Sort file:- Dover, November, 2023.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 18 November, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1841-

Three Cups Inn

Closed 7 Jan 2023

59 Crabble Hill Kelly's Directory 1956 (Turnpike Road)

(80 Buckland Street 1861) London Road Post Office Directory 1874


07426 127227

Three Cups circa 1987

Three Cups circa 1987 (Photo by Paul Skelton)

Three Cups outing date unknown

Above photo, date unknown showing an outing for regulars.

Three Cups circa 1980

Above photo circa 1980 by Barry Smith.

Three Cups sign 1986

Three Cups sign April 1986.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

From Porters, King Street, Maidstone. July 1998.

Thre Cups 1997


A well presented single bar terrace freehouse with good established local trade.

Accommodation comprises: substantial single bar with central servery, rear hall, internal toilets, basement cellar, enclosed skittle alley. Dining room, living room. 2 bedrooms, kitchen, store room, bathroom/WC. Rear trade garden with rear pedestrian access. FREEHOLD GUIDE PRICE: 130,000 'ALL AT' PLUS SAV.


The Three Cups 2007

Above picture by Paul Skelton 8th Sept 2007.

Three Cups sign 2007Three Cups sign 2016

Above sign left, Sept 2008, sign right, August 2016, both by Paul Skelton.

Three Cups 2020

Above photo 2020.

Three Cups 2022

Above Google image 2022.


This was built about 1840, the number at one time being 59. That was the result of other properties lower down disappearing during a road widening in 1938. It was a Leney house which passed to Fremlin then Whitbread.


From the Kentish Gazette, 11 July 1843.

July 10.

This day the lodge of Ancient Druids was held at the "Fountain Inn," Dover, and it being a grand field day with them, they assembled in very considerable numbers; having formed into line of procession in front of the above inn, they proceeded round the entire town, accompanied by a full band of music, drums and rifles, banners, and flags, the brothels carrying the different orders and insignia of office; upon arriving at the "Three Cups," at Buckland, the regalia and flags were deposited there, whilst the band and the brothers proceeded to the village of Whitfield, where a game of cricket and other games were to be played, terminating with a cold collation. It is understood that the procession will return early in the evening for the purpose of resuming the lodge.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 19 May, 1876.


On Monday morning James Lewis, a member of the Dover police Force, who has recently been promoted to the post of sergeant, and who has filled the office of clerk in the police station two years, committed suicide at his house at Crabble Hill by shooting himself with a revolver. The deceased seems to have been guilty of embezzlement, he having retained a sum of 8 entrusted to him to be forwarded to a Reformatry School at Eye, in Suffolk, and it is said that there is other money not accounted for. The deceased in some written papers also complains of domestic troubles. Lewis had obtained a day's leave on Sunday, and in his absence the Superintendent had discovered that the money above mentioned had not been paid, and it was when the police officer was going to his house to take him to account for the matter at the police station that he hastily ran to his room and shot himself, using an American (Colts) revolver taken from the police station that a foreign banker who shot himself at the “Lord Warden Hotel” two years ago had used with similar fatal effect.

An inquest was held on the body at the “Three Cups Inn,” Buckland, on the Monday evening , before W. H. Payne, Esq., Coroner. The Town Clerk, Mr. Woolaston Knocker, attended to watch the case on behalf of the Watch Committee. A Jury, of which Mr. Adams, “Park Inn,” was the foreman, having been sworn, the Jury went to view the body, which is where the deed was committed, after which the following evidence was taken:-

Elizabeth Lewis, the widow, said: Deceased was a sergeant in the Borough Police Force. He has lately complained of his head being bad. This morning, about five-and-twenty to seven, I saw him sitting on a chair by the fire in the sitting room. He got up from the fire place and opened the bedroom door, went in, and shut the door after him. I told him not to shut himself in, and opened the door and went after him into the bedroom. He threw himself on to the bed. I thought he had a knife in his hand. I said “Lewis, don't cut your throat.” I got hold of his hand, and a pistol went off. I moved his head and saw the blood. I went to the door and called Sergeant Stevens and another policeman who were close by. The other constable was Police-constable Nash. They came in at once and attended to him. I went down to the Police-station this morning to see the Superintendent and I came home and delivered a message to the deceased which the Superintendent gave me. I was down there at six o'clock. The message was that Lewis was to go down and see the Superintendent. I told him that and he did not like it. He was going to send me down to the Police-station at a quarter to seven o'clock. He said, “I shall not go down before eight.” I was going down and I saw Sergeant Stevens close by, and Lewis who saw him too jumped up out of the front room and went into the bedroom and immediately shot himself. I believe it was about some money that he wanted me to go to the Police-station. He said there was a little money short and that is why he had been away all day on Sunday. He did not know how to get out of the difficulty.

By a Juror: He has before threatened to kill himself. On Sunday night week he was in the closet and I heard a pistol go off. I was in bed. He had been out walking, and I think he had been drinking.

By the Foreman: I never reported that to any one. He was in the closet two hours. I did not like to call anyone as it was eleven o'clock. He stayed in the closet till one o'clock. I told Police-constable Pilcher that I thought he was the worse for drink, bit I said nothing about the pistol shot as I feared it might go further about.

Mr. Knocker: You spoke about his being out on Sunday. Did he not do duty on Sunday?

Witness: No, sir. He left home very untidily dressed at twenty minutes to ten, and came back this morning at 5.30.

By the Coroner: I thought he left to go to duty. He said he would be down there in half-an-hour. He told me this morning when he returned home he did not go. I do not know where he went. He came in more like a lunatic this morning than anything else. I was afraid of him. I asked him where he had been, and he said he had been to Canterbury and had walked home, and that made him so late.

A little girl, niece of the deceased, who was in the house at the time, was next called. In reply to the Coroner she said she heard the pistol fire but did not see anything. The Coroner said that as she was only ten years old it was scarce worth while swearing her.

Sergeant Stevens of the Dover Police Force, said: In consequence of instructions I received from the Superintendent I went to the old Turnpike House, the residence of the deceased, at Crabble Hill, accompanied by Police-constable Nash who was on that beat. Just before coming in sight of the house I met the deceased's wife and she asked me if I was going to the house. I said “Yes.” I asked her if Lewis was in and she said “Yes.” I asked her if he was alright and she said “Yes.” I asked her if he was quiet and she said “Yes.” I then directed her to go back and told her I would follow her. When I was about thirty yards from the house the wife came out and beckoned to me. I hastened up to the door and walked in. I saw his wife at the bedroom door, and she said “make haste in.” I noticed a smell of powder, and before going in I called to him and receiving no answer I went in and found the deceased lying on the bed on his right side. His right hand was lying underneath him with this pistol clutched in it. It is a five chamber revolver, and it was very hot when I took it out of his hand. I have examined it and find four barrels charged and the fifth one contains an empty cartridge case. I immediately sent for a doctor. Mr. Long came about half-an-hour afterwards. I raised the body and found that Lewis was alive, but he died just before the doctor arrived. He was quite unconscious. I gave him some water and that caused him to struggle but he never spoke. The doctor when he came pronounced him to be dead. The deceased has complained to me two or three times lately of feeling unwell, and more particularly in his head. The instructions I had from the Superintendent were to go and tell him to come down.

The Coroner: Not to take him down?

Witness: I should have taken him if he had refused to come, but my instructions were to tell him to come down and see the Superintendent. On searching the deceased I found upon him those two notes, six shillings and one penny in money, two purses, a silver watch and guard and key, a gold ring on his finger, two knives, two police whistles, two cartridges, a comb and a pencil.

The Coroner read the notes which were written in pencil. One was written on the back of a summons to attend a meeting of the Order of the Druids, on the Second of May, at the “Wellington Inn,” Biggin Street of which society deceased was a member. The writing was as follows:-

“May the Great God of heaven and earth forgive me. Oh! Father of mercies receive my soul. I am a wicked wretch not fit to live. I hope the Lord will receive me in death.”

“I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ his only Son out Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilot, Was crucified, dead and buried, he descended into hell; the 3rd day he rose again, from the dead, he ascended into heaven And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; the Resurrection of the body, And the life everlasting. Amen.”

The above was evidently written from memory as in one place he had written two lines incorrectly and had drawn the pencil through it and afterwards written it correctly.

On another circular, referring to the non-payment of the money due for the Reformatory School, in which the Superintendent had written, “Do you remember to whom you paid the money for the P.O.O. at all?” the deceased had written:-

“I have not paid it at all. Forgive me if you can. No peace at home. I drink and drown care. Forgive me as I hope the Lord Almighty will forgive me. I forgive everyone, and may the Lord have mercy on my soul.



On the other side was written:-

“May the great God above have mercy on my sinful soul. Don't let my wife have that child. I wish she could go with me. She is at least free from sin. Father's address, Mr. J. Lewis, at Mr. William May's, Bentley, near Ipswich, Suffolk.”

Superintendent Sanders, of the Dover Police Force, said: the deceased was a reserve sergeant in the Dover Police Force, doing duty as clerk at the Police Station. He left on Sunday night at nine o'clock. He appeared then to be in his usual health, but previous to leaving duty he asked for a day's leave on the Sunday, as he wanted to go to Canterbury very particularly. I granted the leave. By Sunday's morning post I received the circular now produced, from Major Inglis, Inspector of Reformatory Schools, informing me that the last quarter's contributions from parents of juvenile offenders had not been forwarded. The deceased had the money to obtain the Post Office order, on the 4th of this month; it was 8 9s. I was engaged on that day, and I directed him to obtain the order and send it off, as he had often done before. I sent as message to his house yesterday morning between eight and nine o'clock, and finding that he did not come to the station I went to his house, but could not find him. This morning I broke open a desk at the Station of which he kept the key, and I found the returns I now produce that should have been sent to the Inspector on the 4th inst. I also found the letter that he had written to send with the P.O.O. This morning , a little before six o'clock, I saw his wife in Queen Street. She asked me to look over it, and she would find the money. I told her it was gone too far for me to settle. She asked me if she should come down, and I said “Yes.” I at once directed Sergt Stevens to go to his house, and to accompany Lewis to the Police-station. The deceased has been in the force six years, and he has recently been promoted to the rank of sergeant. I never found him wring in the money matters before; he was always very correct. I might mention that during the last week I have had to complain of him for forgetfulness, but beyond that I have noticed nothing different in his manner. The revolver I identify as one that was hanging up with others inn my private office. They were removed last week for the purpose of being cleaned by him. When I found that the man was gone yesterday, I examined the firearms and found two pistols missing. I have not found the other one.

Arthur Long, Surgeon, deposed: At seven this morning I was called to see the deceased by Police-sergeant Stevens. I proceeded to his house. I found him lying dead on his bed. On examination I found a bullet wound in his right temple. The bullet passed right through the brain, and fractured the bone at the opposite ear. The wound was sufficient to cause death.

Sergeant Stevens said he might mention that deceased received some very severe injuries to his head some time ago, which caused him to be off duty two months.

The Coroner, having briefly summed up the evidence, the Jury returned a verdict, “That the deceased shot himself while in a state of insanity.”



At a sale on 30 September 1886 it changed hands at 960. It closed in September 1940 for the duration but Edith Rogers stepped into the breach and it reopened almost immediately.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 13 July, 1888. Price 1d.


Frederick Clark, was summoned for unlawful assaulting Alice Mary Goldsmith on the 29th of June.

Frederick Clark, John Clark, and Steven Clark, were also summoned by Thomas Marsh for doing damage to certain property by breaking three panes of glass, etc. to the amount of 15s.

Each of the defendants pleaded “Not Guilty.”

Both cases were heard together.

Alice Mary Goldsmith said: I am the wife of John Alfred Goldsmith, and he works for Mr. Marsh, on his farm at Buckland. We live in a cottage belonging to Mr. Marsh which is situated by itself on the road leading from the old Roman road to Major Lawes' residence. Last Friday week June 29th, about half past eight o'clock in the evening, my husband and myself were strolling round the fields when I saw three men out in a field of fares belonging to Mr. Marsh, I could see the defendant Fred Clark as he came forward. The other two men lay down in the field. Frederick Clark afterwards lay down and I went by him and asked him what he was doing on Mr. Marsh's ground, he asked me what it was to do with me, and I told him that both I and my husband had been instructed to order anyone off the ground. He refused to go, but turned round and swore at me, and wanted to fight me and my husband. We went away, and when we got home my husband heard someone laughing behind bushes which are close to the home, he threw a stone in that direction and three men then ran away. I could see Frederick and Stephen Clark, but I could not recognize the other man. They started throwing stones, and I saw Frederick Clark throw a stone, which struck me on the breast, and knocked me down. Several panes of glass were broken, the damage amounting to 15s., and damage to the extent of 4s. 9d. was done, by a dozen bottles of lemonade being broken.

John Goldsmith gave corroborative evidence.

The Bench dismissed the charge against John Clark, as he was not identified.

George Winneford, landlord of the “Three Cups” public house, Alfred Benson, Edward Wood, and Henry Ladd, were called by Stephen Clark, and they all stated that they saw him at the “Three Cups” on Friday evening last June 29th. Three of the witnesses said he was in the public house all evening.

The Magistrates dismissed the summons for damage against Stephen and Frederick Clark. In the summons for assault against Frederick Clark, the Bench fined him 5s. and 10s. costs.

The money was paid.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 11 May, 1888. 1d.


An inquest was held at the “Three Cups Inn,” Buckland, on Tuesday afternoon, before the Borough Coroner (Sydenham Payn, Esq.), on the body of a man named Edward Harding, who died suddenly on Sunday morning last. The following gentlemen composed the Jury: Messrs. H. Martin, W. Lawrence, J. Friend, E. Hammond, G. Bowles, J. Chapman, C. Enderson, E. Pearson, K. Swinnock, E. C. Pierce, J. B. Abbott, R. L. Wissenden, and E. Wood. Mr. Swinnock was chosen foreman of the Jury, and after viewing the body, the following evidence was taken.

Catherine Harding, living at 2, Park Cottages, said: The body the Jury have viewed is that of my husband, Edward Harding; his age was 42 years, and he was a labouring man. On Saturday evening he went out and returned home about half-past ten o'clock. He never complained of anything when he returned home on Saturday. The deceased and myself went to bed, and about one a.m. he asked my if my son was home. I heard nothing more until about ten minutes to two, when I woke up and heard the deceased making a peculiar noise as if he was gasping for breath. The deceased only breathed three times, I called my son, and he came in the room and tried to wake his father, but could not do so. Deceased did not speak but died directly. I sent for a doctor, and Mr. C. Walter came about an hour afterwards. Deceased never made any complaint about his health, but used to say that when he did digging, he had a pain in his chest. The deceased had not done any work for five days previous to his death, as he could get nothing to do. I have been married 22 years, and during that time deceased had no illness, excepting a cold which he always had in winter.

Edward Harding, son of deceased, said: I am a labourer and live at home with my parents. I saw deceased, who was my father, about four o'clock on Saturday afternoon, and he then seemed in his usual health. I went out and returned home at 11 o'clock, the deceased was then in bed and asleep. About two a.m. the next morning my mother came into my room and called me. I went into my father's room and heard him making heavy sighs. I tried to wake deceased but could not, and afterwards rubbed his forehead with vinegar, as I thought he was in a fit. I went and called a neighbour, and afterwards went for Dr. Walter. I have worked with the deceased occasionally, and he has several times complained of tightness in his chest, and I have seen him knock his chest, but he took no further notice of it.

Thomas Benson said: I am a gardener, and live at 5, Dodd's Place, Buckland. I have known the deceased for many years. On Saturday evening last, shortly before nine o'clock, I saw deceased in this public house (“Three Cups”), and he was then playing skittles. I had a game with him and several others for about half an hour. After the game was over, deceased and myself left the skittle alley and came into the bar. I left deceased standing at the bar about half-past ten p.m., when I went home. Deceased was quite sober, and appeared to be in his usual health and made no complaint.

Clement Cuthbert Walter, surgeon, residing and practising in Dover, gave evidence to being called to deceased's house early on Sunday morning. Witness found life to be quite extinct, death having recently taken place. Witness stated that death might possibly have occurred from heart disease, accelerated by privation and an over exertion by playing a game of skittles.

The Jury returned a verdict of “Death from natural causes.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 5 January, 1894. 1d.


An inquest was held on Friday afternoon, at the “Three Cups” public-house, before the Coroner (Mr. Sydenham Payn, Esq.), upon the body of Marie Doherty, an old woman, who died on the previous Wednesday, from the result of a fall.

The following gentlemen composed the Jury:- Messrs. G. Solley (foreman) G. Bowles, W. Norris, A. H. Adams, G. Willis, R. Vinall, J. Sanders, W. J. Fisher, W. H. Tucker, F. Pennal, J. Hills, and W. Pelham.

The Coroner refused to administer the oath to one of the Jurymen because he appeared in a butcher's smock and apron, and in discharging him advised him to appear more suitably dressed when called upon again.

After the body had been viewed at deceased's residence, the following evidence was taken:-

Charlotte Doherty, deceased's daughter said: I live at 2, Dodd's Cottages, with the deceased. The body the Jury have just viewed if that of my mother, Marie Doherty, widow of a master shoemaker in the Army. Her age was 61. She was in good health on Saturday last, when she left home at 4.30. I don't know where she went, but at half-past nine a neighbour told me that my mother was coming up the street. I asked Mrs. Clark, another neighbour to go and meet her, and about ten minutes afterwards my mother was brought home by a Policeman. Her face was covered with mud, and she had a scratch upon her forehead, but there was no blood upon her face. I asked where she had been, and she replied that she had only been down to see the shops. Her clothes were very muddy, and I thought she had a fall. At half-past eleven we went to bed, and Mr. Keeler helped her upstairs. She was sober when she came in. She remained pretty well all Sunday, till nine o'clock in the evening, when suddenly, as she was sitting by the fire, her head dropped. I asked her what was the matter, and she replied “I can't see.” I sent for Dr. Long. About five minutes afterwards deceased was unable to speak. I had to get assistance to put her to bed. Her breathing became very heavy, and next morning I again sent for Dr. Long, his assistant arriving soon after. She remained unconscious till Wednesday morning at five minutes to two, when she called out my name twice. She died at half-past six. She was a delicate woman, unsteady on her legs, and suffered from giddiness.

Police-constable Vincent said: On Saturday night, between a quarter and half-past nine, I saw Mrs. Doherty leaning against the wall close to Mr. Goodchild's, the baker. I spoke to her and asked what she was doing there, and she said “Only having a rest.” I advised her to go home, and walked on. I heard her footsteps behind me, and on looking round saw her staggering across the pavement. She got a little way, then fell into the road. I noticed when I spoke to her that she had had a fall before. I picked her up, and she said she was all right and could walk home. She has lost the use of her legs completely. She was not drunk, but had been drinking. I got a barrow from Mr. Forwood and took the deceased home, leaving her in charge of her daughter. The fall caused a graze on her forehead, which bled a little.

John G. Sapp, assistant to Dr. Long, said: The first message was received on Sunday night and a powder was sent with instructions what to do. Another message came on Monday morning, and I went to the house. Deceased was lying in an almost unconscious condition, and unable to speak. The breathing was very heavy, and there was an abraised wound over the left eye, and considerable swelling over the whole of that side of the face. So much so that the lid of the left eye could not be opened. This would most probably be caused by falling into the road. Dr. Long saw her afterwards, and she was in the same condition. She was suffering evidently from some injury to the base of the brain. I saw her again on Wednesday morning after she was dead. The injury to the brain was the cause of death. There were no other marks of injury.

By the Foreman: There were no external marks to show that the skull was fractured.

The Jury returned a verdict of “Death from Misadventure.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 27 November, 1903. Price 1d.



An inquest was held at the “Three Cups Inn,” Crabble Hill, on Monday, by the Borough Coroner (Sydenham Payn, Esq.), on the body of Sarah Chadwick, aged 66 years, living at 33, Glenfield Road, who died early on Saturday morning. Mr. G. Marsh was foreman of the Jury.

William Chadwick, living at 33, Glenfield Road, said he was a stonemason. The body at his house was that of his mother, Sarah Chadwick, aged 66 years. On Friday night he spent the evening with the deceased at his house. Between nine and ten she went out to post a paper. On returning she appeared very fagged and in a distressed condition. She complained that her heart was bad. When she had rested he made her a cup of tea and some bread and butter. He left her sitting by the fire and went to bed. About one o'clock he heard moaning noises, and on going to the deceased's bedroom, he saw her sitting on the bed. She repeated, “What shall I do?” several times. He went to call some neighbours, but could not make them hear. He went back to the deceased, who had fallen back on the bed. He endeavoured to put her on the bed, when she fell on the floor. He went immediately for the doctor, and Dr. Ibotson came. The deceased had complained about a pain in her heart.

Elizabeth Amelia Wood, wife of William Wood, living at 17, Park Street, said the deceased was her mother, and she last saw her on Wednesday evening, when she came to visit her. She was then in her usual health, and seemed quite cheerful, though she never had been very strong. The deceased had always complained of her heart, and had a sister and father who died suddenly from heart affection.

Edward Cecil Ibotson, M.D. Lond., said that on Saturday morning about a quarter to two he was called by Mr. Chadwick. Witness found the deceased lying on her back in the bedroom on the floor, partly undressed. Death had taken place about half an hour previously. He got her on the bed and examined her all over, and found no marks of violence nor any sign of injury. Her face was livid, and there was a considerable amount of froth coming out of the mouth. His opinion was that the deceased had an acute attack of flatulent dyspepsia, probably brought on by the tea, causing syncope, from which she died.

A verdict in accordance with the medical evidence was returned.


Three Cups paying in book 1904

Above showing a payment book of 1904.

Paying in book 1905-6

Paying in book 1905 and 1906.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 17 April, 1914. Price 1d.


Mr. Wood, of Messrs. Leney and Co., submitted plans for a small extension at the back of the "Three Cups Inn," Crabble Hill.

The Magistrates approved the plans on the condition that the gate in Dodd's Lane is only used for garden purposes.


From the Dover Express, 26 February 1916.

Henry Joseph Grigg, of the "Three Cups Inn," Crabble Hill, Dover. Death February 26 1916 at Victoria Hospital, Dover, aged 39.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 20 November 1942.


It was reported that the "Three Cups" raised the sum of 10s. 8d. for the Poppy Fund of 1942.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 8 August, 1952.

Three Cups skittles 1952

Mr. F. G. Wilson about to send up the first ball.



Pub Sports Revival

Another new sport - skittle playing - is capturing interest in the town, and Saturday evening saw the opening of two more bowling alleys provided at local public houses.

Originator of the skittles revival in Dover was Mr. L. Latcham, licensee of the "Red Lion," Charlton Green, who opened the first open-aired alley to customers at the house on Whit-Monday.

Latest to interest their customers in this sport are Mr. T Cooper, of the "Three Cups," Crabble Hill, and Mr. R. J. Cadman, of the "Primrose," Union Road.

Performing the opening ceremony at the "Three Cups," where he bowled the first ball, Mr. F. G. Wilson, Manager of Fremlins, Ltd.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 2 January 1953.

Three Cups football match 1952


These hardy footballers raised over 8 for St. Dunstan's on Boxing Day, in a walking match at Crabble Court. The "Three Cups" beat Fremlins 3-2 and retained the cup they have held for some years. Fred Durrant, Dover's player-manager, kicked off for the game, which was played in fancy dress, and he afterwards presented the cup.


From a book "Kent Inns" A distillation published in 1955.

Three Cups skittles 1955

The above photograph shows a skittles game showing members of the "Three Cups" who played against the "Red Lion" circa 1955.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 23 April, 1965.


Skittles by candlelight - that was the scene at the Three Cups on Wednesday last week when the alley lights failed in a Ladies' League match.

Torches and candles gave just enough illumination for the ladies of The Three Cups to beat their opponents from the Primrose by eight shots.



At one time this was frequented by Landlord's son, Tony Brown the England number two darts champion.


Customers had the choice of four bars in the past but they had already been reduced to two by 1978 and in keeping with the trend, Nick Wheeler produced plans that year to form one large room.


Now owned by private company, Victoria Inns, a company established in 2003 who owns ten outlets and leases out the pubs. Victoria Inns also own pubs in Ventnor, Isle of Wight, Bridport, Glastonbury, Plymouth, Cowes, Weymouth, Exeter and of course Dover.


Again recently renovated (August 2007) the pub now shows an open plan with the bar area on the left as you walk in, previous to this it was directly in front of the entrance but with room either side to walk to the back rooms and skittle alley. It now serves food where you can see the chef preparing the food.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 15 May, 2008.

Three Cups pub has lot to offer.

FOR those who have not yet visited the newly refurbished Three Cups on Crabble Hill, Dover, a warm welcome awaits you from Maggie Mellors and her friendly staff.

Three Cups 2008

It was refurbished nine months ago to a very high standard with electric skylight, elegant lighting and large decked garden. And this establishment is proving to be a popular choice with young and old alike - whether the occasion is a Sunday roast and all the trimmings for just 6.95, or perhaps a steak night meal with two steaks and a bottle of house wine per couple for only 19.99, or simply to listen to the regular live entertainment.

Maggie can also provide catering at private functions and other venues as well as being able to provide a fully stocked bar for that special occasion.

Happy to tailor events to individual requirements, Maggie will always be on hand to listen and make suggestions as required and can be contacted on 01304 204844.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 2 December, 2010.



Report by Yamurai Zendera

Gail Les and Maggie Mellors

A PUB landlord is doing her bit for the country's wounded servicemen and women.

For the past three months "The Three Cups" in Crabble Hill, Dover, has been hosting fundraising events for Help for Heroes, so far more than 700 has been railed.

Landlord Maggie Mellors, whose stepson is serving in the army; said she began supporting the charity on the suggestion of a punter.

She said: "We have had donations, and one a very generous donation of 100 given anonymously."

The pub is also holding a quiz' night on Thursday; December 16, where a painting of Dover Castle by Gail Lea will be up for auction.

Maggie, 41, said: "My stepson is with 1 PARA and he's done three tours of Afghanistan. I'm more than happy to support Help for Heroes. I have found that people are very willing to give money because it's a very British charity."

Maggie bought the pub leasehold three years ago after previously working for Whitbread PLC, Dover immigration and P&O Ferries.

She said: "The pub was very rundown when I took it over. It's taken a few years to build it up. We "have things going on most of the time but it's very hard at, the moment. People don't have the money to come out as often as they used to. They can buy cheap beer from the supermarket and smoke at home. Social networking "has also had an effect."

• Join the quiz on Thursday; December 16 at 7.30pm. Tickets 2 (or 1.50 in advance). 01304 204844.



June 2016 the pub has been bought by Camalot Inns.


From the By Kieran Graves, 4 January 2023.

Dover pub gives 'last cheers' after 175 years as it shuts and could become flats.

Aregular’s favourite pub in Dover is set to close this week after trading for 175 years, with plans submitted that show the property could become flats. The Three Cups on Crabble Hill is said to have first opened in the mid-1800s but will serve its last pint this weekend.

The pub posted on Facebook ahead of new year celebrations and invited locals to visit by this Saturday (January 7) and “the end of an era”. The Three Cups said: “As we approach 2023 and The Three Cups' final week of trading, it would be lovely to see our friends/customers for a last cheers.”

The pub landlords added: “After creating memories and great times for many people since 1847, January 7 2023 will be the end of the era. Thank you to all current and past customers, and don’t forget to come in for your final farewell before it’s too late. Best wishes for 2023, John, Sue, and all the team.”

Planning documents submitted to the council in December have detailed plans to convert the site into four flats. A letter from Savills estate agents revealed it was first instructed to market the property in November 2021 but said it received no offers from investors that would keep The Three Cups as a pub.

The venue’s patrons responded to the farewell post with support and shared their own Three Cups memories, to which the landlords responded to them by name. One person said they were “gutted The Cups is closing” but that they are away for work so will miss out on the chance for a final drink.

The pub managers replied: “We’ll meet you elsewhere when you’re back, Rod.” Another customer asked whether the post meant the pub will close for good and The Three Cups confirmed the building will be redeveloped.

Planning documents appear to have addressed rules that relate to whether the loss of a shop or pub could be detrimental to an area and have said the pub does not fall in a rural area where this would apply. Developers added: “The existing business has struggled to perform at a viable level as documented in the letter provided by the current landlord.”

They continued that the best use of the site for the town would be as housing to help meet delivery targets. Plans have said the alterations to the building would be minimal and the redevelopment would be unlikely to lead to a significant increase in demand for parking, especially when the pressures of the pub are taken into consideration.


From the By Alex Jee, 10 January 2023.

Three Cups Inn in Dover to be converted into flats.

Devastated patrons have paid tribute to a beloved 19th-century pub following its closure.

The Three Cups Inn in Dover has shut its doors for the final time, and is now set to be transformed into flats.

Three Cups 2023

The Three Cups in Dover has shut after 175 years. Pic: Three Cups/Facebook.

Planning documents have revealed plans to house four apartments within the former pub in Crabble Hill, which was founded in 1847 had its last farewell on Saturday (January 7). (I make it 1841)

The 175-year-old building had been put on the market for 275,000 by owners Victoria Inns on November 4, 2021, with offers for redevelopment to be considered along with the opportunity to continue to run the pub.

In a letter included in the documents, estate agents Savilles said that the company had focused on potential buyers who would run the inn as a going concern, but had received no such offers.

"We can categorically confirm that this public house was marketed to the widest possible audience, with specific targeting to public house applicants," added licensed leisure director Adam Bullas.

"We can confirm we received no offers from public house users or investors looking to continue with its use or letting.

Three Cups 2007

The Three Cups pictured following a refurbishment in 2007.

"Our client decided to accept an offer from MJ Real Estate Ltd, whose intentions are to convert the subject property to an alternative use."

The developers added that the business had "struggled to perform at a viable level" for some time.

On New Year's Eve, the pub's landlords posted on its Facebook page to announce that the first week of 2023 would be the business's last in its current form.

"After creating memories and great times for many people since 1847, the 7th January 2023 will be the end of the era," they added.

"Thank you to all current and past customers, and don't forget to come in for your final farewell before it's too late."

Maggie Mellow 2007

Former Three Cups landlady Maggie Mellor talks to guests at a launch evening after the pub was refurbished in 2007.

In a follow-up post on Sunday, they added: "Thank you to everyone who supported us at the Three Cups.

"Many friends and memories made, for which we are very grateful."

The news saw a number of patrons pay tribute to the landlords and the pub, with a number saying they were "gutted" to be losing the local watering hole.

One asked: "Does that mean The Three Cups is closing for good? We had such happy childhood memories of the bowling alley there in the Sixties."

Another added: "Oh no! This is so sad. Doing my family tree and found out my great great uncle was landlord here back in the day.

"I had wanted to visit this year and the Dover area to trace family footsteps. All the best for the future to you both."



STEPHENS Edward 1841-61 (age 54 in 1861Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847Melville's 1858

PHIPPS Christopher 1871-74+ (age 40 in 1871Census) Post Office Directory 1874

PHIPPS Charles Harry 1881-82+ (age 24 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

WINNIFRITH George 1888-91+ (age 40 in 1891Census) Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1891

HOLMES George 1892

PARKER Thomas George 1895 Pikes 1895

BARTHOLOMEW George to Feb/1897 Dover Express

FRENCH Arthur Henry Feb/1897-1903 Next pub licensee had (age 32 in 1901Census) Dover ExpressKelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

NORRIS Herbert Henry 1903-Sept/04 Dover Express

ADAMS George Sept/1904-05 end Dover Express (Carpenter of Canterbury in connection with the Army in South Africa.)

GRIGG Henry Joseph 1905-16 dec'd (age 34 in 1911Census) Pikes 1909Post Office Directory 1913Dover Express

GRIGG Mrs E 1916

ELLIS Mrs Edith 1922 Post Office Directory 1922

DENNETT William M 1922-May/29 Pikes 1924Dover Express

YOUNG Thomas William May/1929-Dec/33 Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1930Pikes 1932-33 (Butler of Crayford, Kent)

GOLDS Charles Henry Dec/1933-Aug/35 end Dover Express (Electrician of Market Harborough.)

COOK Norman Dudley Aug/1935-39+ (age 32 in 1938) Post Office Directory 1938Pikes 1938-39Dover Express

ROGERS Mrs Edith Minnie 1940-Aug/42 Dover Express

READ William 21 Aug 1942+ Dover Express

READ Mrs A 1948 end

COOPER Thomas Humphreys 1948-Dec/53 end Kelly's Directory 1950Kelly's Directory 1953Dover Express

ESSEX Wilfred Arthur Dec/1953-58 dec'd Kelly's Directory 1956Dover Express

ESSEX Mrs 1958-60 end

Last pub licensee had BROWN Kenneth M 1960-78 end Library archives 1974 Whitbread Fremlins

WHEELER Nicholas 1978-82 end

MILLINGTON John C 1982-87

MILLINGTON Kenneth 1985

BIRTWELL Chris & Karen 2007

MELLORS Maggie 2007-Dec/2011

LIDDON Greg Dec/2011-12+ (Previous manager of "Cricketers".)

???? John & Sue to 7/Jan/2023


According to the Dover Express, Norman Dudley Cook was from Canterbury and used to be a diabetic food manufacturer.


Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

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

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

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

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Pikes 1909From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1909

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Pikes 1932-33From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Pikes 1938-39From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39

Kelly's Directory 1950From the Kelly's Directory 1950

Kelly's Directory 1953From the Kelly's Directory 1953

Kelly's Directory 1956From the Kelly's Directory 1956

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:-