house open contrary to the Act on Sunday, was fined 15s. including costs.


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


With regard to the “Neptune Arms” it was stated that no other tenant had been found, therefore the license was renewed in the name of Bailey.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 30 August, 1889. Price 1d.



There was no tenant in this house, the occupier having gone away suddenly. Stephen Godden, cashier to the brewers at Hythe, gave evidence. He produced a letter from F. Burnham, the previous tenant, who said, “I have been trying to make this house pay, but I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible. I am paying you a pound a week off the old debt and am owing it somewhere else. This will not last. I am expecting to go away next week, but my wife will stay a little while. I do not wish to do anything unfair, but must look after myself. If you will fix a day I will come and see you. E. Burnham.” On the 15th of August, the day that the letter was received, they received a telegram from Burnham, “Left Dover this morning urgent, my wife remains.” Later in the same day they had a telegram from Mrs. Burnham at Dover, “Come at once, or must close.” They took over the house from Mrs. Burnham, and they now offered E. Marsh, of Hythe, as a tenant. His references were good, and the license was granted to him.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 July, 1889. Price 1d.


Henry Hoskins applied for a license of the "Neptune Hall" to be transferred to him, John Matison, the previous holder, having gone away. Matison held under an agreement from Mr. Mackeson as a weekly tenant; he had cleared out, and Hoskins was now in possession. It was allowed.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 25 August, 1893. 1d.


Proof having been given that the late landlord had been ejected by order of the County Court from the “Neptune Hall” the license was on the application of Mr. Martyn Mowll granted to Mr. Hoskyns, the present occupier.



In 1910, 2,375 was paid by Dover Corporation for four licences. I have presumed that the "Neptune Hall" was included. When the Compensation Authority people entered the picture later that year, the Corporation, were awarded 717. 17s.6d. and the tenant 70.


Other premises referred that year were the "Milestone", "Pier Inn" and "Beaconsfield Arms".


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 11 February, 1910.



This was also a house to which objections to the renewal of the license had been given on orders of the Magistrates on the ground of redundancy.

Mr. Rutley Mowll appeared to represent the tenant.

The Chief Constable said that the Neptune Hall, Hawkesbury Street, was fully licensed. The brewers were Messrs. Mackeson and Co. Hythe. The tenant was Mr. G. H. Walker, and it was transferred to him on August 16th, 1895. The rateable value was 15 gross, 12 net. The licensed houses in the immediate vicinity were the "Albion" 67 yards, the "Railway Inn" 97 yards, the "Archliffe Fort Inn" back door 30 yards, the front 50 yards, the "Endeavour," Bulwark Street, 93 yards, the "Hope," Council House Street, 120 yards, the "Granville Arms," Limekiln Street, 64 yards, the "Two Brewers," Limekiln Street, side door 66 yards, front door 76 yards. Including the buffets at the Railway stations, there were 27 licensed houses in the area to the west of the railway. The total number of houses in the area was 493, and 430 were occupied and 63 empty. Reckoning five persons to each house there were 2175 in the district, or 80 persons to each license in the district. That included children. In Hawkesbury Street there were 23 houses, including three licensed premises. In the immediate neighbourhood a number of the house had been demolished. The frontage was 14ft. 10in. The side of the house abutted on to Bulwark Lane, and was 47ft. The accommodation was a private bar in front, public bar, door at side entrance. private sitting room, used also as a store room, and a kitchen on the ground floor. Upstairs there was one sitting room, three bedrooms, and two rooms not in use. At 11.20 on Thursday, 20th January, there was one customer, at 3.30 on January 24th no customers, at 9.30 a.m. on Monday, 31st, no customers, at 7.20 p.m. on Thursday, February 3rd, two customers.

The Mayor: The house has been well conducted. - Oh yes, the man has been there since 1895.

Mr. Mowll: In regard to these visits, you say, I see you gave him two visits on Thursday? - Yes.

It so happens he has been keeping a little record against you, and on Thursday there were 83 customers.

The Mayor: That is the whole day?

Mr. Mowll: yes, not at one time, of course.

The Mayor: You are not questioning his evidence?

Mr. Mowll: No. In regard to Superintendent Fox I should not question his word. I was questioning the value of his evidence. On Monday, the 27th, when you say there were no customers when you went into the house there were over 60 on that day. On the Thursday there were 34, on Friday 88, on Saturday 96, on Monday 63, on Tuesday 53, on Wednesday 46, on Thursday 63, on Friday 76. You see from these figures that your little test of visits at carefully selected times are hardly a fair criterion of the trade being done.

Chief Constable Fox: I see yours increase as time went on; evidently they knew something was coming off.

It is not a wise remark on your part, and it is not true. In regard to the number of licensed premises in the district, if I remember rightly you gave the same evidence in respect to the "Albion" last year? - Yes; it would cost too much to close it.

When you made a statement as to the population in this immediate area I think you will agree with me that the public houses  in the Pier district cater for people who live in other parts of the town and work in the neighbourhood? - Yes, I have also included any military who live near or pass through the district.

Mr. Mowll said that the basis taken, therefore was not of much value.

The Mayor: Surely the basis is to take so many people into each house. The Superintendent has also stated that you must consider the large number of working people who come down to the Pier district.

Mr. Mowll: This tenant has been in the house for 14 years?

The Chief Constable: Yes.

He has no other means of livelihood, and that means that he has  been able to get  a living during that time? - I have his own words for it; he says he has.


The Mayor at once said: The Bench have come to the conclusion that the four licenses ought to go forward. Of course we quite appreciate the eloquence of our friend, Mr. Mowll, and if it were a question of dealing with a matter from one of sentiment, it might have been decided otherwise. We have a very difficult question to deal with, and the decision we have come to must have regard to the question of redundancy in the neighbourhood. before even this case went to Court great care was taken that those houses which we really believed are redundant, are those that come before the Court, and I think the Bench in this case are of the opinion that all these houses are in that category, and that it is important to do otherwise than to send the four cases to be dealt with by the Quarter Sessions.

The licenses were provisionally renewed pending the decision of Quarter Sessions.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday, 19 November, 1910.


The "Neptune’s Hall." Hawkesbury Street, Dover, alehouse, owners the Dover Town Council, tenant Mr. George Henry Walker. Total amount 787 17s. 6d.; divided, owners 717 17s. 6d., tenant 70.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 24 March, 1911.


The Surveyor reported that he had received a letter from Mr. T. W. Fry, who stated that several fixtures and fittings were left at the "Neptune Hall" when it was closed, including a bar counter, a beer engine, measures and sundry articles, etc. He advised the Corporation to sell them privately as he could get a better price for them than if they were sold to an association sale. (Laughter.)

More of this to follow




PILCHER William 1845-47 Bagshaw's Directory 1847

CHALLIS George 1855 (Guess on my part)

CHALLIS Mrs Eliza 1874-75 end Post Office Directory 1874

Last pub licensee had YOUNG George Charles 1875-Jan/1880 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

Last pub licensee had EDRUPT William Jan/1880-82 Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1882


MARSH Edward 1889

BURNHAM E 1889 end

WATSON John Earl 1890

MATTISON Fanny 1891+ (age 32 in 1891Census)

MATISON John Earl to July/1891 Post Office Directory 1891Dover Express

HOSKENS Henry July/1891-95 Dover ExpressPikes 1895

WALKER George Henry 1895-Dec/1910 Kelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903


Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

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

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:-