11 Priory Street and Priory Place
The Golden Lion has not changed much since this
painting by Mary Horseley dating 1892. To the right you can just see
what was to become part of Charles Clout's shop.
Above shows small section of a panoramic view, date unknown. By kind
permission of Dover Library.
The earliest date Barry Smith mentioned this pub was 1846, but he
also mentions a "Golden Lyon" that
predates this one. However, in those days,
spelling was rather phonetically and could have referred to this one and
without an address I have an open mind. However, Alec Hasenson has sent me
two articles that predate 1846 and certainly mention the "Golden Lion" not
Lyon, however as I said above often spelling was unimportant. I will keep
with Barry's earliest mention being 1846 until I prove further.
Already well established on this corner in 1846. It came about in the
first place when two tenements combined. One of those was 3 Priory Place
which had been used as a stable and storehouse.
The Priory Street property opened at five a.m. from 1881. Reinstatement
of war damage was permitted in 1949 at a cost of £135. A house of Fremlin.
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General
Advertiser, Saturday 14 February, 1846. Price 5d.
DOVER POLICE COURT
Stephen Clark, one of the partied tried at Maidstone, in 1844, for
the murder of police-constable Couchman, was brought up, charged with
stealing a cheese from the shop of Mr. Kennett, baker, Priory Street.
Elizabeth Kennett, wife of the prosecutor, stated, - On Monday
evening, shortly after ten o'clock, I went to the "Golden Lion," which
is opposite to my residence, to fetch my supper beer. On returning I saw
prisoner run from my shop with a cheese to priory Meadow, whither I
followed him. I can swear positively to the prisoner, as it was a very
moonlight night, and I was not above two yards from him when he left the
shop. On his entering the meadow he went behind the wall, and I lost
him. He was dressed as he now is. I then sent for my husband, who was at
the "Comet" close by, and on his coming he and
some others went in search of the prisoner, while I watched in the
Priory Walk. Immediately afterwards I saw the prisoner coming out of the
spot at which I had seen him enter. I instantly went up to him, and
charged him with the theft, at the same time asking where the cheese
was, to which he made no reply, but ran up the Folkestone Road. I ran
after him, crying "stop thief!" and saw Mr. Amos, to whom I pointed out
the prisoner, saying, "That is the man; stop him!" which he did, and
with other assistance held him till the police came up, previous to
which he had threatened to use his knife. The cheese was the only one we
had in the shop. It was purchased of Mr. Matthews, and I saw my husband
bring it into the shop. [The evidence of this witness was given in the
most distinct and unequivocal manner, although confronted by the
prisoner relative to the identity of this person.]
Richard Kennett, husband of the foregoing witness - I met my wife in
the Priory Walk, who told me that a man had stolen the cheese from the
shop, and pointed out the road by which he had escaped. I then went in
pursuit, but did not see the prisoner till he was secured, and then with
a policeman I went in search of the cheese, which we found in the
back-yard in the Meadow, and but a short distance from the spot pointed
out by my wife as the place at which the prisoner entered. The prisoner
is the same man that I saw in custody.
Edward Small, a lad about 14 years of age, stated that he saw the
prisoner lurking about Mr. Kennet's shop, about 10 minutes after 10, on
the night in question. I had just left my occupation at the Museum, and
had reached my home when Mrs. Kennett came and said someone had robbed
the shop. I have known the prisoner ever since the murder of Couchman,
The prisoner, who denied taking the cheese, was then committed for
trial at the next sessions. He asked to be liberated on bail, which was
refused by the Mayor.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 22
STEALING A COAT AT DOVER
George Watson, 32, labourer, was charged with stealing, at Dover, on the
27th of September last, a sheepskin coat of the value of 10s., the property
of William Ames; to which he pleaded not guilty.
Mr. Bridge prosecuted.
William Ames, landlord of the "Golden Lion," Priory Street - On the
evening of the 27th Sept., between 8 and 9 o'clock, the prisoner came
into my house. He was served with a pint of beer, which was taken to him in
the tap-room, after which he came and asked me if I wanted a man in the
stable. There i a room at the rear of the tap-room, where the coat produced
was hanging between 8 and 9. At a quarter to ten o'clock the coat was
missing. By going through that room persons quitting the tap-room may leave
the house by a back door. I believe prisoner must have gone out that way, as
he did not pass by the bar.
By the prisoner - I am quite positive you did not go out by the front
Police-constable Thomas Irons - On the morning of the 28th September,
about a quarter past 1, I was on duty in Council House Street, when I saw
the prisoner with the coat produced under his arm. I asked him what he had
got, and he said a coat, and that he had got it from the Crimea. I told him
I did not believe him, but he repeated his statement, and said he would
stick to it "like a leech." (Laughter.) He was very violent on my taking him
into custody, and struck me. I was obliged to get assistance to convey him
to the station-house. He afterwards, when at the police station, cried, and
said if he had not been a fool he might have had a good character.
In defence the prisoner said he was intoxicated when taken into custody -
too much so to remember exactly how he came by the coat, except, that he
bought it off a man nearly as drunk as himself for 5s. He told a long story
as to the manner of his encountering the unknown and drunken individual, and
the incidents of the bargain, but what he said was not material.
Irons, recalled buy the Recorder, said that the prisoner was a little the
worse for liquor when apprehended; he knew perfectly well, however, what he
The Jury declined to believe the statement the prisoner had offered in
defence, and after the learned Recorder had briefly summed up the evidence
- pointing out the fact that the prisoner had not been seen to take the
coat, but remarking that if it were necessary to bring an eye-witness to the
robbery of all articles stolen very little protection to property would be
The Jury returned a verdict of guilty.
The prisoner was also detained upon a charge of stealing at Dover, on the
same day, a coat and a leather tobacco-pouch, value 5s., the property of
In this case Mr. Dashwood appeared for the prosecution, but a conviction
already recorded it was not necessary to go into it.
The prisoner, on being asked by the Recorder what he had to say for
himself, said that previous to being apprehended by the police for this
offence - of which, he assured the Court, notwithstanding the view the Jury
had taken of the case, he was as innocent as the Recorder himself - he had
been employed in the docks here.
The learned Recorder remarked that this made his case much less excusable
than he had at first thought it, for he had imagined it probable that he
might have been in a state of distress at the time of committing this
offence. His defence, therefore instead of assisting him, only made him (the
learned Recorder) believe that he was a very hardened person. As he was not
known, however, he would derive the benefit of the Court supposing that this
was his first offence, but he (the Recorder) warned him against coming there
again, for if he did he would assuredly be condemned to penal servitude.
There would be no doubt that he had stolen the coat, and for this offence
the sentence of the Court was that he be kept to hard labour in the gaol of
the borough for six calendar months.
From the Dover Express. 1872.
Drunkenness and Assault.
John Wood an elderly man was charged with being drunk and disorderly in
the Golden Lion and assaulting the landlord and also with assaulting
William Amos said he was the landlord of the Golden Lion. On the
previous evening between five and six o’clock the prisoner came into his
house. He was intoxicated and on his asking for half-pint of beer
witness refused to draw it. He said he should not go till he had it. but
witness told him that he was certain he would. (Laughter) He then asked
him if he would like to have one of the half-pint pots smashed about his
------- head and witness admitted that he would not relish it at all. (A
laugh.) After telling him to go out of the house two or three times
without effect witness went to see if he could find a policeman. As he
was looking at one door the prisoner left by another and coming towards
him endeavoured to pull him out of the house by his waistcoat. Witness
however was to strong for him and threw him upon the ground where he
held him till
P.C. Ash came. P.C. Ash deposed to finding the complainant and the
prisoner struggling on the ground in front of the Golden Lion.
Complainant gave prisoner in charge for disorderly conduct and knowing
the prisoner violent character he handcuffed him. He did this with great
difficulty prisoner trying to bite him while he was doing so. On
attempting to convey him to the Police Station he became very violent
and kicked him on the leg. Assistance had to be procured and the
prisoner had to be carried to the Police Station where his conduct was
very violent. The prisoner said he had been to Diggle’s Tower where he
had taken too much refreshment and after leaving the tower he lost
recollection. The magistrates commended the conduct of Mr. Amos in
refusing to supply the prisoner with liquor. On the charge of
drunkenness he would be fined 5s and costs or in default a week’s
imprisonment. For the assault on the police he would be imprisoned one
Information kindly supplied by Joyce Banks.
More reading of Dover at
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 11 May, 1877. Price 1d.
George Ballard, carter, was charged with having in his possession in the
Priory Road 2 sacks containing 2 cwt. Of coals, value 4s., supposed to
have been stolen.
Mr. Worsfold Mowll was defending.
Police-constable Suters said: I was on duty about seven o’clock last
evening in the Priory Road. I saw the prisoner coming out of the stables
of the “Golden Lion,” with a sack on his back. He went towards a cart
that stood opposite Ayers’ forge. I stopped him and asked him where he
had the coals from he was carrying. He said, “I had them given me.” I
asked who gave them to him, and he said, “Let me have a rest, and I will
tell you some more about it.” He then said, “I met a man on the quay,
and he asked me to take 2 cwt. Of coals for him and leave them somewhere
near the “Red Cow.” I afterwards saw him and he told me to leave them at
Charlton Bridge.” I was not satisfied with his statement and I took him
into custody and charged him with having them in his possession, not
giving a satisfactory account of the same. I took him to the station. He
was charged and cautioned. He then said, “I did not steal them,” and
repeated the same statement he had made to me. He did not know who the
man was he had taken the coals for. He told Mr. Ayers, in my presence,
to send the cart home as he should not be back again. One of the bags
now produced is the same he had with him, the other I afterwards saw in
the stables where he came from. There are no marks on either.
Stephen Solly, landlord of the “Golden Lion,” in Priory Street, said:
The prisoner came to my house between five and six last evening and
asked if he could leave two bags of coal in my stables, saying that a
man would call for them later in the evening. I told him he light leave
them, and he fetched two bags of coals from a cart and put them on a
manger in the stables. There were several bags in the cart besides those
two. He went away and returned in about three-quarters of an hour and
asked for the coals. I said “Are they yours?” he said “Yes; don’t you
know me again.” I said “Yes, all right, take them away.” I opened the
stable door for him and saw him take one bag. About half an hour
afterwards the Constable same and told me to lock the other up, and I
By the Bench: The prisoner has not at any time stabled his horse with
me. I did not notice any difference in these bags from the others in the
cart. I often have goods left at my house for and by country carriers.
Thomas Bere, carrier, living at Chapel Hill, said: The prisoner is in m
y employ. I have been carting coals for Mr. Bussey up to the Heights.
Prisoner went with my horse and cart to the Heights yesterday. I told
him to look up my bags and if he could not find enough to ask Mr. Bussey
to lend him some. My bags are not marked. I could not swear to the bags.
I retail coals which I buy from Mr. Bussey. I had a ton the day before
yesterday which were delivered by Mr. Bussey’s man. I cannot say whether
I have any coals similar to those which are now produced.
Joseph S. McCordell, coal-meter, in the employ of the Corporation, said
he had been engaged on board the Reckless, lying at the Custom House
Quay. Mr. Bussey owned the cargo. The prisoner was at the vessel about
eight times the previous day and had about a ton of coal each time in
bags. The prisoner threw down twenty bags each time and had them
refilled. Witness had not seen the prisoner with any bags like the two
Mr. Superintendent Sanders asked for a remand until Monday in order that
Mr. Bussey should be summoned to appear to give evidence.
Mr. Mowll said Mr. Sanders must pledge his oath as to whether from the
evidence of Mr. Bussey or any other person he thought could bring home
the charge. He (Mr. Mowll) contended that not a tittle of evidence had
been given from which a prima facia case could be made out.
Mr. Sanders was sworn and the case remanded until Monday, prisoner being
[Before T. E. Back, R. Dickeson, R. Rees, R. H. Jones, and F. S. Pierce,
George Ballard was charged on remand with having in his possession two
sacks of coals supposed to have been stolen.
The evidence previously taken was used. Mr. Worsfold Mowll defended.
Mr. James Bussey, coal merchant, residing in Dover, was called and said
the defendant had been engaged in carting coals from his vessel in the
harbour to the Heights. He could not swear to the coals produced but
they were similar to those the vessel had been discharging.
The case was then dismissed.
From the Dover Express. 18 June 1948.
Dover Magistrates on Friday approved the following applications for
alterations to licensed premises:-
Conversion of the private and saloon bars of the "Golden Lion,"
Priory Place, into one large saloon bar.
Above photo supplied by Barry Smith circa 1980
Golden Lion circa 1987 (Photo by Paul Skelton)
Golden Lion sign October 1991.
Above with thanks from Brian Curtis
From the Dover Express 2 August 1998.
Trio of local pubs have new owners.
THREE pubs in Deal and Dover have new bosses after brewery giants
Whitbread sold 253 pubs nationally to Avebury Taverns in a deal worth
The Three Horseshoes in Deal and The Golden Lion and The
Primrose in Dover are part of the sell-off by the leased pub division of
Whitbread, Whitbread Pub Partnerships. Giving Avebury Taverns their
first foothold in the Kentish pub scene.
Managing director of Pub
Partnerships Stewart Miller said the sale was part of a continuing
review of their estate. This included shedding the businesses which
were not part of the long-term strategy.
Avebury's commercial director
Ian Frost; said all tenancy agreements would remain, and the inns would
continue trading as tra ditional community pubs.
The company was
launched last year with backing from the Japanese securities company
From the Dover Express, 11 November 2004. By Ciara
The humble winkle at the Golden Lion.
FOR those in the know, the phrase 'winkles up' will make perfect sense. For
the rest of us, the idea of keeping a shell in your pocket at all times
seems a little bizarre, but reporter CIARA HILL visited the Golden Lion
to find out why the humble winkle is so important to so many people...
WALKING into the Golden Lion in Dover for the first time, one is
blissfully unaware of entering Winkle Club madness and that life is
about to change forever.
Landlord and winkle club chairman Rab Burt, 41, has been at the pub for
He is an ex-serviceman with a cheeky caginess that rests nicely with a
thick Edinburgh accent.
He said: "About 12 years ago, I was just hitchhiking around and I ended
up in Dover. I wasn't planning on coming here but I've just been here
Rab and wife Teresa run the pub together, but to call it just a pub
would deny the community of people who reside in the place.
It's 10am and there are about half a dozen people propping up the bar
all the regulars know the full winkle story.
Rab said: "It started about six years ago when we all went on a drinking
outing to Hastings.
After a few drinks we saw a huge bronze winkle
statue in the town and thought 'that's a good idea, let's give it a
The first Winkle Club was set up in 1900 by fishermen in Hastings, to
help underprivileged families in the town.
The story is now an international one, as there are clubs all over the
world and local photographer, Phil Wyborn-Brown, 52, was on hand to give
a much needed explanation.
He said: "People can't get their heads around the lack of structure with
"It's not a registered charity, the members' names aren't kept on
record, it's just simple, we raise money and it goes straight to the
people who need it.
"Sometimes we get calls from clubs in America or South Africa and they
say 'winkles up' and so we get them out."
This is the moment when it all gets a little crazy. The moment Phil has
uttered those two magical words the whole pub is reaching for their
The little shells have to be kept on your person at all times, although
I am reliably informed that women can keep them in their purses if they
have no pockets.
Phil said: "I used to be the royal photographer and when I wag on a
shoot with the Queen Mother I called, 'winkles up'.
"As she should, she reached for hers, although it wasn't just any old
winkle, it was a special solid gold one."
Over the years many famous people have become members of the
The Queen Mother was patron, and Winston Churchill and Lord Montgomery
were both members. The Dover club is upholding the tradition of spreading the word
to those in high places.
They recently wrote to the new Lord Warden and invited him to become
Three days later, they received his reply which happily accepted the
Rab said: "We've got a special silver winkle for the admiral, and he
will probably be paying us a visit at some stage in the near future."
The winkle costs £1 and then that's it, membership of a group of
hundreds of Dovorians and thousands of people all over the world.
The objective is always to raise money, and the benefactors are local
children who are in difficulties. The group will donate money in some
instances but practical help is the norm.
Three young football teams in
the area have got strips and equipment, Harbour school regularly
receives help and there are two mobility chairs available on loan.
Basically the rule is they can achieve anything else for anybody else
who needs it.
Phil said: "My daughter rang up once about a friend whose child had
cancer of the eye and needed to be rushed to London.
"The family didn't have much money so we paid for their accommodation."
Over the years more than £20,000 has been donated to good causes by the
Golden Lion club, and the winkle boys have become experts at sussing out
Rab said: "We get calls from people saying, 'I'm terribly terribly ill,
could you MOT my car and buy me a new TV?'.
"When somebody requests help
we bounce it off each other and we haven't been taken in yet."
They take part in sponsored runs, sing karaoke, dress up, shave off and
generally drink to raise their money.
It seems they will do almost anything - except bungee jumping. The
average age of the members I met was 49, and they inform me that heart
attacks may be the only result of such a venture.
They are busy men and were off later that day to present a new football
strip to Seabrook primary school in Hythe.
The plans for the Christmas raffle, a five-mile sponsored run and a
Winkle night in the pub are all under way.
It is very obvious that fundraising has become a way of life for
regulars at the Golden Lion, a way of life which is led by the power of
the humble winkle.
The various signs of The Golden Lion. 31 December 2007.
From the Dover Express 29 March 2007, by Yamurai Zendera.
Chew want to give up?
A JOVIAL pub landlord has come up with a novel way to poke fun at the
impending smoking ban by giving punters free nicotine gum. Smokers will
been banned from lighting up in public houses from July 1, but Rab Burt,
43, of The Golden Lion in Priory Street, Dover, said he will counter
this by filling his ashtrays with Nicorette.
The father of two, who runs the pub with his wife Teresa, 44, will pay
for the gum out of his own pocket as he believes the new law unfairly
penalises smokers. Non-smoker Mr Burt said: "I'm making a point,
financial gain is not my interest. Every person should have the choice
they want to smoke in a pub or not.
'This way when people come into my pub they will see that nothing has
changed. They can still have their fix of nicotine legally if they
choose to do that. It will be their choice and gives them another
option." The former Royal Marine has written to the
manufacturer of Nicorette gum to see if it will sponsor him, claiming his
idea could help more people kick the habit.
Mr Burt said he thought his
customers would see the funny side of his idea.
He added: "I want to
make people smile. My customers know what I'm like.
"All the smokers
will have to try a gum at first, and if they don't they will have to put
£1 in the charity box."
The government predicts that about 600,000
people will give up smoking as a result of the law change.
From the Dover Mercury, 14 June 2007. By Mary Graham
Pubs and clubs 'ready for the big stub-out'
Nicotine gum to be put in ashtrays.
AN INNOVATIVE publican has hit upon a novel solution for helping his
customers give up smoking when the ban comes into force.
Rab Burt, landlord of The Golden Lion in Priory street, pictured left,
will be placing nicotine replacement chewing gum into all of the pub's
The ashtrays will still be kept on the tables, reminiscent of the days
before the ban, but nestling inside will be the gum.
If any of his customers nip outside to smoke, they will be gently
encouraged to make a donation to the pub's charity collection pot.
Mr Burt's pub is a listed building and he has no space outside to make
any adaptations. So if any of his customers do want to smoke, they will
have to stand outside on the street.
From the Dover Express, 25 June, 2009
Winkling out cash by going to the bar
Golden Lion regulars on their annual charity pub crawl
REGULARS from a Dover pub are celebrating their 10th annual bar crawl
which has raised hundreds of pounds for good causes in the town.
The Winkle Club is based at the Golden Lion in Priory Street and for
a decade members have taken the leisurely walk from River's "Dublin Man
0' War" pub back to their regular watering hole in the town centre.
Calling at various venues along the route and brandishing buckets to
collect change from generous drinkers, the band of more than 60
revellers managed to raise £319.
Golden Lion landlord Rab Burt and his wife Teresa have run the pub
for more than decade, and he explained how the idea for the Winkle Club
The 47-year-old Scot said: "Some of our blokes from here went down to
Hastings and found out about a club down there.
"It was started as a charity by fishermen and the money it raised
went to the families of fishermen lost at sea. At the time, the Queen
Mum was their patron. We just latched onto it and thought we would try
and do a similar thing down here."
So the Golden Lion Winkle Club was started. In the years since it has
raised more than £50,000 for good causes in the town, including Harbour
School and the Aspen Unit in Whitfield.
Today the club has members all around the world and its patron is the
Warden of the Cinque Ports, Admiral the Lord Boyce, who, like all
members, is bound by a club tradition.
Rab explained: "We all carry a winkle in our pockets and if someone
in the pub calls 'winkles' everyone has to show theirs. If you haven't
got it then you pay £1 into the fund, but if everyone has theirs then
the person who called has to pay."
The Lord Warden has a special silver winkle, but he is not immune
from being called to produce it, and he was once caught out by the MP
for Hastings while giving evidence in Parliament.
From the East Kent Mercury 21 April, 2011.
LEAGUE SUPPORTS ARE TO MOVE ON.
Popular landlord and landlady Rab and
Theresa Burt are leaving the "Golden Lion" and their teams will move to
the "Dew Drop." In 2004, when the league changed to its present
structure, resources were limited and Rab and Teresa helped by paying
towards trophies, all engraved to that effect.
Unfortunately closed in April 2011.
Latest news is that workmen were seen on top of the roof and making the
paintwork ready for a new coat at the end of September 2012, and news is the
pub is soon to reopen.
It has been rumoured (unconfirmed) that Jim Gleason has bought the
premises. Latest news says it is not under his management but the pub is
again open for business.
AMES George 1847
AMES William 1850-72+ (AMOS)
MORLEY Richard 1874-Jan/75
EVANS Edward Jan/1875 (Engine Driver, 22, Clyde-road, Fulham)
EVANS Mrs Charlotte 1875
SOLLEY Stephen 1877
HUBBARD Edward to Nov/1879
HUDDLESTONE James Jackson Nov/1879+
FIELDER James 1881 (census) (Fielder from Harwich)
KITE Edward 1882
TAPSELL William Apr/1883+
ROBBINS Walter Edwin 1891
FILE EIgar Muggeridge 1895-1903 dec'd
FILE Mrs 1903
COLLINS H 1907-May/09
HOGBIN Alfred E P May/1909-13 dec'd
HOGBIN Mrs Nellie 1913
BUSSEY L 1914
BUSSEY Mrs Nellie Jan/1914
Mr J 1914-Sept/19 dec'd
CARDEN Mrs Elizabeth Sept/1919
CORBISHLEY Alfred Thomas 1919-June/22
CLARKE William Thomas Archer June/1922-Aug/25
(Former butcher of 122, London Road.)
KINGSFORD Charles Edward W Aug/1925-32
MONTAGUE George Edward 1932-Mar/41
CORNWELL Mrs Ellen S Mar/1941-56+
COLWELL Mrs E E)
CHIVERS William E 1964
BLOWERS R A 1972
CHIVERS Mrs Adelaide A 1973-80 end
MANLEY Ike 1980-87
MANLEY Band R I 1987
BURT Rabb 1998-Apr/2011
From Bagshaw Directory 1847
From Melville's Directory 1858
From the Post Office Directory 1874
From the Post Office Directory 1882
From the Post Office Directory 1891
From the Kelly's Directory 1899
From the Post Office Directory 1901
From the Post Office Directory 1903
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1909
From the Post Office Directory 1913
From the Post Office Directory 1922
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924
From the Post Office Directory 1930
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33
From the Post Office Directory 1938
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1948-49
From the Kelly's Directory 1950
From the Kelly's Directory 1953
From the Kelly's Directory 1956
Library archives 1974
From the Dover Express