20 Finnis Hill (Upper Walton Lane)
An alehouse which was refused a licence renewal in 1835 but which was
certainly active again under Challis by 1847.
In August 1853, a devastating fire swept through the oil mills in
Limekiln Street. (Click for info) The pub occupied part of the mill grounds but was not
within the walls. It was completely gutted by the fire, fortunately without
loss of life. All the surrounding property had to be quickly evacuated and
some buildings demolished to prevent further spread. The population joined
in the fight and many won their spurs that night. Many buildings, including
the "Newcastle Arms" were only saved by being continuously hosed throughout.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 March, 1874. Price 1d.
IN LIQUIDATION, DOVER, KENT
Important sale of an old-established and well-arranged BREWERY, together
with 13 Freehold and Leasehold Public and Beer-houses, a Private
Residence, Malt-house, Stabling, &c.
WORSFOLD, HAYWARD, & Co. Have received instructions from the Trusteee of the Estate of Mr. G. S.
Page (in liquidation by arrangement, in connection with the Mortgagees,
to Sell by Auction, at the “Royal Oak Hotel,” Dover, on Tuesday, 24th
March, 1874, at three o’clock precisely, in one or right lots, the
following important and Valuable Property.
Five fully licensed Public-houses, all situate in the Borough of Dover,
comprising the “Lion,” Elizabeth Street, the “Sportsman,” Charlton
Green, the “Northampton Arms,” Northampton Street, the “Three
Compasses,” Finnis’ Hill, and the “Spotted Cow,” Durham Place. Also two
good beer-houses, the “Plough,” Laurestone Place, and the “Hope and
Anchor,” Blucher Row. These houses are held upon leases having from 12
to 20 years to run, and present at first-rate opportunity to any brewer
wishing to open or extend a connection in Dover.
It was Walker's loss but after being rebuilt served Satchell and in
September 1881 the premises was sold along with another 10 public-houses to
Mr. Barker, Loose, near Maidstone, for £610. (Click
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 14 December, 1883. 1d.
A SUNDAY DRINKING CORNER CLEARED
Mark Stockwell, the landlord of the “Three Compasses Inn,” Finnis Hill,
was summoned for two offences – keeping open house during forbidden
hours on Sunday, the 9th inst. – and secondly with selling liquor during
prohibited hours on the same day.
The following men were summoned for being on licensed premises during
prohibited hours:- Joseph Burville, labourer, 1, Cliff Court, John
Harvey, labourer, Finnis’ Hill, Edward Marsh, labourer, 38, Limekiln
Street, Henry Becker, labourer, “Eight Bells Inn,” New Street, James
Murphy, labourer, 20, Finnis’ Hill, Henry Burville, labourer, 13, Finnis’
Hill, Henry Millington, fisherman on board the smack Sophia, and Alfred
Hearn, fish hawker, 1, Queen’s Gardens.
Mr. W. Knocker prosecuted on behalf of the Watch Committee of the Town
Council, and Mr. M. Mowll appeared for the defendant Stockwell.
Mr. Knocker, in opening the case, said that the Police for some time had
had suspicion of this house in question trading during prohibited hours,
and therefore two of the police were sent to the British Schools, which
is very near the “Three Compasses,” standing at the top of a hill which
formed a dead end. The constables got into the schools before daylight
on Sunday week, and were enabled to watch the public-house, and they saw
48 persons go in and out, and he must say that the keeper had been very
wise in pleading “Guilty” to the offence. The defendants summoned were
the only ones that were known by those two constables.
Police-sergeant Harman said: On Sunday the 9th inst. At half past five
o’clock in the morning I went with Police-constable Fogg to the British
Schools on Finnis’ Hill, and from a window I and he took turns in
watching the defendants, Stockwell’s house the “Three Compasses.” We had
to stand on a chair to watch out of the window, and there we could see
down Finnis’ Hill to the bottom , the front and side door of the public
house. The said door leads into a yard by which there is a back way into
the house. Police-constable Fogg watched the house from a quarter past
eight to nine o’clock, and then I watched from nine till twenty five
minutes past 11, and during that time I saw 25 persons enter the house
and stay on an average about two or three minutes. At 10.20 the
defendant Becker entered the house and about three minutes later came
out again wiping his mouth with his left coat sleeve. (Laughter.) At
10.55 James Murphy entered the public house and stopped about three
minutes. Everyone I saw went into the house by the front door, which was
wide open from 8.15 to 11.25, and never once closed during that time.
When each person came up the hill he went along by the side and then
slipped in the front door so as not to be seen from the bottom of the
hill, a portion of the steps being visible from down the street. At
11.25 I saw John Harvey and Edward Marsh enter the house, both having
been in before, and Police-constable Fogg and I then left the schools
and went to the public house, he by the side and I went in to the front
door. The two defendants Harvey and Marsh were in the front of the bar,
and the landlord’s wife behind the bar. They had two pint glasses with
beer in them in their hands, and Harvey finished drinking his in our
presence, and Marsh put his on the counter in front of him. I said to
the landlady “what are these men doing here,” and she replied, “I am
very sorry that it should occur – it is the first that has been drawn
this morning.” The defendants gave me their names, and I told the
landlady that I should report the case to the Superintendent. I asked
her where her husband was, and she said that he had gone out. I had seen
him go out at about 10 o’clock. As we left the house to return to the
station we met the landlord with three other men going towards his
house. The whole of the morning a man named Onyion, lodging at the
“Three Compasses,” stood in the street outside the house on watch, and
when I went to the front door I heard him say “come out, come out,” and
I replied, “they are all right.” Onyion had not seen me, but on noticing
Fogg cried out to the men inside the house. I had seen James Murphy and
Henry Becker enter the house and stand on the mat inside.
Police-constable Fogg said: I was with the last witness and his evidence
as far as I know is correct. At 8.15 I saw the door opened, and it
remained so till 11.25. While I was watching alone I saw 23 persons
enter the “Three Compasses Inn” and stop about three minutes each. At
8.50 I saw the defendant Millington with another man I do not know enter
the house and remain 15 minutes. He had been in the house before that
morning. At nine minutes past 10 o’clock I saw the defendant Hearn with
two others enter the house and stop between two and three minutes. At 12
minutes past 10 Henry Burville and another man went into the house.
Henry Burville was in the house on and off all the morning. At 10.37 I
saw Joseph Burville go into the house alone. At 11.25 I went into the
Inn by the back door as directed by Sergeant Harman, and we found Marsh
and Harvey drinking beer. A man named Onyion was on the watch all the
morning, and I heard him speak to two men coming up the hill when we
were going to the house.
Mr. M. Mowll, in his pleading for the defendant Stockwell, said that he
bore a good character, and he was exceedingly sorry that this offence
had been committed and he would never do so again. He hoped the Bench
would not record this conviction upon the license, as that would make
the owner Mr. Barker, of Maidstone, be the sufferer, who, if the bench
thought proper would obtain another tenant. The defendant was
comparatively poor and had a wife and a number of children depending
The defendant in reply to the Bench gave various reasons for being on
the premises – one that he went for change for a shilling, and another
to speak to the landlord about some rabbits, and Becker, amid
considerable laughter, said that he saw smoke coming from the back door,
and of course went in to put out the fire.
The Chairman said: As far as my experience goes this is one of the worst
cases that has ever come before the Dover Bench, and the Magistrates are
bound to show their sense of the magnitude of the offence and the open
way it was done, and we shall therefore fine you £5 and costs 9s. 6d.,
and the license will be endorsed. It is a glaring case, and the bench
would not be doing their duty if they did not endorse the license. The
other defendants will be dealt very leniently with, and fined 2s. 6d.,
and costs 9s. 6d.
Mr. M. Mowll asked the Bench to reconsider their decision with regard to
the endorsement of the license.
The Bench said that they could not alter their decision.
The defendants were allowed until the following Saturday to pay the
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 5 August, 1904. Price 1d.
An application was made for permission to draw at the “Three Compasses”
by Henry Warner from J. Decent. It appeared that the house was
transferred to another man on June 30th. He had not taken the house as
the brewers refused to let him have it. The Magistrates said that under
these circumstances they could not grant another authority until the
other expired, and the house will accordingly be closed until the
DOVER EXPRESS first week OCTOBER 1906 reported the following:- Canterbury
Sessions decided to close, under the Compensation Act, six Dover pubs
including the "William and Albert",
"Three Compasses", "Duke of York", The "Wellesley",
The "Old Commercial Quay" and the
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 16 February, 1906. Price 1d.
OBJECTION TO THE THREE COMPASSES
The next objection was against the “Three Compasses,” Finnis’s Hill, the
landlord of which was Mr. Henry L Warner. The objection stated that the
license was unnecessary, and that the premises were so situated as to
make Police supervision difficult. Mr. Mowll appeared for the tenant and
Inspector Fox said that the tenant went into the house on the 5th August
1904, but the tenant before him, John Decent, had kept the house for
upwards of 20 years. The nearest licensed premises were the “Kent Arms,”
Elizabeth Street, 111 yards distant. There were three other licensed
premises in the neighbourhood. The house was badly situated for Police
supervision as it could not be approached except by going up Finnis’s
Hill, and the majority of the inhabitants residing there were not in
sympathy with the Police.
The Chairman said that was an opinion, not evidence.
Witness said that they found from experience that they got no
information from the inhabitants in regards to complaints or disorderly
conduct in the neighbourhood.
The Chairman said that if the neighbours outside quarrelled amongst
themselves, that could not be an objection against the house.
Mr. Mowll: As I understand it there is no approach to the premises
except by the road leading up to them?
How else would you get at them, in a balloon? (Laughter.)
In this particular case there is a dead end to Finnis’s Hill.
Witness, in reply to other questions, said that the property belonged to
the Burton Brewers of Herne Bay, and he believed it was the only house
they had in Dover.
THE MAGISTRATES DECISION
After a short consultation in private, the Magistrates turned to the
Bench. The Chairman said “The following houses will be referred to the
Kent Compensation Committee of the Quarter Sessions in due form: The
“William and Albert,” The “Three Compasses,” the “Wellesley Inn,” the
“Old Commercial Quay,” the “Duke of York,” and the “Half Moon.” The
licenses for these houses will run until the time when the compensation
is paid, and then the licences will cease. With respect to the
“Devonshire Arms” and the “Lord Roberts,” and the “Nottingham Castle,”
they will be withdrawn from the list.- These licences will be renewed in
the ordinary way.
When declared redundant in 1906 it came under the auspices of the Burton
Brewery Company of Herne Bay.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 3 September, 1937.
Above photo shows a photo taken on Finnis Hill 1937, where the Slum
Clearance buildings were being demolished. It is not known if the "Three
Compasses" is shown in this photo.
Compensation was agreed sometime after November that year. The oil mills
were replaced by what came to be termed the Commercial Buildings and much of
that was also destroyed by fire in May 1965.
CHALLIS J 1847
ROBINSON W R 1850
DAVIS Oliver 1850 end
KELSEY Mrs Susanna 1852
POND 1852 end
FRANCIS James 1858
RAPSON H 1862
McDONALD Mrs Flora Elizabeth 1863
MATTHEWS William John or J W July/1867
JAMES Daniel 1874-Sept/81
DOLBEAR James Sept/1881+
STOCKWELL Mark 1882-Dec/83
DECENT John 1884-Aug/1904 end (Beer
House closed for a few months.
WARNER Henry L 1904-06
From Bagshaw Directory 1847
From Melville's Directory 1858
From the Post Office Directory 1862
From the Kelly's Directory 1874
From the Post Office Directory 1874
From the Post Office Directory 1882
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895
Pikes Dover Blue Book 1898
From the Kelly's Directory 1899
From the Post Office Directory 1901
From the Dover Express