Page Updated:- Friday, 15 October, 2021.


Earliest 1740-


Closed 2006

West Hougham


Above photograph of the Chequers, date unknown.

Chequers at Hougham 1986

Above the Chequers at Hougham offering a village activity, in 1986.

Chequers at Hougham

Above Chequers taken 11 February 2001.

Chequers, me and Sundance

Above, yours truly with Sundance, date circa 1994.

Closed Chequers circa 2007

Just after closing circa 2007.

Chequers (Hougham)

Photo above and below by Paul Skelton (15 Sept 2007), boarded up and awaiting demolition.

Chequers Inn card frontChequers Inn card back

Above pictures showing the front and back of number 22 from a set of cards by Whitbread. Date as yet unknown.

Chequers (Hougham) sign 1Chequers (Hougham) sign 2


Earliest reference found so far is in the Wingham Division Ale Licence list, which shows the "Chequers," Hougham, to be re-licensed for the sum of 8 shillings in 1740 indicating that the pub was present before 1740. Afraid at this time I do not know when it was built.

Obviously renovated at some time with the addition of wood panels on the outside to make it look older than it actually is, or perhaps not as the case may be.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 21 April, 1838.


George Straw, 24, a private in the 69th Regt. stood indicted for stealing in the parish of Hougham, Dover, a promissory note, value 5, the property of Capt. C. J. Coote, of the same Regt. Sir Walter Riddel, who had previously opened the case, when it was sent back to amend the indictment, called the prosecutor. He stated that on 27th March, he enclosed a 5 note of the bank of Messrs. Latham and Co. in a letter addressed to Mr. Coote, at Liverpool Terrace, which Sergeant Poole, with the concurrence of witness, gave to the prisoner to convey. It was the duty of the latter to carry it, in obedience to the command of his superior officer, Sergeant Poole deposed that he gave a letter, part of which was produced in Court, and inside of which he had seen Capt. Coote place a 5 note, to the prisoner for the purpose of its being conveyed as above stated. Thomas Thackery, a private in the 69th, saw the letter given by last witness to the prisoner. He was afterwards sent after Straw, and found him in the evening at a public-house in Hougham. Witness got a constable; and taking him into custody, conveyed him to Dover. Colour Sergeant Phillips, of the 69th, received the prisoner from the last witness and a constable, and conveyed him to the Regimental guard-house, where, on searching him, the portion of the letter produced, together with a sovereign and thirteen shillings, were found on his person, and a sovereign in each of his boots. Hannah White, of the "Chequers," at Hougham, deposed to a soldier coming there, at noon, on the 27th of March, and saying he would have a glass of ale if she could change him a 5 note. She sent out and got change, and the soldier remained drinking with other persons, and spent more than a pound. In answer to a question by the Recorder, the witness said she was not surprised at a private soldier spending so much money. Mr. Thomas Loud remembered giving change for the note, at Hougham, and which he produced.

The prisoner said nothing in his defence. The Recorder, addressing the jury, explained the nicety of the law in such cases; the prisoner not being exactly in service of the prosecutor; but as a soldier liable to obey orders. A question for the jury, was, whether the prisoner intended to steal the note at the time of its being put in his charge? If they considered so, it would become a felonious taking, and enable them to convict the prisoner. The learned gentleman further explained the law in cases similar to that of the prisoner; when the jury, after some consideration, found the prisoner guilty of appropriating the money to his own purpose; but not with that intention in the first instance. The Recorder explained to them it was clear that the prisoner could not have the intention to steal before he knew what was in the letter; but he broke it open and took the note, he committed a larceny by doing so. The then returned a verdict of Guilty; and the Recorder, addressing the prisoner on his so disgracing Her Majesty's service, sentenced him to twelve months' imprisonment. The note was ordered to be given up by Mr. Loud; but it was understood that Capt. Coote immediately returned it to him.


Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 15th June 1839.

I, the undersigned, being the duly authorised agent of the Rev. Thomas Morris, sole Owner of the Vicarial Tithes, and of Mr. Richard Coleman, Lessee of the Rectorial Tithes, within the Parish of Huffam, otherwise Hougham, in the County of Kent; do, by this Notice in writing, call the Parochial Meeting of Land Owners, within the Limits of the said Parish, for the purpose of making an Agreement for the General Commutation of Tithes within the Limits of the said Parish, pursuant to the Provisions of an Act passed in the 6th and 7th Years of the Reign of his late Majesty, intituled "An Act for the Commutation of Tithes in England and Wales:-

And I do also give Notice, that such meeting will be held at the sign of the "Chequers," in the said parish of Huffam, otherwise Hougham, at 4 o'clock P.M. on Monday, the 8th day of July, 1839.

(Signed) John Coleman, Kearsney Farm, 15th of June, 1839.


The owners changed hands in 1859 after Thomas Walker sold off the Phoenix brewery to Leney's.


Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Saturday 16 July 1859.

To let by tender.

The following public houses situate in and near Dover, Eastry, and Folkestone, viz:-

1. The "Bull Inn," Eastry.

2. The "Halfway House" and land, on the Dover and Canterbury Road.

3. The "Chequers," at Folkestone.

4. The "Chequers" and land, at West Hougham.

5. The "Red Lion," at Charlton.

6. The "Fox," in St James's Street.

7. The "Ordnance Arms," in Queen Street.

8. The "Cause is Altered," in Queen Street.

9. The "True Briton," on Commercial Quay.

10. The "Three Kings," in Union Street.

11. The "Fleur-de-Lis," in Council House Street.

12. The "Cinque Port Arms," in Clarence Place.

13. The "Red Lion" in St James's Street.

14. The "Dolphin," in Dolphin Lane.

The above houses are to be let as free houses, in consequence of the proprietors of the Dolphin Lane Brewery discontinuing that business.

The holdings of the present Tenants expire under notice to quit, as follows, viz:- No. 2, on the 6th January next, No. 3, on the 6th July, 1860, No. 10, at Lady Day next, No. 13, on the 23rd October next, No. 14, on the 6th April next, and reminder on the 11th October next.

Tenders must be sent into the offices of Mr. Edward Knocker, Castle Hill, Dover, on or before the 20th day of July next, marked on the cover "Tender."

Particular and Terms of hiring, with the forms of Tender, to be obtained on application to Mr. knocker, or Mr. Thomas Robinson, Estate Agent, Bench Street, Dover.

Tenders may be given for the whole together or separately. The Tenders will be accepted subject to the houses being sold on or before the 20th day of September next, and the proprietors do not bind themselves to accept the lowest or any tender.

N.B. The proprietors are open to treat for letting the Brewery, Malthouse, and Premises, in Dolphin Lane.

Edward Knocker. Castle Hill, Dover, June, 1859.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 28 February 1860.


An inquest was held at the "Chequers", public house, West Hougham, on Thursday, before C. J. Fox, Esq., deputy coroner, and a respectable jury, of whom Mr. C. Elwin was foreman, touching the death of John Kingsmill, labourer.

It appeared from the evidence that the deceased had for some time resided with his brother, and on Wednesday morning he was found dead in his bedroom, having hung himself during the night.

When found, the body was quite cold. The deceased was 59 years of age, and had for some time been out of work in consequence of illness, which caused him to be rather low spirited.

The jury returned a verdict of "Temporary Insanity."


From the Maidstone Telegraph, Rochester and Chatham Gazette, Saturday 3 March, 1860. Price 1d.


On Thursday week, the deputy coroner, C. J. Fox Esq., held an inquest at the “Chequers Inn,” West Hougham, touching the death of John Kingsmill a labourer, aged 59 years. From the evidence of George Kingsmill, it appeared that on the previous morning, about seven o'clock, he was called by one of the children to the deceased's bed room. He there found the deceased hanging from the bed-post, quite dead and cold. He saw deceased alive on the previous (Thursday) night, at nine o'clock, when he went to bed. The deceased was rather more low-spirited than usual, and in the course of that day he had said” he should go to the union, and should never come out again.” The deceased had been ill for some time, and he had been out of work for some time in consequence.

Verdict, “Temporary Insanity.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 16 April, 1875.


Thomas Harvey, a police-constable stationed at Hougham, was summoned before the Dover County Magistrates on Saturday, charged with assaulting Richard Holmes, a waggoner, in the employ of Mr. Bromley, at Church Hougham. The affair arose out of the constable turning the complainant out of a public-house, the "Chequers." He described the assault to the Magistrates as follows:-

"On Saturday, March 21st I was at the "Chequers." I left at ten minutes to ten, with George Smithson and William Ladd. I was sober. Defendant, who was in plain clothes, came along with a young woman. I did not speak to him, but he came up to me and said, "Get away." I said, "I am going away." I was then saying good night to my friends. He then took me by the collar and shoved me along. I told him to let go, and he said, "If you say anything to me I will knock you down like a nine pin." He said he would take me to Dover, and I told him I was willing to go. He said he would put me in the lock-up at Hougham. I told him he had not got one. He took me to his lodging and told George Hogben to bring his tunic, belt, and scarf out. He put them on, and putting his staff in his belt he up fist and knocked me down three times. I got up each time and he knocked me down again. Then he out with his staff and told me that if I did not go off he would lay that over me. I ran off." The testimony having been supported by two other witnesses, and no witness being called to deny it (except the defendant, through his solicitor, Mr. Worsfold Mowll, asserted the evidence as to violence was false,) the Magistrates considered the case proved and sentenced the prisoner to one month's imprisonment with hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 25 October, 1878


Finnis Beer, David Rouse, and William Hatton, were charged as follows:- Finnis Beer with keeping his house open during prohibited hours, and the other two men with being on the premises.

Police-constable Ross said: About 6 o'clock on Sunday morning the 6th, I was in company with another Police-constable, and we watched the “Chequers” public-house and saw defendant Rouse go to the back door and he stayed there about five minutes, and about 9 a.m. I saw the other defendant (Hatton) give the landlord a half-gallon and pint and a half bottle. Afterwards he went into the stable with the landlord. The latter left the stable and came back soon after with a jug as if full of something, which Hatton drank. About ten o'clock I saw a man from Dover go in, and I followed, but found the man was a traveller. I then told the landlord what I had seen and he said he was sorry. I told him I should report the case. When defendant Rouse entered, a young woman came out to look about.

Defendants said they were very sorry.

The Superintendent said he had cautioned the landlord, and that Hatton was up for the same thing in 1872.

The Magistrates fined Beer 40s., and 9s. 6d. costs, and Hatton 5s. and 9s. 6d. costs, but Rouse was dismissed.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 29 July, 1881. Price 1d.


On Thursday the Wingham Petty Sessions were held in the Sessions Roo, of the Maison Dieu Hall, Dover, before Steriker Finnis, Esq. The only business of the Court was an application on the part of Mr. F. Beer, landlord of the "Chequers Inn," West Hougham, for a license to open his house one hour earlier in the morning during harvest time. The application was granted.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 17 March, 1882. Price 1d.


The license of the “Chequers,” at Hougham, was transferred from Finnis Beer to Stephen Law Gilbert.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 18 June, 1886. Price 1d.


George Cox, a farm labourer, was placed in the dock charged with stealing a pair of fustian trousers, a pair of socks, and two handkerchief's value 9s., from Hougham, the property of Edward Mutton.

The prosecutor, a farm labourer, in the employ of Mr. E. P. Robinson, of Poulton Farm, said: On Monday afternoon I went to the “Chequer's Inn,” Hougham, in company with two other men. I had a bundle containing the articles produced with me. The prisoner came into the public house a few minutes after me. I knew him and he spoke to me. My bundle was lying upon the floor. I drank with the prisoner. I had had quite enough to drink. I left the “Chequer's Inn” at about nine o'clock, leaving the bundle there, and went to the “King's Head” public house. I left Cox in the bar. I returned about half an hour, afterwards and found the prisoner and the bundle gone. I made enquiries about it, and it was brought to me this morning by the Police. The value of the articles is 9s.

James Hatton, a labourer, belonging to Capel gave evidence of being in the “Chequer's Inn” on this evening in question. He saw the prisoner leave the house with the bundle produced, a few minutes after the last witness had gone out. When Mutton returned I told him of what I had seen.

Instructing Constable Ross, Kent Constabulary, stationed at Alkham, deposed to apprehending the prisoner at Hougham.

The case was remanded till the Sessions on Thursday.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7 November, 1890. Price 5d.


On Wednesday evening, a stack, between the “Chequers Inn” and a cottage, was discovered to be on fire. The flames quickly spread to another stack, some cow-sheds, a piggery, and an outhouse, which were soon well alight. There was great danger of the flames catching the public house, the part nearest the stack being only a few yards distant. A mounted messenger was at once despatched to Dover. The call was received at 7.10, and soon the fire engine, drawn by three horses, with the Superintendent, Sergeant Barton, and three fireman, was at the road to the fire. When they arrived, they found the public house in great danger. A good supply of water was obtained from a pond on the opposite side of the road, and they soon got the flames under and before the brigade left, which was one o'clock, not a spark was left. The property burnt was two stacks – one of hay and one of straw, a cow-shed, from which the animals were got out unhurt; a piggery, and some out-houses. The whole of the property is insured.


Dover Express 03 September 1926.

The "Chequers," in West Hougham was granted an extension from 10 to 11 p.m. on September 11th for a cricket club dinner and concert.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 18 September, 1931. Price 1d.


Extensions were granted to the "Chequers Inn," Hougham, for September 19th for a cricket club dinner, till 11.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 January, 1933. Price 1d.


the Magistrates approved of the plans for alterations to the "Chequers" Public House, Hougham, which would convert two rooms into one.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News. 18 February, 1938. Price 1d.


Approval was asked for, for alterations, consisting of the erection of lavatory convenience at the “Chequers,” Hougham.

The Chairman said that that would be adjourned for a month for the Magistrates to inspect the premises.


Dover Express 22 March 1940.


Mr. J. Moon, of the "Chequers Inn," West Hougham, writes:- One often hears of children evacuees tramping home from the country, but you don't often hear of them evacuating themselves. Two years ago a Minister of Labour official from Lincoln spent his Summer holiday at the "Chequers" West Hougham, with his wife and child, aged nine years. They have since been moved from Lincoln to Sheffield. At midnight on Monday the Police of Dover rang Mrs. Moon up to say a little schoolgirl, aged eleven, was there and wanted to get to the "Chequers." She had travelled from Sheffield to London, then on the Tube to Victoria, then to Dover Priory. After enquiries had been made the police car brought the little girl up to the "Chequers," where she is being cared for. After extensive telephone calls, her parents were found and you can imagine their relief to hear the child was safe, as she had been missing from her home since the morning, when she set off for school. The curious part is that when this child was here for her summer holiday two years ago she was taken to the Dover Hospital the first day and remained in there till three days before returning by car to Lincoln, so she did not know much about West Hougham. However, both Mr. and Mrs. Moon are as delighted as her parents to know that the child has come to no harm.


Dover Express, Friday 18th July 1947.

Hougham. Darts match.

An enjoyable darts match at the "Chequers" on Wednesday between the "Chequers" and a Dover Conservative Club ended in a win for the home side by 4 - 1.


Dover Express, Friday 3 February 1950.

Tramps Supper 1950

Tramps Supper, held at the Chequers, last week.

From an email received 10 November 2011.

I found a little snippet that might be of interest. I've obtained the War Diary of the 11th East Surrey Rt. who were based in The Citadel in early 1941. One of the pages lists the units stationed around Dover, and as you can see from the attached page, The Chequers at Hougham is mentioned. In May 1941 it was the base for the 6th Platoon, 'C' Company, 8th Cinque Ports Battalion HOME GUARD! They had 1 NCO and 23 men stationed there with 21 rifles.

Well I never!


Phil Eyden.

Stationed at the Chequers 1941


In February 2001 the pub was put up for auction but managed to remain open for a few more years after this.


Village that has no draughts.

From the Dover Express 15 May 2001, by Nadine Miller.

Chequers at Hougham 2001

FOR SALE BY AUCTION: Chequers Inn at Hougham Without which is losing heart

THE Chequers Inn in Hougham Without - which closed in February - will go under the hammer in London today.

But residents fear they will lose the heart of the village once it is sold off to the highest bidder and turned into housing.

After losing the Post Office and bus service, villagers met and unanimously agreed to fight any plans to turn the building into residential property.

Parish councillor Tony Rawlings said: "The pub has been there for time immemorial and it was expressed that there was a possibility it would be built upon.

"A decision was made to take all action to stop the loss of our pub."

Council spokesman Andy Steele said: "There is a policy in Dover District Council called the 'Draught Local Plan' which states that planning permission will not be granted for change of use for a rural shop or pub.

"That is unless its loss would not harm the economic and social viability of the community which it serves, or genuine and adequate attempts to market the premises for retail purposes or as a pub have failed."

Councillor Trevor Bamfield is committed to help the village retain its public house.

He said: "The parish council was asked to write to the auction house in London to say that strong objections will be made to any planning application.

"I support this action 100 per cent and we will oppose change at any stage.

"We've lost the school, the Post Office and the bus service. If our pub is taken away it will mean the heart of the village will be gone."


Joy as hotel group snaps up Chequers

From the Dover Mercury 24 May 2001.

Chequers at Hougham campaign trail

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Villagers collect signatures for their 'save the pub' petition in the run-up to the auction.

VILLAGERS at Hougham are celebrating this week after their village pub was sold to a Kent based hotel group which has said it intends to reopen it as a pub and restaurant.

The London Inn Group, from Maidstone, has bought and restored several other pubs in various parts of the country and villagers are hoping the same will now happen to The Chequers.

It is believed the group paid nearly 300,000 for the property, which closed as a pub in February and was put on the market.

Villagers feared that a new buyer might want to convert it into a private house and began a campaign to keep it as a pub.

"I am looking forward to being able to drink at The Chequers again," said campaigner, Linda Alvey, this week.

Six people from the village went to the auction at the Portman Hotel in London. Although the auctioneer would not allow them to hand out leaflets he did tell would-be purchasers about the villagers' desire to keep it as a pub.

"We've already lost our bus service, post office and shop," said Tony Rawlins.

"The pub could be a thriving business, with the right management. People from all over East Kent know The Chequers, and villagers would support it as well."

Peg Stopford started collecting signatures for a petition to retain the pub the previous weekend and within four days she had collected more than 230 names.

About 500 people live in Hougham, which is formally known as Hougham Without.

"The problem is we'll soon be without everything," said Mike Connolly, "We have a subsidised taxi service once a week, but that's about all."

From the Dover Express 15 November 2001.

New chapter in Chequers' history.

THE centuries-old public house at West Hougham, The Chequers, is to re-open this month.

When it closed in January this year there were fears in the village, between Dover and Folkestone, that "last orders" would never be called again.

Villagers were afraid that when the property was auctioned the pub would be converted into a private house.

But Dennis Ironmonger, 53, who has lived in the village for many years, decided to do something about it.

Now he has leased the property; which is said to have a history as a hostelry going back to 1507.

Former truck-driver Mr Ironmonger and his wife Jenny are aiming to re-open The Chequers next Friday.

The restaurant at the pub has been extended to 40 covers and chef Steve Shaw is standing by ready to start providing meals.

At this moment there's just one problem," said Londonderry-born Mr Ironmonger this week.

"I have been trying to get gas suppliers Transco to get cracking. They tell me it might be six weeks before they can supply The Chequers.

"I'm trying to speed up the process.



During 2006 The Chequers became a Thi Restaurant as well as a public house, but alas now closed (2007).

September 2007. I believe the pub has been bought by a property developer who is going to demolish the pub and build houses or flats on the grounds.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 1 May, 2008.

Checkmate for former boozer.

THE once popular Chequers Inn, off The Street at West Hougham, is to be demolished if a planning application goes through to build five houses with garages on the site. The pub, with its garden, was popular during the Hellfire Corner wartime days when Dover families used to walk out there for a picnic in relative peace. Years later it became a well-visited pub serving table meals. The planning application is to go before district council planners shortly.



The CAMRA branch meeting of June 2008 reported that approval for change of use has been approved.


From an email sent 22 October, 2012.

The following photos have kindly been sent from Hougham resident, Tim Delbaere.

Chequers demolition

The sad demolition of a fine old country pub.

Chequers demolition

And to think this used to be a fine old pub full of character.

Chequers demolition

All photographs taken by Tim Delbaere

Chequers demolition

More coming down.

Chequers demolition

Almost gone.

Chequers demolition

That's about it, I'm afraid. Although Tim has kindly sent me some sad pictures of the inside of the building.

Chequers demolition

I believe this was the main bar serving area.

Chequers demolition fireplace

The chimney breast still stands amongst the rubble.

Chequers demolition inside room

More carnage inside.

Chequers demolition inside room

The dining area, looking relatively tidy compared to the rest.

Chequers demolition inside room

More empty space.

Chequers demolition inside room

To the left as you went through the main door.

Chequers demolition menu board

The last welcoming menu. Years after the pub closed.


Now for the rebuilding, but not a pub in sight.

Demolished Chequers 2010 Demolished Chequers 2010 Demolished Chequers 2010

Above photographs show the now demolished pub taken by Paul Skelton 31 October 2010.

New buildings Sept 2011 New buildings Sept 2011 New buildings Sept 2011 New buildings Sept 2011

Above pictures taken by Paul Skelton, 3rd September, 2011.


Advertisement for the new buildings.



DIXON Thomas 1740+ Wingham Ale Licences 1740

WHITE Hannah 1838-47+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847

WHITE John 1858+ Melville's 1858

WHITE Ann 1861+ (age 58 in 1861Census)

WHITE Charles 1871-74+ (age 32 in 1871Census) Post Office Directory 1874

BEER Finnis William 1878-Mar/82 Next pub licensee had Dover Express (Son BEER William Finnis was at the "Duke of Cambridge," Dover.)

GILBERT Stephen Law Mar/1882+ Post Office Directory 1882Dover Express

JENKINS Alfred to Feb/1891 Dover Express

ANDREWS John Feb/1891+ (age 56 in 1901Census) Dover Express

SMITH Stephen 1899+ Kelly's 1899

HUNT James H to Sept/1901 Dover Express (age 38 in 1901Census) Post Office Directory 1903

GOODALL Andrew Sept/1901-Jan/1912 Kelly's 1903Dover Express

HOARE Charles S Jan/1912+ Dover Express (Of Sandwich)

RANKIN James O 1913-Aug/15 Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1914Dover Express

WHITE Reginald Aug/1915-Oct/22 Dover Express (Temporary during war)

PEARCE Charles Oct/1922-May/27 Dover Express (Former wheelwright)

OTTAWAY Alfred George May/1927-June/28 Dover Express

LETCHFORD Frederick E G June/1928+ Dover Express

FRIZELLE Mr Percival Alexander 1934-Mar/35 Dover ExpressKelly's 1934

MOON James Mar/1935-Feb/49 Dover Express

INGRAM J T Feb/1949+ Dover Express

SCOPES George 1974+ Library archives 1974 Fremlins

PHILLIPS Stephenie to 2001

IRONMONGER Dennis 2001+



Wingham Ale Licences 1740From Wingham Division Ale Licences 1740 Ref: KAO - QRLV 3/1

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

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1914From the Post Office Directory 1914

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

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:-