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Page Updated:- Tuesday, 26 March, 2024.


Earliest 1844

Priory Tavern

Latest 1876

(Name to)

3 Folkestone Road


Map of Red Cow and Priory Tavern

The map reference above shows the location of the "Priory Tavern" which is shown on a map of 1860 reprinted from information taken from the 1840s. Map segment by kind permission of the Dover Museum.


My first thoughts were that the "Priory Tavern" was replaced by the "Priory Hotel" on the same site, but the dates don't quite add up.

I am told that the map above was reprinted with information taken from 1843-44, so the pub must have been there then. Further information tell me that the premises was built in 1844 and originally opened as a beerhouse.

The earliest positive reference to date is in 1852 when the licence was refused, but it obviously was reinstated and I have found a Charles Jennings as licensee in 1858.

The latest I have found reference to the "Priory Tavern" is 1871 when the Kingsford brewery found it too much after the licensee Harriett Spicer was prosecuted for harbouring prostitutes and put the premises up for auction. Although I have also found mention to a Robinson, licensee of the "Priory Inn" in 1873, and other licensees going to as late as 1876, and a doubtful Alfred Saville Buckland as late as 1880, who appears to overlap the others.


Kentish Gazette, 15 July 1851.

On Friday evening some young Artillery men came out of the "Priory Gate" public house, in a state of drunkenness, about half past 8 o'clock, and commenced a wanton attack with their bayonet belts indiscriminately on the quiet civilians passing and repassing, until a disturbance ensued, which the police were called on to suppress; but it was not until some of the latter were severely kicked and beaten, that the ringleaders were secured and lodged at the Station-house.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 1 January, 1859.


William Thompson, who said he was a file cutter by trade, was charged with fraudulently obtaining 1s. from Sergeant Rolle of the Royal Artillery, by endeavouring to enlist in that corps after having been once rejected as unfit for her Majesty's service.

Sergeant Rolle said that the prisoner came to him on the preceding evening in the "Priory Tavern," Folkestone Road, and asked to be enlisted in the Royal Artillery. Witness asked him the usual questions - as to his age, whether he was an apprentice or a married man, if he had ever served her Majesty before, or had been rejected in any prior enlistment as unfit for service? To his last question he replied, "No." Witness also asked him if he had any complaint which would render him unfit for her Majesty's service and he said that he had not. Witness then gave him the enlisting shilling, and drew a billet for him. That morning he had found him at the house upon which the billet was drawn; but on his way to the doctor's, in order that he might be medically examined, the prisoner told him he was not fit to be a soldier. He said that he had enlisted in the artillery a few days ago at Folkestone, and had been rejected by the doctor. Witness then gave him in custody for obtaining money under fraudulent pretences.

The prisoner declined to ask the sergeant any questions, and he was then remanded till the following morning at 10 o'clock.


South Eastern Gazette, 25 September, 1860.

Extensive Pilfering By A Maid-Of-All-Work.

At the Police Court on Tuesday last, Amelia M. Morphew, maid-of-all-work in the service of Mr. Smith, landlord of the "Priory tavern," was charged with stealing a quantity of wearing apparel, the property of her master. It appeared that she had been originally engaged with so very good character, "being very well in some respects, but that the would go after the soldiers at night." Nothing, however, had been seen amiss of her till the previous Sunday, when during the absence of her mistresses in the country, for change of air, the prisoner decamped, taking with her, besides her own things, a pair of sheets, a print dress, two pillow cases, a toilet cover, sundry pieces of ribbon, a piece of bed-furniture, some cotton print, a shawl, 6 coats, and a couple of waistcoats, a petticoat body and skirt. Part of these articles the prisoner had sold to Mr. Baker, a dealer in old clothes, in Biggin-street, and the rest was found among her luggage at the railway station, when about to depart for the camp at Aldershott, that (Tuesday) morning, when she was taken into custody by the police, who had been on the look-out for her.

She was committed for trial at the next sessions.


Kentish Gazette. Tuesday 02 August 1864.

Infringement of licence.

Thomas Spicer, landlord of the "Priory Tavern," was summoned on the information of Sergt. Geddes, charged with infringing his licence by serving during the prohibited hours on Sunday last, but there being some mitigating circumstances in the case, he was dismissed on paying the costs, 6s. 6d.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 19 June, 1868. Price 1d.


Charles Walker, a corporal of 94th Regiment, having a good conduct stripe upon his arm was brought up by a young woman named Sarah Jane Baldwin, who described herself as servant at the "Priory Tavern," on a charge of stealing some wearing apparel and photographs, her property.

It appeared that the corporal had been admitted to the room of the complainant, and had taken the things in a lark. On discovering the prank which had been played, the young woman was very much enraged, and insisted on giving the corporal into custody. She now said she was convinced that the things had been taken only in fun, and desired to withdrawer the charge.

The Magistrates said it was a pity the complainant had allowed herself to be so overcome by a feeling of petty annoyance as to make a charge of this serious nature; but as she now appeared convinced that there was no foundation for the charge she had made, the man would be dismissed.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 7 October, 1870. Price 1d.


Harriet Spicer, landlady of the "Priory Tavern," was fined 2 and costs, for harbouring disorderly characters.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 20 January, 1871. Price 1d.


Harriett Spicer was summoned for keeping a disorderly house; but a medical certificate was put in showing that she was unable to attend; and the case was therefore adjourned till Friday.



Harriett Spicer, landlady of the "Priory Tavern," was fined 5 and costs for harbouring prostitutes. The defendant was not able to attend and the offence was proved in her absence.


By the look of things, this act was too much for the Kingsford Brewery, as February saw the premises being let.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 3 February, 1871. Price 1d.


The "Priory Tavern," Folkestone Road, Dover. Enquiries on the premises or of Mr. A. Kingsford, brewer, Dover.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 25 July, 1873. Price 1d.


On the application of Mr. Coleman, permission to draw at the "Priory Inn," Priory Road, until next transfer day, was granted to Mr. Robinson.



Having an address of 3 Folkestone Road, this is the same as the "Upholsterers Arms" found by Barry Smith, but only reference to that being in 1878. At least the dates tie up.

Later, the "Upholsterers Arms" changed name to the "Griffin."



FARRANT William 1851+ Census

JENNINGS Charles 1858 Melville's 1858

SMITH Henry 1858-61 Dover Express

SPICER Thomas 1864

CORDON Mrs Elizabeth 1865

SPICER Mrs Harriet 1870-May/71 Dover Express

COOK William May/1871+ Dover Express

Last pub licensee had BUCKLAND Alfred Saville 1873-Apr/73 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

ROBINSON July/1873+ Dover Express

BIRSE John 1874 Post Office Directory 1874

COULTER James Aug/1874+ Dover Express

FORSTER Henry F 1876



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:-