3 Folkestone Road
Above photo by Paul Skelton 17 February 2011.
Photo on left shows the current sign and that on the right shows an
old one, now housed on a wall at the back of the pub. Both taken 17
Above photograph circa 1922 is Copyright and has been allowed on this site by kind
permission of Kent Archives, ref U3555/2/GBR/Bp4/1/70
Priory Hotel circa 1987 (Photo by Paul Skelton)
Photo by Barry Smith circa 1980.
Complete with coffee rooms, commercial rooms and stables, this was under
construction in 1876. Tomlin was given permission to draw in 1877. The
railway station opposite was first built in 1861.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer,
11 May, 1877. Price 1d.
Mr. John Tomlin made an application for a final order to retail
liquors on the premises which have been erected on the site opposite the
Dover Priory Station.
Mr. Worsfold Mowll supported the application, and a final order was
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 18 February, 1881. 1d.
Messrs. "Gardner," brewers, of Ash, have secured the square plot of land
adjoining the “Priory Hotel” on which they propose to erect an ale and
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 4 February, 1887. 1d.
An inquest was held at the “Priory Hotel” yesterday, by the Borough
Coroner (Sydenham Payn, Esq.), on the body of an infant child named
Jessie Carolyn Swain. The evidence of the father and mother, who lived
at Clarendon Street, showed that the deceased was taken as usual to bed
with them and on waking up at twelve o’clock on Wednesday the mother
found the child dead. She at once roused her husband, and Mr. Fenn,
surgeon, was sent for. The doctor was of opinion that death was due to
suffocation, and the Jury returned a verdict accordingly.
A somewhat unusual course was adopted by a juryman named John Wyatt at
the inquest held yesterday at the “Priory Hotel.” He was sworn with the
other Jurymen and left with them to view the body, which was lying at
135, Clarendon Street, but did not return to the hotel. The sergeant in
charge made inquiries, but could not find him, and not having served the
summonses did not know where he lived, nor did the other Jurymen. After
waiting some time the Coroner instructed the sergeant to find out where
Mr. Wyatt lived and see that he went to the Coroner’s office in the
morning. There being twelve Jurymen present the inquest was proceeded
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 10 May, 1889. Price 1d.
Last week a child named Grace Violet Wood, had a fall at 34, Clarendon
Place, which terminated fatally. An inquest was held at the “Priory
Hotel” on Friday afternoon, when a verdict of “Accidental Death” was
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 25 October, 1889. Price 5d.
SAD DEATH OF A WOMAN
On Saturday afternoon an inquest was held at the “Priory Hotel” on the
body of Mrs. Williams, who was found dead on the previous evening at her
residence Berkely Villas, Folkestone Road. The deceased lived alone, and
it seems that she died from the effects of excessive drinking. Her age
was about 51. The following is the evidence taken on the occasion.
Mr. Smith residing at Biggin Street said: I have known the deceased for
about 20 years, the body which the Jury have viewed is that of Mrs. Anne
Elizabeth Williams. She resided at Berkely Villa, Folkestone Road. She
is the widow of William Smith Williams. I have very frequently visited
her at her house. The last time I saw her alive was last Sunday. She
seemed then to be very ill, and complained of the cold, and appeared to
be rather strange in her manner. I went up again on Tuesday night but
could not make anyone hear. I left on Sunday about nine o’clock and the
deceased was perfectly sober and there was not any drink in the house. I
think that during the last 12 months she has given way to acts of
intemperance. On Friday afternoon I went up again, and met Mrs. Pay in
Folkestone Road. I knocked at the front door but had no answer. I went
up again that evening, and then found the house in possession of the
Anne Pay, a married woman residing at 17 Winchelsea Street said: I saw
Mrs. Williams last on Wednesday. I went about 5 o’clock to fetch the
washing, and was in the house about half an hour. She had not got it
ready and asked me to come again the next day. She seemed to be the
worst for drink and to have a very bad cold. I told her she ought to
have something done for it, and she told me that she would not have
anyone interfering with her. In went again on Thursday but could not get
in. My little girl had previously been down, but could not get in. I
went again on Friday and met Mr. Smith and neither of us could make Mrs.
Williams hear. The gas was burning brightly up and down stairs. In
consequence of the anxiety of the neighbours I went to the Police
station. Tow Policemen accompanied me back and got into the house
through the back. They opened the front door, and I went upstairs with
them and in the little room which over looks the street I saw Mrs.
Williams lying on the floor on her right side. She appeared to be dead.
Annie Elizabeth Pay a little girl of about 12, daughter of the last
witness said: Mrs. Williams called me on Wednesday afternoon, and told
me to ask my mother to come down as she had a little washing to give
her. I came with my mother on Wednesday afternoon. She then told me to
go to Mr. Adams in Sbnargate Street and get her two bottles of brandy
and two of port wine. After I got them she asked me to get her an
orange, but owing to it raining I did not go.
Police-sergeant Nash said: Last evening about half past eight, I
accompanied witness Pay from the Police station to Berkely Villas,
Folkestone Road, I went up to the front door. The gas was burning
upstairs and below. I knocked at the door and could not get any answer.
I tried the windows and found that they were all fastened in the front.
I then went through the adjoining house and got over into the back yard.
I found that the house was all secure. I obtained a knife and pressed
back the catch of the kitchen window. Police-constable Cook and I got
into the house and opened the front door and let Mrs. Pay in. We then
went upstairs. As soon as I got on the top step I saw the deceased lying
full length on the floor by the couch in the front room. She was lying
on her right arm. I found that she was cold and stiff. I had her put on
the bed in the next room and at once sent for Dr. Walters. On the
dressing room table, in the room in which we found her, there was a
nearly full bottle of brandy, also a decanter of port wine, and a wine
glass half full of brandy. The house was all in order.
Dr. J. Marshall said he had attended the deceased’s late husband, and
also the deceased since her husband’s death. He last saw her on the 25th
of September. There was a great alteration in her, and she appeared to
be very weak. He sent her some medicine, but, on each occasion, the
messenger could not make anyone hear. He had not seen her since
September. She was then suffering from debility, resulting from
excessive drinking. He tried to persuade her to have someone to live
with her but she refused.
Mr. Walters said he was called on Friday night to the deceased. He
examined the body of the deceased and the only mark he could find was a
slight abrasion of the nose. She had not been dead for more than 24
hours as rigor mortis had not set in. It was rather difficult to say
what death arose from, but he thought it resulted from syncope.
The Coroner said he knew the deceased well, and had acted as her late
The Jury returned a verdict according to the medical evidence.
From the Dover Express and East Kent Intelligencer, 28 March, 1902. Price 1d.
Henry Davis and George Adams, gunners of the royal Artillery, were
charged with breaking the windows of the “Priory Hotel,” on Thursday
night, and doing damage to the value of 8/-.
James White, landlord of the “Priory Hotel,” stated that about half-past
eleven he heard a crash of glass outside his house. Looking through the
window he saw the two soldiers climbing over the gate at the Priory
Yard. On making an examination, he found that a window on the corner
door had been broken. Ten minutes later the men were brought back to the
house by some railway servants , but again sought to escape. He assessed
the damage at 8/-.
Police Constable Kirns said he was on duty in Clarendon Road the
previous evening, and hearing an alarm went after the men, and found one
of the prisoners in an area at the back of Effingham Villas and the
other man was arrested in Effingham Street. Davis was in his shirt
sleeves, and he had a pint bottle of beer on him.
Police Constable Vincent said he was on duty at the priory Station at
11.30 the previous evening, and there came a report that the prisoner
had been breaking windows. He went out and stopped Adams, and he said he
would not suffer for another man’s crime. Davis, who had come up, said,
“Here, chum, it was your fault as much as mine.”
In reply to the Bench Davis said he knew nothing about it; and Adams
said he did not break the glass.
The Officer in attendance said both men were enlisted last year. There
was nothing serious against them.
They were both sent to Canterbury Prison for 14 days hard labour.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 8 April, 1927. Price 1½d.
THEFT FROM HOTEL TILL
Rosie Alice Dawkins (21), Hillside Cottages, Lydden, was charged with
stealing 4s. from the till at the “Priory Hotel,” between April 5th, and
Mr. W. H. Rolfe, “Priory Hotel,” said prisoner was the kitchen maid and
had been with them for about 8 months. He had been missing money, and
being suspicious, on Tuesday he placed £1 in silver in the till, four
half crowns, and five two shilling pieces. They were all marked. Later
in the day he found only 18s. only, left. The following day he placed
24s. 6d., marked, in silver, and two 10s. notes, also marked, in the
presence of Detective Cadman. Nothing happened to this. On Thursday he
found 2s. 6d. gone, having placed the same coins in as on Wednesday.
Jessie Hill, Commercial Room Maid, at the “Priory Hotel,” said, from
instructions she received she asked the prisoner to lend he 2s. She did
so, lending her the 2s. piece (produced), which was marked. She handed
this to Mrs. Rolfe.
Sergeant Cadman said, on Thursday he saw the prisoner at the hotel, and
told her there was half a crown missing. She said she had not taken it
and gave him permission to examine her coins. He found a half crown
piece, which was identified by Mr. Rolfe. When he showed her the marked
coins she admitted the theft and was charged. She was released on bail.
Mr. Rolfe asked the Magistrates to deal leniently with the prisoner.
Prisoner was bound over for 6 months.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 17 January, 1936.
At the Dover Licensing Transfer Sessions, held on Friday last, a
music and singing licence was granted to Kate Fanny Tomlinson, licensee
of the "Priory" Hotel, Priory Station Road, Dover.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 29 September 1939.
Henry William Sutton, Priory Hotel, Station Approach, was fined 10s.
for allowing light to show from the hotel at 8.15 p.m. on 4th September.
P.C. Steggles said that the light was coming from the public bar
door, which was wide open.
Defendant said that he opened the door to let some fresh air in as
the place was like an oven. He had had the lights attended to since.
In the 1901 Post Office Directory
it was stated that Gardner and Co., Ash brewery had an office and stores
next to the pub. The local manager being W. Spain. (Click
This Whitbread House closed in 1988 and the following years saw much done
by way of alteration and renovation before being reopened by Tony and Julie
Butts on 4 May 1991.
From the Dover Express 3 May 1991.
PRIORY HOTEL IS BACK ON THE RIGHT TRACK
The Priory Hotel, opposite Dover railway station, is well and truly back
on the rails after a massive refurbishment.
The inn had been closed for
18 months and was in an extremely dilapidated state when taken over by
First Resort Ltd. Now former regulars will find it totally
unrecognisable from the Priory of old and tourists and other newcomers
will be in for a pleasant surprise.
What they WILL NOT find is "plastic" decor, blaring juke boxes and
countless slot machines. What they WILL discover is a tastefully
decorated, classic-style pub with ample car parking.
Step into the
Priory and enjoy the ambience heightened by the bar's brass and mahogany
fittings. Here the top quality bar food and wide selection of beers and
wines can be enjoyed.
A great deal of attention has been paid to the structure of the building,
utilising internal space to make more use of rooms than in the past.
Whether arriving by train or car, visitors staying at the hotel will
find delightful country-style pine rooms which satisfy the big demand in
Dover for first class accommodation at value for money. As well as en
suite bathrooms, satellite television and
direct dial telephones are also available. Food is
served all day.
The young licensees of the Priory are Tony and Julie Butts, who are au
fait with the Dover pub scene, having run the seafront Britannia for 18
months. Tony, 31, said of their latest venture: "Although a large amount
of money has been spent on the refurbishment we will be concentrating on
value and a high standard of
"We would much rather be full of people enjoying the
surroundings and atmosphere at reasonable prices than empty and paying
extortionate prices often found in the plastic pubs that abound."
Dover already has a large number of foreign tourists passing through the town
and Tony and Julie are expecting an even bigger influx as the 1992
single European market
"We have already had many inquiries from tourists and
cross-Channel commuters who have welcomed a good quality coaching inn to
the area,' said 26-year-old Julie.
The considerable task of converting
the Priory Hotel into its present pristine state fell to Berkeley
Construction, of Margate, who have gained a reputation for top-notch
From the Dover Express, Thursday, 13
October, 2011. 60p
BAND'S UK TOUR
"Priory Hotel" owner Eric Alton (second left) with Slovenian band
A TOP Slovenian band has played its first-ever UK concert in Dover.
Elvis Jackson played to a packed house at the "Priory Hotel" last
week in the first of its planned UK gigs.
Formed in 1997, the band has released several albums. The first was
1999's "Move Your Feet It's One O'clock," which has been promoted in
Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands and, in cooperation
with Italian record company Rude Rec, in Italy, Spain and Japan.
The four-piece group has travelled across Europe to perform at some
600 shows and they now hope to crack the UK market with their own brand
of rock music.
Vocalist David Kovŝca, guitarist Boŝtjan
Belttram, bass guitarist Erik Makuc and drummer Marko Sorŝak
have more dates in Southampton, Guildford, Norwich, Basingstoke and
"Priory Hotel" owner Eric Alton hopes to persuade them to return to
his venue for another performance when the band travel back through
Dover on their way home to Slovenia next week.
From the East Kent Mercury, 19 April, 2012
Scottish society celebrates 125th anniversary.
Eric Alton, owner of Priory Hotel, centre with president Hell Farquhar
and Mayor Ronnle Phllpott.
DOVER and East Kent Scottish Society celebrated its 125th anniversary
with a buffet at the "Priory Hotel," Dover, the previous headquarters of
the society after the Second World War.
Dover Mayor Cllr Ronnie Philpott presented the society with a £500
cheque from Dover Town Council to help towards a publication to celebrate
the 125th anniversary. It will be launched at the annual meeting on May 26
at The Triangle Centre. Dover, at 2.30pm.
The Mayor also presented bouquets to the longest-serving women, Betty
Toop, Molly Hutchison, and Margaret Becks.
Hotel owner Eric Alton was also presented with a certificate, including
an original article announcing the first meeting at the hotel after the
Neil Farquhar, president of the society, will also be making history
this year by becoming the longest-serving president since the war.
Committee member Harry Hutchison will become the longest serving on the
committee since the war, after 44 years of service.
DOVER and East Kent Scottish Society celebrated its 125th anniversary with
a buffet at the Priory Hotel, Dover, the previous headquarters of the
society after the Second World War.
TOMLIN John May/1877-Nov/79
GOLDING Alfred Nov/1879-Jan/80
NASH Alfred Jan/1880+
Maidstone Hotel keeper)
NASH Robert 1882+
WARD James 1889-95
JEFFREY D to Nov/1900
WHITE John James Harrison Nov/1900-22 dec'd
WHITE Mrs L M 1922-24+
ROLFE William Henry 1925-27 end
STEWARD Edward Snood 1927-28 end
PETTS Alfred William 1928-32+
THRESS Mrs 1933
LAND Mrs Amelia 1933-Nov/35
TOMLINSON Mrs Kate Fanny Nov/1935-Dec/37
WRIGHT Horace Dec/1937-Oct/38
(Licensed victualler from St. Leonard on Sea)
SUTTON Henry William Oct/1938-49
FAGG WaIter William 1949-Mar/54 end
FERNLEY Leslie William Mar/1954
HEARNDEN Charles F 1964-67
MARTIN Charles J 1968
MARTIN Mrs J 1971
HOSSICK David I A 1974
BUTTS Tony 1991-92 dec'd
ALTON Eric 2011+
From Melville's Directory 1858
From the Post Office Directory 1874
From the Post Office Directory 1882
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1889
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1895
From the Post Office Directory 1901
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1923
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1924
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1932-33
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1938-39
From Pikes Dover Blue Book 1948-49
From the Dover Express