Sort file:- Dover, September, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 29 September, 2021.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Barry Smith and Paul Skelton

Earliest 1864

(Name from)

Phoenix Tavern and Music Hall

Latest 1897

(Name to)

21 Market Square


Phoenix Tavern

NEARLY a century ago this was Dover Market Square. The old Phoenix Tavern and music hall, the tobacconist and stationers adjoining, the lofty Carlton Club over a tobacconists. Waterloo House and the "Antwerp Hotel" opposite, all were decorated for two big events - the official opening by the Duke of Connaught of the new-look Town Hall and Connaught Park, in July, 1883.

Phoenix 1836

Above shows the Phoenix extreme right, dated 1836, which seems to suggest there was an earlier version of the pub that perhaps predates the "Hero Tavern." Other buildings seem to be partly demolished and was the medieval defensive tower in Bench Street.

Further research and information shows a painting held at the Dover Museum obviously taken from the drawing above. Shown below.

St Nicholas Tower and Alms Houses 1836

This is titled, St Nicholas Tower (left) and Alms Houses (right) 1836, painted by Rev J Maule. Which shows what in the top picture to be the "Phoenix" being the Alms Houses in the bottom painting.


This was erected on the site of the "Hero Tavern" following its destruction by fire in 1863. A popular place by all accounts which opened in 1864 and was advertised as opening every night of the year. However, the licence was objected to at the sessions of September 1864.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 10 September, 1864.


Among the licenses objected to was that of the "Phoenix," Market Square, a new public-house, built on the site of the "Hero Tavern and Music Hall" burnt down some time since. On the "Hero" being called by the Clerk, the present landlord, Mr. Hall, applied that the name of the house might be altered. Mr. Potts, of the "Regent Inn," objected. He said that the "Phoenix" was a new house. It was not built on the same ground, and he therefore thought a fresh license should not be granted. Mr. Fox, who appeared for the landlord, said he was prepared to show that the "Phoenix" was now standing on the same ground as the "Hero" had occupied. After some consultation the Magistrate's granted the license.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 26 November, 1864.


Edward Dowle, landlord of the "Elephant and Castle," Charlton, was summoned by William Edward Brown, landlord of the "Phoenix Tavern," Market Square, for unlawfully assaulting him and beating him, on the night of the 17th inst.

Complainant said that on the previous Thursday evening, about half-past ten, the defendant came into his house, and went upstairs into the concert room. He went to defendant and told him there was nothing doing in the public room, and requested him to come down again. Defendant, however, refused, and became very abusive. Witness left him in the room, where he continued very noisy, and about eleven o'clock, on his coming down stairs and continuing his noisy and abusive behaviour in front of the bar, he (witness) went to him and requested him to leave the house. Defendant immediately took him by the collar with both hands and kicked him violently in the abdomen, and then pulled him down. After releasing himself from defendant, he staggered to the parlour, where he remained in great agony for some time, and had been suffering from the effects of the kick ever since. He had been compelled to obtain medical assistance.

Ellen Gertrude Brown, sister of the complainant, said she saw the defendant take her brother by the collar of his coat and kick him.

Defendant denied that he kicked the complainant, and called

Mr. Edward Petts, landlord of the "Regent Inn," (Prince Regent) Market Square, who said that he saw a little scuffling between the parties. His attention was called to the spot by a noise in the bar. He heard Dowle say, "If you give me sixpence I'll leave."

Police-constable Joyce: My attention was called by Dowle by the complainant's sister, who said there was a man at the bar who was likely to create a disturbance, and wished me to remove him. On going to the door, I heard Dowle say, "You give me my sixpence." The landlord then came out and endeavoured to put defendant out of the house, and in the scuffle, which ensued they both fell, complainant uppermost. The woman in the bar then gave Dowle sixpence, and he went away very quietly.

The Magistrates considered that an assault had been committed; but taking into consideration the good character Dowle bore, they mitigated the fine to 2s. 6d. and the costs, - in all 19s. - which he paid.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 4 February, 1865.


Eliza Anderson, a woman of the town, was charged with stealing a pint pewter pot, the property of Mr. W. Brown, of the "Phoenix Tavern."

Mr. Brown said he kept the "Phoenix Tavern," in Market Square. He identified the pewter pot produced as his. He could not say when it was last in his possession, as he had a dozen pots of the same description. All had his initials engraved upon them in the same way as that produced. The prisoner was in the habit of frequenting his house. He remembered having noticed her there, but could not say when she was in the house last.

Police-constable Henry Smith said he saw the prisoner in Liverpool Street, about a quarter to one o'clock the same morning. He followed her to Woolcomber Street, and observed that she was concealing something in her dress, he asked her what it was. She replied, "Nothing," and made a pretence of holding out her dress, but in doing so she let something fall, and he found it was the pewter pot produced, on which the prosecutor's initials were engraved. She picket it up herself, but witness took it from her and asked her where she had got it, when she said she did not know. He then took her into custody and conveyed her to the station house, where she was cautioned in the usual way after the charge was entered, when she said the pot had been given to her by a sailor.

A witness named Henry Russell, to whom it was stated, the "Phoenix" was about to be transferred, said he had been in the house for the past week an knew there were a dozen pint pewter pots. On counting them the same morning one was discovered to be missing.

Police-constable Page said he saw the prisoner come out of the "Phoenix Tavern" at half-past eleven o'clock on the previous night. She passed him and wished him "Good night."

The prisoner desired the Magistrates to deal with her case summarily, and on being formally charged with the theft she pleaded guilty.

Superintendent Coram, in reply to the Magistrates, said the prisoner had been before the Bench on two or three previous occasions - once on a charge of petty felony, a flower pot having been missed from the Marine Library, but that case was treated as one of wilful damage.

Sir Luke Smithett, in sentencing the prisoner to a fortnight's imprisonment, said he hoped the leniency of the Bench would not be thrown away upon her, and that when she came out of prison she would resolve to go on better for the future.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 11 February, 1865.


John Smith and Thomas Hutchings, two working men, were charged with drunkenness and an obstruction of the footway.

Police-constable Corrie stated that on the preceding night there was a disturbance outside the "Phoenix Tavern," Market Place, in consequence of the two defendants wanting to fight. He bade them go away quietly; but they refused to go, and defied him to interfere.

The magistrates ordered each of the men to pay 1s. fine, and 6s. costs, or go to prison for seven days.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 10 June, 1865. Price 1d.


An application was made by Mr. Anscombe for permission to sell at the "Phoenix Tavern," Market Place, until the next transfer day. The application was opposed by Mr. Fox, solicitor, on behalf of Messrs. Leney and Everden, brewers, the owners of the house.

The original holder of the license was Mr. W. E. Brown. His tenancy was terminated on the 7th February last, and a new agreement entered into by Messrs. Leney and Evenden with Mr. H. Russell; but on Mr. Russell applying to the Bench for a transfer of the license, the Magistrates declined to grant the application. The license, therefore, still remained in the hands of Mr. Brown, although the latter had ceased to be the tenant.

The present applicant, Mr. Anscombe, had it appeared purchased the interest of Mr. Russell in the "Phoenix." He had previously made application to sell; but as Mr. Russell had never obtained a transfer of the license from Brown, the magistrates could not grant Mr. Anscombe permission to sell under any authority by Russell, and Mr. Anscombe was informed that before the Bench could consider his application he must produce the authority under Brown, the holder of the license.

This authority Mr. Anscombe was now prepared with; but he was met with another objection on the part of Mr. Fox, viz, that Brown had no power to give such an authority, as he was not now the tenant of the house, while Russell had no power to part with the tenancy, as he was prevented by a clause in his agreement with Messrs. Leney and Evenden from underletting.

These objections proved fatal, and the magistrates decided that they had no power to grant permission. They advised Mr. Anscombe to come to some arrangement with Messrs. Leney and Evenden, as this was the only way in which a transfer of the license could be effected.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 28 February, 1868.


Benjamin Bickley, a tramp, was charged with being drunk and disorderly in the Market Place, late in the previous night, and assaulting a police-constable in the execution of his duty.

Police-constable George Swaine said he found the prisoner, about half-past twelve on the previous night, on the footpath opposite the "Phoenix Inn," Market Square, drunk and disorderly. He was striking and pushing people who were leaving the "Phoenix." Witness ordered him away several times, and took the trouble to lead him away once, but he returned again, and declared he would not leave. He had a child about four years of age in his arms. He was then compelled to take the prisoner into custody; when he became very violent, so that witness was obliged to call another constable to his assistance. At the station-house the prisoner bit his hand.

Police-constable Campany corroborated the evidence of Swaine. With reference to the child the prisoner was carrying, he said the prisoner treated it like a dog.

The little fellow, with the mother, was in Court. The woman was respectably dressed, but the child's appearance bore the impression caused by the policeman's statement, one of his eyes being blackened and the face contused and swollen apparently from recent ill-usage.

The prisoner's only defence was that he had got a drop of drink and did not know what he was about.

The Magistrates considered the case clearly proved, and fined the prisoner 15s. and costs. In default, he was committed to prison for fourteen days.

The prisoner was asked if he would permit 8s., found in his possession, to be given up to his wife and child, but he refused to part with it.

The Magistrates intimated that they had the power of ordering the money to be devoted towards the prisoner's maintenance while in goal; and they then recommended the woman to get into the Union until her husband was released - a course which she expressed her intention of following.


From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 22 January, 1869. Price 1d.


Two men, Alfred Moke and James Cooley were charged with drunkenness and assaulting the police in the Market Place, on Saturday night, and a woman named Ann Lynch was charged with attempting  to rescue them from custody.

It appeared from the statement of Police-constable Harman that he was on duty near the "Phoenix Tavern," Market Square, about five minutes to twelve on Saturday night, when he saw the three prisoners together with several other persons, leave the house. They were larking and causing great disturbance by crying out "Fire, fire!" "Where are the police?" "They can't put it out!" Their cries were calculated to create great alarm; and he therefore spoke to them. he addressed Cooley, and told him to go away. Cooley's response was, "Who cares for the police?" He then laid his hand on his shoulder, when Cooley turned round and, striking him a violent blow on the face, laid his cheek open. Another constable named Fuhy happened to be near, and he went to Harmer's assistance, and closing with Cooley managed to secure him. Nixon, a third constable, was also on the spot; and on rising from the ground Harmer saw Nixon struggling with the prisoner Moke. Harmer then assisted to put the handcuffs on, and got kicked, but he did not know by whom, and two other constables then coming up, the men were got to the station-house. Cooley on the way to the station-house threatened that he would yet be the death of Harmer.

Police-constable Fahy gave corroborative evidence, so also did the other policeman who were called to the spot. All concurred in stating that the assault on Harmer was very violent, and Fahy said that the woman, while Harmer was struggling with Cooley, came and caught hold of the constable by the hair of his head and dug her nails into his forehead.

The prisoners' only defence was that they had been drinking, though they denied that their conduct was so bad as the police had represented it.

The bench fined the two men 10s. each and costs, or, in default, fourteen days' imprisonment, and the woman 5s. and costs, or, in default, seven days' imprisonment.

All the prisoners went to gaol.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 2 April, 1869.


Walter Francis was charged with endeavouring to change a counterfeit five shilling piece.

Susannah Humphrey said: I live in Oxenden Street and keep a shop. My sister keeps the "Phoenix Tavern," Market Place, and I was at her house last evening. At about seven o'clock the defendant came into the bar and asked for a quarter of brandy in a small bottle, for which he laid down a five shilling piece. I took the money to my sister (Mrs. Kemp) to exchange it, and she said it was a bad one, and I told the defendant. In reply he said he had just changed a half sovereign, and had received the five shilling piece in change for good money. Mrs. kemp sent for a policeman and gave defendant into custody.

By defendant: You did say that you would go back to the shop where you had received the money and change it. You did say that you would give me some other money in payment for the brandy.

The defendant said that he was a respectable man, and the magistrates would see that he was a patentee of several things. He had no intention of issuing counterfeit coin. He had come from London to Dover to see the review, and before going away had entered an eating-house and had obtained some refreshment. he had laid down half a sovereign and among the change had received the five shilling piece now produced. he entered the public-house on his way to the railway station in order to obtain some brandy to drink while in the train, for the payment of which he had tendered the five shilling piece.

The Magistrates said that there was not sufficient evidence to convict defendant, the other money found upon him being all good, and they would therefore dismiss him.

From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 11 February, 1870


James Leigh, a tramp, was charged with having in his possession some brass taps, value 1, supposed to have been stolen. Since the prisoner had been in custody and the charge entered on the police sheet, it had been ascertained that the taps were the property of Mr. W. Gardner, plumber and glazier, of Snargate Street, who was now in attendance to prosecute.

Mr. Gardner said the two taps produced were his property. He knew them by private marks. He last saw them on the previous morning, when he unpacked them from a hamper, and put them into a glass case at the back of his shop. The taps produced were the only ones he had of that description. They were so placed in the case that they could not be reached by anyone who did not get behind the counter for that purpose. This was the first time he had seen the prisoner. he did not know the taps were gone till the detective officer brought them back to him. The cost price of them was 18s.

Detective-constable Hemmings said he saw the prisoner at the "Phoenix Tavern," about six o'clock on the previous evening. He noticed that the prisoner had something heavy in his pocket, and asked him what he had got. He replied that he had nothing for sale. Witness then asked him to let him see the contents of his pocket. he at first refused; but on witness telling him that he was a detective officer and should take him into custody if he did not accede to his request, he produced the two taps which had been identified by Mr. Gardner. He said he had bought them off a man in the street. Witness then took him into custody, and conveyed him to the police-station, where the charge was read over to him. He was again asked if he had anything to say, but he declined to make any further statement.

The prisoner pleaded not guilty. He had nothing to say, however, in answer to the charge, except what he had already stated to the officer, viz., that he had bought the taps of a man in the street whom he did not know.

The Magistrates committed the prisoner for trial at the next Quarter Sessions for the borough.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 1 April, 1870


James Murphy and Susan Murphy, man and wife, were charged with drunkenness and disorderly conduct in the Market Place on the previous night. The male prisoner was also charged with doing damage to one of the station-house cells to the amount of 5s.

It appeared from the evidence of police-constable Nash that he found the couple outside the "Phoenix Music Hall" at half-past eleven on the previous night. both were under the influence of liquor, though the woman was the less drunk of the two. He went up to them and tried to get them to move away quietly; but the woman refused to go, and he had to take her to the station. The man followed, and attempted to rescue her from custody; but did not succeed, and police-constable Nixon coming to the spot, the man was taken into custody also, when he became very violent, and had to be dragged to the station-house. After he was locked up he did damage to the cell to the amount of 5s.

Police-constable Geddes, who was on duty at the station-house when the prisoners were brought in, gave evidence corroborative of Nash's and also spoke to the disorderly conduct at the police-station.

The Magistrates taking into consideration the quite demeanour of the woman after she had been taken into custody, and the fact that this was her first appearance, dismissed her with a caution; but fined the man 13s., viz., 1s. penalty, 5s. damages to the cell, and 7s. costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 25 November, 1870.


Ellen Fayres, a woman of this town, was charged with stealing a sovereign from the waistcoat pocket of Richard James Farrant, of the “Phoenix Tavern,” Maidstone on Saturday night. It appeared from the statement of Superintendent Coram that the prosecutor and prisoner had been in company together, when the prosecutor declared that he had missed a sovereign, and gave the prisoner into custody. No sovereign, however, was found upon her when she was searched at the station-house. All the money she had in her possession was a few shillings for which she sufficiently accounted.

The prosecutor was not present when the case was called; and the woman, therefore, was discharged.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 26 May, 1871. Price 1d.


John Lambert, another discharged militiaman, was charged with drunkenness and disorderly conduct in the Market Place on Saturday afternoon, and assaulting a police-constable in the execution of his duty.

George Raymond: I am Market Inspector and a police-constable. On Saturday evening the prisoner was put out of the “Phoenix” public-house in the Market Square. He caused a great disturbance on the footway, and a large crowd assembled. He attempted to re-enter the public-house, and wanted to fight. I endeavoured to get him away, but he refused to go, and he remained very obstinate, I was compelled to take him into custody, police-constable Stevens assisting me; but when we got him to Gaol Lane he resisted so much that we had to put him on the ground and put the hand-cuffs on him. There was a number of the prisoner's comrades around him, and the police had great difficulty to retain custody of him. The prisoner was very violent and kicked me repeatedly in the legs. On being taken to the police-station he behaved very badly, endeavouring to get loose and striking everybody who came his way. He refused to give his name, and made use of language not fit to be repeated.

The prisoner said he was so drunk as to be perfectly unconscious of anything that transpired. He did not know where he was till he woke up and found himself at the police-station.

The Magistrates sent the prisoner to gaol for fourteen days hard labour.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 13 January, 1888. Price 1d.


The Annual Meeting of the Dover Licensed Victuallers' Protection Society was held at Mr. I. Kemp's “Phoenix Music Hall” on Wednesday last. Councillor George Birch occupied the chair, and the large room was filled with members.

The Chairman congratulated the meeting upon the continued prosperity of the Society, and mentioned several local cases which had been dealt with during the year. He also spoke of the forthcoming County Government Board Bill which was to be introduced during the next Session. They trusted it would be found to be a just measure, and that strict uniformity would be the rule on all places were excisable liquors were sold. A delegate from the Society had waited upon their Parliamentary Agent on the subject. He thanked the officers and Committee for their assistance during the year.

The Secretary (Mr. H. Brown) read several letters from honorary members unable to be present, congratulating the meeting upon the usefulness of the Society. He also explained the clauses of the Early Closing (Scotland) Bill, and laid a copy on the table. He earnestly urged the Trade to organise during the year, so that they might successfully protest against any unfair proposal being carried against their interest.

The following report with account of income and expenditure was then read and adopted:-

Your Committee, in presenting this their 27th Annual Report and Balance Sheet, are glad to state that although the legitimate licensed houses have been dull during the past year, caused not by the diminished consumption of the excisable articles which they sell, but the continued opening of liquor selling grocers and drinking clubs, your Society have a substantial balance in hand to meet any emergency that may arise; several local cases of importance have been met by your Committee during the year and satisfactorily arranged. Your Committee thank the honorary members for their support, and trust that each member of the trade with consider it his duty as far as possible to study the interests of their firms. Your Committee, in all national matters, unite with the Parliamentary Agents of the London Protection Society and National Defence League. During the last Session no less than twenty-seven bills affecting the trade were brought before the House of Commons, among these were the Licensed Premises Early Closing (Scotland) Bill, this became law; the following, with among others, did not, viz.:- Customers and Inland Revenue Bill; Early Closing of Public houses Sunday Bill; Licensed Law Amendment Bill; Liquor Traffic Local Veto Bill; Lodgers' Goods Protection Act; Parliamentary Elections Closing of Public houses; Sale of Intoxicating Liquors on Saturday Early Closing Act; Bar Adulteration Act; Habitual Drunkards' Act. These with others have been watched by your Committee, and when necessary the Parliamentary Agents consulted upon them. The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated, in answer to a question from T. Watson, M.P., that any proposals which Her Majesty's Government have to make for the purpose of dealing with the licensing system would be embodied in the County Government Board Bill. As this will effect the interest of not only the trade but the public who use the houses, this must, when before the House of Commons, be carefully looked after by your Executive, but if provisions are conceived in this Bill on a fair and equitable public basis, have regard to the rights of property and individuals, the trade will give it their support. A deputation has already been arranged to wait upon the prompters of the Bill on this matter.

In conclusion your Committee urge Licensed Victuallers to join the Association as the best means of defending their interests if assailed, to resist encroachment when attempted, and to obtain legislative redress of grievances when suffered.

The “Healths of the Chairman and Officers” was proposed and were drunk, and the remainder of the evening spent in a convivial manner.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 27 February, 1891. Price 1d.


Owen Wallace was charged with being drunk, disorderly, and using obscene language in the Market Square.

Police-constable G. Fogg said that he was on duty in the Market Square, on Saturday night about a quarter past ten, when he saw the defendant and another man come out of the “Phoenix.” They took their coats off to fight, and he went up to separate them. The other man went away at his request, but defendant refused. Wallace then went into the “Phoenix,” and said he would have some more beer; but he followed him in and told the landlady not to serve him. The defendant was ordered out of the house, and he advised him to go away, but he refused. He took him onto custody.

The defendant was fined 5s.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 11 July, 1890. Price 1d.


On the application of Mr. Spain, Mr. Alfred Thomas Adams was granted permission to draw at the “Phoenix.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 22 March, 1895


this was a claim of 10 10s. for grocery. the defendant formerly kept the "Phoenix," and now a public house in Canterbury. The defendant pleaded that the defendant was not he, but his wife. He was at present an undischarged bankrupt.

The money was ordered to be paid in 14 days.



It was rebuilt in 1897, the builder being challenged to perform the task in sixty days. The corner stone was laid on 15 July that year with a bottle containing a note; that invited the public to the first show which was billed for the sixth day of the ninth month. The builder was W.H. Gillett and presumably he met that target date because it certainly opened in 1897. The-difference being, that it was then named the "Empire Palace of Variety", a name which it retained to 1910 when it became "The Palace and Hippodrome Southern".


In the winter of 1916-17 it was lent free of charge by Leney and Company, to the East Surrey Regiment. Their malthouses at Maxton were likewise converted into a recreational centre for the troops. It might be of passing interest to mention, that in 1916, their cooperage yard in Castle Street and their mineral water factory in Russell Street had both been bombed. Also perhaps worth mentioning, the Oil Mill Buildings in Limekiln Street were used at that time as the barracks of the East Surrey Regiment.


The name "Palace Theatre" was used post war so perhaps it reopened. If so, it would not be for long. It had closed again by 1926, although it must be said, the licence was conscientiously renewed every year up to 1942 when it was finally destroyed by enemy action on 23 March.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 8 August 1952.

Phoenix Tavern in Market Square 1952

Showing the now derelict site of the Phoenix Music Hall and Carlton Club of the Market Square in 1952.

Also showing (centre-left) the top story of the Westminster Bank being completely removed. German shells twice fell close to the building. First in September 1940 in the entrance below this high portion; the building was considered unsafe to carry out war damage repairs until the weight of the upper stories was removed.

1952 showed work on both being undertaken, while top right of the photo shows the new flats at Durham Hill being built.



Efforts had been made in 1936 to transfer the licence to the refreshment rooms of Townsend Ferries at the Eastern docks. It was refused then but it may have come about later.



Last pub licensee had HALL Alfred 1864

BROWN William Edwin 1864-Feb/1865 Dover Express

RUSSELL Henry after Feb/1865+ Dover Express

Last pub licensee had KEMP Isaac 1871-Nov/89 dec'd (age 41 in 1881Census) Dover ExpressKelly's 1874Post Office Directory 1874Post Office Directory 1882

SPAIN Harry Beaufoy Nov/1889+ Dover Express

JOHNSON John June/1890+ Dover Express

ADAMS ALfred Thomas July/1890+ Dover Express

WHITE Frederick 1891 (age 44 in 1891Census)

TILL B A R to Dec/1894 Dover Express

CHIVERS J Dec/1894+ Dover Express (Comedian of London)

TILL George 1894 end (Went to Canterbury)


Kelly's 1874From the Kelly's Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

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:-