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

Earliest 1805

Dover Castle Hotel

Latest 1910

6 Clarence Place

Quay or North Pier

Fronting the harbour near the north pier head

Union Street

Quay Pigot's Directory 1840

Steam Packet Quay Bagshaw's Directory 1847

Dover Castle Hotel 1870

Above drawing, 1879.

From the Dover Express, 1879.

Dover Castle Hotel advert 1879

Above advert, 1879.

Dover Castle Hotel 1911

Above photo 1911. The anchor and chains come from the wreck of the 'Preussen' which eventually ran aground on rocks at Crab Bay and sank (east of Dover) in November 1910, after hitting another ship off Newhaven. Photo from Chris Roberts.

Dover Castle Hotel 1905

The Dover Castle Hotel can just be seen to the left of the "Royal Hotel." Photo kindly sent by Terry Wheeler of the Ramsgate Historical Society.

Dover Castle Hotel

Above photo as shown from the Western Heights, kindly sent by Paul Wells.

Dover Castle Hotel overlay map

Above overlay map, kindly sent by Paul Wells.

 

The original stood at the seaward end of Union Street, (Buildings over the Wall), in 1805. Mr. Ford.

 

It was removed in 1844 when the tidal harbour was enlarged. There is evidence of the furniture and fittings being auctioned in November 1839. It was sometimes described as being near the North pier head. The name associated with it from 1830 to 1838 was Tom Divers. His wife Elizabeth continued, latterly here and then at its successor in Clarence Place up to 1875.

 

From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 16 November, 1833. Price 7d.

On Thursday night a female servant belonging to the "Dover Castle Inn," was attacked by a rough looking fellow, near the corner of Ordnance Buildings, who endeavoured to take  away a bundle she was carrying; but being resisted, he made a snatch at her ear-rings, when the screams of the girl brought persons to her assistance, and the fellow escaped.

 

From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 28 February, 1835. Price 7d.

DOVER LOYAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL ASSOCIATION

A Conservative meeting was held at Divers' "Castle Hotel," on Tuesday, which was well attended by members of each class of society. The object of the meeting was the preliminary arrangements for the establishment of the above association, which were fully entered into, and a provisional Committee formed to prepare the requisite Regulations; after which the assembly spent the evening in social conviviality, honouring the usual loyal and patriotic toasts with true Conservative spirit and goodwill. - The names of several members were enrolled in the room, wince when there has been a powerful addition to the number.

 

From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 23 April, 1836. Price 7d.

An inquest was held on Monday, at the "Dover Castle Inn," before the Worshipful the Mayor, on the body of Richard Braham, who was found drowned in the inner harbour that morning. It appeared in papers found in his pockets, that the deceased was a porcelain engraver, who had been employed in France, and was on his return to Staffordshire. He arrived from Calais on Sunday afternoon, and on landing was noticed to act in an incoherent manner; but afterwards went to the "Swan" where he dined. In the evening he went out and was not again seen until discovered in the water, at daylight next morning. About three o'clock, cries of distress were heard by a policeman on duty; but on proceeding to the spot from where they seemed to come, he could not find any person. Twenty-two five-franc pieces, a thirty-sous piece, with a pocket-book and other articles, were found on the body. The Jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict of Found drowned.

 

Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser 29 January 1839.

MARRIED.

Jan. 22., at St. Mary's church, Dover, Mr. William Colchin, of the Ordinance Department, to Miss E Divers, of the "Dover Castle Hotel."

 

From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 18 July, 1846. Price 5d.

DOVER PETTY SESSIONS

MONDAY - Henry Crosoer, commissioner at the "Dover Castle Hotel," was fined £1 1s., including costs, for obstructing passengers on arrival at the terminus of the railway.

Fine paid.

 

From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 25 December, 1847. Price 5d.

RIVAL PORTERS

James Foreman, porter at the “Dover Castle Hotel,” was charged with an assault on William Davis, porter at the “Clarence Hotel.” Complainant stated that Foreman had used very abusive language, and knocked him over the chains of the quay. A witness named may stated that he had asked complainant to make up the affair, and offered to give him half-a-crown to do so, which he accepted. Davis said he agreed to take the half-crown if defendant made an apology which he had not done, but had since used threatening language. The bench considered the taking of the half-crown as a compromise, and dismissed the case.

 

From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 11 November, 1848. Price 5d.

PETTY SESSIONS

John Hodson and Thomas Tyreman, gunners in the Royal Artillery, were brought up on a charge of obstructing persons on the foot-path.

Charles Goodban, commissioner at the "Dover Castle Hotel," stated that he and other parties were returning from the railway terminus last evening, when they were met by the defendants, who were intoxicated, and one of them (Hodson,) without any provocation, knocked down a porter names Sparkes. On Goodban's remonstrating on such uncalled-for violence, Tyreman stepped forward, and struck him on the ear.

John Parks, porter at the "Clarence Hotel," corroborated the foregoing statement.

Tyreman admitted that he himself struck both men, but that they commenced the assault; and Hodson denied striking any one.

The Mayor, A. F. Payn, Esq., (who for the first time since his election presided at the Justice Board,) expressed his regret that men belonging to the Royal Artillery, a corps whose conduct  was generally so excellent, should appear on a charge of the nature before them.

Fined 10s. each, including costs; and in default were committed for seven days.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 6 November, 1858.

OBJECTIONABLE NUISANCE IN CLARENCE PLACE

The foul state of a passage near to the "Dover Castle Hotel," Clarence Place, caused by the continuance of a most objectionable practise which has been repeatedly brought before the Local Board, was again brought under the notice of the Committee by Mr. Robinson, who complained that the nuisance was now worse than ever, and that the residence of the houses adjoining were put to frightful inconvenience in consequence.

A conversation as to the best means of putting an end to the evil ensued, in the course of which Mr. Duke suggested that the passage should be stopped up altogether, and appealed to the Town Clerk as to whether that course could be legally adopted?

The Town Clerk said that it could, and that the Local Board, if they pleased, might sell the soil.

A gentleman thought that from the nature of the ground it might be advantageously devoted to agricultural purposes. (Laughter.)

It was also suggested that it might be adapted to purposes of public convenience, and ultimately it was decided that the Surveyor should inspect and report at the next meeting of the Committee, the members of which would then be in a better position to come to a determination on the subject.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 17 May, 1872. Price 1d.

James Landall, summoned for removing ashes from an ash pit at the back of the "Dover Castle Hotel" at illegal hours, was ordered to pay the costs, 5s. 6d.

 

 

It was sold in 1875 after Mrs. Divers died to Charles Poland for £6,250 which suggests it was no mean structure. Even so, he proceeded to enlarge it by incorporating two cottages at a cost of £1,500.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 16 April, 1875. Price 1d.

SALE BY AUCTION

By Messrs. Worsfold & Hayward. DOVER.

Important sale of well-known and highly popular “Dover Castle Hotel” together with Two Freehold Houses adjoining, and Four Freehold Shops in Woolcomber Street.

Messrs. Worsfold and Hayward have received instructions from the Executors of the late Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Divers, to Sell by Auction at the Hotel, in Dover, on Thursday, the 29th of April, 1875, at 3 o'clock precisely, the very Valuable Freehold Hotel, known as the “Dover Castle Hotel,” which for many years has been so successfully conducted by the late Mrs. Divers. The Hotel is situate in a commanding position overlooking the Harbour, close to both Railway Stations and the Admiralty Pier, and commands a fine view of the Castle and Bay.

The accommodation comprises 29 Bedrooms, six cheerful private Sitting Rooms, excellent Coffee Room, Smoking Room, Bar, Bar Parlour, and the usual Offices. In the rear is the Tap which might with advantage be thrown into the Hotel, thus giving 4 extra Bedrooms on the First Floor with a convenience range of kitchens on the ground floor.

Possession will be given upon the completion of the Purchase, and the Purchaser will be required to take the Furniture and Stock by Valuation.

The Auctioneers desire to call particular attention to the advantages offered by this Sale. The Hotel is Freehold, and from the judicious management of the late Mrs. Divers, has fairly earned a very high reputation amongst Continental Travellers and Visitors to Dover. A good business is done all the year round which must be materially increased when the contemplated improvements to Dover Harbour and Continental Mail Service are carried out. The receipts have been yearly increasing and the proportion taken for beds and attendance is very large. The adjoining houses in Lot 2 present an unusual opportunity for extending the accommodation of the Hotel.

LOT 2. TWO FREEHOLD HOUSES being Nos. 3, and 4, Clarence Place, Dover, immediately adjoining the “Dover Castle Hotel,” and possessing the extensive frontage of 30ft. 8in. early possession of both houses can be obtained.

LOTS 3 to 6. FOUR FREEHOLD HOUSES AND SHOPS, situate in Woolcomber Street, being Nos. 5, Woolcomber Street, and Nos. 1 to 3 Exhibition Place, let to respectable Tenants at rents amounting to £78 per annum.

Every information will be afforded to bona fide applicants and the Hotel can be viewed by orders to be obtained from Messrs. Worsfold & Hayward, Auctioneers, Surveyors, and Estate Agents, New Bridge, Dover, and 12, Queen Victoria Street, London, E.C., of whom Particulars and Conditions of Sale may be obtained; also of Mr. George Fielding, Solicitor, Dover.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 13 April, 1877. Price 1d.

WARNING TO UNLICENSED PORTERS

Thomas Terry was summoned on the information of Mr. Norris, master of the porters, for that he, on the 31st of March, did unlawfully carry a trunk from the Harbour Station of the L.C.D.R., not being a licensed porter.

Mr. Woolaston Knocker, Town Clerk, prosecuted on behalf of the Corporation.

Mr. John S. Norris, Master of the Porters, said: On Saturday, 31st of March, when the 6.35 express train arrived at the Harbour Station of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway, I saw the luggage arrive by the train and put on the platform. The party to whom it belonged were standing beside it and likewise the defendant. The defendant was in the act of taking the box when I stopped him and said that I had a man. He said the gentleman had engaged him to take it. I told him if he took it I should summons him and made the same remark to the gentleman, that I should summons the defendant. The gentleman said “You let it alone, I shall engage who I please.” I released my hold from the box and followed the defendant to the “Dover Castle Hotel.” I saw the gentleman pay him, but I could not tell how much he paid him. I told the defendant when he came out I should summons him.

The defendant said the gentleman gave him the order before the Master of the Porters came up. He did not tout for it.

Mr. Knocker said the Act of parliament prohibited a passenger from employing anyone but a licensed man.

The defendant called William Keyton, employee at the “Dover Castle Hotel,” who said he was at the station on the day in question when the 6.35 train arrived. He saw the gentleman there with a box and he was going to sent it to the hotel in a cab. On finding that the hotel was so short a distance from the station the gentleman would not have a cab and the box was stood on the pavement. The gentleman asked who would take it, and the defendant stepped forward and offered to take it. At the hotel witness saw the gentleman give the defendant sixpence.

In reply to Mr. Knocker, the Master of the Porters said the defendant was not a licensed porter, and in reply to the bench he said the defendant was in the habit of taking things from the passengers and he had frequently cautioned him before.

As this was the first offence the Bench fined the defendant 1s. and 10s. 6d. costs.

The money was paid.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 13 September, 1889. Price 1d.

STRANGE DEATH AT DOVER

On Tuesday morning, about two o'clock, a gentleman, with only his night-attire on, was found lying dead in the road outside the “Dover Castle Hotel” with his head terribly crushed. From inquiries made at the hotel, it appeared that his name was Herbert Rhodes. He had arrived a short time before with a lady from London, intending to stop at the hotel till the next morning, and then cross to Ostend. There was nothing to show how he fell into the road, but a glad door opening on to the balcony in front of the hotel was found open, and it is supposed that the deceased went out on this for some reason and fell over. He was the owner of the Sleuthound yacht, which has been in Dover Harbour several times this year. An inquest was held at the “Hotel de Paris” by Sydenham payn, Esq. (Coroner) at five o'clock on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. W. J. Cullen was chosen foreman of the Jury.

Fanny Cole, a widow, housekeeper at 15, Carlos Street, Grosovner Square, London, said; The body the Jury have viewed is that of Herbert Edward Rhodes, he was 38 years of age in January last. He was independent gentlemen, and lived at the above address. I last saw him alive at eight o'clock on Monday evening at Carles Street, where I packed his bag. He told me yesterday morning that he was going to Henley-on-Thames, and that he would be back this morning. He left in a cab with Mrs. Manley, who came up to the house about seven o'clock in the evening. He seemed rather worried, but he said he was all right and told me not to worry about him. He never told me that he was going to be married. Mrs. Manley told me he was going to marry her sister.

Beatrice Manley, widow, residing at 29, Tennyson Road, Wellesden Lane, London, said: I have known Mr. Rhodes for some years. I went to his house in Carlos Street yesterday afternoon by appointment. He told me he wanted to see me with regard to my sister to whom he was engaged to be married. Her name is Vera Hodges. She is living at Ostend. The deceased told me that there had been some little difference between them. He said that he wanted me to go to Ostend to smooth over any difficulties so that they might be married at once. He intended to go to Ostend that night. We left Carlos Street about eight o'clock, and drove to the Telegraph Office at Charing Cross. I sent a telegram to my mother, and the deceased also sent one, but I do not know to whom. We then went across to the station to catch the boat train, but we found it had gone. Mr. Rhodes said he thought it would be best to go Dover by the next train, and stay there during the night. He sent a telegram to the “Dover Castle Hotel” saying he was coming. We left London at nine and arrived in Dover at 12.40. He seemed to be in very good spirits in the train, but I think he had had a little too much to drink. He kept on referring to my sister all the time. We went straight to the hotel when we arrived. The deceased had a brandy and soda, and we retired immediately. We both went into No. 4 room, which faces the back part of the house, and the porter took Mr. Rhodes' bag in No. 2, which is a front room. He followed the porter and then came back to my room, and asked me if I was quite comfortable. He then went to his own room. He came back in a few seconds and asked me to change rooms, and I went into the front room. I put his bag outside and locked the door. He came back in a few minutes and asked me for his things, and I told him they were outside. I did not open the door. He then said do come into the sitting room, I want to talk to you about Vera. I declined to go, and he gave two knocks and then went away. I was aroused some time afterwards, and was told that Mr. Rhodes had met with an accident. I did not hear any noise after the deceased went away from the door.

George Mackey, porter to the “Dover Castle Hotel,” said that they received the previous evening a telegram, signed Hodges, ordering two beds. The deceased appeared to be slightly the worse for liquor when he arrived at the hotel. After I had taken the deceased's bag upstairs I went to bed. About ten minutes past one he was aroused by the bell ringing, and on opening the door a Submarine Telegraph messenger told him that a man was lying in the road who had jumped from one of the hotel windows. He then ran for a Policeman, and I aroused one of my waiters and went out to the man and saw it was Mr. Rhodes. A Policeman arrived soon afterwards, and he turned his light on the man. He saw that he was dead, and that his brains were lying on the pavement. A doctor was sent for and the man was taken to the dead-house.

Hector W. Gillespie, a Submarine Telegraph messenger, proved finding the body at five minutes past one.

Police-constable Pilcher said he went to the “Castle Hotel” about half-past one that morning, and saw the deceased lying in the road. He went upstairs and found the door of No. 4 open, and the deceased's clothing lying on the bed. He saw a candle alight in the sitting room opposite No. 4 but found the windows a fastened. At the end of the passage there was another little passage leading out on to a balcony, and the door to the balcony was open. A little way along there is a partition which divides the balcony in two. The deceased was lying immediately under this. The distance to the ground is about seventy feet.

Mr. Walters proved that death arose from injury to the head.

The Coroner, in summing up the evidence, said it was most probably that the deceased had gone on to the balcony to get to Mrs. Manley's room, and in getting over the partition fell into the road.

The Jury accordingly returned a verdict that the deceased was Killed Accidentally.

 

 

Perhaps business fell away. John Balcombe of London acquired the hotel in 1906 but by 1910 he seems to regret the venture and he departed in despair.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 17 December, 1909.

A MORTGAGED HOTEL

John Balcombe, of the "Dover Castle Hotel" was summoned for non payment of £6 17s. 6d. Water Rate, and District Rate amounting to £42. He said he had just paid £33 Poor Rate and £42 for electric light. He is waiting for a cheque from the mortgagees who are selling the place on Thursday next.

The Assistant Clerk: Supposing they do not sell?

Mr. Balcombe said he thought the mortgagees would still be liable.

The Assistant Clerk: Have they foreclosed the mortgage?

Mr. Balcombe said they had not, but as they held a bill of sale on his furniture for £1,000 and were trying to sell the property he would like the Magistrates to restrain before the sale on Thursday in order that the Corporation might be protected.

An order was made for payment forthwith.

 

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 18 February, 1910.

THE DOVER CASTLE HOTEL

APPLICATION TO THE MAGISTRATES TODAY

At the Dover Police Court this morning, before the Mayor (W. Emden, Esq.) F. W. Prescott, and J. L. Bradley, Esqrs,.

Mr. B. Turner, of Messrs. Worsfold and Hayward, applied for a transfer of the licence of the "Dover Castle Hotel," from Mr. Balcome to his name.

Mr. Turner said Mr. Balcome wanted to leave the town for London. They were hoping to get a tenant, and to keep the licence alive, and he asked for it to be transferred to his name. He was not going to carry it on, and the house would be shut up to-day. They were hoping to dispose of it, but they had no definite name to put it into yet.

The transfer was allowed.

 

 

There is no evidence of the property being occupied again before 1924, when it was converted into flats. They were struck by enemy gunfire on 28 August 1940 and if not completely destroyed then, they would certainly have been taken down by 1950.

 

Dover Castle Hotel demolition

Above photo, circa 1950, kindly sent by Paul Wells.

 

See also "Dover Castle Tap".

 

LICENSEE LIST

FORD 1805

FOORD Stephen 1823-28 Pigot's Directory 1823Pigot's Directory 1828-29

DIVERS Thomas 1828-40? Batchellor 1828Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839Pigot's Directory 1840

DIVERS Mrs Elizabeth Ann 1838-75 dec'd (widow age 57 in 1851Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847Dover TelegraphMelville's 1858Post Office Directory 1874

POLAND Charles 1875-77 and 1882-95 Post Office Directory 1882

GOSNEY Mrs 1877?

COLEMAN Harriet 1881+ (age 37 in 1881Census) (manageress)

COOPER Charlotte 1891 (widow age 60 in 1891Census) (manageress)

POLAND Charles 1882-1901+ Pikes 1889Pikes 1895Post Office Directory 1903

HUNT James H 1903-04 Post Office Directory 1903

MURRAY John  1904 (Castle Inn)

BANKHAM 1906

BALCOMBE John 1906-10 end

TURNER Mr B G (Worsfold and Hayward) Feb/1910

 

Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Batchellor 1828From Batchellor's New Dover Guide 1828

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Pigot's Directory 1839From the Pigot's Directory 1839

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

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

Pikes 1889From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1889

Pikes 1895From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Dover TelegraphFrom the Dover Telegraph

 

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

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