Sort file:- Margate, August, 2021.

Page Updated:- Friday, 06 August, 2021.


Earliest 1768-

Fountain Inn

Latest 1970+

6 Fort Road (1 King Street Pigot's Directory 1832-34)


Original Fountain Inn

Above photos 1870s.

Original Fountain Inn

Above showing the original "Fountain" date unknown.


Apparently there have been two "Fountain Inns" in their time in Fort Road. The earliest being on the corner where the former Bank now stands. (Now 2009, Margate Media Centre.)

The original building can be traced back to 1768 as indicated in the following passage below.

The Thanet Williams Directory of 1849 identifies this as a Family and Commercial Inn and Charles Barham being the victualler as well as wine, spirit, ale and porter merchant.

One time Cobbs tied house. Cobbs were founded in 1673, but Whitbread took them over early 1968 and closed the brewery later that year.


Later, when the original was demolished, a new "Fountain Inn" was erected next door to it. Unfortunately, even that one has now closed and the building demolished.



Above photo, date unknown.

Fountain 1950s

Above photo, 1950s.

Fountain 1970

Above photo showing the latter day "Fountain Inn" 1970.

Former Fountain Inn area

Photos taken date unknown.

Position of Fountain Inn

Above picture from Google Maps, March 2009.

O S Map 1873

Above shows O S Map 1873. "Fountain Inn" is in RED.

O S Map 1966

Above shows O S Map 1966. "Fountain Inn" is in RED. "Fort Brewery Tap" is YELLOW.

Amalgamated photo of the Fountain's

Above pictures shows an amalgamation of the different "Fountains" that have existed. The original was on the corner of King street and was demolished and replaced by Cobbs Bank, later to be taken over by Lloyds. Round the corner in Fort Road, Cobbs brewery used an old wooden building as a replacement.

Replacement Fountain

Above amalgamation showing the replacement "Fountain."


From the Kentish Gazette, Wednesday, 1 June to Saturday, 4 June, 1768. Price 2d


The Flying Machine from Margate to London on One Day, sets off from the “Fountain” at Margate inns at the “Red Lyon” Canterbury, and returns early in the Evening. Those who are pleased to favour this Machine may depend on the Business being performed with Care and Dispatch.

By Beale and Co.


From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, Wednesday, 5 October, to Saturday, 8 October, 1768. Price 2d.


The Race for the Silver Urn, which was to be Run for on Tuesday the 4th inst, is postponed, till Tuesday the 11th inst. upon the Account of the Corn not being got off from the ground.

N.B. A Good Twelve-penny Ordinary, at One o'Clock; at Mr. Biles's the “Fountain Tavern.”


From Kentish Gazette 01 July 1769.

As a scandalous Report has lately been propagated by some malicious Persons, That THE FOUNTAIN-INN, AT MARGATE, Is not open for the Reception of Company.

This is to acquaint the Nobility, Gentry, and others, who intend to visit the Town this Summer, That at the said Inn they may be accommodated with the best of Provisions. Wines, Brandy, Rum, Lodgings, and Stabling, on the lowest Terms, By their humble Servant, JOHN BILES.


From the Kentish Gazette, 7 January 1834. Price 7d.

A Grand Ball will take place at the “Fountain Tavern” on the 15th inst. under the direction of Mr. J. Robinson, assistant conductor of the dancing at the Tivoli Gardens.


From the Kentish Gazette, 26 September 1837.


Louisa, daughter of Mr. W. Read, of the "Fountain Hotel," Margate, in her 21st year.


From the Kentish Gazette, 13 August 1839.


August 3, of consumption, Sarah Anne, daughter of Mr. William Read, "Fountain Hotel," Margate, in her 17th year.


From the Kentish Gazette, 8 March 1842.


On the afternoon of Monday last, Mr. Austen, painter, of High-street, Margate, was assisting in pulling down the wall of the "Fountain Inn," about to be rebuilt, when the portion of the wall on which he was standing gave way, and he was precipitated to the ground and dislocated his ankle.


Kentish Gazette, 27 July 1847.

TO Let with Immediate Possession, the "FOUNTAIN HOTEL," and Commercial Tavern, with the Tap and Stabling, furniture and fittings to be taken at a valuation.

NOTICE:— Unless the above Premises are disposed of immediately, the whole of the Household Furniture, Stock in Trade, &c., will be Sold by Auction under an Assignment on MONDAY the 2nd day of AUGUST, and following days.

J. STANER. Auctioneer, 121, High Street.

Margate, July 22, 1847.


Kentish Gazette, 3 August 1847.



The whole of ike Modern HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, Concert and Coffee Room Fillings, PLATE, LINEN, GLASS, STOCK IN TRADE, Oxenhom’s Patent Mangle, and other Effects, of the "FOUNTAIN TAVERN," WILL BE SOLD BY AUCTION, By Mr. J. STANER, (Under an Assignment). ON the Premises, King Street, MARGATE, on MONDAY, AUGUST 9th, 1847, and two following days, at 10 for 11 o’clock precisely each day.

The FURNITURE and FITTINGS consist of twenty-four superior feather beds, stout hair and wool mattresses, quilts and counterpanes; carved mahogany-pillar four-post, tent, and French bedsteads, with hangings; mahogany-circular and straight-fronted chests of drawers, wardrobe, wash-stands, dressing-tables and swing glasses, rush and cane-seat bedroom chairs, carpets, chamber services, commodes, superior linen sheets. damask table cloths, doylers, towelling, &c., &c.; Oxenhnm’s Patent Mangle, handsome pattern Brussels, Kidderminster, and Venetian carpets; sets of mahogany dining-tahles, two flap ditto, card and Pembroke ditto; sets of mahogany and cane seat chairs; chimney and pier glasses; mirror, an excellent eight-day dial; mahogany sofas and couches; cabinet pianoforte, China ornaments and fittings; mahogany sideboards; an excellent assortment of dinner and and tea services, quantity of superior glass, metal tea-pots and coffee biggins; 12 dozen of knives and forks; capital kitchen utensils, in copper and tin ware, pair of scales and weights, clock, deal tables, chairs. &c.; about 100 ounces of Plate, and a variety of superior Plated Articles.

In the CONCERT and COFFEE ROOMS — Sixteen mahogany-top tables, 41 rush-seat chairs, stools, music stands, and three screensThe STOCK comprises — Quantity of old Port, in bottle and wood; Sherry, ditto, ditto; Champagne, Claret, and Madeira; quantity of Cognac Brandy, Rum, Gin, and Whiskey, choice compounds, &c, &c; about 20lbs. of Cigars, of a superior character; pint and quart bottles, bottle crates, and baskets.

In the STABLE and YARD — Two hogs, quantity of fowls, three sign boards, porter’s barrow, three corn bins, shelves, horse-rugs, sash and panel-doors, &c.May be viewed on the Saturday previous, and on the Morning of the Days of Sale, and Catalogues had on the premises, or of the Auctioneer, 121, High Street, Margate.


South Eastern Gazette, Tuesday 1 May 1849.


The catch club at the "Fountain Tavern," on Thursday evening last, was exceedingly well attended, on the occasion of Mr. Barham's benefit. Several visitors and gentlemen from a distance was present, to testify their approbation of a spirited manner in which the affair has been conducted throughout the winter. The gentleman of the orchestra headed by Mr. Pettman, volunteered their services, and right well was their kindness appreciated by all present when the health of Mr. Pettman was proposed. Hiss excellent singing and pianoforte playing need no comment. Without him and his Ramsgate band the club could not have been established. In the course of the evening the club was announced to be in the prosperous state and would resume again early next winter. If such should be the case, property qualification for favourite seats must be dispensed with.


Kentish Gazette, 12 August 1851.

Margate. Sudden Friendship.

On Thursday last, a commercial traveller stopping at the "White Hart," in Margate, while spending the evening at a convivial meeting at the "Fountain Tavern," entered into conversation with a foreign gentleman, apparently a German. Both parties sitting late, they agree to sleep at the "Fountain" rather than cause a disturbance at their respective Inns.

About 9 o'clock in the morning, the commercial gentleman awoke after a most lengthy refreshing slumber, and proceeded to dress himself, discovered to his dismay that someone had rifled his pockets of their contents.

On enquiry, the German gentleman was seem to leave the house about 6 o'clock, and it was afterwards discovered that he paid his bill at the "York Hotel" from the very purse he had purloined from his friend's pocket. Taking his bag under his arm, he left by the early train, where all traces of him ceased. The lost to the victim in this transaction is 46 11s. 3d.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 15 July 1862.

Margate Borough Police Court.

Wednesday:- (Before the Mayor, T. Blackburn Esq., W. T. Gilder, Esq., R. Jenkins Esq., and the Rev. G. W. Sicklemore.)

A Batch of Publicans.

Charles Frederick Winch, landlord of the "Fountain Inn," was charged with opening his house on Sunday, the 29th ult. at 12:30.

Fined 10s and costs 8s. 6d.


From the Whitstable Times, 2 March 1867. Price 1d.


Rebecca Lambert a pauper, was charged by P.C. Harlow with being drank and riotous in Broad Street, on Friday, the 22nd instant.

P.C. Harlow said; Yesterday afternoon I was on duty at the Police Station at a quarter past one, when I was sent for by Mr. Plant to go to the “Fountain Hotel,” where, he said, a woman was drunk and also refused to leave his house. I went and put her out, and she then laid down in the street; I lifted her up, and requested her to go away, which she refused to do, and commenced Holloaing and screaming in the street, so I took her into custody; she was so very drunk that I was obliged to carry her to the Station-house.

She was discharged, with, a caution.


East Kent Times and Mail, Wednesday 23 September 1970.

Time gents, please.. and the Fountain ‘runs dry’.

Soon the "Fountain" will be just a 'mention' in Thanet’s history books.

A PUB believed to be the oldest in Margate closed its doors for the last time on Tuesday night. Once the headquarters for many of the island’s smugglers the "Fountain Inn" in Fort-road, has had a colourful and chequered career stretching back over three centuries.

But when landlord John Lincoln called last orders at the old wood-built tavern just after 11 p.m. on Tuesday he meant it. Time and the developers have caught up with the picturesque little harbour inn and spelt out it's end.

But though the doors may be closing the "Fountain" will long have a place in the history of Margate.

Its story began way back in the 17th century, maybe earlier, at a time when smuggling was almost considered a legitimate business in the town.

Standing only a few hundred yards from the beach the pub was an ideal haunt for fishermen and the contraband carriers.

Secret tunnels.

And if, as often happened, the 'preventive men' decided to raid the premises there were more ways out than by the front or back door.

The smugglers, no doubt with the full blessing of 'mine lost' of the day, more often than not made good their getaway through the complex honeycomb of secret tunnels below the pub.

Below ground in this part of Margate is a gigantic 'rabbit warren' of escape tunnels and entrances through which contraband was smuggled in by the seafaring rogues of yesteryear.

Though today this vast underground network has been firmly blocked up it originally extended for a radius of something like a 1/4 mile from the old pub.

The "Fountain's" history has also been closely tied up with that of Cobbs, the old Margate brewery which finally shut down last year.

One of the 40 houses originally owned by Cobbs its land backs on to the old brewery site. But even before Francis 'King' Cobb began his business in about 1780 the pub's beer was brewed on this land.

‘Home’ breweries.

Then it was supplied by a number of 'home' breweries set up in houses on the land. Now time has finally caught up with the old pub and it has been closed for demolition and eventually redevelopment.

John Lincoln and his wife Hettie who have been mine hosts for the past two years have moved to the "Flag and Whistle" opposite Margate station.

John & Hettie Lincoln 1970

• Mine hosts John and Hettie Lincoln take over the "Flag and Whistle."

Said John:- "I knew this shut own was coming for a long time. We realised the "Fountain's" life would be limited after the take over.

"But it's still sad when it comes. It marks the end of an era in a town when a pub as old as this and with as much tradition finally shuts.

''As far as I know the "Fountain" is the oldest pub in the town and it has been used for just about everything. "The smugglers and the Fishermen made it their head-quarters in the early days, when it was a coaching inn at one time, a cafe at another.

"When the soldiers left for Waterloo many of them drank their last pint here before going off to die fighting.

"Of course I'm a bit more sentimental about the old place than most people. It's the first pub I've ever had. Before coming here I was a bookmaker in London.

"But despite the short amount of time I've held the licence I've grown very attached to it.

"One thing I would particularly like to do is say thank you to the brewery for the way they've treated us. Whitbreads couldn't have done more to help us in this move. I'm very grateful to them for everything."




The 1861 census shows William Henry Rowe age 26 as servant at the Inn, by 1871 he was licensee of the "Queen's Arms." Next pub licensee had



BILES John 1768-69+ Kentish Gazette

STEVENSON James 1792+

CREED George 1832+

READ William 1826-41+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

READ Susan 1841+ (age 87 in 1841Census)

BARHAM James (Charles) 1849+ Williams Directory 1849

MANTELL John 1851+ (age 61 in 1851Census)

HOLMANS Henry Cox 1851-58+ (age 26 in 1851Census) Melville's 1858

WINCH Frederick Charles 1861-67+ (age 32 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1862

VICKERS William 1874 Post Office Directory 1874

DOUGHTY John Henry 1874-82+ CensusPost Office Directory 1882

JOHNSON Charles William 1901-22+ (age 42 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1922

HORSLEN George 1930+ Post Office Directory 1930

AVIS W M Mrs 1938+ Post Office Directory 1938

STUART Ron & Bett 1960s


Fountain Tap (Fort Road)

GRANT Alfred Henry 1867+

DOUGHTY John Henry 1881-91+

JOHNSON Charles William 1901-03+


Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

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

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938


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