Page Updated:- Tuesday, 01 January, 2019.


Earliest 1840


Open 2019+

111 Old Dover Road


01303 254080

Lighthouse at Capel-l-Ferne 2007
Lighthouse at Capel-l-Ferne 2007

Above photographs by Paul Skelton 15 Sept 2007

Lighthouse at Capel-l-Ferne 2000

Above photo of Capel Court 2000 by kind permission Lighthouse.

Lighthouse at Capel-l-Ferne 2000

Above photo of Capel Court 1930 by kind permission Lighthouse.

Lighthouse Inn, Capel-le-Ferne


Information below from a plaque at the Lighthouse Inn.


History of The Lighthouse Inn and Restaurant.

In 1840 The Lighthouse Inn, as it is known today, was in two parts, Vineyard Lodge, which was used as a wine and ale house, and Capel Lodge where travellers would rest during their journey.

An agricultural labourer, his wife and four daughters owned the property in 1851. They renamed the two buildings "New Vine House" and "Old Vine House".

In 1870 Baptist Minister Thomas Briggs lived here with his wife, six children and three servants. He renamed it Capel Lodge. John Marsh, an agricultural labourer, and wife Elizabeth, together with granddaughter Alice Dawkins, occupied the other building.

By 1855 a new wing was added. This may have been the time that the two buildings were joined together. The bungalow, which stands in the car park, was also built at this time, possibly to serve as a gatehouse. We know that it was later used as a billiard hall.

In 1887 Dr Norton and his wife ran it as a convalescing home. His wife was the sister of Emma, who was the wife of Mr. Fred Weston who bought a piece of land on the cliff edge directly in front of Capel Lodge at the turn of the century. He built a house there called Eagles Nest, which slid, intact, into the Warren during the night of the biggest recorded landslip in December 1915.

After the war it was owned by Dr. Martin who ran it as a home for psychiatric patients. Miss Veronica Huthwaite ran the other part of the building as a small hotel with a riding stable.

In 1967 extensive renovations took place and ownership changed to Mrs. Laxton together with her daughter and son-in-law, Pat Hollis. They ran it as Capel Court Country Club. They also had caravans to let. Jean and Harry Dunn owned a caravan here and decided to buy Capel Court in 1975. They also ran it as a Country Club.

In 1985, a Mr and Mrs. Dudley arrived. They continued to run it as a Country Club. The Channel Tunnel workers, formally known as the "Channel Tunnel Tigers" were based here during the building of the tunnel.

In February 1998 the Hinton family bought Capel Court and, after six months refurbishment, open on August 10th 1998 under the new name "The Lighthouse".

In July 2005 The Lighthouse was taken over by Mr. Alan Bowles, owner of London and Edinburgh Inns and Swallow Hotels. It is being run by Bob and Alison Tappenden. A few changes have been made but only for the better.

Many thanks to the owners for allowing me to use the above information.

As of late 2010 the pub unfortunately closed, but I have been informed November 2011 that the Fore Sale sign has been removed, so here's hoping it's about to open again.

Just been informed (10 December 2011) that the premises is currently undergoing renovations and should be open again by Easter 2012.

Glad to say they opened for business again on 29 June 2012.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 9 August, 2012. 65p. Report by Phil Hayes


Lighthouse owners

Mother and son bring Welsh flavour to reopened pub.

THE voice of the Valleys is ringing clear in Capel as a Welsh former-opera singer and her son have reopened a once popular pub.

Mair Rees-Davies, 62, has bought the "Lighthouse Inn" in Old Dover Road with 25-year-old Steven, who runs the business. It is attracting hordes of their fellow countrymen.


Neville Southall and other Welsh members of the community have visited the pub since its doors reopened in June after being shut for two years.

The "Lighthouse Inn" now offers en-suite rooms, culturally diverse cuisine and a site for weddings following the family's renovation of the run-down property, which began in October last year.

Mrs Rees-Davies, who has appeared in Eastenders and Casualty and graduated from the Royal College of Opera, said she hoped to set up a gathering once a month for people from Wales who have moved to the area.

She added: “I happened to be in Dover one day and I overheard these Welsh people. We said why don't we start our own Welsh society?”

Mrs Rees-Davies said she hopes to put her theatre skills to good use and host Spanish nights, spaghetti operas - where Italian food is accompanied by sopranos and baritones - and other themed events.

“I decided, because I have done a lot of production, I wanted a place in the country where really I could extend my career putting on things like weddings,” she said.

Mrs Rees-Davies said she and her son have received a friendly welcome from the locals but admitted that for former DJ Steven “it's a bit of a shock to the system, but he loves it”.

Mr Rees said of his previous occupation: “I used to run a night in Brighton that was more commercial dance remixes.

Other nights were more funky-house or underground stuff.”


Mr Rees has previously managed a bar but this is his first experience as head of a project like the "Lighthouse Inn."

He said: “We've opened it up and made it bright and airy Everyone who used to come before is very pleased with what we've done.

We'll have nine en-suite rooms eventually.

“The food we are serving is going down really well. It's all home-made and fresh.”

The "Lighthouse Inn" serves traditional pub grub at lunchtime, while Thai food and steaks delivered from Wales are on the evening menu. Rooms are available from 75 a night.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 1st August, 2013. 70p.

Lighthouse advert 2013

From an email received 25 February 2016.

My uncle and aunt lived at 100 New Dover Road, Capel-le-Ferne from 1930 to circa 1985. They said that during the Second World War, a U.S. Army anti-aircraft gun battery was placed next to the Lighthouse/Capel Court, and I remember the field on the Dover side of the building was often referred to during the 1950’s as “American Battery”.

Alan Knight, Halifax,  Nova Scotia, Canada.



HINTON 1998-2005

TAPPENDEN Bob and Alison 2005-Sept/10

KEMSLEY James, Carl & Edwina to June/2012

REES Stephen & REES-DAVIS Mair 29/June/2012+


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