DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Sort file:- Hythe, December, 2018.

Page Updated:- Friday, 21 December, 2018.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1859-

Prince of Prussia

Latest 1891+

5-7 Bartholomew Street

Hythe

Prince of Prussia 2009

Above Google image, May 2009.

 

I have only found the one instance of this pub at present, and that was from the 1871 census.

Further research has found this post from the Sussex History Forum.

 

Prince of Prussia in Hythe.

In the middle of the nineteenth century there was an alehouse somewhere in Hythe called the “Prince of Prussia” whose landlord Mr Wraight was involved in a court case in 1868.

In fact, this “lost” alehouse, or rather beer then public house was located on the south side of Bartholomew Street in the large property now named “Brewery Buildings” on the north eastern corner of Three Posts Lane behind the original lower building on the High Street, where Sir Edward Pettit the inventor of the marine screw propeller was born in 1808. The ledge forming the boundary between the properties is thought to have been the old sea wall. The public passageway up Three Posts Lane which links the street had an important role in the life of the beer and public house.

It operated as such from at least 1859 up to the 1891 census when the site is first recorded as “Brewery Buildings”; the property is now Grade II Listed being described as:- ‘Circa 1840. 3 storeys rendered. Wide moulded cornice. 3 sashes with Italianate architraves and console brackets. The ground floor has 2 door-cases set in moulded architraves with panelled doors. Rounded corner with 3 sashes on the side elevation’

Up to the mid-1800s, Bartholomew Street was known as the ‘back road’ and Duck Lane although its western section, called Elm Terrace until into the 1900s, from Upper Malthouse Hill was apparently once a main route into the Town for the original deeds of an old cottage on the north side described it as being on the ‘Kings Highway’.

A document in the Hythe Town archives reveals that the ‘good Basement’ played as important part in the life of the beer house when it is reported that on 20th January, 1859:- ‘Mr Carl Steinbeck (or Charles Steinbach?) the tenant of the "Prince of Prussia" Beerhouse attended (the Commissioners of Pavements) and applied to be allowed to use the hatch way opening on the footpath (Three Posts Lane), and leading to Bartholomew Street. When it was resolved that he be allowed to use it for the present, the Commissioners reserved the right of withdrawing permission by giving one months notice of any complaint being made or their finding any inconvenience to result from it’.

This application may have been made at the time the ‘Prince of Prussia’ began trading. The hatchway remains today and opens into a large basement room with a central fireplace and evidence of a wooden floor, where it is said, pub skittles were played; being 30x15 feet it is certainly big enough! Beer barrels could be stored in adjacent basement rooms all of which have ‘regular’ height ceilings. The basement is built into the natural slope and can be reached either from Three Posts Lane through a gate and passage under the rear of the property where it adjoins ‘Studio Cottage’ or down steps from the small garden on the east of the building.

Two doors lead off the passage into the basement rooms which have many original features including a fireplace cooking range; the bottom section of the original staircase up to the main hallway, and white-washed ragstone walls with two bricked-up areas below Bartholomew Street, one apparently a later (coal) delivery point, the other, as legend has it, the start of a smugglers tunnel.

Originally, ‘Brewery Buildings’ had internal stairs for the common stair on the east side was erected much later, probably in the late 1920s. This ‘new’ stairway building extension has a smaller door-case, but with replicated exterior mouldings, and was clearly missed when the building was Listed. The stairway provides a separate entrance to the top (No. 5) and the first (No.5a) floor flats; the original entrance then became that of No.7. That door-case is nearly 10 feet high and 4 feet wide, the present door being over 7 feet high! Perhaps such a height was to accommodate the Victorian soldier’s tall helmets or busbies and the then fashionable coiffure of the ladies who would have visited for the dances held, it is said, on the first floor, which like the ground has a central fireplace and high ceilings.

As a small boy I lived for a number of years in No.7 and can remember there was a replacement area in the wooden floor which could have once been the access to the basement.

I also remember the basement rooms, reached from steps in the garden and a gate into the passage-way down the Three Posts Lane.

By Pedroblanc.

 

LICENSEE LIST

WRAIGHT Mr 1868+

CAPON William Charles 1871+ (also tailor age 44 in 1871Census)

 

CensusCensus

 

If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-

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