Sort file:- Dover, December, 2021.

Page Updated:- Friday, 31 December, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1851-

Park Inn

Closed 2016

1-2 Park Place


Park Inn date unknown

Above photo shows the "Park Inn" when it was just occupying one house. Date pre 1938. Next to the pub was Clark's a bakery.

Park Inn 1952

Above photo 1952. Creative Commons Licence.

Park Inn ledger

Thompson & Son ledger. Creative Commons Licence.

Park Inn 1964

Above photo circa 1964, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Park Inn 1990s

Above photo, 1990s, kindly sent by Michael Lock.

Park Inn 2009 Park Inn sign 2009Park Inn sign 2009

Above photos by Paul Skelton, 19 August 2009.

Park Inn circa 1980

Above picture circa 1980 by Barry Smith.

Park Inn circa 1987

Park Inn circa 1987 (Photo by Paul Skelton)

Park Inn  2012 Park Inn sign 2012Park Inn sign 2012

Above photos by Paul Skelton, 31 May, 2012.


These properties were built in 1863 and this first opened as a pub the following year. Although I believe there must have been a house here before this was built, as the name turns up from a 1851 list of public houses held at the Dover museum. Early opening was allowed from 1880 and continued after 1900. Meanwhile the premises were rebuilt in 1896.


In 1869-70 the pub was part of a consortium who were advertising their goods of selling tea in response to grocers' selling beer and wine. (Click for further details.)


The brewer closed for the duration of hostilities on 11 October 1940 but the "Golden Cross" having become a casualty, Hayward moved here to reopen.


A free house to-day but an outlet of Thompson's Walmer Brewery for many years.


Park Inn

Above the Park Inn dated 21 January 1996 when closed for business.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 4 February, 1860.


(Before Charles Chaplain, Esq., Mayor. J. Iggulden, Esq. and R. M. Reynolds. Esq.)

William Betts Wellard was brought up in custody, charged with assaulting and threatening to shoot Thomas Hutchins, landlord of the "Park Tavern," in Park-street, on Saturday evening last, the 28th of January.

Wellard pleaded drunkenness, and said that he did not recollect what he did; but added, he regretted what he had done, and begged lenient treatment.

Six mouths’ imprisonment in Sandwich gaol, or be bound over to keep the peace for that period, himself in the sum of £20, and two sureties of £10 each. Bail was procured and Wellard liberated.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 30 August, 1867.


William Norman was summoned for assaulting Frederick Adams. The assault rose out of some circumstances which transpired at the "Park Inn" on the evening after the Races, and which was fully detailed by the witnesses.

Mr. Minter appeared for the complainant and Mr. Lewis for the defendant.

Frederick Adams said he was at the "Park Inn" between nine and ten o'clock, or it might have been later, on the evening of the 22nd August. He was in front of the bar, having been engaged in some raffling, when he was seized by the defendant by the back of the neck and thrust against the wall and afterwards into the street. Defendant then thrust him against the shutters of the house and gave him two or three violent blows. The defendant had not before spoken to him, nor had he spoken to defendant; but during the time he was raffling, he said to the man he was raffling with, "Be careful what you say here, as it may be mentioned again." Mr. Brockman, the landlord of the house, thereupon made use of some very abusive language; and the defendant, who is his brother-in-law, came forward and thrust him (complainant) out of the house.

By Mr. Lewis: When I said that what was stated might be repeated again, the landlord did not say, "I know what you allude; you made use of some very improper remarks the other day, and I told your brother." I did not challenge the landlord to fight, except "conditionally," and after his wife had interfered. I had a stick near me, but I did not shake it at the landlord. The landlord did not say that unless I left the house he should send for a policeman. He did not say "I am not a fighting man," but it seems he keeps one on the premises. (A laugh.) Mrs. Brockman did not say, "If you strike my husband, it shall be through me." What she did say was, "I'll come round to you," and I told her she had better send her husband. I did not threaten to knock in Mrs. B's "daylights." The defendant did not say, on my making use of any such expressions, "Remember she is my sister."

By Mr. Minter: The landlord called me a liar, and I told him that if he was anywhere but in his own house I would give him a good pummelling.

William Adams, brother of the complainant, said he was at the "Park Inn" on the evening in question. He heard the landlord call his brother a liar, and shortly afterwards he saw the defendant take hold of his brother and thrust him out of the house and afterwards assault him. Norman did not desist from striking the complainant till witness's sister, who was coming along at the time, got between them.

Br Mr. Lewis: I did not see my brother shake a stick at Mr. Brockman, nor did I see him pull his coat off. before Norman put my brother out I did not hear him say "Remember Mrs. Brockman is my sister."

Mr. Lewis, for the defendant said the complainant was very violent and abusive in the house, and the defendant acting on the landlord's behalf, put him out with no more violence than was absolutely necessary. This, he admitted, the defendant was perfectly justified in doing. He then called the following witnesses:-

Mr. T. S. Brockman: I keep the "Park Inn," in Ladywell. On Thursday evening several persons were in front of my bar, including Adams. Some conversation took place, when Adams said "You had better be careful of what you say, as it will go further," making some allegation to me. I told him he was not justified in making such am assertion when he spoke in a very improper language, and wanted me to come out and fight. I told him I was incapable of fighting as I was suffering from asthma. He then became still more violent and abusive, and I told him he really must leave the house. During the altercation my wife said that complainant should not molest me, and Adams then shoved her, whereupon Mr. Norman, my wife's brother, told him he must remember she was his sister. I afterwards attempted to send for a policeman to remove complainant from the house, and I then asked Norman to put him out, which he did, using no more force than was absolutely necessary. The defendant went out "????." (A laugh.)

By Mr. Minter: I believe I addressed the defendant in the mans gentle terms I have been favouring the Bench with to-day. (Laughter.) But I did call him a "liar"; and I made use of an adjective; but the adjective was ????? - nothing stronger, nothing commencing with a "h" I never made use of such an expression in my life.

Mr. J. A. Lewis corroborated this evidence,


TO BE UPDATED as the original file was unreadable from here on.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 20 August, 1869.


On Tuesday afternoon last an inquest was held at the "Park Inn" Park Place, before the Deputy Coroner, Sydenham Payn Esq., and a numerous Jury, on the body of Mrs. Martha Burton, a married woman living with her husband in Dour Street, who had committed suicide by cutting her throat.

Mr. Thomas Clark was chosen the foreman of the Jury, and the following evidence was taken:-

Charles Henry Burton, the husband of the deceased said: I am a grocer's assistant residing in De Burgh Street. The deceased was my wife, and her age was twenty-nine years. She has been in a low desponding state of mind for the last three or four months, but she has not been bodily ill. Deceased only returned on Wednesday night from a visit to her friends, for change of air. During the last three months she has been under the care of friends. She seemed more cheerful on arriving home, and I thought she was better. I have not noticed any great change since her arrival home. I quitted home about three minutes to six this morning, leaving her in bed. She was then quite cheerful, and bade me good bye. She wanted to get up, but I desired her to remain in bed until seven o'clock. Some person came to the shop where I am employed, about a quarter past seven and told me what had taken place. I arriving home I found Mr. Walter and my lodgers with my wife. She was then lying on the bed with her throat cut. Deceased was far too gone to know that I was present. I have heard since her death that she had said that if she did not die in three months  she should make off with herself, but she has never made any such remark to me. She was sinking fast when I got home, and died about a quarter of an hour after my arrival.

Henry Chalkly said: I am a galvanist living with my wife at the house of the deceased. This morning about a quarter past six I heard a kind of cough in the adjoining room, where the deceased and her husband slept. I remarked the noise, and I shortly afterwards heard it repeated. I then told my wife to open the door and look in. My wife being rather frightened, I opened the door, and on looking in i saw the deceased sitting in a chair with a looking glass before her, and blood running from her throat, which was cut. I also saw deceased lay the razor, with which I suppose she had committed the act, on the table. I told my wife to go and fetch a doctor; but deceased implored me not to send, and asked for a pen and ink to write. Deceased could not write; she was too weak. I put my hand to her throat to stop the bleeding, and put a bandage round her neck, and held it there for about five and twenty minutes, while my wife was gone to fetch a doctor and to call some neighbours. Deceased did not die before Mr. Walter came, and he remained with her until she expired. She has generally been in a desponding state. Her husband has always been affectionate towards her. She would sometimes cry when spoken to.

By the Jury: the deceased and her husband have lived in the house for two years, and I have lived there longer. When I heard the noise in deceased's room I had no suspicion that she had committed suicide.

Mr. John Walter said: I am a surgeon living and practising in Dover. A little before seven o'clock this morning I was called to see the deceased, and went immediately. On reaching the house I found her sitting  in a chair in the bedroom, supported by Mr. Chalkly. her dress was covered with blood, and on examination I found that it had proceeded from her throat, which was cut. I examined the wound, and found all the large vessels had been cut through. I had her laid on the bed, and took what steps I could for her recovery, but found every effort hopeless. Deceased sank very fast, and died in about half an hour after I had arrived. I have no reason to doubt but that the act was committed by herself. I had never attended her before.

It appeared that Dr. Baird, who was present, had previously attended the deceased in the month of May of the present year, and it was suggested that his evidence should be taken, but the majority of the jury thought that this was not necessary.

The jury returned a verdict, "That the deceased committed suicide while in a state of temporary insanity."


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 3 September, 1875.


An inquest was held by the borough Coroner, W. H. Payn, Esq., at the "Park Inn" on Tuesday, on the body of Emily Morris, who died from an overdose of laudanum. (Tincture of Opium. Paul Skelton)

Jane Morris said: I am the wife of William Morris. The deceased was my sister-in-law. She was a single woman, residing at 32, Dour Street. Her health was very bad. She had been suffering for about 17 months with dropsy. AT the onset she had Dr. Duke. Dr. Astley also attended her. One of them called in about three months ago. I do not think either have been in since. I have been in the habit of attending my sister-in-law five or six times a day. Her own sister went for Mr. Fedarb, living at 10 Wood Street, as he had been recommended by a friend of hers. He visited her every day. The deceased remained in the same unhealthy condition till yesterday, when at about a quarter-past nine she sent my little boy, 13 years old, to Mr. Adams, the chemist, in Park Street. When he came back to my house, after having been to the deceased's house, I asked him where he had been. He said he had been to Mr. Adams's for four pennyworth of laudanum. I immediately ran across to the deceased's house, and asked her what she had been taking. She said, "I have taken nothing." I however searched the bed, and found the bottle produced behind her back. She strongly denied she had taken it. I went to Mr. Adams and asked him what he had sent. He told me, and then gave me an emetic for the deceased to take, but she would not take it. Drs. John and Clement Walter were sent for, and attended immediately, but she still refused to take anything, and lingered until about a quarter-past one this morning, when she died very quickly. She said she did not want to live, her sufferings were too great. The bottle is marked "Leudanum, Poison." It also says 30 drops are to be taken by adults in water.

Henry Morris said: I am 13 years old. I am the son of the last witness. Yesterday morning I was sent for by the deceased to go and fetch some laudanum from Mr. Adams's. I told him it was for my aunt. The bottle was marked "Poison." I took it to my aunt, and she told me to go downstairs and get out of doors as soon as I could. I went, and when I got outside I met my aunt Maris. She asked me where I had been, and what I had fetched. When I told her she ran upstairs to the deceased's room. My mother also went.

Robert White Adams said: I am a chemist, carrying on business in Park Street. yesterday morning about nine o'clock the last witness came to my shop and purchased four pennyworth of laudanum' which he said was for his aunt. I knew that his aunt had been suffering from dropsy, and gave it to him. He asked me how much boiling water it required, and I told him cold water should do, and he left my shop. About a quarter of an hour afterwards Mrs. Morris came running to my shop, and told me that her sister-in-law had taken the whole of the laudanum. I gave her an emetic, and told her to give it to the deceased at once, and in the meantime I went for Dr. Walter, and he and his son both attended at once. Dr. Walter came to my shop and said the deceased refused to take any medicine, and told me he did not perceive any appearance of her having taken laudanum.

Josiah Fedarb and Dr. Walter said they tried to persuade deceased to take some medicine, but she refused, and they left. There was no appearance of her having taken laudanum, but she was looking very ill.

The Coroner summed up, and the jury returned a verdict "That the deceased died from the effects of a dose of laudanum administered by herself."


Kentish Gazette, 11 January, 1876.


Adams:- January 7, at the "Park Inn, Dover, Martha, the beloved wife of R. J. Adams, aged 51 years.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 18 January, 1878


On Saturday morning, about 2 o'clock, a fire broke out in the workshops of Alderman Alcock, which are situated immediately at the rear of the Town Hall. Owing to the flammable nature of the building material in the interior the whole of the range of shops were soon in a raging body of flame which appeared to threaten the ancient Maison Dieu Hall and Council Chamber a few yards away, as well as a number of dwelling-houses, stables, and stored adjacent. The Police were immediately on the alert and the Fire Brigade, headed by Superintendent Saunders, had brought up the fire engines and other apparatus and were ready for work in an incredible short space of time. At about a quarter to three o'clock the fire engine which was placed in the brook near the “Park Inn” commenced to play upon the flames, and three other hoses from hydrants. Even then the prospect of saving the workshops was hopeless, for the interior of the buildings was full of new window and door frames and other new work upon which 24 carpenters had been daily engaged preparing for the numerous buildings of which Mr. Adcock had the contracts, and these were all on fire.

The flames were threatening the dwelling-house, which was on the other side of the workshop. Soon that would have been in the general blaze, but the Superintendent directed three of the four of the hoses to be turned upon it, the firemen getting upon the top of the roof of a shed opposite effectively putting down the water. This at length effected its object and the house was saved. On the other side, six cottages and their inmates were in great danger. The heat blistered and scorched the window-flames and eventually some of them caught fire, but the firemen were equal to the emergency, with a hose worked from the brook at the rear of Mr. Mummery's house, water was thrown on the houses and they were kept safe. Meanwhile the large body of fire raged in the workshops, and at length, towards half-past three, it had nearly burnt the whole down, but it was threatening Mr. Pratt's ginger beer manufactory which lay between the fire and the Town Hall. Here again the firemen directed their attention and that successfully. Mr. Adcock's stables, full of horses, were near the fire and with much trouble the horses were got out, and much praise is due to Mr. Dodd, from the Working Man's Institute, for the assistance he gave in putting the animals in a place of safety at the “Royal Oak.” Mr. Pratt's and Mr. Mowll's horses were also got out. A valuable dog who was in a building that was in flames was got out alive to the animals great delight. Much praise is due to the Police for their exertions as well as to the coastguardsmen and a number of willing hands who assisted, and by their efforts the fire was completely got under by five o'clock, although it has still to be watched to prevent the breaking out of the smouldering embers. Mr. and Mrs. Adcock were away on holiday, consequently two of their children were sleeping in the house of Mrs. Osbourne, adjoining the workshops, therefore, they had a narrow escape. The buildings are insured by the Westminster Fire Offices, and the machinery and stock, which is also destroyed are also insured, but it is feared that a great deal of the new work on which the men were engaged is not – a portion of it, including seats for a church, were got out. The men's tools are said to be partly insured by the Carpenters' Society. The Mayor was on the spot soon after the fire broke out and gave all possible assistance.

A subscription has been opened for 12 of the men whose tools have not been insured.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 12 August, 1881. 1d.


An inquest was held this morning at the “Park Inn” Ladywell Place, before the Borough Coroner (W. H. Payn, Esq.,) on the body of John Penn, baker, High Street.

Mary Brace said: I am the mother of the widow of John Penn, deceased, who was a baker carrying on business in High Street, but resided at, 13, Wood Street. I have been living at the house of the deceased for the last two years. He was 45 years of age. His health was very bad and he told me very often he was nervous and suffered with severe head aches. The deceased was a sergeant-major of the Cinque Ports Artillery Volunteers. I saw him last alive yesterday morning at half-past five, when he was going round to the bake-house. He seemed low in spirits but didn't say anything. The deceased leaves a wife but no children.

Thomas Appleton, assistant, proved finding his master handing in the outhouse from a beam, and running to Mr. Browning's for help to cut him down.

Mr. Arthur Long, surgeon, who was called in said he found the deceased had been dead about an hour.

The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased committed suicide while in a state of temporary insanity.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 2 March, 1883.

The “Park Inn,” at Dover, very narrowly escaped destruction on Sunday week. A fortunate discovery was made that the joints under the dining room hearth were alight. It is an old tale, though the “Park Inn” is a very modern erection. The builders had simply cemented the sides of the hearth stones, so that on a large fire being kept up the material became over heated and set fire to the wood below. It is rightly remarked in the report that numerous fires occurring in this way are put down as “origin unknown.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 19 March, 1915. Price 1d.


At the Dover Police Court on Friday morning, before Alderman Bradley and Dr. C. Wood.

Albert Charles Lewis, landlord of the “Park Inn,” Park Place, was summoned for (1) unlawfully opening his premises for the sale of intoxicating liquors at a time when his premises should not have been opened, (2) selling intoxicating liquor at a time when such licensed premises should have been closed, under the Licensing Consolidation Act, 1910, contrary to the statute.

Mr. Vosper, Assistant Town Clerk, prosecuted and Mr. Rutley Mowll defended.

Mr. Rutley Mowll and defendant pleaded not guilty.

Inspector Hambrook said that on Sunday, 28th February, he was passing the “Park Inn” at about ten minutes to twelve midnight. He saw the landlord about to open the private bar door. He then saw a man named Hall passing the house. Subsequently he put P.C. Petley in front of the house and fetched Sergeant Riley and P.C. Merricks, and put them at the back of the house. Witness knocked at the front door for 20 minutes, getting no reply, although defendant saw him through the window. Witness went to the back door and again knocked. He immediately heard a scuffling inside. The door opened a little and the landlord said, “Whatever's the matter.” Witness said “Why did you not come to the front door?” Defendant made no reply. Witness said, You had customers in.” Defendant said, “One or two friends.” P.S. Riley went inside the house and in a room behind the bar he saw a man by the name of Wilking, belonging to H.M.S. “Mowhawk,” and a woman by the name of Mrs. Hall. Wilking said he lost his ship and was left behind. There was also a man named Adams in the room. In the room also was a tray with seven or eight glasses, which looked as if they had been recently used. Just then P.S. Riley brought another man, Cyril Osborne, into the room. He had been found in the scullery crouching between the safe and the wall. Witness then asked the defendant if there were any other people in the house. He made no reply. Accompanied by P.S. Riley witness went upstairs into a bedroom and there found three soldiers in a single bed with their trousers and shoes on. Witness took their names, but two of them proved to be false. All the people on the premises with the exception of the women appeared to be under the influence of drink.

Cross-examined by Mr. Rutley Mowll, witness said he was not aware if the doors of the premises were locked. He did not try the doors.

Police Sergeant Riley, said when he went along to the back of the house he heard someone push the bolt along and bolt the door. That was just after 12 o'clock (midnight). Whilst he was waiting at the back door the husband of Mrs. Hall came round. Witness waited twenty minutes when Inspector Hambrook came round and knocked at the door several times and eventually the landlord opened it saying, “What's up here?” Witness heard scuffling sounds as if somebody was going up stairs. Up to the time witness got there the door must have been unbolted. Witness accompanied the Inspector into the house and on going into the kitchen found a man named Osbourne crouching between the safe and the wall. Asked what he was doing there he made no reply. Witness took him into another room where the inspector and the landlord were, and the landlord said, “I did not know he was there.” Behind the bar witness saw Mrs. Hall and Mr. Wilking and Mr. Adams, and on a tray on the table were some seven or eight glasses, which appeared to have been recently used. Witness then accompanied the Inspector upstairs where they saw three soldiers in a bed with their trousers and shoes on. Inspector Hambrook told them it was not usual to go to bed with trousers and shoes on. One replied: “We have got to be up very early in the morning; five o'clock!” They then got up out of bed, put the remainder of their clothes on and came down stairs, shortly afterwards leaving the house. They had been drinking.

Mr. Mowll contended that the evidence did not show that the house was open, but that it was closed, as the Police were outside and and could not get in, and he quoted cases decided in the High Court to support his contention.

The Chairman, after conferring with his brother Magistrates, announced that the Bench considered that there was not sufficient evidence to prove the first charge against the defendant. The charge would be dismissed.

Mr. Vosper, in dealing with the second charge, said that with regard to this summons it was not necessary for him to call witnesses again. It was unnecessary for him to prove that an actual sale did take place.

Mr. Rutley Mowll intimated that it was upon the prosecution to substantiate the charge in this case and so Mr. Vosper recalled Inspector Hambrook.

Mr. Mowll contended that there was no evidence of actual sale or of consumption being about to take place, as the Section referred to.
The Magistrates decided that there was such evidence, and Mr. Mowll then outlined the defence.

Albert Charles Lewis, the defendant, said that on Sunday, the 28th February, he had a Mr. and Mrs. Hall with him. They were friends, and often came to his house. They lived in a terrace off Peter Street. They were in the house that evening. Mr. Hall left at nine o'clock. Mrs. Hall had her little son with her. She always brought him. Sergeant Pitman was also with her. Sergeant Pitman remained at the house with Mrs. Hall, at witness's invitation. Mr. Hall went home to get the soldier's (who was billeted on them) supper. Sergeant Pitman was also billeted with Mrs. Hall. Witness asked Mrs. Hall and Sergeant Pitman to stay to supper. The man Wilking came to the house at nine o'clock, saying he had missed his boat. Witness knew him before, and took him in as a lodger. Witness knew Osbourne as an accompanist, and witness asked him to stop back and “run” over some patriotic songs for him, as he was going to a concert at Walmer. Osbourne played the piano and witness the concertina. Witness had often had rehearsals with Osbourne. Adams worked for witness every night, also Saturday afternoons, and Sunday all day. He did not sleep on the premises except on a few occasions when witness wanted him early on Sunday mornings. Adams' work was to take and bring things from the cellar, sweep the bars, etc. He stopped to supper, and generally left about eleven o'clock or half-past. On this occasion, after he had been practising some of these things with Osbourne, they sat down to supper. The potman had a pint of beer; the pianist and himself ale; and Sergeant Pitman whisky. Witness heard a knock at the door, and went and saw the two soldiers at the door. They told him that they had lost the train to Folkestone, where they were stationed. Sergeant Pitam assured him he was not contravening the law by putting them up, seeing they were Sergeants, or Sergeant-majors, and finding the last train had gone, he took them in, telling them, however, they “would have to lay pretty thick,” (laughter). These men joined them in their supper, but took nothing to drink.

Mr. Mowll: I think that accounts for all the people questioned. Did you in any way know the police were there, and try to keep them out of the house?

No, sir. I heard a knocking and went to the door, but there was no one there, although I saw someone going up the road.

Mr. Mowll: Did you see the Police and try to keep them out of the house?

No, sir.

Mr. Mowll: Did you sell any of these people any drink?

No; not at all.

By Mr. Vosper: It was about eleven o'clock when he heard the knock at the door.

Mr. Vosper: You have not explained why you were in such an inhospitable host as to let your lodgers go to bed with their trousers and boots on?

I never go upstairs to see them into bed. Why, sometimes I have gone to call sailors up in the morning and have found them with even their hats on (laughter). They would tell you they were “full-rigged for the morning” (laughter).

Further answering Mr. Vosper, witness said the sailor, Wilking ordered a drink at about five minutes to nine. Mr. Hall went home to see the soldiers billeted at his house.

Mr. Vosper asked why there was such a hurried move on the part of all the people?

Defendant said that he could not be responsible for other people's actions.

Mr. Mowll, calling Mrs. Hall, said this evidence brought was to show whether there was a sale.

Mrs. Emma Hall, of Paul's Place, said she and her husband were great friends of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis. They called on Mr. and Mrs. Lewis on this afternoon, and she helped Mrs. Lewis, who had been unwell. She also arranged to come back that evening, which she did with her husband, bringing them with Sergeant Pitman, who was billeted at her house. She sat in the sitting-room listening to the music during the evening. She was having her supper when Mr. Lewis brought in the two Sergeants. These soldiers had nothing to drink. There was no sale of drink at all. It was nothing unusual for her to have supper at the “Park Inn.”

By Mr. Vosper: There was no money passed for drinks. The only drinks they had were those Mr. Lewis gave them.

Sergeant J. Pitman, 10th Batallion Royal Sussex Regiment, billeted with Mr. and Mrs. Hall, said he went round with Mr. and Mrs. Hall, and was asked to stop to supper, and did so.

Mr. Mowll: Why did you go to bed with your boots on?

Well, I am supposed to be I my billet at nine o'clock and so from a military point of view, I thought it inadvisable to be seen there.

John Arthur Adams, 35, Granville Street, said that for the last six months he had been helping Mr. Lewis in the evenings and at other certain times, and he confirmed the defendant's evidence.

Private Cyril Osborne also gave confirming evidence of the defendant's statements.

Mr. Mowll: You showed more discretion than valour did you not, when the Police came? (laughter).

I did not want to be seen in the house, thinking it might get me into trouble in my civilian employment.

Mr. Mowll said that the Magistrates had positive evidence to negative any presumption they might have found.

The Magistrates said that they were satisfied that the evidence given was sufficient. They had decided to convict, and would proceed with the third case against the defendant (for permitting drunkenness on the premises).

Mr. Mowll asked if he might suggest that the prosecution should not persist in the last summons as the Bench had decided to convict?

The Magistrates having ascertained that the evidence would be the same, allowed the case to be withdrawn, and imposed on the defendant Lewis a fine of £5, including costs.

Arising out of the above case, the four witnesses for the defence were then summoned for being on licensed premises during closing hours, the Police having been unable to serve the summonses issued against the others also found in the house.

Formal evidence then was given by the Inspector Hambrook, and the Magistrates said that they considered that Mrs. Hall and Adams were possibly there as legitimate guests and employed on the premises, and they cautioned Osbourne and Pilman, but did not register a conviction.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 22 February, 1929. Price 1½d.



At the Dover Police Court on Friday, before Messrs. W. B. Breett, T. Francis and G. Golding.

Emily Pennington, licensee of the “Park Inn,” Park Street, was summoned for suffering gaming to take place on the premises on January 11th. Leslie Pennington, her son, was summoned for aiding and abetting.

Mr. R. Mowll appeared for the defendants and pleaded not guilty.

Mr. O'Meara, who prosecuted, said that observation had been kept on the house for some time and on January 11th it was decided to visit the premises.

Inspector Leeming said: At 10.35 p.m. on January 11th with P.S. Pay I went to the back door of the “Park Inn,” having previously posted P.C.'s Moore and McLeod on the front doors. I tried the back door and found it locked. I then knocked. Footsteps came, and a voice said, “Who's there?” I replied, “Police.” The voice said, “All right,” and immediately the footsteps retreated into an inner room. I heard a commotion. The footsteps came again immediately and the door was then opened by Leslie Pennington, who said, “What is the matter?” I replied, “I am going to visit your house.” I then entered with the Sergeant into a room situated at the back of the bar marked “Private” and which is used as a smoking room. On entering two men made a rush for the door heading to the passage to the front door. Seated at a small green baize covered card table behind the door we had just entered were four men. Before each man was a number of playing cards face upwards. By the side of one man's cards were a number of copper coins which he snatched up and put in his pocket before he could be prevented. By the side of another man's cards was 6d. in coppers which he snatched up and tried to put under the table. I saw P.S. Pay seize his wrist and ask him to hand the money over, which he did. I then cautioned Leslie Pennington and told him I intended to report him for allowing gaming. He replied, “I am not the licensee, my mother is, and she is upstairs.” I asked that she be called and he went upstairs and came down, followed soon after by Mrs. Pennington whom I cautioned. I told her what I had found and would report her. She replied, “I have not been well, I have been upstairs all day with a bad throat. I did not know what was going on down here.” I replied, “You as licensee are responsible for the conduct of your house.” I visited an upper room with Leslie Pennington and advised him to get rid of his customers. He replied, “It was entirely my fault. I asked them to stop and play a game. The room was lighted fully but there was a dark blind you could not see through.”

The Magistrates' Clerk: How many customers were there?

Four at the card table, two round, and there were a number of people in the front room, probably a dozen.

Cross-examined: He knew whist. That was not played with the cards up.

Mr. Mowll: Not when the Police come even?

Inspector Leeming said that whist was not played with 44 cards but 52. He only found 44.

The Magistrates' Clerk: The others were not up your sleeve?

I got all there were on the table.

Further examined: A penny was dropped on the floor. From the room overlooking Ladywell there was a sound of music.

It was quite evident Mrs. Pennington had a musical party?


No charge arises on their part?


Re-examined. One of the men who rushed for the door he found upstairs with that party.

P.S. Pay corroborated. He said that one of the men who rushed for the door he found upstairs and the other at the rear of the premises in the lavatory. When he seized one man's hand with the coins in it he made no explanation but some considerable time afterwards, when the landlady came down he said it was change from his beer. Leslie Pennington said, “No, it is not, you have had no beer since 10 o'clock.”

Mr. Mowll: No charge arises out of supplying intoxicating liquor?

Three glasses had apparently been recently emptied of beer.

P.C. McLeod said that at 10 p.m. he kept observation to see how many left at the expiration of permitted hours. Sixteen people left between ten and ten minutes past. He kept observation until 10.15 and no one else left. At 10.30 he took up a position at the front of the “Park Inn.” There were no lights in the bar at the front, but there was in the room upstairs and a piano was playing. He had been there almost two minutes when the music stopped suddenly. At 10.35 p.m. he heard a noise inside the door when he was standing as of footsteps approaching and he heard the handle of the door turned and the door was opened about 2ft. Witness caught hold of the handle outside and saw the defendant Leslie Pennington. Behind him was another person but he could not identify him. The door was immediately pushed to from the inside. There was a rush of hurrying foot steps. Witness opened the door at once and saw Leslie Pennington disappear through some curtains. At 10.40 Pennington came to the door and witness stood there until 11.15 when he was joined by the Inspector and the Sergeant.

This closed the prosecution.

Mr. Mowll called Henry Freeman Caspell who said that he was in the “Park Inn” from about ten minutes to nine. It was club night, which closed at nine. About that time Leslie Pennington said that his mother had a musical party upstairs and he would like one or two to stop and play when the house was closed. He was one of those invited. Some of them had an ordinary game of whist as usual before 10 o'clock. About 7 or 8 minutes to 10 Leslie Pennington said, “If any of you gentlemen want any more drink will you get it at once.” There were a number of orders as was usual, but witness did not order one. He noticed that the defendant in giving one gentleman his change, placed it on the under side of the right hand corner of the card table. The five invited to play were Mr. Gladish (the grocer), Mr. Hately, Mr. Ready and Mr. Barton, beside himself, making six with Mr. Pennington. Those playing did not include Mr. Pennington or Mr. Barton, but they would have taken the place of players numbers 1 and 3 or 2 and 4. The game they were playing was whist and they were playing for social purposes until there was no money or money's worth in any shape of form in it. When the Police arrived there was the bang on the back door. Defendant was then in the centre of the room watching the game with a view to putting the pegs in the cribbage board, which was on another table. Defendant went at once to the door. Within half a minute the defendant was back in the room and followed by the Inspector and Sergeant. One of them, looking at the card table, then said, “This is unlawful gaming.” The table simultaneously was tipped to witness's left into the lap of Mr. Ready. One of the Police said, “I have got the money which is 5d.” He was then told by Mr. Gladish, “That is 6d; my change from a 1s. for a pint of ale ordered some few minutes before ten.” In his own hand he had the cards (just as now produced) the other being face up for scrutiny as to who was the winner of the rubber. There was one and a part pack of cards on the table, one being faulty and used as a trump indicator. He knew of no game with 44 cards. There was no money snatched up or was there any other money there. He did remember Sergt. Pay saying that he saw Hately put some in his pocket and Hately said you are assuming that. Witness never saw him do that.

Cross-examined: He referred to the “Park Inn” Social Club, (a share-out club) and produced his card. He joined it for social purposes and that was as far as he was concerned. The officials attending to receive subscriptions on Fridays. Defendant occasionally invited him to play after hours. They usually broke up about 11 o'clock. Defendant had often said he did not care for musical parties. There was only Mr. Barton in the room beside them playing when the Police arrived. There were two packs of cards, no matter what the Inspector said. They were playing with one pack (the yellow pack) and the other (the green pack) they cut from. If the Inspector said there were 44 in the pack seized, he could not help it, it was not true.

Witness held up the two packs and said that it was easy to see which had only 44 in.

Mr. O'Meara: You are an expert card player?

Mr. Mowll: he means an expert carpenter. (Laughter.)

Questioned further in regard to the pack, witness said, “You are going to bluff me. I know what I am talking about and I am telling you the truth.”

Cross-examined: If the inspector said that there were two piles of money on the table, it was untrue.

Mr. O'Meara: Again a plausible excuse.

Mr. Mowll said that he strongly resented the way his witness was being treated by Mr. O'Meara making such remarks.

In reply to another question as to the packs of cards, witness said, “It's time and it's common sense.”

Mr. O'Meara: It's time, Mr. Caspell. As to common sense, I will not say.

Mr. Caspell was questioned as to the statement that he had made that it was coincidence that the cards were still the same in the pack then produced, and Mr. Capsell held up the green pack.

You counted that pack just now and there were 44 cards, therefore you were playing with that pack?

We were not playing with that pack.

Mr. O'Meara: That will do.

In reply to Mr. Mowll, witness said that he was holding that pack at the moment as a trump indicator.

Robert Gladish, grocer, of Tower Hamlets, said that he ordered the pint of bitter and gave a shilling for it. The change was put on the shelf under the card table by Leslie Pennington. That was the only money there was when the Police arrived. They were playing a hand. The other pack (green back) they were using for cutting for trumps.

Cross-examined: it would be difficult to see the money on the shelf as one walked into the room. The first thing the Police did was to take the cards over his back. He could not tell them how far they were in the game.

You were not likely to be holding the cards from the indicator pack.

Oh, no!

Mr. Caspell has told me he was holding the trump indicator cards!

I know nothing about that. I know mine were all right. He could not have held them to play with.

Mr. Mowll: You are a well known trades man and you have only come here to tell the truth?

That's all.

David Hately, antique dealer, Castle Street, said they were playing at Whist. He was a little deaf and did not realise the Police were there until they were in the room. He had no money on the table and he did not know there was any under it until it was knocked over. His cigarette box was knocked over and the Police looked into it, but fortunately, there was no money in it.

Cross-examined: they were playing at the time. He did not snatch any money up. It was up to the Inspector, not the Sergeant, to accuse him.

Reginald George Ready, 36, Waterloo Crescent, employed by his father, outfitter, said that they were playing Whist and they were not playing for money or money's worth. It was a friendly game.

There was no cross-examination of this witness, and Mr. Mowll said that it seemed strange that it should be so when the whole of the case was the question of money. The case was at its best only a case of suspicion and it was remarkable that Mr. Gladish, if he had been playing for stakes should have known how much money there was and said that there was another penny. Mt. Caspell had been subject to the absolutely ferocious cross-examination, but he ventured to say that he had come through it unscathed. His stake in the case, was not very large. It should not be a very great disgrace to be convicted of being there for unlawful gaming. Did they think Mr. Caspell would come here and perjure himself in order to escape a trivial liability!

The Chairman said the Bench had given the case every consideration and weighed the evidence for both sides, and they had come to the decision that the case had been proved. They had decided to fine Mrs. Pennington, being the licensee, £3, as she was answerable for her servants doings. The summons against Leslie Pennington would be dismissed.

Mr. Mowll said that he would ask that the other summonses against those playing should stand over for the time being because there would be an appeal against the conviction of Mrs. Pennington. Otherwise it would mean paying the expenses of five appeals.

The Chairman said that they would grant that and allow the cases to stand over until May 10th. They fixed the amount of the recognisance of Mrs. Pennington at £25.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 2 August, 1929. Price 1½d.


At the Dover Police Court this morning before Messrs. W. D. Brett, G. Golding, and S. Livings.

Robert Gladish, Henry Freeman Caspell, Reginald George Ready, and David Frederick Hately, were summoned for gaming at the Park Inn on January 10th.

Mr. R. Mowll defended, and said that he was willing to adopt the evidence already given.

The Magistrates' Clerk said that otherwise the Bench would have ordered witnesses out of Court.

Mr. Mowll said he was not going to flog a dead horse, and he was not so foolish as to ask the Bench to stultify their own decision. The Recorder had passed remarks and there was no moral imputation against the defendants, and as far as their fitness for ordinary society was concerned he was sure no one would attach any imputation, and these comments were the sentiments of everybody. The bench knew the defendants to be respectable members of society in the town and he left the case in their hands.

The Chairman said the Bench would treat them very leniently and they would be fined 10s. each.

The Magistrates' Clerk: Inspector Leeming suggests that coppers found in the case should be put into the Poor Box.

Mr. Mowll: I should have thought you would have taken that on account. (Laughter.)

Inspector Leeming: What about the cards?

The Magistrates' Clerk: No offer. (Laughter.)


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 29 July, 1938


The Dover Borough Coroner, Mr. E. T. Lambert, held an inquest at the Town Hall, on Tuesday afternoon, on the body of John Frederick Bent Strange, aged 45 years, the licensee of the "Park Inn," Park Street, who died a few minutes after falling in the cellar of his house.

The Coroner sat with a jury, as follows:- Messrs. T. Parks (foreman), G. Porter, W. H. Hudsmith, W. S. Lelliott, M. S. Lear, A, Campbell and A. Harvey.

Mrs. Muriel Elizabeth Strange, widow of the deceased, gave evidence of identification. She said that deceased had not been well for the past week, but was up and seemed all right to Saturday night. He had suffered from gout off and on, but they did not think it was necessary to have a doctor to attend to him because he knew what to do during these spells of gout. When he came down on Sunday morning he said that he was quite fit for work, and wanted to get on with the cleaning of the cellar. He went down into the cellar at about eleven o'clock, while witness was polishing the canvas in the bar. The cellar, which was lighted by electric light, was not very high, and one had to stoop when in it. It was right by the side of the river, and the floor, which was of concrete, was always wet and slippery. At about a quarter past eleven witness called down to deceased, asking him to turn on the beer-tap, which he did. A few minutes later she heard him call her name and she answered. He did not reply, and she called, "Why don't you answer Me?" She went down to see what had happened, heard him giving awful gasps, and found him lying against one of the barrels. He was unconscious and bleeding very badly at the head. Witness could not tell what had happened. There were no signs of his slipping because the floor was so wet. He was alone in the cellar all the time.

Miss Lilian Langley, who is employed at the "Park Inn," said that she was in the kitchen at about 11.20 on Sunday morning. She had seen deceased earlier that morning, and he appeared quite happy, as usual, and did not complain of feeling ill. She heard Mrs. Strange shout out to her to fetch a doctor, and she went for one, but he was not in, and, returning, she found the ambulance outside the house.

Mr. Edward Prescott, of the Eight Bells Lodging House, New Street, said that he was in the "Park Inn" on Sunday morning. He was talking to Mrs. Strange when she went down into the cellar. He was deaf and did not hear deceased shout. The previous witness came to him and said that Mrs. Strange needed help, so he went down into the cellar and helped her to carry the deceased upstairs. They then summoned the ambulance from the Fire Station. As far as he knew, there was no one else in the house at the time.

Dr. S. Marinker, House Surgeon at the Royal Victoria Hospital, said that deceased was admitted to the hospital at 1135 a.m. on Sunday. He was bleeding at the head, and there were no signs of life. Witness made a post mortem examination the same evening, and found a haemorrhage on the brain, which was due to a severe contusion of the brain. Here was no fracture of the skull, but it seemed evident that the haemorrhage on to the brain had been caused by a violent impact on the skull. This could have been caused by a fall. Deceased seemed quite healthy, and there was no evidence of disease of his internal organs. Death was due to cerebral haemorrhage.

The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure, and expressed their sympathy.


Dover Express 31st July, 1943.


At the Dover Police Court on Friday last, before Messrs. C. W. Chitty, H. E. Russell and F. A. Holmes and Miss Elnor.

Three sailors, Francis Herbert Smith (37), Ernest Philip Curtis (30) and Harold Joseph Harper (29) were charged with stealing a clock, valued 30s, the property of Mr. G. Tester, from 8 Priory Road.

Defendants pleaded guilty.

Inspector McLeod said that, at 12.5 a.m. on 17th July, War Reserve Pascall saw defendants walking towards him from the direction of Priory Road and Curtis was carrying a clock under his arm. When questioned Curtis said “I won it in a raffle at the “Park Inn." When told that they would be taken to the Police Station, Curtis said “Oh, no, you won’t. We have got to go on board” He placed the clock in a doorway and they ran away. The Constable caught Smith and the pendulum of the clock was found in his pocket. Curtis was caught later and he said “We heard the clock ticking and my mate picked it up and put it under my arm”. Inspector McLeod added that the premises were furnished but unoccupied and had been damaged by enemy action.

Smith said that they were very sorry. They had had a good evening and they were drunk, otherwise they would not have done it. They had no intention of stealing.

An officer said that Curtis and Harper had very good characters and Smith a good one.

The Chairman said that, in view of defendants’ good characters, they would be dealt with leniently.

Fined 5s each.

War Reserve Pascall was commended by the Bench on his smart work.


Dover Express 19th May 1944.


At the Dover Police Court on Friday before Messrs.G.Golding, W.G.Jeffrey and Mrs. Binge.

Enoch Haywood “Park” Inn, Park Place, was summoned for harbouring 1/2lb uncustomed Navy Cut Service tobacco with intent to defraud H.M. of the duty thereon.

Defendant was also summoned for aiding and abetting the selling of tobacco by an unlicensed person.

Mr. Rutley Mowll appeared for defendant, who pleaded guilty to the first summons and not guilty to the second.

Mr. W. Hall Hisken, prosecuting for the Commissioners of Customs, said that he would offer no evidence on the second summons. On 10th February H.M. Customs visited the “Park” Inn and, in the course of a search, they found a half pound tin of Naval tobacco. It might appear that the case was much ado about nothing, but there was something very different between Naval tobacco and ordinary tobacco. Navy tobacco was supplied exclusively to H.M. ships for use on board and anyone in a seaport town should have known that fact. Although the quantity was small, the gravity of the case was the larger because Haywood was a licensee and a licensed dealer in tobacco and should have known that no duty had been paid on the Navy tobacco. They regretted to have to bring such a case because defendant’s books were in perfect order and there was nothing against his character. When questioned, defendant said that he bought the tobacco from a sailor and added “If my daughter had been quicker removing it, as I told her, you would not have found it”. It was well known in seaport towns that there was unlawful shipping of tobacco.

Mr. Mowll said that defendant was out when a Marine entered the bar and said to Mrs. Haywood “I have got 1/2lb of tobacco. Would you like to buy it?” She gave him 5 shillings. The following morning, only a few minutes before the customs men arrived, Mrs Haywood showed the tobacco to her husband, who at once said, “You had no right to buy that”. Defendant had been a licensee in Dover since 1938 and had conducted his houses satisfactorily. He was bombed out of one house and his present premises had been damaged several times. He had been a model of pluck in enduring what he had in Dover and, among the heroes of Dover, and there were many, he was entitled to an honoured place.

The Chairman said that the evidence was serious for a man in defendant’s position, but they had decided to take a lenient view on that occasion.

Fined £5 and 2 guineas costs.

Mr. Mowll said that the magistrates would appreciate that Mr. Haywood was in a very important position holding a licence and the brewers desired to know whether that conviction would affect the renewal of his licence.

The Chairman said that they were not in a position to say what other magistrates would think, but, as far as they were concerned, they saw no reason why it should affect the renewal.


Dover Express 23rd June 1944.

At the Dover Licensing Sessions on Friday last week, a music and singing licence was granted to the “Park” Inn, Ladywell.


Dover Express 11th August 1944.


Mrs. Florence Louisa Gwendoline Roberts was bound over for 12 months on a charge of stealing £2 and a Naval identity book, the property of AB William Alfred Wilkinson, by means of a trick on 7th June.

Defendant pleaded not guilty.

Wilkinson said that he was ashore and went to the “Park” Inn and saw defendant at the bar and offered her a drink. He had about £3 in his pay book and took money out of it to pay for the drinks. He later took her home and showed her his photograph in his pay book and arranged to go in the house. She told him to go to the back door and she would let him in. She asked for his pay book to make sure he did not go away. Witness went to the back door and knocked there for five minutes, but there was no reply. He went round to the front door and found the place was empty. Witness reported the matter to the police. The next day witness went with another sailor to the Police Station and afterwards to defendant’s address and saw her. She showed him into a room, ran off, and left him there. Another woman came in from next door and they went to look for the pay book near the house where he left the defendant the previous night. The other woman handed him the pay book, which was intact except that the £2 was missing. Defendant said that she would send on the money but he had not received it.

Violet Evelyn Richards of 27 Longfield Road said that, on June 8th, Mrs. Roberts asked her to come round to her house and said that a sailor was accusing her of taking his pay book and £2. Witness asked if she had it and she said “No” and ran to the front room and locked herself in. Later she said that she was with the sailor in Clarendon Street alley. Witness went with Wilkinson to look for it. They were unable to find it. She went to a house and was handed a book. She gave it to Wilkinson.

Mrs Winifred Ellen Stroud of 182 Clarendon Street, gave evidence that she found the pay book in the alley at about 6.30 a.m. on June 8th whilst returning from the caves. There was no money in it. She handed it to Mrs. Richards later.

D.C. Vine said that, when questioned, she walked part of the way home with a sailor, but did not steal his pay book or money. On 11th June, he again questioned her and she said that Wilkinson was drunk and was waving his papers about may have dropped it. Nothing incriminating was found in defendant’s handbag.

P.C. Pollington said that Wilkinson, who had been drinking but was not drunk, made the complaint to him at 10.55 p.m. on 7th June.

Defendant said that Wilkinson made a suggestion to her on the way home and, to get rid of him, she told him that she lived in the house in Clarendon alley. Wilkinson had been waving his pay book about all night and she did not handle it. She told him that, if he had lost the money on her account, she would send it to him.

Inspector Wilkinson said that the defendant’s husband was in the Royal Navy and there were five children. She had no convictions.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 7 January, 1966.

After six years as landlord of the Park Inn - Dover Corporation's only public house - at Park Place, Mr. George Hawkins is leaving at the end of the month. He and his wife Kay will continue to live in Dover.

A former member of the crew of Dover lifeboat, Mr. Hawkins has been in the trade for 20 years. Before moving to the Park Inn he was for three years licensee of the Green Man at St. Margaret's Bay.


From Dover Town Centre Magazine November 1997


*** THE PARK INN ***


Another big town centre investment has been completed bringing back into use a 130 year old pub. Gary and Beverley Virtue, a Dover couple who have made such a success of The Crown at Finglesham near Deal, have invested over £100,000 to return The Park Inn to its former popularity.

Gary, a former Archers Court School and Dover Grammar School boy, bought the Park Street premises and has carried out considerable internal alterations.

"The aim is to retain its essential Victorian-style but also to create a popular eatery to attract a mixed-age group to customers," says Gary. His Crown Inn at Finglesham, which he will continue to run, has already won a number of awards, including one for being judged the "Best Pub in the district for attracting tourists".

Gary and Beverly re-opened The Park Inn on 27 October. The premises, alongside the river, were built in 1863 and opened as a pub a year later.

1998 Christmas Card

Above shows a Christmas card sent in 1998. Kindly sent to me from Lorraine Sencicle.

From the Dover Mercury 21 January 1999

Inn restored by one of the lads.

As A lad, in the days when he drank lager and lime, Gary Virtue would make his way round Dover, with his mates, calling in a for a drink here and there. He always cherished The Park Inn, in Dover's Ladywell.

He said: "It had such a lovely atmosphere even if it was a bit run-down." Now, he has cherished it to such an extent that he has bought it and restored it to its earlier Victorian splendour and instead of drinking lager and lime, he now has straight Carlsberg!

Gary and Beverly Virtue

Gary, 40, was born and brought up in Dover, going to Archers Court before transferring to Dover Boys' Grammar School to do his O-levels.

With five to his name he headed for what at the time was one of Dover's most successful businesses. He said: "I went straight into shipping, freight forwarding for George Hammond. Those days it was a job in a really growing business, the docks were thriving and there must have been more than 200 shipping agents, ranging from one-man bands to the big ones such as George Hammond."

Then, his father Henry took on The Hare and Hounds at Northbourne and with that Gary and his wife joined, along with his brother, Glen, in running the pub for the next two years.

That too flourished, to such an extent that Mr Virtue senior was made an offer he couldn't refuse and Gary went back into shipping.

He said: "But I had got the taste - literally - for being a landlord."

He took on The Crown at Finglesham with his wife Beverley and and after a couple of years his thoughts began to focus on The Park Inn.

He said: "It was built in 1861 and licensed in 1863. It was in a sorry state, just about ready to fall down. I kept my eye on it, thinking it was bound to come on the market and that, if it was the right price I would buy it."

On January 27,1997, work started on The Park Inn and it opened its doors 10 months later.

Gary said: "I contacted The Victorian Society in London it is very strict about what's allowed and what's not - got in reproduction fireplaces and knocked down walls, put up walls and found, through Yellow Pages, Peter Upton at Temple Ewell, a pub man himself, who created the plaster covings.

"When the Royal Victoria Hospital was turned into flats, they had to take out fixtures and fittings and Peter was able to get the mould of the ceiling plaster work, which is now on our ceiling. It's a nice touch."

No ghosts were disturbed in the rebuilding and the only curios uncovered were shop bills dating from the 1930s period.

Gary and Beverley have twins, Harry and Rachael who will be three in March and Gary's other pub, The Crown, has regularly garnered awards for the excellence of its food and beer.

He is bringing the same kind of dedication to The Park. He said: "It's a pub where you can get good quality food."


From the Dover Express, 19 May 2003.

Park Inn staff 2003

Above photos shows Ola, Tina (manager) and Gemma.

The Park Inn has been serving the people of Dover since 1863 and with the ever-changing face of European and world travel it is a popular stop-off point for tourists and business travellers from around the world.

Whether they call in for a sandwich and a coffee, a bar snack, the restaurant menu, just a drink or bed and breakfast, the attraction of the English pub is just as great as it ever was. With the many offerings of food, drink, entertainment and accommodation, the Park Inn is well equipped to attract every type of customer.

A free house, the Park Inn has been managed by Tina Holley for the past 13 months. Arriving from a major chain outlet where she was a deputy manager, Tina is surprised at how close and friendly a traditional pub can be. "There are no barriers here between staff and customers. It is a very friendly and comfortable atmosphere. The range of clientele is staggering. Young couples, middle-aged, older couples, single clientele and families with young children, and they all feel at home here," says Tina. One of Tina's first challenges as manager was to stem the high turnover of staff. Tina adds: "Customers like to maintain relationships with my staff.

"Before I joined there had been a high staff turnover, but we have settled down and on the rare occasion a position becomes available we have a high demand from applicants.

"Staff training and specialised courses have given us a strong staff base. This consistency is good for us."

She is now aiming to work closely alongside new Head Chef Jamie Colvin to promote the exciting menu on offer. Tina says: "We have a busy food trade and we have hosted large parties for weddings, birthdays and anniversaries.

"But I firmly believe a lot of people in White Cliffs Country are still to discover us and what we have to offer.

"For whatever reason when on a visit to Dover, we can cater for all their needs if they wish to dine with us."


Park Inn Chef

Jamie Colvln, 20, and an employee at the Park Inn for nearly 4 years, has been awarded the coveted position of Head Chef. Jamie explains: "l joined the team here as a kitchen porter and immediately felt part of the family. A professional kitchen set-up and a good working atmosphere made me realise that I wanted to progress here and enhance my catering knowledge." Following the past two years working under the guiding hand of the experienced Darren Knight, Jamie and the Park Inn management team feel he is ready for the challenge.

Jamie adds: "l have the support of two good chefs which will allow me to concentrate on looking for new directions to take our menu. I aim to add some modern cuisine to our more traditional dishes. A very 'something for everyone' menu is something I look forward to achieving here." The Dover born chef believes he can achieve award-winning recognition for the Park Inn. Jamie states: "My belief in using fresh local produce blended with a twist of imagination and listening to the views and opinions of my diners will encourage me to produce the best traditional English cuisine outlet in the area." His backup is provided by recently appointed Michael Riley and Steven Holley.


Park Inn Paul Andrews

Tina Holley, Manager at the Park Inn, has announced the latest employee to be offered a training course. Paul Andrews is to attend a Bar Managers Workshop at the courage Brewery in Reading, Berkshire. The three-day course includes all aspects of work in the pub industry including customer service, good service, beer quality, health and safety and the BII National Licensees Certificate. Following two other staff members' successful attendance on the course last year Tina states that is is another indication that the Park Inn believes in employing, quality staff and is prepared to back this belief with certificates. Tina says: "A certificate confirms your professionalism and puts the whole aspect of the pub industry in perspective. We strongly believe that in-house training sets the standards of an employee but achieving awards allows the person to measure his progress as seen by a third party.

New Head Chef Jamie Colvin has just completed NVQ Level 2 in Catering and is awaiting commencement of Level 3. Paul Andrews is looking forward to the challenge. He says: "When I was offered the position here I was promised backing to be allowed to advance my career. I thoroughly enjoy the pub/restaurant business and hope to make a successful career from it. This is a great way to start."

Tina Holley adds that his can only be of advantage for the Park Inn. "Staff training here has proved successful in the past and will do so again in the future," she says.


Park Inn rooms

With the completion of five en suite rooms in September 1999 the Park Inn offers everything a visitor to Dover may wish for. Manager Tina Holley is 'amazed by her guests' enthusiasm. Tina says: "Many visitors, particularly American guests, love the feel and atmosphere of an English Inn, and the business traveller relishes the warm and relaxing atmosphere of the cosy rooms." With an English Tourist Council Four Diamond Silver Award and AA Four Diamond Award, the Park Inn boasts one of the best ratings in White Cliffs Country. Tina adds: "The success of our rooms is measured by repeat business. If guests have stayed with us before, they always wish to return to us on their next visit to Dover.

"The en suite rooms are decorated in period Victorian colours and have retained features from when the building was first constructed in 1861. Tina says: "A popular feature is the original marble fireplace in our four-poster room. Guests love the sense of history that emanates from such a feature." An ideal location for all local attractions and amenities, the future appears bright for Tina's five rooms. She says: "We offer tea and coffee making facilities, trouser press, alarm clock/radio and a popular attraction is the satellite TV channels. After a good night's sleep I like to serve my guests a hearty English breakfast which sets them on their way for the rest of the day whether business or pleasure."



Just the one name is enough to set against a famous face from the history of rock 'n' roll. The one thing they all have in common is that they have all performed at the Park Inn.

Yes, the look-a-like tribute acts commenced here in 1998 and have become must-see shows in Dover. Park Inn employee Ola Swan-McVie has seen several shows during her two years' employment. She says: "The atmosphere on the night is electric and the standard of the performance is extremely high. Gary Mullen as Freddie Mercury in 2001 was incredible. He had just won a television show and his show was amazing. It was as near to watching the real thing as ever could be." Her fellow employee Gemma Stannard mentions the counterfeit Beatles Duo and the recent Billy Fury Tribute as nights that customers still talk about. Gemma says: "A drink or three, a lovely meal and superb entertainment is a unique night out in the Dover area and I feel our customers appreciate these special evenings." Tonight, Thursday 19 June 2003, the tradition is continued with a performance by the Beached Boys and on Saturday 21 June the Park Inn Talent Contest is staged for the fourth year running.



Paul Andrews joined the Park Inn during March of this year to tend the bar and manage the busy cellar. His biggest task is ensuring the quality of the six real ales on offer. Paul explains: "Actually the job of keeping these 6 ales is made all the more easier by the high turnover of them all. The headaches would come if any of them were sitting around but they all sell so well."

Old house favourites such as Marston's Pedigree and Old Speckled Hen along with the very popular Courage Best are backed by a Theakstons Pump and two guest ales. "A great boost in my position is a customer commenting on a 'cracking good pint!'" says Paul. "It makes all the effort worthwhile."  all the' effort worthwhile."


Saturday 18th September 2004 Ghost Search


The Park Inn once housed a brothel and the Madam still walks the corridors today and likes her presence to be felt. In the flat above, which we have access to, is home to a male energy, that likes to terrorise anyone he can, you have been warned!!!


The Investigation Report

The footage captured at The Park Inn is fantastic, we caught not only Orbs, but Orbs that seem to explode just like fire works, as well as sweeping mist formations. The Park Inn is a highly active place and the data collected proves it, to us at least.

Many guests reported feeling very light headed and of having the sensation of 'some-one' blowing in their ear or on their face. A number of guests said they were touched when there was no one near them. When doing séances a large percentage felt tingling sensations, of being pulled and pushed. One guest got a push so hard she fell to the floor, but just like a true ghost hunter she got back up and carried on.

Room 2 was an eventful place, this is where I dropped my guard and a Spirit entity entered me. This is the first time this has happened to me personally and I found it a surreal experience. I knew what was happening, yet had no control over my body, mind and voice box!! Peter and Tom did rescue work on me there and then, I remember looking up (as I had slumped to the floor) and seeing lots of faces starring down at me with wide eyes and mouths agape. I wanted to jump up and say 'I didn't fake this honest', I felt like a right banana.

On floor two a couple of guests reported seeing someone moving down a corridor, there was no living person in that area at that time!

Although this venue is active, most of the evidence that Spirit were (and still are) present seemed to be in a non visual form, except to the night cam recordings, physical sensation was the other form of contact. I would have liked audible evidence, as I know the energy at The Park Inn could have produced that. But, if ghost hunting and gathering evidence was that easy there wouldn't be the need for people like us.


Saturday 2nd April 2005 Ghost Search

This was conducted at the pub after a previous meeting. The following is an article as posted on the Ghost Search Uk website on 13 July 2005.


When we visited The Park Inn back in September 2004, many of the residential Spirits were over shadowed by the low entity's that ran amok throughout the building. Since we carried out cleansing work after this investigation, I am pleased to say that both owner and staff have not reported any more nasty disturbances. Yet both my team and I wanted to go back in to get to know and try to capture evidence of the more benign energies that are still present to this day. There is still 'the man' that is often seen in the public bar area, alongside a number of young children. On the upper level a 'madam' still walks the corridors and has been seen by many people, presumably looking out for the girls that used to be under her care when this building was once home to a brothel. The cellar still retains the male energy who likes nothing better that to drop beer glasses; he does this for effect rather than to scare. Bob and Caroline, owners of The Park Inn, are once again allowing us to not only investigate the bar and restaurant area's, but are also permitting us to use all rooms on the upper floors. This large property that has been lent to us for the night, holds much promise for people to experience paranormal activity and to get to know 'those' that walk while guests sleep soundly.


The Investigation Report

A huge thank you to Caroline, owner of The Park Inn, your hard work and team spirit didn't go amiss: You're a star.

Not only was this investigation relaxing and very enjoyable, each group came away with some paranormal experiences.

My group and I went to room two and had about an hour and a half of 'unexplainables'. As usual, the door to the room we entered was closed, this keeps outside noises out, and alerts other groups that the room is occupied. We all noticed the heaviness of the room upon entry and after a few minutes of chatter we formed a circle and commenced with a séance to help charge the atmosphere up a little more. I soon felt a female energy enter the room and it became apparent we had met when I last held an investigation at The Park Inn. The energy this lady carried was strong and I asked her to show the guests the strength she possessed by pulling, pushing or touching them individually. Standing to my right were two male guests, Mark and Stephen, both of whom were the first to be chosen. Their joined hands very gently began to be raised in front of them, each asking the other 'were they doing that'? Both denied they were moving their hands voluntary and we continued to watch as their hands were lifted up and above their heads, gently their arms were pulled back and they were left in mid air for about a minute or so. Astonished at what was taking place they commented the blood was running out of their arms, slowly the limbs were lowered to there normal positions. I asked if she would mind showing someone else in the circle her strength, I saw her move anti-clockwise and it was soon evident who the next chosen one's were.

Kevin (guest) was heard saying, "Is that you?". "No" Caroline laughed nervously. "Look my hand is on top of yours, how can I pull your hand up?". Sure enough both hands were once again being lifted. Both arms were at there full extent before they began to lower. Kevin later told both Myself and the rest of the group that as his hand was being lifted he pulled with all his might to lower his arm, thinking if Caroline was responsible he would achieve his goal. Needless to say, he found it an impossible task. Another two circle members had their arms lifted whilst one of them (Dave Medium, we worked together that night) was also being pulled forward and bent over at the same time. Now unless Dave is a contortionist, I doubt very much if he could have achieved this position and keep his weight in mid air at the same time!!

After the circle broke up I asked if Spirit could give us another sign that they were with us, we all soon clearly heard at various times, noises. They stemmed from creaks that came from the door area, to loud thuds in corners of the room. Each time a noise was made we would survey the area, but could find nothing moving (as if someone had knocked them) and nothing was out of place. The door area seemed to be the focus of Spirit's attention. Guests felt 'someone' there when there wasn't, movement and sounds emanated for no reason. It was towards the end of our vigil in room two, that I (Having been on the opposite side of the room all night) noticed that the door had been opened. It was ajar as opposed to being opened fully. At no time had a human been near the door, to which this can be proved by taped evidence. I asked Spirit if they were responsible and if so could they open the door further. Within seconds we all witnessed the door opening, it only opened a small amount, but never-the-less, with no breeze what so ever we could not find another explanation as to why a solid wood door could open on it's own. There was no-one on the other side when I checked. I had a go at camera work for a short time and remembering to press the record button (it has been known at past investigations I have neglected to....but then I never said I was technical minded!) I managed to capture two orbs on request, I had asked Spirit to show themselves in a light form and make their way across the room to me. I also caught an orb dancing in front of Steve, plus an additional two orbs. So, not only am I really pleased with myself but can honestly say "What a fantastic night.


Donna. (Ghost Search Uk Paranormal investigator).

Advert below appeared in the Dover Express 4 January 2007.

Park Inn Advert

From the Dover Express, 6 February 2014. By Mike Sims.

Pub squeezed out by street’s new inn crowd.

Council ‘created too much.

A TOWN centre boozer shut last week blaming the council for creating too much competition.

The "Park Inn" closed its doors last Wednesday when a private party was held, with punters offered cut-price pints and spirits for £1 each earlier in the week to clear stock.


Landlady Mandy Richards, who had run the pub and rooms for more than five years, told the Express the opening of a micropub a few doors down in Park Place had dented her business.

She said: “Dover District Council shouldn’t have given it planning permission, what were they thinking of?

“It’s enough of a struggle anyway and there’s now three pubs, plus "Key Stores," on a street that is 50 per cent residential.”

The "Rack of Ale" micro-pub opened in Park Place in a former opticians shop last year, while thousands has been spent on the "Sir John Falstaff’s" renovation.

Mrs Richards said: “People haven’t got the money these days, we were struggling for customers and just couldn’t carry on.


“I’ve given it my best shot and the rooms side of it had been picking up, but last year was very tough. It’s owned by Punch and I don’t know if they’ll be putting a holding manager in.”

Several punters have claimed the "Park Inn" was one of the most expensive places to sup a pint in town.


One, Alex Wilshaw, said on the Express’s Facebook page: “They were never going to do a roaring trade when they were charging £4 for a pint of Stella.”

DDC cabinet member Nigel Collor defended the authority and argued it could not stand in the way of new businesses wanting to open.

He said: “Under licensing rules we can’t refuse it. It’s competition and we have to have a justifiable case to refuse it, we can’t just say no.”


Although Gary and Beverley were licensees from January 1997, the pub remained closed whilst renovations took place and there was a grand re-opening in October of that year.

The pub was sold to Punch Taverns in June 2004.

The CAMRA branch meeting of June 2008 reported that the pub had changed hands.


From the Dover Mercury, 28 April, 2016. By Victoria Chessum.

Money raised from event to go to Fire Fighters Charity.

Festival is fitting tribute to music enthusiast Sean.

Sean Petch

Sean, left, died in a car accident in December.

A night of music has been arranged as a tribute to a much loved man who died when his car crashed into a tree and burst into flames.

Sean Petch, also known as Shorn, died on Sunday December 6, when he lost control of his blue Seat Ibiza in the Alkham Valley Road, between Dover and Folkestone.

The former Dover Grammar School for Boys pupil had a big group of friends in both towns.

Emergency services rushed to the scene, at 10.30pm near Kearsney Abbey, but he could not be saved.

The event - dubbed Petch Fest - has been organised by Sean’s best pal, civil servant James Nesbitt, 23, of High Street in Dover.

It will raise money for the Firefighters Charity.

Sean was a fan of live music and also played the guitar, and the evening will go ahead from 4pm on Sunday May 15, at the "Park Inn," in Ladywell, Dover.

The commemoration will include food, a photo booth and a raffle.

Mr Nesbitt said: “Sean was well loved within in the group, there is a lot of us.

“We all see each other like a family and he was the centre piece in that.

“He brought all of us closer together.”

The Fire Fighters Charity was chosen as the beneficiary by Sean’s family.

Mr Nesbitt said he was also organising the event “because there is not enough music in Dover and there needs to be a platform for younger musicians”.

Sean left his mother, Elaine Wilson, dad Graham Petch, sister, Carla, and brother, Liam.

He lived in Folkestone, studied at Canterbury College, and worked for Church & Dwight, a distribution company in Wear Bay Road, Folkestone.

To find out further information about the event, visit

Friends of Sean Petch

Friends of Sean Petch at his wake.


Closed 2016. Reopened as an Indian Restaurant in 2017 called "Virsa the Heritage."


From the Dover Express, June 15, 2017. By Adele Couchman.

Restaurant owner who likes ‘a challenge’ saw potential in disused inn building.

Revamped pub set to offer true experience of India few years.

A NEW Indian restaurant has taken the place of an old Dover pub.

Virsa opened its doors on Saturday, June 3, replacing The Park Inn pub that suddenly closed last year.

The Indian restaurant and takeaway also has a hotel upstairs, and is set to create a number of jobs for the area.


Andy Nanda

Owner Andy Nanda, 35, who lives in Folkestone, came to Dover to transform the empty pub to provide a ‘traditional Indian’ experience.

He said: “The Park Inn was shut for nearly nine months and had been going downhill for the last few years.

Andy and Staff 2017

Andy and staff are promising a ‘traditional’ Indian experience.

“We took over from the beginning of March, and took it took us over three months to get it up to standard.”

Mr Nanda has also taken over the running of a disused property in Dartford and has transformed it into a hotel called The Fulwich.

He added: “I saw the potential and location in here in Dover, and I like challenges.

“In Dover there is not many places to go for a decent meal, so this is somewhere you can go on a Friday night with friends and family.

“Virsa means heritage, so we will provide traditional food and interior decor.”

The restaurant is expected to create around 25 jobs for kitchen and waiting staff.

From the Dover Express, 29 June 2017.

Exquisite Indian restaurant now open in Dover.

Virsa staff 2017

Virsa The Heritage opened their doors recently and have built up a loyal following of diners in a short period of time.

The restaurant offers fantastic Indian food which is always freshly prepared using the finest of ingredients.

Owner Andy Nanda says: “For every one diner that has experienced our Indian food and the way we run our business we have four diners returning, I have been overwhelmed by the support from the local people.”

Owner Andy has taken time out to answer a few questions.

What made you decide to open a restaurant in Dover?

Dover has got lots of potential with all the new developments and we thought Dover needed one more decent restaurant for tourists and locals.

Is this your first restaurant?

Our first restaurant was near Folkestone which went well for four years but was very small and didn't have the capacity to expand. We used to get loads of diners who kept encouraging us to open a restaurant in Dover.

Tell us about VIRSA The Heritage?

We offer traditional Indian food with Punjabi (north Indian) spices which gives it a different flavour. We have loads of delicious dishes to choose from and we’re very fussy over the taste and quality of our food, we aim for 100% customer satisfaction as our main priority.

What’s special about your menu?

All dishes have got different flavours and we would recommend trying our menu from A to Z as all dishes offer something different, even the desserts.

Is there one special dish on your menu for people to know about?

Our Mango Lassi, this is home-made and is a drink that when people have tried, they always love it!

To view our menus go to or visit us at 1 Park Place Dover CT16 IDF, reservations and take-away please telephone 01304 214493.



HUTCHINGS Thomas 1860+

BROCKMAN T S 1864-67+ Dover Express

ADAMS John Rowe 1870-1889+ Next pub licensee had (age 54 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882Pikes 1889

Last pub licensee had PARAMOR Henry J Jan/1891-93 dec'd (Extra history) Dover Express (age 33 in 1891Census)

PARAMOR Mrs Louisa 1893-95 end Pikes 1895

SAXON T W 1895

Last pub licensee had BROMLEY William 1896

SAXTON Mrs Louisa 1899-Dec/1902 (age 46 in 1901Census) Kelly's Directory 1899Post Office Directory 1903Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

SAXTON Thomas 1901+ (age 37 in 1901Census)

Last pub licensee had MARKWICK Stephen Dec/1902-05 end Dover Express

STANLEY Edward Gregory 1905-July/11 (age 51 in 1911Census) Dover Express

CARDEN John July/1911-12 end Next pub licensee had Dover Express (of Whitstable)

CARDEN Mrs Elizabeth 1911-12 end Next pub licensee had

SOLLEY Robert J 1912-Dec/13 Post Office Directory 1913Dover Express

LEWIS Albert Charles Dec/1913-17 Dover Express

PENNINGTON F C 1916-Jan/21 dec'd

PENNINGTON Mrs Emily Jan/1921-Aug/29 Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1922Pikes 1924

Last pub licensee had SAUNDERS Joseph Alfred Aug/1929-Apr/36 end Post Office Directory 1930Pikes 1932-33Dover Express

MEDLEY Henry William Apr/1936-Mar/38 Dover Express

STRANGE John Frederick Bent Mar/1938-Aug/1938 dec'd Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1938Pikes 1938-39 (Late of ordinance Depot, Stirling, Scotland, Transport Officer R.A.S.C.)

STRANGE Muriel Elizabeth Sept/1938-Oct/40 (widow age 34 in 1939) Dover Express

DREDGE Bertram Charles Oct/1940 (Brewer's manager) Dover Express

Last pub licensee had HAYWARD Enoch 1940-Feb/49 Pikes 48-49Dover Express

AUSTIN George or H J Feb/1949 end Dover Express

WRIGHT F K 1949-50 end

ANDERSON D L & WILSON W E G 1950 to 8/Dec/1950

WILSON William Edward George 8/Dec/1950-54 Kelly's Directory 1950Kelly's Directory 1953

THOMPSON William A 1954-60 Kelly's Directory 1956

Last pub licensee had HAWKINS George A 1960-66 end

LANGMEAD Mr 1966-72

BAKER George R 1972-83+ Library archives 1974 Owned by Dover Corporation

WALTON Kenneth 1987

WELLS Ronald 1987


Last pub licensee had VIRTUE Gary Jan/1997-June/2004

HOLLEY Tina 2003+ (Manager)

???? June/2008+


KEMP Ron & Jenna April/2014+

WHITE Zara 2015+


According to the Dover Express, 1936, Henry William Medley of 38, Mountfield Road, Ealing, was a clerk. John Frederick Bent Strange was a Transport Officer R.A.S.C. from the Ordinance Depot, Stirling, Scotland.

The Dover Express reported that John Carden was from Whitstable.


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

Kelly's Directory 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1901

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Pikes 1924From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Pikes 1932-33From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Pikes 1938-39From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39

Pikes 48-49From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1948-49

Kelly's Directory 1950From the Kelly's Directory 1950

Kelly's Directory 1953From the Kelly's Directory 1953

Kelly's Directory 1956From the Kelly's Directory 1956

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express



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