Sort file:- Folkestone, December, 2018.

Page Updated:- Monday, 31 December, 2018.


Earliest 1861

Lifeboat Inn

Open 2019+

42 North Street


Lifeboat 1978

Above photograph kindly supplied by Jan Pedersen, 1978.

Lifeboat Inn, Folkestone 2009 Lifeboat sign 1977Lifeboat Inn Sign, Folkestone 2009

Above photos and sign right by Paul Skelton, 27 June 2009.

Sign left 1977.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Lifeboat watercolour

Above watercolour by Stuart Gresswell, once licensee of "Guildhall" and "Raglan" kindly sent by Jan Pedersen.

Lifeboat inside 2012

Photo taken 10 November 2012 from by Jelltex.

Royal Oak/Lifeboat painting by Elijah Albert Cox

Above shows a painting by Elijah Albert Cox R.B.A. (1876-1955) showing the "Lifeboat" at the top right of the street. The "Royal Oak" sign can just be seen opposite.


The house is reported to have been there in 1750 and belonged to a mariner called Richard Kennet. The census of 1861 shows Thomas Taylor living there with an occupation of schoolmaster, not sure if he taught chemistry and brewed his own beer, but in 1865 he was said to be a beer retailer.

Brewers George Ash bought the house in 1866 but was later taken over by Mackeson and Co.

Just before the first world war in 1913 the pub was recommended for closure due to redundancy, but survived this turbulent period.

The bar area was reputed to be one of the smallest for any of the pubs in Folkestone, with low ceilings of only seven feet high but in 1956 the floor area was increased by adding part of the house next door. This in turn allowed the pub to gain one of the last full licenses in the town to do so.

The longest serving licensee to date, Harry May, had a hobby of writing to the 132 lifeboat stations in the country asking for pictures of their lifeboats which were displayed on the walls. I believe the pictures are still there today.

The house closed for two years in 1980 but opened again in 1982 as a free-house.


From an email received 16 February, 2013

Hi, I thought you may like the attached. I was a regular at the Lifeboat when Geoff Gosford and then Barry Wilkins owned it. This letter and some history of the Lifeboat was given to me by Barry. My father did most of the renovation work on the Lifeboat when Geoff bought it.

Regards Helen Lawson.


23rd March 1991

Dear Barry,

Enclosed is the history of your public house, but I have researched other sources and these have thrown much light on the earlier history of your premises.

The list of occupiers does not continue after c1870 only in that it would take some time to research and I want to get this to you without further delay. Thank you for letting me see your old deeds.

Yours sincerely

Eamon Rooney.


In 1695 Jacob Des Bouverie purchased the Manor of Folkestone at that time North Street, formerly New Island had not yet come into existence.

Sometime between 1695 and the mid 18th century, Jacob Des Bouverie sold a parcel of land "at or near a certain street or place called Durlocks in Folkestone...." to one John Elgar. There may already have been a building of some description on the plot of land. The nearest building however probably dates from c1750 or not long after. The first known occupier was a Richard Kennet, who is described as a "mariner". When Richard kennet died the property passed to his daughters, Sarah, Mary and Margaret. The earliest known document is dated 26th May, 1772, and under the terms of this indenture, these three and Daniel Dangerfield (husband of Mary) agreed to sell their shares in the property to one Francis Chalk, mariner. On 28th May, 1772, Francis Chalk arranged a mortgage with one Robert Marsh, also a mariner.

With the death of Francis Chalk, the property passed to his wife, Eva. Under the terms of his will, dated 11th June, 1772, and on her decease to their daughter Rebecca. By this time the mortgage had been transferred from Robert Marsh to Richard Elgar, Carpenter. It was further provided that after the decease of Rebecca and her husband Phineas Jacob the property was left in trust to one Margaret Saffrey to be sold. However, Margaret Saffrey and her husband agreed with Rebecca Jacob (widow) that the property could be sold whilst Rebecca was still alive. Therefore by an enrolment dated 10th April, 1818, the house was sold to John Selden who remained until his death in 1826, whereupon it passed to his wife Mary, who died in October 1831.]

On 2nd December, 1831, Richard Elgar, Brewer; Edward Selden and Thomas Caister the younger, a grocer, leased the property to Thomas Caister the elder, also a grocer. Not far away from North Street this mr. Elgar also owned another property which was in use around this time as a "school house" probably for Quaker children. The Elgar's were for many years a prominent Quaker family. The "Lifeboat" was at this time occupied by one Richard Eaton. Mr. Eaton's occupation is not known, but that of his wife, Mary is - she was a school mistress. The "school house" was later (by 1858) turned into a brewhouse.

The history of the property between 1831 and 1861 is not clear, although Col Fynmore the 19th local historian who lived at Sandgate says that it was taken by one Thomas Taylor in the 1850s. This is borne out by the 1861 Census which shows that the then occupier is Thomas Taylor, School Master. However, by 1865 Mr. Taylor is being referred to as a "beer retailer". In 1866 the house was taken by George Ash, Brewer at Canterbury at which time some re-building may have taken place. The rating valuation Lists for that year show that the rates on the property were re-assessed and increased considerable.

c1870 the licence passed to Tom Taylor's son, Richard, who appears to have put his brother, David into the house. In 1871 however, the licence was transferred from Richard Taylor to one John Haiste.


c1750 - c 1772 Richard KENNETT

c1772 - c1818 Thomas and Margaret MUNNS (Margaret was one of Richard KENNET's daughters)

c1818 - c1831 John and Mary SELDEN

c1831 - ? Richard and Mary EATON

? - c mid 1850s ?

c mid 1850s - c1870 Thomas TAYLOR

c1870 -c1871 David TAYLOR (Richard TAYLOR Licensee)

c1871 John HAISTE?


1948 -1981 Harry MAY

1982 - 1990 Geoff GOSFORD]

1990 Barry WILKINS



TAYLOR Thomas 1861-70 More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and RooneyBastions

TAYLOR David & Richard (sons of above) 1870 More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and RooneyBastions

GRAVES Frederick 1870-71 Bastions

HAISTE John 1871-72 Bastions

GRAVES Frederick 1872- 73 Bastions

HILLS Henry 1873-75 Bastions

SHERWOOD William 1875 Bastions

BORLAND James 1875-84 Bastions

SALVATION John 1884-85 Bastions

SMITH Lewis 1885-88 Bastions

TOMSETT Charles 1888-89 Bastions

HALL Thomas 1889-92 Next pub licensee had Bastions

HALL Alice 1892-96 More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and RooneyBastions

SETTERFIELD Alice 1896-1904 More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and RooneyBastions

HARRIS William 1904-06 Bastions

BEATON Elizabeth 1906-23 beer retailer (widow age 57 in 1911Census) Bastions

NEWMAN Frederick 1923-25 Bastions

ROLFE William 1925-30+ beer retailer Post Office Directory 1930Bastions

STRINGER Percival 1930-32 Bastions

JORDAN Harold S 1932-36 Kelly's 1934Bastions

HAYES George 1936-39 (Post Office Directory 1938 Haynes)Bastions

SPENCER Harry 1940-48 Bastions

MAY Harry 1848-81 More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and RooneyBastions

GOSFORD Geoff & Marion 1982-90 More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and RooneyBastions

WILKINS Barry & Teresa 1990-97 Bastions

BROOKER Michael 1997-99 Bastions

O`REILLY, Peter, Pauline and ELLIS Anthony 1999-2003 Bastions

ELLIS Anthony and WOOTTEN Charles & Muriel 2003-04 Bastions

ELLIS Anthony 2004+ More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and RooneyBastions

EDSON Mike & Laura to 2010+

SOUTAR Rebecca July/2018+


Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and RooneyMore Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and Rooney

BastionsFrom More Bastions of the Bar by Easdown and Rooney


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



LINK to Even More Tales From The Tap Room