Page Updated:- Sunday, 04 December, 2022.


Earliest 1887-

Cliffe Tavern

Latest 2007

(Name to)

St. Margaret's at Cliffe

Cliff Hotel

Above photo date unknown, showing the "Cliffe Hotel" as it was known, now the White Cliffs Hotel. It started life as a young gentleman's boarding school run by the Temple family. A Mr Cripps turned it into a hotel, hence the name Cripps Lane, which runs alongside the hotel.

Cliff Hotel 1913

Above postcard, postmarked 1913, kindly sent by Graham Butterworth.

Cliff Tavern 1915

Above postcard, date 1915, kindly submitted by Mark Jennings.

Cliff Tavern Advertisement

Above showing an advertisement, date unknown.

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Graham Butterworth.

Cliff Tavern 1945

Above photo shows the "Cliffe Tavern" with owners Charles and Eva Groves on VJ (Victory over Japan) Day. 15th August 1945. Charles was the Chief ARP Warden in the village 1939-45.

Mr and Mrs Grove 1930

Above photo showing Mr and Mrs Grove in the window at the original bar room circa 1930.

Above photo showing Cliffe House when it was part of the "Cliffe Tavern." Great place from which to watch a wedding at the church.

Cliffe Hotel in 1903

Above photo showing the then named Cliff Hotel in 1903

From the Dover Express 6 July 2000

Old school re-opens as a new tavern.

THE historic 400 year old Tavern at St Margarets - once a school - has re-opened as The ClyfIe Inn and welcomed its first guests.

Dover District Council chairman, Frank Woodbridge joined the ceremony marking the re-opening of the inn to the public.

The tavern, re-named The Clyffe Inn, was bought by Andrew and Amanda Wedl, of The Character Inn group, which owns The Royal Hotel at Deal for 300,000.

Refurbishment, costing 70.000 so far, began in February and the bar and back garden are now complete. The restaurant, specialising in seafood by chef Ian Jackson, will be opened shortly. The inn dates back to the late 17th Century and will he run by Amanda Sumner and Alex Evans.

Bayleaf once the Cliff Tavern

Pictures above and below by Paul Skelton 10 November 2007

Bayleaf once the Cliff Tavern
Cliffe Tavern sign 1973

Above sign, 1973, kindly sent by Klaus Schmidt from Germany.

Cliffe Hotel sign, St MargaretsBayleaf-Sign

Above photos by Paul Skelton. Left 2006, right 2008.


The earliest note I have so far of this building serving ales is as the Cliffe Hotel in 1889, but it was once a school house and is said to be about 400 years old. Further information tells me it was a boys boarding school.

I believe this inn was called the Westcliffe around the first world war but do not know when it changed name to the Cliffe Tavern.

Until relatively recently the Cliffe Tavern, also renamed the Cliffe Inn, at St Margarets-at-Cliffe had a public bar, but is now a family run licensed restaurant and hotel and has renamed again, this time being called the "Garden House Hotel and Bayleaf Restaurant".

Parts of the building are reputed to go back to Elizabethan times.

Latest change of name is the the "White Cliffs Hotel" it still houses the Bay restaurant. (2008).


From an email received 6 October 2020.

The Weinreb brothers and the manager of the "Cliffe" David Beattie (an ex Met officer of 10 years) ran an appalling house and went bankrupt. Shortly after, their Deal hotel caught fire.

In 1975 the "Cliffe" was purchased by Frank Westby, a London businessman who also had a pub at Teddington (The Popes Grotto). The "Cliffe Tavern" stayed closed for some months and was restored.

Frank appointed a manager, an Irishman named Cornelius O’Grady. He stayed for at least 6 years and then went to run the Popes Grotto. If you remember the cartoon in the Daily Mail, Flook, Cornelius could have been the caricature of the butler Vin. Frank then came to run the Cliffe.

The pub was very successful and remained so for many years. Frank also bought the pub on the seafront at Kingsdown, the "Zetland Arms."

It was taken over by Gavin Oakley who had been very successful at "Wallets Court," Westcliffe. I think he put his son into the Cliffe and it eventually changed again.

Chris Richford.



CRIPPS S G 1889-1900+ Pikes 1889Pike 1890Pikes 1895Pikes 1898Pikes 1899Pikes 1899-1900

CRIPPS F P 1901+ Post Office Directory 1903

CLARINGBOULD Frederick 1914+ (Westcliffe)

CRIPPS Mrs S 1923-24+ Pikes 1923Pikes 1924

WEINREB Arthur & BEATTIE David 1973-74+ Library archives 1974

WESTBY Frank 1975 Next pub licensee had (owner)

O'GRADY Cornelius 1975-81

STOTHART Calvin & HOBSON Claire Feb/1998-July/1999 Next pub licensee had

SUMNER Amanda 2000 and

EVANS Alex 2000

Last pub licensee had WEDL Andrew & Amada 2002+ Next pub licensee had

HALL Christopher 2007 (Bayleaf)


Pikes 1889From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1889

Pike 1890From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1890

Piks 1891From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1891

Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

Pikes 1896-7From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1896-97

Pikes 1898From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1898

Pikes 1899From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1899

Pikes 1899-1900From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1899-1900

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Pikes 1923From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974


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