Sort file:- Deal, July, 2021.

Page Updated:- Saturday, 31 July, 2021.


Earliest 1828-

(Name from)


Latest 1997

(Name to)

12 Queen Street

9-13 Queen Street Kelly's 1878


Swan 1908

Above postcard, circa 1908.


Above photo, date unknown.

Swan Hotel pre 1938

Above shows the original "Swan Hotel" before being replaced in 1938.

Swan, Deal 1938

Above photo shows the new "Swan Inn" rebuilt in 1938 by the Walmer brewers, Thompson and Sons.

Swans sign 1991Swans sign 1991

Above sign left, 1991, sign right, date unknown.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Swan Hotel 1952

Above photo 1952. Creative Commons Licence.

Swan ledger

Thompson & Son ledger. Creative Commons Licence.

Bob and Ruby Rowe 1970

Above photo circa 1970 showing licensees Bob and Ruby Rowe, kindly sent by grand daughter Freya Rowe.

Bob Rowe 1970

Above photo circa 1970 showing licensee Bob Rowe, kindly sent by grand daughter Freya Rowe.

Swan card 1970

Above card circa 1970 kindly sent by grand daughter Freya Rowe.

Swan card 1970

Above card page 1, circa 1970 kindly sent by grand daughter Freya Rowe.

Swan card 1970

Above card page 2 circa 1970 kindly sent by grand daughter Freya Rowe.

From the Kentish Gazette, 14 October 1845.

"Swan Inn." Henry Pockett.

Begs to return his thanks to his friends and the public generally for the support he has received at the above house, and to acquaint them, that having relinquished the house, he has been succeeded by his brother John Pockett of deal, Coach Proprietor.

All person's having any demand upon Henry Pockett are requested to send account thereof to the office of Mr. H Hulse, solicitor, Deal; and all Person's indebted to him are required forthwith to pay the amount of their respective debts at the same place.

John Pockett.

In commencing businesses as innkeeper, begs to assure the public and those friends who may honour him with their patronage, that's his unremitting attention will be directed towards their comfort and conveyance.

Excellent livery stables, with good lock-up Coach House, &c &c. Queen Street, 6, Oct. 1845.


From the Deal, Walmer and Sandwich Mercury, 20 April, 1872.


7 acres of Lucern, Mill Road, to be sold by auction at the "Swan Inn."

(Lucern, incidentally, is a flowering plant of the pea family, cultivated as an important forage crop, and otherwise known as Alfalfa, it resembles clover with clusters of small purple flowers. Paul Skelton.)


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 25 June, 1872. 1d.


A man giving the name of James Watts was brought up for being drunk and sleeping in the coach-house of the "Swan Inn."

P.C. Pettet said: I was on duty this morning about half-past two in Queen Street, in company with Sergeant Spicer. On going by the "Swan Inn" we noticed that the door of the coach-house was open, and we went in to see if anyone was about the premises. We found the prisoner lying asleep on some ruffled straw. After some trouble we succeeded in waking him, and he then told us in reply to our questions that he did not know how he came there. He was drunk, but after a bit he was able to walk to the station-house.

The Supt. said the landlord of the "Swan Inn" did not wish to prosecute.

Prisoner, in reply to Magistrates, said he was a native of Wiltshire, and was tramping round in search of work as a labourer. He had worked in a lead manufactory, but could not stand it. He had worked five days at Sandwich the previous week.

The Magistrates ordered him to be seen out of the town forthwith.


From the East Kent Mercury, 21st October, 1981


The "Swan Hotel" in Queen Street, Deal was built in 1694 - five years before Deal received its Charter - and was called the "Five Bells." It gave its title to the thoroughfare we know as Queen Street, for it was then called Five Bells Lane.

Within 50 years the hostelry had changed its name to the "Swan" and the first known record of a licensee is a Mr Brockman, who transferred the license to Harry Pockett in 1840.

The "Swan" was famous as a posting house and had stabling for almost 40 horses. At the last great agricultural show held on Victoria Park, over 100 horses were tethered at the "Swan." In 1881 it was virtually destroyed by fire and some valuable horses belonging to the Chipperfield's circus were badly burned.

Among those who stayed at the "Swan is Charles Dickens, who is said to have written some chapters of David Copperfield whilst lodging there.


From the East Kent Mercury, January 7, 1988.

Tony Arnold takes a look back in time.

Street with a busy past.

Queen Street is one of Deal's busiest streets with traffic lights at both ends, and so it has always been. Centuries ago when the thoroughfare was known as Five Bells Lane, there was a toll gate roughly where the railway bridge stands.

The flow of traffic in Queen Street became so great in the 1930s "as to involve real danger to pedestrians". So in the New Year of 1933 Down Town Council began widening work.

The office of the East Kent Mercury was not disturbed but all property on that side of the road from the EKM office to the High Street was demolished.

When the East Kent Mercury moved into Queen Street it took over a residential property as offices. Its front garden was paved – and so the property did not have to close down.

But among those which were demolished was the office of S. Olds, who, before the coming of the railway, operated horse drawn coaches, and then – moving with the times – introduced taxis to Deal. The business moved into West Street.

Queen Street was once Deal's premier residential street, dominated by Admiralty House, official home of the Port Admiral. This disappeared to become an Odeon cinema, and on the site today stands a snooker club and a wine bar.

One building which has not changed is the office of Williamson and Barnes, the solicitors, which was used for sittings of local and county courts. It was built as a bank.

Another property which has not changed very much is Neville House, once the residence of Mr G. H. Denne, the builder, and for many years the offices of Deal Town Council and Dover District Council. What will happen to it now remains to be seen.

The oldest building in Queen Street was the Swan Hotel, now, of course, rebuilt and modernised. The Swan was built in 1694 – five years before Deal received its Charter – and was named The Five Bells, giving its name to road which is now Queen Street.

The Swan was the posting house for Deal and had stabling for almost 40 horses. It is a local legend that Charles Dickens stayed at The Swan, and while there penned some of the most moving chapters of David Copperfield.

Article kindly sent to me from Patricia Streater.



It was also reported in H S Chapman, "Deal Past and Present 1890, that when repairing the pub in about 1890, a dated stone was found showing 1694.


From the East Kent Mercury, 5 August, 1999.

Not a lot of people know ... by L.W. Cozens

... that during repairs and renovations to the old "Swan Inn" in Queen Street in 1937, its former name being the "Five Bells," a cast iron plaque was found bearing the date 1694. Beneath the old Swan were large cellars, each with holes in the walls for candles.


It is said by David G Collyer that Charles Dickins visited Deal for the opening of the new railway in July 1847 and attended a reception to celebrate that event, held at this pub.

By 1939 this establishment had the address 42 and 44 Queen Street.

An outlet for Charrington & Co. in 1974. Library archives 1974

This public house has now changed name on the 10 September 1997 to the "Hole in the Roof."


From the Dover Mercury, 23 August 2017. By Steve Glover and Andrew Sargent

The old Hole in the Roof, due to reopen in the coming days as the "Queen Street Tap," can claim to be Deal’s oldest pub - if one ignores the fact that the premises were completely rebuilt in the 1930s.

In 1890, workmen repairing the building found a stone dated 1694.

It is likely that the "Five Bells," as it then was, did indeed date back to the 17th century. Certainly its position in the magistrates’ registers suggests that by 1820 only the "Black Horse" on Lower Street, now known as High Street, was thought to be older.

In the 18th century the "Five Bells" not only served beer but brewed it as well. This was very common in Georgian times.

In some parts of the country “brew pubs” flourished for another 100 years, but in 19th century Kent the breweries came to dominate the drink trade.

The "Five Bells" stood on what was then Five Bells Lane. This became Queen Street around 1800, and in the 1820s landlord Brockman Beal changed the name of the pub to the Swan. (I have this as William Ladd in 1824. Paul Skelton.)

By now the house was owned by the larger of the two Deal breweries.

Mr Beal promoted his house as a “commercial inn and posting house”, and certainly the success of the Swan Hotel - as it soon formally became - was based on the accommodation, stables and carriage space it could offer to visitors, and on the hiring of ponies and traps.

In 1838 the Swan’s outbuildings could accommodate 20 horses and six coaches, and many more animals could be packed into the yard if necessary. In 1900 the hotel itself had eight bedrooms, and two on the ground floor, a “commercial room”, sitting room, smoking room, a bar with two entrances and a bar parlour.

Nationally, the arrival of the railways usually marked the decline of the large coaching inns. But the opening of the line from Deal to Minster in 1847, and the decision to build the station round the corner from the Swan, seem if anything to have boosted its fortunes.

It did its reputation no harm that Charles Dickens was said to have stayed there when visiting the town to witness the opening of the new line.

In 1887, landlord Arthur Webster took pains to set out his stall (so to speak) in the local directory: “very old established, one minute from the station, family & commercial, livery & bait stables, ponies & traps, masonic banquets & garden parties etc supplied with every necessary”.

Some landlords had other strings to their bows. George Rolfe was a horse dealer - which made sense - while his successor in 1871, Vernon Brown from Australia, also traded as a wine and spirits merchant and “agent for Webb’s Superior Mineral Water of Islington”.

Soft drinks almost proved the Swan’s downfall. In 1881 fire broke out at an adjacent building used to bottle mineral water and spread to one of the hotel stables. The flames were eventually quenched, but a horse worth 200 guineas belonging to Sanger’s circus had to be put down.

The house seems generally to have been well run, but trouble could still occur. In 1842, for example, the watch committee awarded PC Edward Browning 110s in compensation for injuries sustained in the line of duty when confronting a belligerent soldier in the Swan.

In 1908 Eliza Mackenzie was given a week’s hard labour for drunkenness at the Swan “in company with a gentleman from the fleet”. In response to her claim that she had intended to lead him back to his ship, the magistrate commented dryly that “I have no doubt you were going to lead him on”.

In 1874 the brewers, Hills and Sons, refurbished parts of the hotel and added a smoking room. The work was carried out by the local builders W & G Denne at the modest cost of 5,910s.

In 1901 Thompson & Son of Walmer bought the Hills brewery estate, took possession of the Swan and advertised their ownership and their products on a large sign on the side wall. The change of ownership and beer aside, business probably continued much as before.

The Swan is a rare example of a Deal pub to have been completely rebuilt between the two world wars. The initiative came from the council, who persuaded the reluctant brewers to demolish the old building to facilitate the widening of Queen Street.

In April 1937 the Mercury carried a rather poignant notification of the auction of superfluous items from the old building. These included “mirrors and overmantles, antique Trafalgar seat, easy Windsor and other chairs, excellent Pianoforte, pictures, copper spirit jugs... and a nearly new 5-pull Beer Engine”.

The new Swan Hotel soon took the place of the old, set back several feet from the original site. Thompson could at least now boast of “a thoroughly up-to-date hotel in every respect... hot and cold water in every bedroom... handsomely and comfortably furnished throughout”.

Thompson was swallowed up by Charrington’s in the early 1950s but the Swan Hotel it remained until the name was shortened to Swans in 1985.

In May 1997 Swans in turn became the "Hole in the Roof," and a 160,000 refit followed in 1999. Over the years it became a popular and successful live music venue.

The original name of the previous building, "Five Bells," was later taken up by a pub in Middle Street. This closed in 1959. It nearly made a welcome return as the name of Wetherspoon’s new pub in Queen Street, but a local campaign persuaded the company to call it The "Sir Norman Wisdom" instead.



Last pub licensee had LADD William 1824+ Deal Licensing Register

Last pub licensee had BEAL Brockman 1828-40+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839Pigot's Directory 1840

POCKETT Henry "Harry" 1840-Oct/45 (age 25 in 1841Census)

POCKETT John (brother) Oct/1845-47+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847

WARD Thomas 1851+ (age 48 in 1851Census)

ROLFE George pre 1871 (also horse dealer)

BROWN Vernon 1871-74+ Post Office Directory 1874

GARNER Charles Banks 1878+ Kelly's 1878

GARNER Mrs 1881-1882+ Post Office Directory 1882

KEYS George 1891+ Post Office Directory 1891

YOUNG Horace 1899-1903+ Kelly's 1899Kelly's 1903

YOUNG Miss C A 1908+ (Pikes 1908 Old Swan Hotel)

ROTHWELL Frederick 1908-37+ Post Office Directory 1913Deal library 1914Post Office Directory 1922Kelly's 1934

GREEN Albert & June 24/Apr/1937-52+ Post Office Directory 1938

FOSTER C W 1952-64+

ROWE John & Ruby 1970+

STEVENS Peter J & SHARP A W Library archives 1974 Charrington & Co


Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

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

Pigot's Directory 1839From the Pigot's Directory 1839

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Kelly's 1878From the Kelly's Directory 1878

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Pikes 1908From Pikes 1908

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Deal library 1914Deal Library List 1914

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Deal Licensing RegisterDeal Licensing Register



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