Sort file:- Dover, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Monday, 27 September, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1835

Three Compasses

Latest Nov 1906

20 (18 1881Census) 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.

Click here for photo of Finnis Hill.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 March, 1874. Price 1d.


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.

LOT 8.

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 here.)


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 14 December, 1883. 1d.


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 upon him.

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 fines.


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 authority expires.



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 "Half Moon".


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 16 February, 1906. Price 1d.


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 owner.

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?

No, sir.

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.


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.


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 Bagshaw's Directory 1847


DAVIS Oliver 1850 end

KELSEY Mrs Susanna 1852

POND 1852 end

FRANCIS James 1858 Melville's 1858

RAPSON H 1862 Post Office Directory 1862

McDONALD Mrs Flora Elizabeth 1863

MATTHEWS William John or J W July/1867 Dover Express

JAMES Daniel 1871-Sept/81 (age 45 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1874Kelly's 1874Dover Express

DOLBEAR James Sept/1881+ Dover Express

STOCKWELL Mark 1882-Dec/83 Post Office Directory 1882Dover Express

DECENT John 1884-Aug/1904 end (Pikes 1895Pikes 1898Beer retailer)Kelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Dover Express

House closed for a few months. Dover Express

WARNER Henry L 1904-06 Dover Express


Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Kelly's 1874From the Kelly's Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

Pikes 1898From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1898

Kelly's Directory 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

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:-