Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.






The following summary may be useful for your guidance. Bear in mind that the size of the Borough changed over the years - I have included some of the census figures - and also the area governed by the Justices. For convenience sake I have presented the information on an annual basis. The arithmetic is only mine where I say so. If you will appreciate that the licensing year ran from September to September up to 1901 and then from February to February, it may give the figures more credibility. We had two shops with 'off' licences in 1882 and the trend from then onwards is for those to increase whilst the 'on' licences decrease. The result is before our eyes as it were and because they are so numerous and commonplace to-day they are not included in the following tables.


1564 358 dwellings formed Dover town. 29 were not occupied. The merchantmen and fishing boats employed 300 mariners. The largest boat was 120 tons and the smallest 4 tons.


1834 75 licensed houses in the town. 25 were owned by one brewery, 17 by another. A Canterbury brewer had 5 houses, 3 belonged to a Dover bank. One owner was a spirit merchant in the Corporation. 4 different brewers had one house each and the remainder were free houses. The last new licence was granted in 1826 but several were issued prior to 1824.


1836 6 new licences granted.


1837 21 new licences granted.


1839 11 new licences granted.


1842 8 houses were closed.


1851 population 20,929.


1861 population 31,000.


1868 3 new licences granted and 2 taken away.


1874 In the Borough, 198 alehouses, 18 beer houses.


1882 population 28,486. 224 licences granted. 187 fully licensed, 15 beerhouses, 17 wine merchants and others.


1883 2 British wine licences added.


1884 a part analysis of the figures shows 13 houses in the Buckland area, 30 in Charlton, 11 in Hougham, 27 in St. James' parish and 126 in St. Mary's ward.


1888 202 licensed victuallers. Together with hotel keepers their establishments numbered 1,000.


1890 220 licence holders. 15 in Buckland, 30 in Charlton, 2 at East Cliff, 9 in the Borough portion of Hougham, 24 in St. James and 117 in St. Mary's.


1892 206 pubs. 186 tenanted. George Beer owned 58, Leney 30, Thompson 10, Flint 9, Court 9, Gardner 7, Barker 6, Davis 7.


1903 179 fully licensed houses. 12 had closed in the past ten years. Ten of those were fully licensed, 6 were surrendered for new licences. 4 were demolished during street clearances and 2 beerhouses disappeared.


1907 176 fully licensed houses. 14 beerhouses and others totalled 214.


1911 166 fully licensed houses, 9 beerhouses and others totalled 200.


1912 3 full licences taken away.


1915 150 fully licensed houses. 7 beerhouses and others totalled 181.


1916 Total licences 175 and 12 registered clubs. 37 houses had been closed and compensated in the past eleven years. 6 licences lapsed.


1917 143 fully licensed houses. 5 beerhouses. Total 172.


1922 George Beer and Rigden amalgamated about now.


1923 142 fully licensed houses. 9 were temporarily closed.


1924 139 fully licensed houses. 42 houses had now been closed and 14 other licences had lapsed. That made 56 since 1904. Total 168.


1926 136 fully licensed houses and 5 beerhouses. Total 164.


1930 133 fully licensed houses. Total 161.


1933 129 fully licensed houses. Total 157.


1939 124 fully licensed houses and 5 beerhouses. Total 152.


1948 119 fully licensed houses and 5 beerhouses. Total 146 but 29 were still closed as a result of the war.


1955 116 fully licensed houses and 4 beerhouses. The figures for fully licensed houses now included hotels, restaurants and clubs so we can lose interest in the total figure.


1967 Fremlin had 55 pubs in the Borough. Mackeson (in the Whitbread group), had 5.


1969 81 pubs in Dover.


1972 73 pubs in Dover compared with 76 in 1970.


1990 Glancing around, early in 1990, I calculate a total of 48 active pubs in Dover with River. 8 belong to Shepherd Neame, 4 to Charrington, Ind Coope and Courage have 1 house each and there are 6 free houses. No offence is intended when I refer to the other 28 as belonging to the Whitbread/Fremlin group. Some are owned I guess by one or the other and perhaps some are jointly owned. On many the sign carries the motif of Whitbread but the beverages of Fremlin are also emphasised. I have included Dover Moat Hotel as a free house. Since 1978 we have seen the going of the "Rose and Crown" in London Road and Clarence Place, the "Golden Arrow", "Carrier's Arms", "Imperial Crown", "Friend in Need", "Priory Inn", "Dover Stage", "Archcliffe Fort Inn", "King William IV", "Prince Regent". We have gained the "Captain Webb", the "Mogul" has replaced the "New Mogul" and the "Avenue" is now the "Arlington".


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