Sort file:- Dover, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Monday, 27 September, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1865

Tower Inn

Latest 1965

1 West Street and Tower Street


Tower Inn, West Street, date unknown

The above photo was kindly sent to me via Joyce Banks. Circa 1910.

Charabanc outing

Charabanc outing, date unknown.

Tower Arms

The photo above and is of the Tower, after it ceased to be a public house of course, but I am unsure of the dates for the photographs by Barry Smith.


Hodgson looks like being the first one here in 1866. Flint purchased from Satchell in 1881 for 1,020 and previously Page had retailed from here. It was permitted to open at five a.m. after 1900. Not the easiest of privileges to obtain.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 12 November, 1869.


Thomas Hodgson was summoned having sold liquor during prohibited hours. He pleaded guilty.

Police-sergeant Stevens said he entered “Tower Inn,” Tower Street, on Sunday last, at half-past eleven, when he saw six men in the back room, with a quart jug and two pots containing beer. Some of the men were smoking. The landlord was present and admitted supplying them with beer. They were all residents of Dover.

The Magistrates fined the defendant 2s. 6d., and 9s. 6d. costs; which was paid.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 19 November, 1869. Price 1d.


Eight men were summoned charged with having been found on Sunday week in the "Tower Inn" and the "Coach and Horses" public-houses, Tower Hamlets, during prohibited hours.

These summonses were taken out under a new Act which has recently been passes whereby persons found in a public-house during illegal hours are liable to be punishes as well as the landlord.

The Magistrates said, it appeared that the object in issuing a summons was not to punish the present defendants, but for the purpose of making known to the public at large the scope of the act. All persons found upon premises under circumstances similar to the present were liable to a penalty of 40s. and on future occasions a penalty would in all probabilities be enforced. In the present case, however, the charge would not be pressed against the defendants, who might accordingly be discharged.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 17 January, 1873. Price 1d.


William Appleby, a resident of Brook Street, was charged with stealing a live fowl, value 2s. 6d., the property of police-constable Ash.

Police-constable Ash deposed: On the 1st of January I brought a fowl of Mr. Lamberton, the landlord of the "Tower Inn," Tower Hamlets. It was a brown fowl, marked with dark spots. I gave Mr. Lamberton 2s. 6d. for it, and I took it home on the same evening and put it in a pen, with some other fowls at the rear of my premises. On the following morning I told my daughter to separate the fowls, as they were fighting. I told her to let all the fowls out of the pen except the one that I had bought on the previous day; but it flew out with the rest as soon as the pen was opened. When I went home on that day I found the new fowl gone. I have since seen it in the prisoner's posession. Prisoner lives in Brook Street. I told him it was my fowl, but he said it was his and that he had brought it up. I am quite sure the fowl produced is mine.

By the prisoner: You did not tell me that the fowl flew into your yard because it was yours. I remember taking the fowl to Mr. Lamberton's and to Mr. Grimes's. Mr. Grimes said that the fowl he had sold Mr. Lamberton was almost twp years old.

James Charles Lamberton deposed: I am a licensed victualler, and keep the "Tower Inn," Tower Hamlets. The fowl produced by defendant is the same one that I sold to Mr. Ash on the first of January. Mr. Ash gave me 2s. 6d., and immediately took it home with him. I recognise the fowl again by the marking of its neck. It is a good deal more than seven months old. O brought it in exchange from Mr. Grimes with another one of the same kind.

The Magistrates thought the evidence of Mr. Lamberton was conclusive, and recommended the prisoner to return the fowl to its rightful owner.

Prisoner refused to do this. He thought it impossible for Mr. Lamberton to swear to the fowl by the marks on its neck. He could not swear to it from any marks, but he felt certain it was a young bird he had lost, as it had come back to his yard again.

In reply to the Bench, Mr. Lamberton said he was a poultry fancier on a small scale, and he had no hesitation in saying that the bird produced by the prisoner was quite an old one and not a young pullet.

Prisoner felt sure the bird was a pullet. He had bred it.

Mr. Grimes came forward, but said he could now swear that the fowl produced was one of those that he had exchanged with Mr. Lamberton. He had some more at home very much resembling it. The fowls he had given Mr. Lamberton were eighteen months old.

The Magistrates, after a short consultation, said it seemed to be a case of disputed ownership, and was therefore one for the County Court. The charge would be dismissed.


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 6.

A Commanding Freehold Public-house, known as the “Tower Inn,” Tower Hamlets, Charlton.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 9 June, 1876. Price 1d.


William Todd, labourer, was charged with being drunk and disorderly and using obscene language in Tower Street, Tower Hamlets. He was also charged with using obscene language at the Police-station.

Police-constable Prescott deposed: On Saturday evening at half-past eight my attention was called to the “Tower Inn,” Tower Hamlets. I saw prisoner outside the door trying to burst it open. He said if they did not open the door he would smash all the windows. He was very drunk and used obscene language. I told him to go away, but he refused. I took him into custody. He was very violent, and I was obliged to get assistance. Prisoner said that when he got his liberty again he would smash me. He continued to use most obscene language all the time.

Prisoner was sentenced to 14 days' imprisonment.

The Bench expressed their satisfaction to the landlord of the “Tower Inn” for not allowing the ruffian to enter his house.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 2 September, 1881. 1d.


A corner public-house, known as the “Tower Inn,” Tower Hamlets, Charlton, in the Borough of Dover, containing attractive bar, bar parlour, public parlour, tap room, wash-house, three good bedrooms, sitting room, and cellar, let to Mr. George Long, at the yearly rent of 25, was put up at 300, and was rapidly run up to 1,020, at which sum it was bought by Mr. Flint, of Canterbury.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 9 September, 1887. Price 1d.


A full report of the case of alleged infringement of the Sunday Closing Act at the “Fountain Hotel” will be found on our last page. Another case under the same Act came before the Bench this morning, in which Mr. Martin, the landlord of the “Tower Inn,” was fined 10 and his license endorsed for having his house open last Sunday, and seven men who were in the house were fined 2s. 6d. and 8s. 6d. costs each. We shall recount the case next week.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 16 September, 1887. Price 1d.


At the Dover Police Court on Friday, before T. V. Brown, and A Bottle Esqrs,. William Martin, the landlord of the “Tower Inn,” Tower Hamlets, was summoned for selling beer during prohibited hours on Sunday the 4th instant, and William Hubbard, William Huntley, William Gregory, Henry Brockman, John Curd, Thomas Langley, and Noah Dodd, were summoned for being on the premises.

Mr. Vernon Knocker, on behalf of the Watch Committee, prosecuted.

Police-sergeant Suters said, on Sunday September 4th, in consequence of complaints received at the Police Station, in company with Police-constable Fox, watched the defendant Martin's house at Tower Hamlets from six o'clock in the morning until eight o'clock. At intervals of about two minutes he saw several men go into the house, but he was only able to get the names of the defendants charged. After watching the house he went in the side door with the other constable.

The sergeant writing his evidence said: I said to Martin the landlord, “I suppose you know what our business is?” and he said “Yes,” I said “This is very wrong, you know, having your house open and serving customers at this time on Sunday morning,” he said “Yes, I know it is,” I then took the names of the men who were inside, and spoke to Gregory, who said, “Oh! I have come to see about some whitewashing,” (laughter in court). I told him he had better leave the premises. Hubbard said, “What about the beer? Now we have got into trouble we may as well drink the beer.” The landlord came and took the beer away and the men then left the premises. There was another glass on the counter which had just been used, and when I called martin's attention to it, he said, “I have had a glass myself.”

In reply to the Bench the Superintendent of Police said that there had not been a conviction against this house before, but he had every reason to believe that this sort of thing had been carried on for a long time.

The Clerk: This tenant had only been in the house ten months.

The Superintendent of Police: I am told that after this occurred on Sunday, beer was carried up into the garden, and high jinks were carried on after the police left. I have also had letters from wives complaining of this sort of thing on Sunday mornings when the men have got their week's money.

The Chairman: Mr. T. V. Brown, said: We consider the conduct of the landlord extremely bad. This is one of the worst cases of wholesale defiance of the licensing laws that has come under our notice for a long time. The landlord, William Morris, will be fined 10 and 8s. 6d. costs, and his license will be endorsed. The men who were found on the premises will be fined lightly, and they will have to pay costs for the Magistrates must show that wholesale violation of the laws in this way will not be allowed. The defendants who were on the premises will be fined 2s. 6d., and 8s. 6d. costs being 11s. each.
Some of the defendants asked if time would be allowed to pay.

The Magistrates said that if they had goods which could be destrained they might have time. In default of payment the landlord would go to prison for one month, and the other defendants for one week.

One man threw down his 11s. immediately and said he had still enough for a pint of beer. Subsequently the landlord and other men paid.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 27 February, 1914. Price 1d.


Plans were approved for the alteration of a window at the “Tower Inn” into a door for entrance to the jug and bottle department.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 2 March, 1917.


The adjourned Licensing Sessions were held at the Town Hall this (Friday) morning, before Sir William Crundall (in the chair), Messrs. W. J. Barnes, H. Hobday, and W. Bradley.

The license of the “Tower Inn,” Tower Street, was transferred from Mr. W. Dobson, to his wife, Mrs. A. J. Dobson, during his illness.


Dover Express 20th August 1943.

At Dover Licensing Transfer Sessions on 13th August 1943.

Approval was given to alterations to the "Tower Inn," Tower Street.


From the Dover Express, 22 November 1946.


Dart champions 1946

Above shows the presentation of the Dover Licensed Victuallers' Darts Trophy for this year to the "Tower" Inn by Mr. George Watson (Chairman of the Association), at the "Tower" Inn, on Thursday last week. Mr. Watson is in the centre, and Mr. Fred Merricks (the "Tower" captain) is on his left. The "Tower" also hold the Dover and District Darts League cup. The man centre back, is Thomas Storey.


Dover Express 22nd August 1947.

Town, port & garrison.

When the licence of the “Tower Inn” was transferred from A. J. Whale to Malcolm McLeod, at a sitting of the Dover Magistrates Court on Friday, the Chairman (Mr. G. Golding) remarked “You have been very happy during your service in the Police Force, Mr. McLeod, and I hope you will be successful in your new profession.


Plans for structural alterations were approved in 1951 but I have no details.


The name itself was derived from the water tower on Priory Hill above which once dominated the whole.


My father, Mr. Donald Skelton told me that on a couple of occasions when he frequented the place, the landlord of the time would pace up and down the bar playing the bagpipes; presumably at last orders to drive the customers out. Looking at the licensees lists that would tie up nicely around about the 1950s when Malcolm McLeod was landlord.


This one just faded away. Butterworth served in 1965 but how long he stayed after that I know not. The property was otherwise disposed in 1974 but I do note that a wine licence was sought in 1982.


From an email received 11 February, 2011

Dear Sir/Madam,

I was surprised to read your 'history' on the Tower Inn, Tower Hamlets, Dover, Kent.

I lived there with my Mother & Father from 1957 to March 1962 when I went off to join the Army.

I am trying to find out the exact year when my mother & father left (They retired), but as I recall the brewers decided not to renew the lease as they were closing the pub down.

I also recall that the lease was a very good lease as far as my parents were concerned because the rent was set up on takeover (1957) at a fixed price of 10/- per week, without annual review, and the lease had no set term, so they stayed in house as long as they were able to, it was a great relief to the brewers when my parents finely could no longer run the pub.

I would be very grateful if you could advise of any other information that you might have concerning the pub. The last time I saw it c1980, it was split into a few 'flatlets' which were rented out, but I do not have any other detail.

Yours sincerely,

David A. Butterworth.



A follow up email from David Butterworth say that the tradition of seeing the customers off at last orders with "music" was continued when his father took over as licensee. Being a military man who had previously served 32 years in the army, Henry Butterworth would play a recording of the Last Post, on the dot, to highlight that it was time for his customers to go home, and he did this every evening till his very last night in the pub, some 8 years later.



HODGSON Thomas 1866

PHELPS Thomas 1866 end

NORRIS John May/1870-71+ (also Bricklayer age 48 in 1871Census) Dover Express

THOMPSON Peter July/1871-Jan/73 Dover Express

LAMBERTON James Charles Jan/1873-74 Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1874Kelly's 1874

NEAME William 1874-75 end

PEIRCE Richard 1875

BAKER Charles 1876

Last pub licensee had BAKER George 1879 dec'd Dover Express

BAKER George jun. Jan/1880+ (executor of the deceased) Dover Express

WALLIS Frederick Jul/1880 Dover Express

LONG George Jul/1880-82+ Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1882 (late of Ramsgate, cellarman)

MARTIN William 1886-Nov/87 Dover Express

BURDEN Thomas Nov/1887-Aug/88 Next pub licensee had Dover Express (Late victualler of Luddlesdown)

MANN William Osborn Aug/1888+ Dover Express

BLAKE Charles 1891 (age 33 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1891

NIGHTINGALE Harry 1895 Pikes 1895

PRYER senior to Apr/1899 Dover Express

PRYER Mr R W A junior Apr/1899-Mar/1901 Post Office Directory 1903Dover Express (Son)

Last pub licensee had CHANDLER William George Mar/1901-Dec/03 (age 41 in 1901Census) Dover Express

GREEN Mr W C Dec/1903+ Dover Express (Of Ringwould)

GREEN Edward Carey 1907-09+ Pikes 1909

MARSH James 1910-Jan/14 Post Office Directory 1913Dover Express

MACKELLOW/MACHTELOW Mr E W Jan/1914-Oct/14 Dover Express (Of Hythe)

Last pub licensee had DOBSON William Oct/1914-24+ Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1922Pikes 1923Pikes 1924

DOBSON Mrs Anne J Mar/1917-Apr/36 Post Office Directory 1930Pikes 1932-33Dover Express

ROGERS Elvey Thomas Samuel Apr/1936-42 dec'd (Dover ExpressElvery)Pikes 1938-39

ROGERS Mrs Alice Jane 19 Jun 1942-43 end Dover Express

WHALE Albert John 1943-Aug/47

McLEOD Malcolm Aug/1947-56+ Pikes 48-49Kelly's Directory 1950Kelly's Directory 1953Kelly's Directory 1956

BUTTERWORTH Henry 1957-65


According to the Dover Express, 1936, Elvey Thomas Samuel Roberts, was from 35, Tower Hamlets Rd., Newsagent.


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

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Pikes 1909From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1909

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

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

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

Pikes 48-49From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1948-49

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

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:-