Sort file:- Folkestone, August, 2022.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 August, 2022.


Earliest 1462

Thistle & Shamrock

Latest 1729

 2 George Lane


Thistle and Shamrock

Former "Thistle and Shamrock. Photo taken by Paul Clarke and taken from web site.

Former Thistle and Shamrock

Above photo, date unknown, by Darkstar.


Probably the oldest recorded public house in Folkestone, although seen on three separate sites during its long history, dating from 1462 and mentioned in town records of 1525, then situated in what was called the Mercery, now Church Street.

1729 it went under the name of the "George Inn."


Folkestone Herald 2 October 1997.

Local News.

One of Shepway's oldest pubs is set for a relaunch offering people a taste of the Emerald Isle and Scottish Highlands. The Cheker, in George Lane, Folkestone, dates back to 1426, and has now been refitted and renamed the Thistle and Shamrock. Famous drinkers are said to have included Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells and William Harvey. Landlady Caroline Andrewartha, originally from Scotland, is looking forward to the opening. She added “There will be a fabulous atmosphere”. The new pub officially opens for business on Saturday, October 4.


Folkestone Herald 23 October 1997.

Advertising Feature.

On Saturday, 4 October, Folkestone saw the transformation of its oldest ale house (The Cheker) into The Thistle and Shamrock.

Since the successful opening, the customer base has grown, and landlady Caroline says ”We constantly see lots of new faces coming back for more”. The variety of live bands appearing, combined with the authentic Celtic atmosphere is obviously payi8ng off!

The history of the ale house dates back to 1426 when, as The Cheker, people used to come and pay their taxes. Failure to pay meant people would be locked in the cells below or even hanged. Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells and William Harvey are all supposed to have drank there.

Caroline moved to Folkestone from Scotland in 1979, and this is not the first ale house she's been in. With over ten years experience in the trade, she always dreamt of owning a free-house of her own. When The Cheker came up for sale last year, Caroline knew this was the pub for her, and could see so much potential and character in the building.

The Thistle and Shamrock, situated in George Lane (behind the Albion Bookshop) has been totally transformed and now boasts a wood floor and cable spool tables, together with a great selection of Celtic beers and spirits. Celtic bar snacks are available, which include Scotch Broth, Irish Stew, and Stovies, all served with crust bread ,and being ideal winter warmers.

Caroline has been overwhelmed by the positive comments from both old and new customers and feels that she is providing the public of Folkestone with what they need – a very comfortable and relaxed atmosphere where anyone can feel free to call in for a quick cup of coffee, especially when out on those often laborious Christmas shopping trips!

Caroline wants to encourage shoppers to take advantage of the open fire which is now being lit every day, and during the festive season will be serving home-made game soup, pheasant and grouse, original bar snacks, rabbit stew, etc. Each day in December will be like Christmas Day, with plenty of food, drink and music, and if you are a local band, Caroline is keen to hear from you!

If you still require an office Christmas Party venue and can't decide where to go, The Thistle and Shamrock could be the ideal place for you. Call Caroline, who will be only too pleased to inform you of her Christmas and New Year listings.


Folkestone Herald 8 January 1998.

Local News.

Folkestone landlords have backed a Government proposal to lower the drink-drive limit, despite the effect it may have on their takings. Ministers are considering plans to lower the existing limit from 80 mg of alcohol per 100 mg of blood to 50, bringing the laws in line with the Continent. They are also looking at the idea of introducing a two-tier system, with motorists who are found to be just over the limit receiving lesser penalties.

The lower levels, which are equivalent to just one pint of beer, are yet another thing to hit landlords' coffers. Bootlegging has greatly affected pub takings, with gangs stocking up with beer from abroad and selling it off at cut-price rates. But, say landlords, the new restriction will not be the latest thing to hit the pubs.

Steve Lloyd, manager of the Pullman pub in Church Street, said “Drink affects people differently, so the only way to stop drink-driving is to ban it completely. I don't think this will affect our takings because we sell a lot of alternatives like coffee soft drinks and low alcohol lager. They will help make up the difference. But this two-tier system is stupid. Nobody knows when they've had too much. It just wouldn't work”.

And Caroline Andrewartha, landlady of the Thistle and Shamrock in Rendezvous Street (sic), believes that country pubs will be worst hit. She said “It won't affect me so badly because I'm in the town centre. But country pubs will suffer because people usually have to drive to get to them. I was really busy over the New Year, but a lot of people were talking about having parties indoors. This, together with the bootlegging, has hit us very hard. But money isn't a question when it comes to drink-driving, because it's more important that people aren't hurt”.

And the police are encouraged that landlords have given the plans the thumbs-up. Spokesman Stuart Donaldson said “The police's position has always been very clear – don't drink and drive. We would welcome any new law that lowers the risk of people dying on the road. The new plans make it absolutely clear about how much you can drink when you're driving. Unfortunately there's still a hard core of people who don't take any notice of the law, which is even more of a reason why these new levels should be introduced”.




ANDREWARTHA Caroline 1997-98

ANDREWARTHA Caroline & BRENNAN Patrick 1998-2001

ANDREWARTHA Caroline & BRERTON Anthony 2001-04

GODDEN Caroline & David 2004+


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