Sort file:- Dover, November, 2022.

Page Updated:- Friday, 11 November, 2022.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1860

Town Arms

Latest 1963

38 Bridge Street Pikes 1932-33Kelly's Directory 1950Kelly's Directory 1956

29 Bridge Street Kelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903


Town Arms 1920

Above photo from the John Gilham collection, circa 1920.

Town Arms

Photo taken by Barry Smith circa 1988.

Wills cigarette card 1906

The above 1906 Wills cigarette card actually has nothing to do with the pub, but does show the Arms or Seal that Dover were using.


The house now under discussion can be traced to before 1871 when an unknown licensee apparently died some time before September 1871, and an application was made to transfer the license to Thomas Downs who had acted as barman before the licensees death.

Further research has seen the Inn mentioned as early as 1860.


Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 24 November 1860.


Nov. 16, at the "Town Arms Inn," Charlton, Dover, Alfred Clark, the beloved child of Mr. Alfred Joseph Bushell, aged 8 years.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 8 September, 1871. Price 1d.



In the case of the “Town Arms,” Bridge Street, Charlton, Mr. Fox said that the former holder of the license was dead, and he now made application that it might be granted to his successor, Mr. Thomas Downs, who for some time previous to the former holder's death had been assisting in the conduct of the business.

Mr. Downs, who was in Court, said he was part-owner of the property, and was prepared with the necessary certificates.

It appeared that the estate of the last holder of the license had not yet been administered; and Mr. Downs was requested to apply again after the administration had taken place.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 10 November, 1882. Price 1d.


An inquest was held on Saturday afternoon last at the “Falcon Hotel,” High Street, Charlton, before the Borough Coroner (S. Payn, Esq.) on the body of William Rose, the landlord of the “Town Arms, Bridge Street, who had poisoned himself the previous night.

The Jury consisted of the following gentlemen:- Mr. E. Robinson (Foremam), Messrs. F. J. Philpott, T. Cook, J. Filer, G. Hatch, T. B. Harris, H. Gurr, J. Reid, J. Pelham, F. Payn, D. Peak, S. Shipley, A. Hicks, and E. Johncock.

The body having been viewed, the following evidence was taken:-

Alice Weller, housekeeper to the deceased said: The body now lying at the “Town Arms,” Bridge Street, is that of William Rose, the landlord of that house. I have been acting as housekeeper to him for the last fortnight. He was about 50 years of age . Shortly after 11 o'clock after shutting up the house, I heard the deceased come up stairs and after kissing the children go into his bedroom. Directly afterwards I heard him say “Oh dear” but I took no notice, because sometimes he speaks to himself. He continued to speak and then groan as if he were in pain. I opened my door and said “what is the matter Mr. Rose,” and I also went to his door and repeated my question. The deceased was lying on the bed and saying “Oh dear, I am so stiff I can't move, and I want to turn over.” I asked him to wait till I put my things on. He said that he would wait, but continued saying, “I am so stiff, my heart is broken.” Before I dressed I called Mrs. Curling, who lives in the next house, and during that time a policeman came in, as the door was left open. Mrs. Curling came in a short time, and she thought that he had poisoned himself, and she asked him what he had taken. The deceased at first would not answer, but on being asked again he said that he had taken some vermin powder. I immediately sent a policeman for a doctor, but before he arrived the deceased died. Mrs. Curling had further asked him where he had purchased the powder, but he said that he did not know the place. The deceased died within about a quarter of an hour after I went to him. The deceased had been depressed in spirits lately, because about 3 weeks ago his wife left him, and went away with another man, taking with her all she could lay her hands upon - 24 in money and several articles of value. He seemed if any way rather better yesterday than he has been since his wife left him, and was out in the afternoon.

By the Foreman of the Jury: There were four children left at home with the deceased, and the one which was born previous to her marriage with him, she took away with her.

Police-constable John Cook said: At about half past eleven o'clock last night, I was on duty in bridge Street, when I was called to the “Town Arms” by a woman called Curling. On going upstairs I found the landlord lying on the bed and appearing to be in great pain. I asked him what was the matter, and he said that his wife had disgraced him, and he had taken vermin powder. I at once went to the door, and blew my whistle for assistance, and in a few seconds Police-constable Fogg came up, and I sent him for a doctor, and while he was gone Police-sergeant Johnson came. I was present when he died, about a quarter of an hour afterwards, and just before the doctor arrived.

Police-sergeant Johnson said: Last night at about 11.45 I was on duty in Bridge Street when I saw several persons running out of the “Town Arms” public-house and go up the street. Finding the door was open and a light downstairs, I called out and asked who it was. A voice cried out “Who is that?” and I said “Police,” and then someone said “Come upstairs.” I went up into a bedroom, and saw the landlord lying in bed, and in strong convulsions, and with Police-constable Cook at his side trying to lift him up. I asked him what was the matter, and he said that the landlord had poisoned himself. Previously a messenger had been sent for a doctor, and in the meantime I tried to give him some salt and hot water, which I had some difficulty in obtaining. I asked the landlady what he had taken, and he said “Vermin powder. My wife has brought all this disgrace upon me and my family.” The deceased was too far gone to take the salt and water, and in a minute or two he died. That was about twelve o'clock, and shortly after that the doctor came.

By the Foreman of the Jury: I did not find any powder in the house at all. The house has been thoroughly searched.

Mr. A. G. Osborn, surgeon, said: I was called last night by Police-constable Fogg, at about 11.55, to go to the “Town Arms,” Bridge Street. I attended immediately, on arriving found the preceding witnesses all present in a bedroom, and the deceased lying on the bed dead. I passed the tube of the stomach pump into the deceased, but could extract nothing, for his stomach seemed quite empty. I examined the body, but found no marks of violence. The description of the mode of death given by the two policemen are such as would be caused by a large dose of vermin powder.

The Jury returned a verdict of suicide while temporarily insane.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 1 December, 1882. Price 1d.


A woman named Rose, wife of the late landlord of the “Town Arms,” Bridge Street, who committed suicide a short time ago, came in to see the Board and asked them to allow her to take her children out of the Union, and the application was granted.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 25 October, 1889. Price 1d.


At the Police Court on Monday, William Marsh, a labourer, was charged with stealing one coat, two pairs of trousers, three shirts, three handkerchiefs, one flannel, waistcoat, etc., the property of Andrew Johnson, a Scandinavian, who said he was discharged in Ostend last Thursday, and came across to Dover on Saturday. He had some new clothes, and wanted to sell some of them to raise money to pay his fare to London. He met a man just after leaving the steamboat and asked him to help him to get rid of his clothes. Whilst they were trying to sell them they fell in with the prisoner, who said he knew a place where they could sell them. The prisoner then got possession of the clothes and decamped. From the remainder of the evidence it appeared that the first man the prosecutor met, was William Godden, and he seemed to have gone with the seaman with the bona fide intent of helping him to sell his clothes, and he took them to Mr. Farley's in Hawksbury Street, but could not get as much as they wanted. They then went up the town, and having “wet” the transaction at one or two public houses, had evidently brought their mental faculties in a condition to be imposed upon. They met the prisoner in a public-house, and he, having got possession of the clothes, took part home, and others he sold at the “Town Arms,” Bridge Street. Marsh pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to four months' imprisonment.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 23 August, 1901. Price 1d.


In regard to the licence of the "Town Arms," Bridge Street, the bench refused the transfer of the licence from Mr. J. H. Elliott to Mr. H. Shaw, of Hampton.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 5 February, 1915.


Objections were heard with regard to the sanitary accommodation at the following houses:- "Town Arms," "Marquis of Anglesey," and the "Marquis of Waterford."

Mr. Mowll said that he appeared on behalf of the "Town Arms," Bridge Street. he wished to know exactly what the objection was.

The Chief Constable said that last week with a committee of Magistrates, he visited the "Town Arms," and objection was taken by the magistrates to the lavatory accommodation. the door of the W.C. opened into the scullery of the house. that was the principle objection and it was felt that the door should be outside the living part of the house. Another question arose as to the customers going through the scullery to use the lavatory.

The Chairman: can they get to this door without going through the scullery?

The Chief Constable: It would be approached from the outside but there would be some alteration required.

Mr. Mowll asked whether there was anything wrong in customers going through the scullery in order to use the lavatory.

The Chief Constable: Personally, I should say no.

Mr. Mowll said that that was the difficulty and he expected there was a great many houses like it in the town. They could not enlarge the premises. It was possible to have the urinal approached by a side entrance but he thought there were some objections to it. If the customers were prevented from going through the scullery and were made to go outside into the street and back by the side passage there was a question whether it did not become a public urinal at once.

The Chief Constable said that as soon as the urinal was placed at the disposal of the public it became a public urinal to all intents and purposes and as there was not one provided by the town in the neighbourhood it would be used by practically everybody using the street.

Mr. Mowll: Having regard as to what the Superintendent has said does the Bench want me to say any more about this?

Mr. Barnes: Personally, I was one of the Magistrates who visited it and I don't see any objection to it.

It was decided to consider the question later

The Chairman said that with regard to the "Town Arms" they would adjourn that matter until the adjourned meeting. He did not think there would be very much difficulty about it, but the Magistrates took an interest in those matters and it was just as well that they should do so. With regard to the "Marquis of Waterford" and the "Marquis of Anglesey" they did not see how they could go behind the statement made by their officer and the licences would be renewed.



As an outlet of George Beer it stood on the corner with Colebran Street. I emphasise that, because the street has been renumbered at least once and before 1922 this would be 29.


From the Dover Express, Friday 20 August, 1926.

Special Sessions for the transfer of licences were held at the Dover Police Court on Friday, before Messrs. W. B. Brett, T. Francis, H. J, Burton, and S. Lewis, when the following transfers were made:-

The "Town Arms," Bridge St., from Mr, George Thomas Tasker, to Mr. George Frederick Crick, of 1 George St. Maidstone, coal merchant.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 10 June, 1938. Price 1d.


Application was made for approval to plans for alterations, mostly internal, to the “Mail Packet,” and the “Town Arms.”

The Magistrates' Clerk said that it would be advisable if the plans were first approved by the Town Council.

The plans were agreed subject, to the approval of the Town Council.


Dover Express 1st June 1945.


On Monday, an Army motor lorry was being driven down Bridge Street when, through a steering defect, it crashed over the footpath into the wall of the “Town Arms”. The driver sustained a cut over the left eye and Mrs. Stables of 317 London Road, who was passing, had a lucky escape, though sustaining a bruised shoulder and back. A portion of the main wall was broken away and a window smashed.


Dover Express 9th August 1946.


The engagement is announced of Doris, only daughter of Mrs. E. Vidler of the “Town Arms”, Dover, to Ernest W. T. Reeve, only son of Mr. & Mrs. W. H. Reeve of Romford, Essex.


Like the house above, this also just faded away. How long Ince stayed after 1963 is not known. Some of the houses in Colebran Street were demolished in January 1952 so that an iron foundry could be enlarged. This house survived that year but it was boarded up and remained empty and derelict for twenty years before being taken down, with great speed, in less than twenty four hours, in early December 1988. The small part of the street remaining had received its closing order in July that year preparatory to extensive redevelopment in the area. This property would not have been included in that scheme initially but did become so ultimately. With great alacrity the boundary fence moved over night and the property disappeared. I doubt if anybody regretted this eyesore going.



BUSHELL Alfred 1860+

Unknown dec'd to Sept/1871 Dover Express

DOWNS Thomas Sept/1871+ (also cooper age 35 in 1871Census) Dover Express

DOWNS Mrs Sarah 1874 Post Office Directory 1874

GOSS Francis 1882 Post Office Directory 1882

ROSE William to Nov/1882 dec'd Dover Express

NEWING George Nov/1882-May/83 Dover Express

CLAYSON Mr J S May/1883+ (late of Broadstairs) Dover Express

APPS M A 1883-84+

PRATT Benjamin to (1888+) Jan/1889 Dover Express

Last pub licensee had LANE William Thomas Jan/1889-92 Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1891

LANE Hannah Mrs 1891+ (age 37 in 1891Census)

Last pub licensee had CHAPMAN John 1892-95 Next pub licensee had Pikes 1895

FOX George 1895

INWOOD John 1899 Kelly's Directory 1899

NORRIS F J May/1901 Post Office Directory 1903Dover Express

ELLIOT John R H May/1901-Mar/02 Dover Express

BOOTH Thomas William Mar/1902-03 end Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903 (Carrier of Buckland)

Last pub licensee had FRY Edward Swinford 1903

HOLMAN Benjamin 1905 end

WRIGHT Alfred Leonard 1905-18 dec'd (age 35 in 1911Census) Post Office Directory 1913


HOWE Charles 1919 dec'd

HOWE Mrs 1919 end

PHILLIPS Edward Arthur 1920-Oct/23 Post Office Directory 1922Dover Express

Last pub licensee had TASKER George Thomas Next pub licensee had Oct/1923-July/26 Dover ExpressPikes 1924

CRICK George Frederick July/1926-Dec/26 Dover Express (Of Maidstone)

HEYMAN William Edward Dec/1926-Aug/35 end Post Office Directory 1930Pikes 1932-33Dover Express (Former fishmonger of 123, London Road, Dover)

SIRETT John Aug/1935 Dover Express

ROSSER Herbert 1938-39 end Post Office Directory 1938Pikes 1938-39

MOLES Mrs Nellie 1939-61 dec'd Pikes 48-49Kelly's Directory 1950Kelly's Directory 1953Kelly's Directory 1956

VIDLER E Mrs 1960

INCE Sidney 1961-63


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

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

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

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:-