Sort file:- Ramsgate, August, 2023.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 19 August, 2023.


Earliest 1750-

Fountain Inn

Closed 1963

21 (30 in  1861Census) York Street

West Cliff


Fountain Inn 1890

Above photo circa 1890, kindly sent by Patricia Bennett, who says the gentleman in the photo is her great grandfather, James Asherton.

Fountain Inn

Above photo, date unknown.


Kentish Gazette, 23 November, 1792.

To be sold.

All that good accustomed Public House, called or known by the name of sign of the "Fountain," with the yard, garden, backside, ground and appurtenances thereuno belonging, situate, lying and being in or near a certain Street or place called the New End, in the town of Ramsgate, and now in the occupation of Mr. William Stock, as tenant at will.

The premises are freehold, and capable of considerable improvement.

Enquire of John Solly, Attorney, at Sandwich.


From Kentish Gazette 10 December 1799.


Last week died at Ramsgate, Mrs. Sims, wife of Mr. ---- Sims, master of the "Fountain" public house of that place.


From Kentish Gazette 24 September 1850.


Sept. 16, at Ramsgate, of apoplexy, Mr. John Jarman, many years landlord of the "Fountain Inn," York Street, aged 49 years, much respected.


Southeastern Gazette, 12 April 1853.


April 4, at St. George's church, Ramsgate, Mr. William Christian, shipwright, and landlord of the "Fountain Inn," York-street, to Elizabeth, widow of the late Mr. John Hall, and landlady of the "Queen’s Head," Harbour-place.


Dover Express, 25 February 1865.

On Monday, at the Ramsgate Police Court, Abraham Bristow, landlord of the "Fountain Inn," York Street, pleaded guilty, and was fined 10s., and 9s., costs, for keeping open his house for the sale of beer, otherwise than for the refreshment for travellers, at 11.30 a.m. on Sunday the 12th inst.


Thanet Advertiser, Tuesday 15 April 1947.


Licensee of the "Fountain Inn," York-street, Ramsgate, for 21 years, Mr. Tom Johnson has discovered a staircase in the cellar which he did not know was there.

He was moving some barrels in the cellar when a wooden doorway covering part of the stone wall, fell aside, and he found an old brick stairway leading up into the darkness.

The stairs go up past the dart-room—where a cupboard door gives a glimpse of them—and continues to the room above. There is no means of exit at the top at the present-day, for the stairs end at a cupboard wall, but Mr. Johnson believes that originally they were part of the system of smugglers' passages.

"I can only think that the stairs were part of the smuggling days," said Mr. Johnson, “and that they used to come down from upstairs and go through the cellar to the passage which led to the harbour."

One of the oldest inns in Ramsgate, the "Fountain" dates back to the year 1750 or thereabouts, and the tunnel in the cellar, now bricked up, once led to the old harbour quay at the end of the street.


Thanet Advertiser, Friday 3 November 1950.

Night Explosion Wrecks Bathroom. Three Children Escape Unhurt.

Three young children had an amazing escape from serious injury when an explosion ripped the bathroom of the upstairs flat in which they were sleeping at 19 York Street, Ramsgate, on Monday night.

The explosion, which was heard over a wide area in the centre of the town, blew out the walls of the bathroom, tore doors off the hinges, brought down ceilings and shattered the plate glass windows of the ground floor restaurant belonging to Mr. Louis H. Nicholas.

The three children, Helen Nicholas, age 12, Anita, 10, and Louis, 3, went to bed at about 8 o'clock, in a room near the bathroom.

Helan, Louis and Anita Nicholas 1950

Shortly after 10 o'clock a tremendous explosion which those who heard it described as being "like a shell burst," brought people running to the spot. They found the restaurant windows splintered in the street.

Mr. Joe Oates, proprietor of the next door restaurant, Mr. Harry Ansley, of Saint Lawrence Avenue, Ramsgate, who was with him at the time, and Mr. Harold Johnson, brother of the licensee of the "Fountain Inn," made their way into the building.

They found the three children shocked and terrified and shouting for help in a front room. Anita had a cut on her leg.

P.C Bird and W.P.C. Ayling joined the rescuers and the children were taken into Mr. Oates' flat in a shocked condition. Mr. Ansley took them to Ramsgate General Hospital where they were examined and allowed to go after Anita's cut have been treated.

Not only was the flat at 19 York Street extensively damaged but nearby property was also affected. The 4 1/2 inches thick wall between numbers 19 and 17 was cracked and bulging.

The skylight window of number 19 was blown into the air and landed on top of the skylight in the next door roof. Both crashed through into the stairs over which Mrs. Oates passed a few minutes previously.

At the "Fountain Inn," which is 21 York Street, the roof was damaged and dust filled the rooms. Chunks of brickwork from the wall of number 19 was scattered 100 yards away. "I was in the Coventry blitz but I never heard of bang louder than that one," Mr Ansley told a Thanet Advertiser reporter.

"It was a miracle that Louis wasn't hurt" said Mrs. Nicholas. "He was sleeping in a cot beside the windows and when they burst in glass showered all over it."

Ramsgate fireman, under Station Officer Wain were quickly on the scene and inspected the building to make sure there was no risk of fire. The fireman erected protective sheeting and made all safe. After examining the wrecked rooms, Mr. Wain said "I have seen less damage caused by a bomb."

Because their flat had been rendered uninhabitable, Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas and their family have moved to the house at 2 Arklow Square.

The fire brigade call-out provided a thrill for the Toc H party who are visiting the fire station on that evening. The "bells went down" just as the party were preparing to leave.


Thanet Advertiser - Tuesday 05 December 1950.

After 30 years at the two-and-a-half centuries old "Fountain Inn," York-street, Ramsgate, Mr. Tom Johnson has handed over the licence to his brother, Harry. Thus Harry is maintaining a long family association with the licensed trade. His parents came to Ramsgate in 1919 and had the licences of the "Duke of York" and "Admiral Napier" before taking the Garfield Restaurant, York-street. For 25 years Harry has been drumming in dance bands all over the country, notably in Gaumont British halls. In World War 2 he was a member of a five-piece R.A.F. combination, operating from Uxbridge, which helped to cheer the lives of personnel in the most remote stations of the British Isles. "I used to play bars --- now I'm behind one," said Harry, who has been appearing with Len Goodwin's band at the San Clu. Another brother Harold, who won the D.F.C. in the war, is a policeman at Norwich. Tom, by the way, has moved to Sittingbourne.



STOCK William 1792+

SIMS Mr 1799+

TERRY William 1823-39+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

JARMAN John 1841-Sept/50 dec'd (age 32 in 1841Census) Kentish Gazette

CHRISTIAN William 1853-62+ (also shipwright age 65 in 1861Census) Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1862

BRISTOW Abraham 1865-67+ Post Office Directory 1867

DOWNS George 1871+ (age 40 in 1871Census)

ASHENDEN James J 1881-91+ (age 44 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882Post Office Directory 1891

ASHENDEN Mary M Mrs 1901-07+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

READ Frederick 1911+ (age 44 in 1911Census)

HANNAFORD William 1913-15+ Post Office Directory 1913

PILE Francis 1918+

JOHNSON Thomas Christopher 1922-Dec/50 Post Office Directory 1922Post Office Directory 1930Post Office Directory 1938

JOHNSON Harry Dec/1950-55+



Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1867From the Post Office Directory 1867


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1918From the Post Office Directory 1918

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938


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