At present, I am not 100% certain of the information I have received
regarding this public house. I was informed that the original building, then
called the "Castle Inn"
was burnt down near the turn of the 20th century. The new building, being
called the "New Castle Inn" was built just around the corner on what, today
is hard to believe used to be one of the main routes to London. However,
further research does make reference to a "New Castle" from a police report
of 1886, when some forged sovereigns were tried to be passed, so a "New
Castle" certainly existed before the one shown above.
The "New Castle" (two words), so I have been told, was built in 1902 just
around the corner from the original "Castle Inn" and at
some point along its history became just one word:- "Newcastle," but this
information has not been validated yet. In fact, I am not even sure it was
ever officially called the "Newcastle Inn" with one word, and this may just
be how travellers referred or assumed it was named. However, the following email from
Neil Harrison proves the pub was there before 1902.
Email received on 28 September, 2010
My 4 x great grandfather was William G Keeler. The record of his
death on 26th May 1896 lists him as the landlord of the Newcastle inn.
This throws up a couple of questions. Firstly, it definitely refers
to it as the Newcastle (one word), yet your page says that it didn’t
become the New Castle (two words) until after the fire of 1900. My
ancestor’s death record shows that it was already known as the Newcastle
in 1896. I wonder if the fire date you have is correct?
(Info now updated.)
Secondly, you have the landlord in 1899 listed as William Keeler.
This obviously can’t be the one who died in 1896 (!), so either this
info is wrong or, more likely, his son William (b. 1840) took it on. If
this is the case, then there were two William Keelers who were landlords
Hope this helps!
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 18 May, 1900.
Mr. Hatton Brown applied for the license of the “New Castle Inn” at
Ewell Minnis to be altered in regard to the name of the license holder
from Ellis Keeler to Mrs. Ellis Harnett, as the lady had married.
Further research has identified the date the time the original house burnt down as
being November 1912, and the following articles from the Dover Express shows
the article published regarding the fire and permission being sought for a new public house to be built.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7
November, 1912. Price 1d.
FIRE AT EWELL MINNIS. NARROW ESCAPE OF INMATES
On Monday at 1.15 a.m. a fire broke out at the "Newcastle Inn," Ewell
Minnis, which resulted in the total destruction of the building and the
narrow escape of the inmates. The landlord is Mr. Charles Hawkins and
during the night he was seized with cramp in the leg and jumped out of
bed, upsetting a table on which a paraffin lamp was standing. The room
was at once in a blaze but the landlord and his wife got two of the
three children out of the house. A neighbour, who came to the
assistance, got the other child, but could not get downstairs, the
centre of the house being in a blaze. he was, however, able to hand it
out of the window, and then jump out himself. The alarm was given to the
Dover Police from the fire-house at Kearsney, and the fire engine
despatched in charge of Chief Inspector Lockwood. It arrived on the
scene very promptly considering the very difficult approach to the
Minnis. The house was then burnt out to a great extent, but the
outbuildings attached to the house were still intact. A good supply of
water was obtained from a pond and tanks, and the fire extinguished at 5
a.m., the outbuildings were saved but the house destroyed. Both the
house and its contents are insured, the former in the Ocean Accident and
the latter in the Northern Assurance Co.
The whole of the contents were insured in the Northern Assurance Co,.
Ltd., by Albert White, estate and insurance agent, 319, London Road,
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 17 January, 1913. Price 1d.
Mr. Rutley Mowll applied for the approval of plans, submitted by Mr. F.
G. Hayward for the rebuilding of the “Newcastle” public house, Ewell
Minnis, which was recently burnt down.
The plans were approved.
So, that at least dates the house we see today, and so I believe it still
a myth that the old house was called just the "Castle."
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 30 January, 1925. Price 1˝d.
BOY’S SUDDEN DEATH AT EWELL MINNIS
An inquest was held on Wednesday afternoon, by Mr. Rutley Mowll (East
Kent Coroner), at the “Newcastle Inn,” on Leonard Brooks (14), of the
“Newcastle Inn,” Ewell Minnis, who died on Sunday morning.
The Jury numbered nine, and Mr. Kirby was chosen foreman.
Charles Edward Brooks, licensee of the “Newcastle Inn,” identified the
body as that of his son. The deceased was fourteen years and eight
months old, and had left school just before Christmas. On Friday night
at 10.30 the deceased complained of toothache, and witness told him to
go to bed. Witness saw him in bed at about twelve o’clock on the
following day and did not notice anything unusual about him, except that
he was very quiet. He said he “felt rotten,” but would not have the
doctor. Witness’ wife drew his attention to some vomit, which made
witness think the lad was suffering from bile. The deceased asked
witness for a drink, and he gave him some ginger wine with two
teaspoonfuls of Epsom Salts in it. He took the medicine all right. At 6
p.m. he seemed to be much the same, and witness called up Dr. Adamson on
a neighbour’s telephone. The doctor asked if he thought it was very
serious, and witness said he did not. Dr. Adamson advised witness to
poultice the boy and to send round for some medicine which he would make
up, and said he would call in the morning. Witness visited the boy on
three occasions between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., and there seemed to be no
change in his condition. Witness gave the boy another dose of medicine
at about 11.30 p.m., and then gave him a glass of milk and water, and
made him comfortable. Witness’ wife lay down beside the deceased, and
turned his head towards her. Witness was sitting by the bedroom fire,
reading the paper, and his wife called “Dad, he’s going.” The deceased’s
nose had gone white, and his eyes were staring, but he was still
breathing. He passed away just after twelve o’clock. It was the first
illness he had had. Witness never noticed any signs of his being
delicate. He got tired of a night sometimes, but witness thought this
was caused by his habit of reading in bed.
Dr. C. H. Adamson, F.R.C.S., medical practitioner at Kearsney, said that
he received a message from his last witness on Saturday night, and mad
up the medicine, which was called for. He had an appointment at Deal at
eight o’clock, but if the case had been urgent he would not have kept
it. The medicine he made up was a simple expectorant. He got a message
to say that the boy was dead, and went along to the house immediately,
arriving there at about 1.30 a.m. on Sunday. There was nothing then in
the deceased’s appearance to indicate the cause of his death. Witness
was shown some vomit which was of a peculiar green colour. He made a
post mortem examination on Tuesday afternoon, and found no evidence of
any acute disease, but in the heart he found a congenital defect of the
mitral valve. There was congestion of the liver, which was larger than
it should have been. The spleen had a developmentary fault, and there
was an extra lobe on it. Both the plural sacs and the cardiac sacs
contained a small amount of fluid. The spleen and the heart indicated a
want of development. The enlargement of the liver and the fluid in the
sacs were secondary to the heart condition. In addition, the deceased
had a large thymus gland, which should normally disappear when the age
of puberty was reached. There were also indication of a recent cold.
People who had this thymus gland were liable to sudden death. Their
resistance to infection was very much lowered, and if they did catch
anything their resistance to the poison was also lowered. He found that
the deceased died from status lymphaticus, brought about by the presence
of the thymus gland.
The Coroner said that it was apparently one of those things which were
impossible to detect.
The Jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes, and expressed
their sympathy with their neighbour in his bereavement.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 20
LICENCE EXTENSION GRANTED
An extension was granted to the "Newcastle Inn," Alkham, for a
harvest super on October 5th, Supt. Golding stated that it was a revival of
an event which had not taken place for some years.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 20
"Newcastle Inn," Ewell Minnis, January 4th, to 10.30 p.m. for new Year's
From the Dover Express, 6 August, 1971.
David Emery, journalist, sends a pile of pennies cascading into a
blanket at the "Newcastle" public house. With his is Irene Board, whose
sister Lilian, the Olympic athlete, died so tragically of cancer. In the
centre is licensee Mr. Percy Board, former Dover Football Club chairman,
and Mrs. Board. When the pennies were counted up, the grand total was
Ł90.70, which will be used for cancer research.
From the Dover Express 21 March 1986.
Actor Victor Maddern, who is often called on to play tough-guy roles,
chose the hard way to knock down piles of pennies at the "Newcastle"
public house, at Ewell Minnis. He did it with his head.
Maddern fellow actor, Owen Berry and Wing Commander Stamford Tuck,
the Battle of Britain pilot, shared the task of knocking down nine piles
of pennies which when counted, were found to total Ł95 17s. The total
raised during the evening - it all goes to the British Empire
Cancer Campaign - was Ł131.
From the Dover Express 21 March 1986.
DOVER and District Horse Society raised Ł66 for club funds with an
eight-mile ride on Sunday.
The riders set off from the Newcastle Inn at Ewell Minnis on a
two-hour trek along local bridleways.
The society holds rides, normally on a more competitive basis, every
month. The next is on April 20 1986.
Open to those with or without their own horse, the society has about
170 members, and as well as riding offers social events such as discos.
Anyone interested in joining Dover and District Horse Society - there
is no age restriction - should contact Gill Sladden.
As shown above Percy Board used to have penny pushes for various
charities at his pub and used to invite celebrities along to push the
pennies over. I have been informed by John Richards that celebrities
included Henry Cooper and Jenny Agutter of the Railway Children fame.
During its life the pub was frequented by the local gypsy community.
The pub was unfortunately closed in about 1995 and is now a Canine
From an email received 12 November 2013.
I have fond memories of living at the pub. I can vividly remember the hunt coming to
the pub and my father going outside with trays of sherry. My mother and
I watched from the window as she disapproved of fox hunting.
I can also remember playing in the back garden. I remember as you
entered the pub there was a large open fire to the left and I can recall
Mr. Matcham the farmer sitting there with his dog. The bar was to the
right and there was a snooker room at the back. My bedroom was at the
front of the house. I remember we had a hatch and sold alcohol and
chocolates like an off licence. I also remember the gypsies that used to
One of the saddest days I remember was driving away from the pub in
our Humber Supersnipe and our dog running behind the car barking. We had
to leave our dog with the new tenants as we could not take dogs with us
to our new residence.
I went back for a visit 10 years ago. I asked for directions and was
told 'oh you mean the old pub'. I was sad it was closed. I knocked at
the door of the private house it is now but no one was in. I had my
photo taken outside. It would have made my year to have been able to go
inside again but I know the new owners would be cautious to let a
complete stranger in!
I am living in Perth Western Australia but hope to visit the UK early
HALKE John James to May/1882
DAWKINS George May 1882+
CUSHMAN Henry 1886+
KEELER William G May/1896 Dec'd
KEELER William 1899+
KEELER Miss Ellis to May 1900
HARNETT Mrs Ellis May 1900+ (Now married)
New pub built 1913 after old one burnt down.
HAWKINS Charles Augustus Sept/1913
EDDY J Sept/1913-14+
(Police Superintendent and Challock publican. References had been lost in the
BAILEY Robert 1922+
MILNE Mr W S to Sept/1923
Metropolitan Constable and Steward of the Canterbury Conservative Club)
BROOKS Charles E Sept/1923-Apr/26
SWAIN Joseph Apr/1926+
PUTLAND Herbert George 1930-July/1946 dec'd
PUTLAND Mrs E C (widow) July/1946+
BRITTAIN Edgar & Elsie 1961-64+
BOARD Percy A J 1971-74+
From the Kelly's Directory 1899
From the Post Office Directory 1913
From the Post Office Directory 1914
From the Post Office Directory 1922
From the Post Office Directory 1930
From the Kelly's Directory 1934
From the Post Office Directory 1938
From the Dover Express