DOVER KENT ARCHIVES
PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1835

Comet Star

Latest 1907

26 Priory Road (1 Priory Place till 1872)

 

There is evidence of a house called "Comet Star" and with nothing to suggest otherwise, I am content to presume this is it. A passage from the rear, led to the "British Queen" which demonstrates its location. With the "Golden Lion" at No. 11, and the Angling Club situated today at No. 14, and only St. Edmunds Chapel between that and the "Prince Albert" it is difficult to visualise exactly where No. 26 could be, but it must be very close to the "Prince Albert". As an ale or beer-house it had sold for £150 in 1798 and in 1884, Baxter and Company, brewers, paid £300 for it.

According to further reference to Priory Place and Priory Road, mentioned in the book by Derek Leach, titled "Streets of Dover," Priory Place ran from New Street to Priory Street and is mentioned in the Paving Commissioners' Minutes of 1822. Priory Road runs from Biggin Street to Priory Street. Several streets leading to or close to the remains of St. Martin's Priory, now Dover College, use the word Priory. Previously called Priory Place, Norman Terrace and St. Martin's Terrace, and it is these that were renamed Priory Road in 1872.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 3 October, 1884.

The "Comet" beerhouse, situated in Priory Road, was sold at the "Royal Oak Hotel," on Tuesday afternoon, by Mr. Goatley, of Twickenham. The bidding started at "150, and the premises was knocked down to Messrs. Baxter and Co. Brewers, Sandwich, for £300. In 1798 the same premises was sold for £150.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 March, 1905. Price 1d.

ENDANGERING A FRIEND

Francis Ashfield was charged with being drunk on licensed premises, vis., “Comet Inn,” Priory Road.

Police Sergeant Hambrook said: On Saturday at 11.40 I received instructions from Inspector Fox to visit the “Comet Inn,” Priory Road. I went with Police Constable Prescott. In the bar I saw the defendant sitting in a chair asleep, and apparently drunk. In asked the landlord how he accounted for this man being on his premises in that condition, and he replied, “He came in, and as he is my customer I let him sit there to sleep it off, but he has only had a small soda here.” I then woke the defendant, and found he was drunk. I asked him his name and address. He refused to give it, and I told him he would have to come to the Police Station, I brought him there and though he was repeatedly asked his name and address, he still refused. He was then charged with being drunk on licensed premises and detained.

Inspector Fox said that defendant was not so drunk but that he might have been proceeded against by summons if he had given his address.

Defendant said that he was not drunk, and all he did was to go to sleep there. He would not tell his name because he did not consider he had committed himself.

The Chairman: You are likely to get the landlord into trouble.

Inspector Fox said that the man was seen to go in the worse for liquor, and he did not think he got anything from the landlord.

The Clerk: He let him remain there.

The Bench fined the prisoner 5s. including costs.

 

The photo below, although taken in 1937, shows an air-view of the vicinity and the "Comet Star" would have been somewhere in the bottom centre of the photograph, although it is unknown if the buildings shown there are the same.

Air shot of Priory Road

 

It was still a beer-house when kept by William Castle in 1907 and that year the Bench considered it surplus to requirements. The Compensation Authority thought likewise the following year and the premises were then used in quick succession by a butcher, greengrocer, and finally as tea rooms.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 15 February, 1907. Price 1d.

DOVER LICENSING MEETING

The Annual Licensing Meeting of the Dover Magistrates was held at the Police Court on Monday at noon. The Magistrates on the Bench were:- The Mayor (G. P. Raggett, Esq.), Sir William Crundall, Messrs. J. L. Bradley, M. Pepper, W. J. Barnes, W. J. Adcock, H. W. Thorpe, H. F. Elwin, J. W. Bussey, F. G. Wright, E. Chitty, J. Scott, F. W. Prescott, and T. A. Terson.

THE COMET

In regard to the “Comet” Mr. Mowll said that he had only been instructed in the case just as he came into Court.

Mr. W. J. Castle, the tenant was informed that the house was objected to by the Police on the same grounds as the Superintendent of the Police objected to the renewal of the licence. (1) Having regard to the character and necessities of the neighbourhood and the number of licensed houses in the immediate vicinity being excessive, the licence now held by him was unnecessary. (2) That in the interests of the public the renewal of the licence was undesirable.

Chief Constable Knott said that the “Comet” was a beer-house situated in Priory Road. The present tenant, Mr. W. J. Castle had the licence transferred to him on the 7th December, 1906, on the death of his son, who held the licence from the 12th August, 1892. There were four changes in 20 years. The licensed houses in the immediate vicinity were the “Prince Albert,” 28 yards the “Salutation,” 65 yards, and the “British Queen,” 75 yards. There was a back way from the “British Queen” at the “Comet.” The “Golden Lion” was 112 yards away, the “Red Cow,” 119 yards, and in addition was the “Devonshire Arms” and the “King William IV” quite near by. The rateable value was £18, net £14 10s. There was no sanitary accommodation. On Saturday, December 8th, at 10 p.m., there was one customer. On Friday, February 1st at 7.23 p.m., one customer, and on Friday, February 9th, at 10.55, one customer.

Mr. Mowll: It shows a good steady trade. (Laughter.)

Inspector Fox corroborated the evidence. On January 3rd, at 6.55, he visited the house, and also found one customer. There was a passage leading direct from the back of the house to the “British Queen.” The door that led into Priory Road was kept locked.

After the luncheon adjournment:

The Magistrates' Clerk announced that all the five houses, i.e. those at the “Star,” the “Volunteer,” the “Comet,” the “Nottingham Castle,” and the “Ordnance Arms,” would be provisionally renewed so that they could go before the Compensation Authority the Quarter Sessions at Canterbury with a view to compensation.

 

From Dover Express 12 July 1907.

DOVER PUBLIC HOUSE REDUCTION.

The previous action of the Dover Magistrates in refusing the licences of the "Nottingham Castle," Adrian Street, the "Star," Trevanion Lane, the "Comet," Priory Road, and the "Volunteer," London Road, was at the Licensing Committee of the County Magistrates yesterday at Canterbury, confirmed, the owners making no objection.

 

LICENSEE LIST

SMALL George 1835-73 (Listed as 1 Priory Place in census's 1841-71)

JOHNSON Mr 1873

KEELER Joseph W 1875

BARNES William 1881+ (age 58 in 1881Census)

BARNES Mrs to 1891

CASTLE Herbert H junior Aug/12/1892-1906 dec'd Pikes 1895

CASTLE William Joseph Marsh Dec/7/1907+ Kelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903

 

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

CensusCensus

 

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