70 Cheriton High Street
Above photograph kindly supplied by Jan Pedersen, 1978.
Above photo showing the White Lion in Cheriton, date unknown.
Picture taken from Google Maps 2010.
Above photo kindly sent by Phil Nicholson, 29 November, 2012.
Above showing the sign to the "White Lion" just out of picture on the
left. Date unknown.
"White Lion" date unknown, by kind permission of the "Black
Earliest mention as the "White Lion" is in 1855, but there is a chance
this could also have been the "Red Lion" and going back to 1717 and perhaps
earlier from a mention in Thomas Baker's Quarry Book of the same year.
From the Folkestone Chronicle 27 April, 1861. Transcribed by Jan Pedersen.
Wednesday April 24th:- Before Charles Harwood, Esq., Judge.
Dawson v Benjamin Collins: This was an action for £1 6s 8d for meal
supplied to the defendant, who recently kept the "White Lion Inn" at
Cheriton. The defendant did not appear. Ordered to be paid forthwith.
From the Folkestone Observer 17 May, 1862. Transcribed by Jan Pedersen.
STEALING A WHIP
Wednesday May 14th:- Before General Sandlands.
Henry Greening was brought up and charged with stealing a whip of the
value of 2s. 6d., the property of William Godfrey, of Cheriton, on 12th
Mr. Fox of Dover appeared for the prisoner.
James Ellis Smith, K.C.C., on the 12th instant went in pursuit of the
prisoner, and met him on Grace Hill, Folkestone, and said to him “I must
take you into custody on a charge of stealing a whip”. He said “I don't
know anything about stealing a whip; I know nothing about a whip being
stolen”. Witness then reached forward onto his wagon and found the whip
produced. It was under a sack or nose bag, and four inches of it could
be seen. The prisoner's wife was sitting on top of the things covering
the whip. When witness was pulling the whip out prisoner said “Ah, that
whip Tom Pay gave to me at The "White Lion." I was going to take the
whip back again when I had gone round there”. Witness did not see any
other whip there. He met the prisoner in the street at Dover last night
and was about passing him when either he or his wife beckoned him, and
he said “You are after me, I suppose”, or words to that effect, and he
then said “Well I was just coming round to the "Royal
Oak"”. Witness understood Pay's proper name was Fagg.
William Godfrey, labourer, living at Folkestone, on Monday last went
into the "White lion," at Cheriton, between 12 and 1 o'clock. Two of
Pickford's carriages stood outside. Witness went in and had a pint of
beer, and laid his whip down on the form in the tap room – the whip
produced was the one he laid down. He saw a man pick it up and give it
to the prisoner in the room – the prisoner walked out with it. Witness
went out after him and saw him put it under his seat and drive away. The
value of the whip was 2s. 6d. When the man gave the whip to the prisoner
he did not say anything. Witness did not think it was taken by mistake.
He had been convicted of felony himself – it was 10 or 15 years ago.
For the defence Mr. Fox called Alfred Fagg, who said he lived at
Folkestone, and was in the employ of Messrs. Pickford & Co. The prisoner
was also in their service. On Monday, between 12 and 1 o'clock, witness
met the prisoner at the "White Lion," between the Camp and Folkestone.
They were employed in carrying luggage between the Folkestone station
and the Camp. They went in to get some beer. He saw the prisoner lay
some money down on the table; the prosecutor picked it up and put it in
his mouth. The prisoner said “That is my money”; the prosecutor then
said “I always pick up all that lays in my way”. After they had drunk
the beer they both came out of the house. Before they came witness
picked up the whip produced, from off a form between the prisoner and
himself – the prosecutor could see what they were doing. Witness either
handed the whip to the prisoner or took it out and threw it on the straw
in the wagon. He thought it was the prisoner's whip.
Thomas Greaves, clerk to Messrs. Pickford & Co. at Dover said the
prisoner was employed by him yesterday delivering goods out of the Dover
Hoy. The prisoner returned to Dover about half past 10 o'clock on Monday
night. He had been in their service about 3 months – he had been a
steady, honest, sober and industrious man.
The prisoner was discharged.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 March, 1874. Price 1d.
IN LIQUIDATION, DOVER, KENT
Important sale of an old-established and well-arranged BREWERY, together
with 13 Freehold and Leasehold Public and Beer-houses, a Private
Residence, Malt-house, Stabling, &c.
WORSFOLD, HAYWARD, & Co. Have received instructions from the Trusteee of the Estate of Mr. G. S.
Page (in liquidation by arrangement, in connection with the Mortgagees,
to Sell by Auction, at the “Royal Oak Hotel,” Dover, on Tuesday, 24th
March, 1874, at three o’clock precisely, in one or right lots, the
following important and Valuable Property.
A valuable long Lease hold, Country Roadside, Public-house, known as the
“White Lion,” Cheriton. Situate near to Shorncliffe Camp and within a
mile and a half of Folkestone.
In 1899 owners George Beer brewers of Canterbury decided the pub needed
rebuilding and when completed by Mr. Adcock of Dover who incidentally built
the "Metropole Hotel" on the lease and the pavilion on the Promenade pier in
Dover, from plans by Mr. Jennings of Canterbury, it had one of the largest
bar areas in the country, capable of satisfying the needs of 400 customers,
and also space for men and women only bars, billiards and a clubroom.
Troops from the nearby Shorncliffe barracks frequented the premises
during both world wars and during the second world war the army commandeered
a large back room and placed a gun in the school play-ground next door. The
troops at the time were not allowed to venture into the town any further
than this pub, but were allocated a supply of beer for them at this pub.
The pub changed ownership to Fremlins during Joseph Smiles reign.
Incidentally he ran the public house with his son Roy.
From an email received 18 April, 2011
My Grandfather Reginald Peters operated The White Lion, 70
Cheriton High Street, Cheriton, Folkestone, Kent for many years.
I remember this pub vividly as a boy. It is where I grew up.
My brother was born up-stairs on the 2nd floor.
My Great grand mother also died on the same floor. I think she was
It used to be a beautiful building and most fascinating to a young
boy although the cellars were a bit scary.
We have family photos of The White Lion and Reg Peters (grandad). Its
very sad to see it bricked up.
It once had lovely etched windows and beautiful fittings in the bars.
Also my Great Grand father, Reg's dad, ran the pub Morning Star, 48
Boxley Rd, Maidstone but I have no information about him other than
Below are two photos, one of me as a tot with Reg's dog.
and one of Reg and Tess (nana and grandad). Both photos are in the
back garden of the white lion around 1966.
Regards Will Peters,
From an email received 20 January,
Reg and Tess Peters were my grandparents too. They ran a “respectable
establishment” – no drunkenness or swearing allowed!
It’s so nice to see a picture of their dog, Bruce again, too. Bruce
is my first memory of a beloved pet.
My dad and mum (Reg’s daughter) were married at the pub in 1962, and
I have memories of being allowed “Babycham” at the counter (and crisps).
As my coz, Will, said, it’s so sad to see the place bricked up.
Does anyone have information on the British law that has resulted in
the premises being closed?
Apparently if there is a crime committed, a premises is shut down? I
would appreciate any further information for research purposes.
The pub was renamed "Banjos" in 1988, but apparently wasn't a success
under this name and Chamberlain was declared bankrupt in 1991 and the
following year the pub reverted back to the "White Lion."
Tony Leeves allowed the Den Community Church to hold Sunday services on
the premises in1996 before opening time.
Latterly the pub again changed chains to be under control by Shepherd
Neame. 2006 witnessed an 18 year old man shot in the leg while drinking at
the pub and due to the firearms offence Shepherd Neame closed the pub.
From the BBC News Website 14 May 2006
INQUIRY AFTER MAN IS SHOT IN LEG
Police were talking to witnesses at the pub on Saturday.
Police have been given more time to question a man over a shooting at
a pub in a Kent town on Friday evening.
An 18-year-old man is still being treated in hospital for a leg
injury after being shot at the White Lion pub, Cheriton High Street,
Armed police were called to the scene and the pub was cordoned off
for forensic inquiries on Saturday.
A 35-year-old local man was arrested and is being held on suspicion
of causing grievous bodily harm.
He can be questioned for another 36 hours until Monday night.
From a Twitter comment, 21 February, 2008, by BOB
Well I live opposite saw the whole damn thing pretty sick stuff.
But then the gang got really out of hand hells-angels I think crazy
There was guns, knifes, baseball bats, one guy even had a
molotov cocktail which he failed to light but great effort.
stage I ran for my cam-corder. Returned with all my haste to find the
police had turned up to break up the party.
So I began to record when
a police officer saw me at the window and began walking towards my front
door. OOps! I opened the front door and he requested I hand over my cam
for evidence. Which upon this request I refused and hence got tazered.
Unfortunately for the police officer he managed to destroy all
recordings on the cam.
What a Cock .... Thanks Yours Faithfully BOB.
Twitter reply 22 February 2008 by Harbourmaster.
That was 2 years ago. I don't think you got tazered. I smell BULLSHIT BOB.
The pub is still closed today, 2010, but in October 2007, there was talk
about redeveloping the area.
From the Liberal Democrats website, 10 October 2007
WHITE LION REDEVELOPMENT REJECTED BY SHEPWAY COUNCIL.
Local residents were delighted last night. Plans for the
redevelopment of the White Lion site on the junction of Cheriton High
Street and Chilham Road, Folkestone, was rejected by Shepway Development
Control due to concerns on the impact on parking locally. The plans were
for a block for accommodation for 16 students plus 4 terraced houses on
Cheriton Councillor Tim Prater spoke on behalf of Folkestone Town
Council. The Town Council supported the basic application, but had
strong concerns about the impact of parking on local residents. Local
residents were also represented by local resident Michelle Baines who
spoke against the development due to the increased pressure in would put
on parking locally.
Michelle outlined the horrendous difficulties of parking in Chilham
Road now, with many local residents forced to park streets away.
The developer had made a number of changes to the scheme from the
initial application including inclusion of CCTV and a 24 hour on site
concierge in the student accommodation which were welcomed, but the
issue of the impact on parking was not felt to have been sufficiently
Councillor Prater said: "Folkestone Town Council has considered this
application, and wants to be clear that it has difficulties with this
development only regarding the implications for parking for local
"Chilham Road has 24 houses, none of which have off-road parking or
"Although this new development contains 11 parking paces, these will
be behind security controlled gates and access strictly controlled. It
is likely therefore that the four houses in the development that face
Chilham Road will only be permitted access for one car most of the time,
and any additional cars for those houses will be parked on the street.
"Equally, the development requires the creation of a 3.4 m wide
access road to the rear parking area which does not currently exist off
Chilham Road, which will in itself reduce the amount of parking
available in Chilham Road.
"The development already passed by this Committee in 2005 on the
other side of the road already introduces 19 new flats and houses into
the area, with 21 new parking spaces.
"Crucially however, in that development, 6 houses are built in a run
on Chilham Road, each of which have their parking spaces at the front of
the houses, therefore reducing significantly one area of existing on
street parking, as it would otherwise block access to those houses
"Chilham Road already has significant parking issues, and the effect
of these developments taken together will hugely worsen the situation.
"The Town Council's view is not that the total number of spaces are
too low for the development itself, but that the development will cause
still more pressure on the current difficult parking for other local
residents. With some creative thinking, this development could help
improve the situation, not worsen it."
COLLINS Benjamin c1855-59
GILBERT William 1859-1862
MITCHELL James 1861-66
CHAPLIN Edward 1866-67
LOVELAND Charles Edward 1867-70
HAMMON(D) Thomas Edward 1870-76 dec'd
HAMMON(D) Mary 1876-82
BALDOCK Henry 1882-99
New pub built
SAUNDERS Joseph Sidney 1899-1902
SMILES Joseph George 1902-18
SMILES Roy 1918-19
SMILES Joseph 1919-26
SMILES Roy 1926-29
MOSS Percy 1929-38
SAMWAY Bert & Lydia 1938-50
PETERS Reginald 1958-Sept/73
ROGERS John & Dena 1976+
CHAMBERLAIN Barry 1982-92
LEEVES Anthony & Hilary 1992-97
BILBERRY-SMITH Ruth 1997-98
OLIVER Linda 1998-99
DOYLE Derek 1999
DOYLE Derek and BYATT Paul 1999-2000
WILSON Patricia 2000
LONG Thomas 2000-01
LILEY Deborah and ORMISTON Robert 2001
BOYLE Shane 2001-02
CONSIDINE Rachel & POPHAM Beryl 2002-04
HAGGER Deborah and HAMMANT Robert 2004+
From Melville's Directory 1858
From the Post Office Directory 1874
From the Post Office Directory 1913
More Tales from the Tap Room by Easdown and Rooney
From More Bastions of the Bar by Easdown and Rooney