Sort file:- Dover, December, 2022.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 20 December, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1877

Priory Hotel

Open 2022+

Station Approach

3 Folkestone Road Post Office Directory 1874


01304 242344

Priory Hotel 2011 Priory Hotel 2011

Above photo by Paul Skelton 17 February 2011.

Priory Hotel sign 2011Priory Hotel old sign

Photo on left shows the current sign and that on the right shows an old one, now housed on a wall at the back of the pub. Both taken 17 February 2011.

Priory Hotel sign 1995

Above photo showing that sign in better days, March 1995.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Priory Hotel

Above photograph circa 1922 is Copyright and has been allowed on this site by kind permission of Kent Archives, ref U3555/2/GBR/Bp4/1/70

Priory Hotel 1924

Above photo from the John Gilham collection, June 1924.

Priory Hotel

Above photo, date unknown. Kindly sent by Ken Chapman.

Photo taken from

Priory Hotel 1950s

Above photo taken in the 1950s.

Walter and Mabel Fagg 1950s

Walter and Mabel Fagg, 1950s, kindly sent by Barry Fagg.

Priory Hotel 1987

Priory Hotel circa 1987 (Photo by Paul Skelton)

Priory Hotel

Photo by Barry Smith circa 1980.

Priory Hotel 2022

Above photo, December 2022, by Anthony Deaville.


Complete with coffee rooms, commercial rooms and stables, this was under construction in 1876. Tomlin was given permission to draw in 1877. The railway station opposite was first built in 1861.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 11 May, 1877. Price 1d.


Mr. John Tomlin made an application for a final order to retail liquors on the premises which have been erected on the site opposite the Dover Priory Station.

Mr. Worsfold Mowll supported the application, and a final order was made.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 18 February, 1881. 1d.

Messrs. "Gardner," brewers, of Ash, have secured the square plot of land adjoining the “Priory Hotel” on which they propose to erect an ale and beer store.


From the Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, 12 July 1884.


At the Police Court, on Friday Morgan Vaughan, whose escape from the Police station and recapture on Wednesday caused so much excitement in the town, was brought up on remand charged with obtaining food and lodgings under false pretences from the "Harp," "Imperial," and "Priory" Hotels.

Mr. Mowll, who prosecuted, said Captain Millar, proprietor of the "Harp," had been paid what was due to him by prisoner's friends, and that the case therefore fell through. In In the other cases prisoner had not brought himself within the law as there was no evidence of false pretences.

Mr. Stilwell to the magistrates:- After that I question whether you have a right to adjudicate.

Mr. Stein (to the prisoner); Under the circumstances the case must be dismissed. Mr. Mills haring accepted payment has left us no alternative but to dismiss you. We very much regret it as we consider you deserve severe punishment.

Prisoner then left the Court; his dismissal evidently being unexpected by the large number of persons assembled.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 26 February, 1886. Price 1d.

The annual dinner of the staff of the L.C. & D.R., priory Station, was held last evening at the “Priory Hotel,” proprietor, Mr. J. Ward, when about 30 of the members and their friends sat down to an excellent repast, provided by the worthy host. During the evening some good singing was indulged in by the various members, and the usual loyal toasts, &c., proposed and responded to. A remarkable feature of the gathering was the total absence of any of the staff from the Harbour Station. The Company separated about 11 o'clock.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 4 February, 1887. 1d.


An inquest was held at the “Priory Hotel” yesterday, by the Borough Coroner (Sydenham Payn, Esq.), on the body of an infant child named Jessie Carolyn Swain. The evidence of the father and mother, who lived at Clarendon Street, showed that the deceased was taken as usual to bed with them and on waking up at twelve o'clock on Wednesday the mother found the child dead. She at once roused her husband, and Mr. Fenn, surgeon, was sent for. The doctor was of opinion that death was due to suffocation, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.

A somewhat unusual course was adopted by a juryman named John Wyatt at the inquest held yesterday at the “Priory Hotel.” He was sworn with the other Jurymen and left with them to view the body, which was lying at 135, Clarendon Street, but did not return to the hotel. The sergeant in charge made inquiries, but could not find him, and not having served the summonses did not know where he lived, nor did the other Jurymen. After waiting some time the Coroner instructed the sergeant to find out where Mr. Wyatt lived and see that he went to the Coroner's office in the morning. There being twelve Jurymen present the inquest was proceeded with.


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


Last week a child named Grace Violet Wood, had a fall at 34, Clarendon Place, which terminated fatally. An inquest was held at the “Priory Hotel” on Friday afternoon, when a verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 25 October, 1889. Price 5d.


On Saturday afternoon an inquest was held at the “Priory Hotel” on the body of Mrs. Williams, who was found dead on the previous evening at her residence Berkely Villas, Folkestone Road. The deceased lived alone, and it seems that she died from the effects of excessive drinking. Her age was about 51. The following is the evidence taken on the occasion.

Mr. Smith residing at Biggin Street said: I have known the deceased for about 20 years, the body which the Jury have viewed is that of Mrs. Anne Elizabeth Williams. She resided at Berkely Villa, Folkestone Road. She is the widow of William Smith Williams. I have very frequently visited her at her house. The last time I saw her alive was last Sunday. She seemed then to be very ill, and complained of the cold, and appeared to be rather strange in her manner. I went up again on Tuesday night but could not make anyone hear. I left on Sunday about nine o'clock and the deceased was perfectly sober and there was not any drink in the house. I think that during the last 12 months she has given way to acts of intemperance. On Friday afternoon I went up again, and met Mrs. Pay in Folkestone Road. I knocked at the front door but had no answer. I went up again that evening, and then found the house in possession of the Police.

Anne Pay, a married woman residing at 17 Winchelsea Street said: I saw Mrs. Williams last on Wednesday. I went about 5 o'clock to fetch the washing, and was in the house about half an hour. She had not got it ready and asked me to come again the next day. She seemed to be the worst for drink and to have a very bad cold. I told her she ought to have something done for it, and she told me that she would not have anyone interfering with her. In went again on Thursday but could not get in. My little girl had previously been down, but could not get in. I went again on Friday and met Mr. Smith and neither of us could make Mrs. Williams hear. The gas was burning brightly up and down stairs. In consequence of the anxiety of the neighbours I went to the Police station. Tow Policemen accompanied me back and got into the house through the back. They opened the front door, and I went upstairs with them and in the little room which over looks the street I saw Mrs. Williams lying on the floor on her right side. She appeared to be dead.

Annie Elizabeth Pay a little girl of about 12, daughter of the last witness said: Mrs. Williams called me on Wednesday afternoon, and told me to ask my mother to come down as she had a little washing to give her. I came with my mother on Wednesday afternoon. She then told me to go to Mr. Adams in Sbnargate Street and get her two bottles of brandy and two of port wine. After I got them she asked me to get her an orange, but owing to it raining I did not go.

Police-sergeant Nash said: Last evening about half past eight, I accompanied witness Pay from the Police station to Berkely Villas, Folkestone Road, I went up to the front door. The gas was burning upstairs and below. I knocked at the door and could not get any answer. I tried the windows and found that they were all fastened in the front. I then went through the adjoining house and got over into the back yard. I found that the house was all secure. I obtained a knife and pressed back the catch of the kitchen window. Police-constable Cook and I got into the house and opened the front door and let Mrs. Pay in. We then went upstairs. As soon as I got on the top step I saw the deceased lying full length on the floor by the couch in the front room. She was lying on her right arm. I found that she was cold and stiff. I had her put on the bed in the next room and at once sent for Dr. Walters. On the dressing room table, in the room in which we found her, there was a nearly full bottle of brandy, also a decanter of port wine, and a wine glass half full of brandy. The house was all in order.

Dr. J. Marshall said he had attended the deceased's late husband, and also the deceased since her husband's death. He last saw her on the 25th of September. There was a great alteration in her, and she appeared to be very weak. He sent her some medicine, but, on each occasion, the messenger could not make anyone hear. He had not seen her since September. She was then suffering from debility, resulting from excessive drinking. He tried to persuade her to have someone to live with her but she refused.

Mr. Walters said he was called on Friday night to the deceased. He examined the body of the deceased and the only mark he could find was a slight abrasion of the nose. She had not been dead for more than 24 hours as rigor mortis had not set in. It was rather difficult to say what death arose from, but he thought it resulted from syncope.

The Coroner said he knew the deceased well, and had acted as her late husband's executor.

The Jury returned a verdict according to the medical evidence.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 28 March, 1902. Price 1d.


Henry Davis and George Adams, gunners of the royal Artillery, were charged with breaking the windows of the “Priory Hotel,” on Thursday night, and doing damage to the value of 8/-.

James White, landlord of the “Priory Hotel,” stated that about half-past eleven he heard a crash of glass outside his house. Looking through the window he saw the two soldiers climbing over the gate at the Priory Yard. On making an examination, he found that a window on the corner door had been broken. Ten minutes later the men were brought back to the house by some railway servants , but again sought to escape. He assessed the damage at 8/-.

Police Constable Kirns said he was on duty in Clarendon Road the previous evening, and hearing an alarm went after the men, and found one of the prisoners in an area at the back of Effingham Villas and the other man was arrested in Effingham Street. Davis was in his shirt sleeves, and he had a pint bottle of beer on him.

Police Constable Vincent said he was on duty at the priory Station at 11.30 the previous evening, and there came a report that the prisoner had been breaking windows. He went out and stopped Adams, and he said he would not suffer for another man's crime. Davis, who had come up, said, “Here, chum, it was your fault as much as mine.”

In reply to the Bench Davis said he knew nothing about it; and Adams said he did not break the glass.

The Officer in attendance said both men were enlisted last year. There was nothing serious against them.

They were both sent to Canterbury Prison for 14 days hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 8 April, 1927. Price 1d.


Rosie Alice Dawkins (21), Hillside Cottages, Lydden, was charged with stealing 4s. from the till at the “Priory Hotel,” between April 5th, and April 7th.

Mr. W. H. Rolfe, “Priory Hotel,” said prisoner was the kitchen maid and had been with them for about 8 months. He had been missing money, and being suspicious, on Tuesday he placed 1 in silver in the till, four half crowns, and five two shilling pieces. They were all marked. Later in the day he found only 18s. only, left. The following day he placed 24s. 6d., marked, in silver, and two 10s. notes, also marked, in the presence of Detective Cadman. Nothing happened to this. On Thursday he found 2s. 6d. gone, having placed the same coins in as on Wednesday.

Jessie Hill, Commercial Room Maid, at the “Priory Hotel,” said, from instructions she received she asked the prisoner to lend he 2s. She did so, lending her the 2s. piece (produced), which was marked. She handed this to Mrs. Rolfe.

Sergeant Cadman said, on Thursday he saw the prisoner at the hotel, and told her there was half a crown missing. She said she had not taken it and gave him permission to examine her coins. He found a half crown piece, which was identified by Mr. Rolfe. When he showed her the marked coins she admitted the theft and was charged. She was released on bail.

Mr. Rolfe asked the Magistrates to deal leniently with the prisoner.

Prisoner was bound over for 6 months.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 17 January, 1936.

At the Dover Licensing Transfer Sessions, held on Friday last, a music and singing licence was granted to Kate Fanny Tomlinson, licensee of the "Priory" Hotel, Priory Station Road, Dover.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 29 September 1939.

Henry William Sutton, Priory Hotel, Station Approach, was fined 10s. for allowing light to show from the hotel at 8.15 p.m. on 4th September.

P.C. Steggles said that the light was coming from the public bar door, which was wide open.

Defendant said that he opened the door to let some fresh air in as the place was like an oven. He had had the lights attended to since.



In the 1901 Post Office Directory Post Office Directory 1903, it was stated that Gardner and Co., Ash brewery had an office and stores next to the pub. The local manager being W. Spain. (Click for photo)


Priory Hotel advertisement 1956

Above advertisement 1956.


This Whitbread House closed in 1988 and the following years saw much done by way of alteration and renovation before being reopened by Tony and Julie Butts on 4 May 1991.


From the Dover Express 3 May 1991.

Priory Hotel adverticement
Priory Hotel adverticement



The Priory Hotel, opposite Dover railway station, is well and truly back on the rails after a massive refurbishment.

The inn had been closed for 18 months and was in an extremely dilapidated state when taken over by First Resort Ltd. Now former regulars will find it totally unrecognisable from the Priory of old and tourists and other newcomers will be in for a pleasant surprise.

What they WILL NOT find is "plastic" decor, blaring juke boxes and countless slot machines. What they WILL discover is a tastefully decorated, classic-style pub with ample car parking.

Step into the Priory and enjoy the ambience heightened by the bar's brass and mahogany fittings. Here the top quality bar food and wide selection of beers and wines can be enjoyed.

A great deal of attention has been paid to the structure of the building, utilising internal space to make more use of rooms than in the past.

Whether arriving by train or car, visitors staying at the hotel will find delightful country-style pine rooms which satisfy the big demand in Dover for first class accommodation at value for money. As well as en suite bathrooms, satellite television and direct dial telephones are also available. Food is served all day.

The young licensees of the Priory are Tony and Julie Butts, who are au fait with the Dover pub scene, having run the seafront Britannia for 18 months. Tony, 31, said of their latest venture: "Although a large amount of money has been spent on the refurbishment we will be concentrating on value and a high standard of service.

"We would much rather be full of people enjoying the surroundings and atmosphere at reasonable prices than empty and paying extortionate prices often found in the plastic pubs that abound."

Dover already has a large number of foreign tourists passing through the town and Tony and Julie are expecting an even bigger influx as the 1992 single European market approaches.

"We have already had many inquiries from tourists and cross-Channel commuters who have welcomed a good quality coaching inn to the area,' said 26-year-old Julie.

The considerable task of converting the Priory Hotel into its present pristine state fell to Berkeley Construction, of Margate, who have gained a reputation for top-notch workmanship.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 13 October, 2011. 60p


Slovian Band Elvis Jackson

"Priory Hotel" owner Eric Alton (second left) with Slovenian band Elvis Jackson.


A TOP Slovenian band has played its first-ever UK concert in Dover.

Elvis Jackson played to a packed house at the "Priory Hotel" last week in the first of its planned UK gigs.

Formed in 1997, the band has released several albums. The first was 1999's "Move Your Feet It's One O'clock," which has been promoted in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands and, in cooperation with Italian record company Rude Rec, in Italy, Spain and Japan.

The four-piece group has travelled across Europe to perform at some 600 shows and they now hope to crack the UK market with their own brand of rock music.

Vocalist David Kovŝca, guitarist Boŝtjan Belttram, bass guitarist Erik Makuc and drummer Marko Sorŝak have more dates in Southampton, Guildford, Norwich, Basingstoke and Hastings.

"Priory Hotel" owner Eric Alton hopes to persuade them to return to his venue for another performance when the band travel back through Dover on their way home to Slovenia next week.


From the East Kent Mercury, 19 April, 2012

Scottish society celebrates 125th anniversary.

Eric Alton 2012

Eric Alton, owner of Priory Hotel, centre with president Hell Farquhar and Mayor Ronnle Phllpott.


DOVER and East Kent Scottish Society celebrated its 125th anniversary with a buffet at the "Priory Hotel," Dover, the previous headquarters of the society after the Second World War.

Dover Mayor Cllr Ronnie Philpott presented the society with a 500 cheque from Dover Town Council to help towards a publication to celebrate the 125th anniversary. It will be launched at the annual meeting on May 26 at The Triangle Centre. Dover, at 2.30pm.

The Mayor also presented bouquets to the longest-serving women, Betty Toop, Molly Hutchison, and Margaret Becks.

Hotel owner Eric Alton was also presented with a certificate, including an original article announcing the first meeting at the hotel after the war.

Neil Farquhar, president of the society, will also be making history this year by becoming the longest-serving president since the war.

Committee member Harry Hutchison will become the longest serving on the committee since the war, after 44 years of service.

DOVER and East Kent Scottish Society celebrated its 125th anniversary with a buffet at the Priory Hotel, Dover, the previous headquarters of the society after the Second World War.




TOMLIN John May/1877-Nov/79 Dover Express

GOLDING Alfred Nov/1879-Jan/80 Dover Express

NASH Alfred Jan/1880+ Dover Express (of Maidstone Hotel keeper)

NASH Robert 1881-82+ (age 27 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

WARD James 1889-95 Pikes 1889(Pikes 1895 WARD T)

JEFFREY D to Nov/1900 Dover Express

WHITE John James Harrison Nov/1900-22 dec'd Post Office Directory 1903Dover Express

WHITE Mrs L M 1922-24+ Pikes 1923Pikes 1924

ROLFE William Henry 1925-27 end

STEWARD Edward Snood 1927-28 end

PETTS Alfred William 1928-Dec/32+ Pikes 1932-33

(THRESS Mrs 1933 ?)

Last pub licensee had LAND Amelia Mrs Dec/1932-Nov/35 Dover Express

TOMLINSON Kate Fanny Mrs Nov/1935-Dec/37 Dover Express (Of Seasalter, Whitstable)

WRIGHT Horace Dec/1937-Oct/38 Dover ExpressPikes 1938-39 (Licensed victualler from St. Leonard on Sea)

Last pub licensee had SUTTON Henry William Oct/1938-49 Pikes 48-49Dover Express

Last pub licensee had FAGG Walter William 1949-Mar/54 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

FERNLEY Leslie William Mar/1954 Dover Express

HEARNDEN Charles F 1964-67

MARTIN Charles J 1968

MARTIN Mrs J 1971

HOSSICK David I A 1974 Library archives 1974 Whitbread Fremlins

Last pub licensee had BUTTS Tony 1991-92 dec'd

ALTON Eric 2011+


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

Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

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

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

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:-