Earliest 1863-

(Name from)

Zetland Arms

Open 2022+

15 South Road (1871Census)


Zetland Arms 2013

Above photo, August 2013, kindly submitted by Joe Neary.

Zetland Arms at Kingsdown Zetland Arms at Kingsdown Zetland Arms Sign at KingsdownZetland Arms Sign at Kingsdown Zetland Arms Sign at Kingsdown

Photos by Paul Skelton, 12 July 2008.

Zetlans Arms circa 1900

Above shows the "Zetland Arms" and Kingsdown beach, circa 1900.


From the Dover Mercury, 7 March, 2013. 80p.

Zetland Arms 1900

The Zetland Arms in 1900, when Walmer Brewery provided the beers. The wooden huts beside the pub have long gone.

Zetland Arms circa 1910

Above picture showing the "Zetland Arms," circa 1910. Photo from the Deal Society.

From the Dover Mercury, 13 December, 2012. 80p.

Zetland Arms 1920

A 1920 scene along Kingsdown beach, showing the "Zetland" as the large white-sided building.

Zetland Arms 2010

A 2010 view of Kingsdown beach showing little has changed since the 1920 view.

Zetland Arms 2015

A view from the other direction 2015.


One time a tied house of Thompson and Sons, Walmer. Originally titled the "Earl of Zetland." 1860 a lugger of the same name being towed, fully laden with goods from the ship, the Earl of Eglington, which had been wrecked at St. Margaret's Bay unfortunately being towed too fast, the Earl of Zetland was dragged under and lost. I am wondering whether any of the timbers were used for the building of this pub, hence the name.

Jarvest Arnold, an early licensee of this pub, was also coxwain of the Kingsdown lifeboat "Sabrina," and according to the Times of 26 October 1866, was responsible for the removal of property from the wreck of the "North," wrecked on the Goodwin Sands in August of that year and they accused him of "plundering the chests of the whole crew." Lucky that nothing followed this accusation as in 1872 Jarvest Arnold was still coxwain (he and his crew's average age of 55 years) saved the lives of 31 crew and 14 life-boatmen from Walmer who had been stranded on a sinking ship, the "Sorrento."


From the Kingsdown Blodspot.

The lifeboat gave Kingsdown it's greatest hero, Jarvist Arnold, who was skipper until 1889.

Jarvest Arnold

 In December 1872, he and his crew (average age 55) put to sea in a south-easterly storm towards a sinking ship, the Sorrento, and saved the lives of the 31 crew and of 14 life-boatmen from Walmer who had become stranded on the ship.

With remarkable bravery and seamanship he manoeuvred the Kingsdown lifeboat, the Sabrina, alongside the Sorrento and gradually took every man off, and then passed some from his fearfully overloaded boat onto the Walmer lifeboat.

Having achieved this feat, he then had to navigate along the coast in the storm to Broadstairs, because the south-easterly prevented landing on the beach at Kingsdown.

Jarvist Arnold is commemorated by this lovely smiling portrait in the village hall, and by having a road named after him. It does us good to remember the harsh realities of life, not so long ago.


From an excerpt taken from the Kent Archaeology web site.

Referenced to the Times 19-29 October 1866.

The most notorious incident of this type was that of the North, wrecked on the Goodwin Sands in August 1866. The North was abandoned by her crew, and as she lay on the Sands she was visited over the next few days by boats from Deal, Walmer, Kingsdown and Broadstairs. The boatmen stripped the North of everything that could be carried away, leaving, according to two Broadstairs boatmen, 'not enough rope to make a mop with,' or enough canvas 'to tie round your finger if it had been cut.'

Some property was surrendered to the Receiver of Wreck, but ship's stores and crewmen's property worth about 400 were not recovered.

'About two tons of canvas and three quarters of a ton of rope... have to be accounted for, and the deficiency in running rigging and hawsers is about four tons. None of the ship's instruments ever came into the possession of the Receiver... the carpenter's tools... have never been recovered.... The vessel had at least 12,000 pounds weight of copper on her [hull].... She was stripped on both sides for seven or eight feet down.... The metal thus stripped would weigh about 35 cwt, and only 10 cwt has been returned to the Receiver.'

Some rope from the North was traced to a paper mill near Dover, and a marine store dealer named Foster was charged with handling stolen goods. He was acquitted, but The Times the next day reported that 'The whole of the evidence was of the most extraordinary character and proved conclusively that "wrecking" is the profession of a large number of the Deal boatmen.'

The newspaper referred to 'the robbery of the North [which] represented nothing, it was said, but common practice.'

Of Foster's trial it said 'the evidence for the prosecution was given very unwillingly.... Does all this point to a local impression that taking property from a wreck is not stealing? Is there any general impression at Deal that the relics of a castaway are common property?... If taking these stores from the North was theft, and the Deal boatmen were seen to take them, was there no authority competent to stop the thieving? Would it be very surprising if men should really imagine they had some right to do what they were at any rate allowed to do... without any action on the part of the law?'

What The Times seemed unable to appreciate was that the removal of property from a wreck was not in itself illegal - quite the reverse. A ship on the Goodwin could be swallowed completely in two tides, and if no attempt was made to remove her possibly valuable cargo, bring ashore any salvageable rope or sails, rescue the crew's property and strip the copper sheathing from the hull, a major loss would result for the ship's owners or insurers. This was a normal and potentially profitable part of the boatmen's work. As long as they were occupied in removing the property from a wreck and stowing it in their own boats, they were acting entirely properly.

Where they often transgressed was when they returned to shore. The correct procedure was that on landing, boats were searched or 'rummaged' by the Coastguard on duty on the beach, any salvaged goods being declared and not concealed in any way. The Receiver of Wreck kept account of what was recovered and reported to the owners or insurers. In due course the boatmen were paid in proportion to the value of the goods salvaged. Sometimes, however, the boatmen disposed of wrecked goods to ships in the Downs, or attempted to land them without the Coastguards' knowledge and sell them themselves, as had allegedly occurred in the case of the North.

The Times report of Foster's trial initiated a protracted correspondence.

Opinions in support of the boatmen and against them were expressed strongly. One correspondent, signing as 'Veritas', alleged that 'The [Deal] men actually plundered the chests of the whole of the crew...appropriated the contents, and then, as if to add insult to injury, had the audacity to deliver... the empty chests to the Receiver of Wreck.'

The Rector of Deal wrote to refute this allegation against 'certain individuals who... are sufficiently designated by the fact of their having handed over the only seamen's chests which were brought ashore... to be readily identified by all persons living in this place.'

The Rector enclosed an affidavit by the two men in question, Jarvist Arnold and Thomas Edward Bingham, that the chests had all been empty when they found them and 'the accusation in The Times that we plundered the chests is false and untrue.'

Another correspondent was the Secretary of the Salvage Association at Lloyd's, who wrote that he had been ordered by his committee to carry out an investigation into 'this great robbery.' He had been ordered to do this with strict impartiality, and it was his duty to obey this instruction. Despite this assertion, his report was far from being a reasoned assessment of the evidence, and in places verges on libellous. Of the Rector's letter and the affidavits of Arnold and Bingham, the report says:-

'There is no doubt that the chests of the crew were delivered up to the Receiver of Deal empty. Who emptied those chests? Did the sea do it? Will the rector suggest that the sea broke open the locks, cleared out the contents and deposited the chests... on the ship's deck - or that the cockroaches did it?... There is an old saying - "A man does not pick up a squeezed orange." These boxes not worth a shilling appear to have been carefully salved and delivered to the Receiver, by men who did not steal their contents.... It was a very wise thing for [Arnold and Bingham] to make that affidavit, because the persons handing over the boxes ran a great risk of being supposed to know something about their contents.'


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 6 September, 1878


The annual sitting of the Dover Magistrates Licensing Committee took place on Monday at Dover, for the purpose of renewing public-house licenses, and hearing applications for new ones. The Licensing Committee consists of E. F. Astley, S. Finnis, R. Dickeson, T. E. Black, R. Rees, W. R. Mowll, and C. Stein, Esqrs. They were all present except Mr. Dickeson, who is in Cumberland.


The Bench said the defendant had been fined on the 10th of December, 1877, for having his house open during prohibited hours for the sale of beer on the 16th October, at Kingsdown.

Mr. Arnold, the landlord, said he thought his house was made a Sailors' Home of on that particular occasion. He had nineteen shipwrecked sailors and a dead one in his house, and how could he refuse to take them in?

The Bench were of opinion that he ought to have kept his house shut.

Applicant said the Magistrates were not always correct. (Laughter.) he never served any beer to those men.

The Bench granted the application, telling the applicant to take care and not let it occur again.


Zetland business card 1948

Above business card circa 1948.


From the Dover Mercury, 22 July 2010.

By Steve Glover and Michael Rogers.

Zetland arms date unknown

Above photo, date unknown post 1977.

Zetland rms 2010

Above photo 2010.


THE beach front location of the Zetland Arms in Kingsdown, with its idyllic vista of the sea and the French coast beyond, can be enjoyed while relaxing outside.

Conditions, however, were not always quite so tranquil when local man, Thomas Bingham, was killed on the beach outside by Customs men during a smuggling raid in 1813. One of the pub's notable landlords was Jarvist Arnold in 1874, who was also coxswain of the Kingsdown lifeboat, Sabrina, from 1865 to 1888.

He remained at the Zetland until 1882 when he was succeeded by William Erridge.

Numerous other landlords followed and, in March 1949, it was reported that the sea flooded into the pub following violent storms.

The Zetland temporarily closed in 1977 when landlord, Frank Westby, installed bow windows in order to give it a more historic look, as well as to improve the facade. It was reported that the grand re-opening took place on Friday, July 8, at 6pm, and Timothy Cobbett, a direct descendant of the writer, William Cobbett, took over as 'temporary' manager.

David Frost and Harold Wilson

In September 1977, the broadcaster, David Frost, and former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, were in Deal making a television programme about prime ministers.

After visiting nearby Walmer Castle, they called at the Zetland Arms for lunch, and a photograph of them both enjoying a pint hangs on the wall of the bar in commemoration of the event.

Despite several changes of ownership, Timothy Cobbett remains landlord to this day, having celebrated his 30th year at the Zetland Arms in July 2007.


Picture on the left was taken by Mercury photographer Basil Kidd.


Passage below kindly sent by Kathleen Hollingsbee.

Thomas BINGHAM was shot and killed by Customs officers on Kingsdown beach in 1813 whilst engaging in smuggling. This fact was found on an information board outside the "Zetland Arms public house, Kingsdown, and confirmed by Mr Mark Frost of Dover Museum who was unable to give more details."

"The Local Studies at Maidstone were unable to help. Canterbury Library Local Studies section confirmed that he was shot carrying cargo (info found in a book by W. P. D. Stebbings "The Invaders Shore") "The ref. librarian was mystified because there was nothing in Kentish Gazette, Gentleman's Magazine or the Times and concluded that the authorities did not know that his death was not due to natural causes at the time, otherwise there would have been a report of the inquest as well as the incident. He was able to tell me that he was buried in Ringwould churchyard on August 30 1813 and left a widow and six children." "The first mention of Binghams in the Ringwould parish registers 1779."

"I can find no headstone for this Thomas Bingham in Ringwould churchyard."

Presentation picture

Above shows a presentation picture for Timothy Cobbett after reaching his 20th year in the pub. This would have been in 1997.

Zetland Arms painting

Painting of "Zetland Arms" date unknown. By kind permission of "Zetland Arms." Painted in 1997-98 by local artist John Blezard.


From the Dover Mercury, 13 September, 2012. 80p From NOW AND THEN


Pub the perfect spot to watch the setting sun

GLORIOUS views and extremes of weather can be observed whatever the season from the "Zetland Arms" and surrounding area, but when looking towards the building, very little changes.

That is arguably its charm, but one thing that does remain is that the beach pub in Kingsdown is one of the best spots to enjoy a pint while the sun is out - or setting - during the summer.

That could be due to its unusual setting on the beach, overlooked by period houses at Church Cliff, or looking out to sea or towards the chalk cliffs at Old Stairs Bay.

The pub was once known as the "Earl of Zetland," named after a lugger boat of the same name was sunk in 1860 after it was towed too fast to Ramsgate.

The establishment has had a number of landlords and some are listed in The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Steve Glover and Michael Rogers.

In 1870 the pub's landlord was James Arnold followed by Jarvist Arnold the famous coxwain of Kingsdown lifeboat The Sabrina. By 1882 he had been succeeded by William Erridge. William Wellard took over in 1910, remaining there until 1915.

Robert Bartlett was landlord in 1936 followed in 1948 by Henry Beard, and Percy Furnall in the 1950s.

The Mercury reported in May 1977 that Frank Westby planned to introduce bar snacks and to enlarge the bars. It was a good move because food at the "Zetland" has been appreciated by many, including TV broadcaster David Frost and former Prime Minister Harold Wilson that year.

The pub was closed when bow windows were installed to give the pub a more historic look. After several changes in ownership Tim Cobbett celebrated his 35th year as landlord in 2012, close to the time Kent brewery Shepherd Neame bought the pub and the "King's Head" in Deal from Enterprise Inns in a four-pub deal.

Whatever happens, with the ownership, staff and management, area around the "Zetland" will always be a beauty spot and just the place to stop off and admire the sea, coast and cliffs of Kingsdown -maybe even with a cold pint!


From the Dover Mercury, 6 December, 2012. 80p.


Tim Cobbett

Tim Cobbett, pulling a final pint behind the bar at the "Zetland Arms" in Kingsdown

Picture: Tony Flashman FM2349413

AFTER a record 35 years of service, licensee of the "Zetland Arms" Tim Cobbett, 72, has left the pub and pulled his final pint of beer. He retired on Saturday and said: “It's time to call it a day and have a rest.”

The public house, which was taken over by Shepherd Neame six months ago, will undergo 90,000 worth of refurbishment while the Kent brewer looks for a successor. It will re-open in the New Year.

Tim lives near the "Zetland" and will continue to stay in the village with his Jack Russell, Ronnie.

He was born in 1940 in Kasauli, a town in India where he lived for seven years with his father, a military man who died in 1971 and his mother who died eight years ago. His brother is a retired teacher who lives in America.

Aged seven, Tim moved to Portsmouth and throughout his childhood, he was sports crazy with a particular passion for squash and much adoration for his pet poodle. He first worked in a Merchant Navy purser office for three years before becoming an assistant manager in an Odeon cinema, in Portsmouth. He then ventured across the Atlantic to the Bahamas where he enjoyed work as a croupier for 12 years.

Tim finally found himself in Kent in 1977. He was hired as a relief manager at the "Cliff Hotel" in St Margaret's before taking on the "Zetland" where he has remained. He said: “It's been great fun and I'd love to do it all again.”

Tim intends to enjoy his retirement relaxing and playing golf.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 13 December, 2012. 65p.


THE "Zetland Arms" landlord Tim Cobbett has retired.

The 72-year-old, who has been at the helm of the beachside pub for 35 years, stepped down on Saturday.

He said: “The Zetland Arms enjoys a wonderful position with Kingsdown and Walmer beaches on its doorstep. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time there and will miss it a great deal but it's time to call it a day and have a rest.

“My advice to others running a business in these challenging economic times would be to work hard, be there as much as possible and play to your strengths.

“At the pub, we've always taken advantage of our enviable seaside location by serving high-quality local seafood and fish in the restaurant and catering for holidaymakers, beach-goers and walkers.”

Kent brewers Shepherd Neame are planning to close the pub for several weeks to complete a 90,000 refurbishment. Meanwhile, the search is on to find a new licensee to take on the pub.

Shepherd Neame property and tenanted trade director George Barnes said: “Tim's contribution to the pub and the local community over so many years has been remarkable and we wish him a happy and restful retirement.”

From the Dover Mercury, 13 December, 2012. 80p.


THE "Zetland Arms" is one of the closest public houses on the British mainland to France and has enviable sea views from the beach at Kingsdown.

It shut earlier this month, but is bucking the economic trend in the pub world by reopening in the new year after a refit by its new owners Shepherd Neame, the Kent brewers. According to The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer, its original name was the "Earl of Zetland" and in 1860 there was a lugger of that title which sank on its way to Ramsgate.

In 1870 the landlord was James Arnold, followed a year later by Jarvest Arnold who was coxwain at Kingsdown lifeboat Sabrina from 1865 to 1888. Jarvest was also related to Tony Arnold, a former chief
reporter of the East Kent Mercury.

In 1974 the Charrington brewery artist painted a new sign for the pub and in May 1977 the Mercury reported that Frank Westby planned to enlarge the bars and introduce snacks for customers.

There was a grand reopening and Tim Cobbett, a descendent of the writer William Cobbett, became temporary manger.

In September 1977 the television broadcaster and former prime minister Harold Wilson were in Deal making a programme about prime ministers and visited Walmer Castle, popping into the "Zetland" afterwards for lunch.

Retired licensee Tim Cobbett inside the "Zetland" with the 1977 photo of television broadcaster David Frost and former Prime Minister Harold Wilson who had lunch at the Kingsdown pub while filming in the area.

Picture: Tony Flashman FM2349398

Before the pub closed earlier this month a photo of the two was hanging on the bar wall, showing them outside the front of the building.

The final person in charge behind the bar was Tim Cobbett, who retired on December 1 after 35 years at the "Zetland," the longest serving licensee in the pub's history.

He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and will miss it a great deal but it's time to call it a day and have a rest.



After a time in the 21st century being owned by Enterprise Inns the ownership changed to Shepherd Neame half way through 2012.

The pub is currently closed while Shepherd Neame are doing refurbishments to the building and it should open again in 2013.

Latest news is that it has now opened again, February 2013.


From the East Kent Mercury, 7 February, 2013.


PINTS are being pulled again at the Zetland Arms on Kingsdown seafront, which has just reopened after a 90,000 refit from owners Shepherd Neame the Faversham brewers.

The business closed on December 1, when former licensee Tim Cobbett retired after 35 years behind the bar, which was a record time of service at the public house.

Zetland's new licensees are husband and wife team Kerensa and Tom Miller from Sandwich, who are looking forward to offering a warm welcome to the community.

Kerensa and Tom Miller

Mrs Miller said: “We are planning to hold music events, themed nights and quizzes to brighten up winter nights but before we confirm details we want to ask the locals what they enjoy. We're also going to serve tea, coffee and breakfasts to tempt the local walkers.”

Mr Miller's mother Josie, who has more than 30 years' experience in catering, will be cooking up a hearty winter menu of stews, soups and pies, as well as traditional favourites like fish and chips. There are also plans for ploughmans, salads and sandwiches, using local fish and seafood, in the summer.

The pub now has heritage-style furnishings in keeping with its beachside location and a partition wall has been removed to open-up the restaurant area.

Shepherd Neame property and tenanted trade director George Barnes said: “Kerensa and Tom's arrival marks a new chapter for this pub, which is situated right on the beach and enjoys spectacular views of the surrounding cliffs.

“They are looking forward to welcoming the local community and creating a varied offer that caters for all tastes.”


From the Dover Mercury, 7 March, 2013. 80p.


Licensees old and new

Former licensee Tim Cobbett pulls the ceremonial first pint with new licensee Karensa Miller.

WITH pubs closing at alarming rates, it is encouraging to see one being bought and reopened on the beach at Kingsdown.

The "Zetland Arms" is one of the closet public houses on the British mainland to France and on Thursday its new owners Shepherd Neame held an official ceremony to mark its reopening.

On December 1, after a remarkable 35 years as licensee, Tim Cobbett retired and he was invited back to the new-look business to ceremoniously pull the first pint.

Mr Cobbett said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time there but it was time to call it a day and have a rest.”

New licensees, husband-and-wife team Kerensa and Tom Miller, from Sandwich, re-opened its doors in January but the official opening was Rogers, the landlord in 1870 was James Arnold, followed by Jarvist Arnold, famed for his heroic deeds with the Kingsdown Lifeboat. He was cox from 1865 to 1888.

Mr Arnold was succeeded by William Erridge, then William Wellard in 1910 who stayed at least until 1915. Robert Bartlett was landlord in 1936 and in March 1949 the sea flooded the pub during storms. Harry Beard became licensee in 1948, followed by Percy Fumall in the 1950s.

In May 1977, the bars were enlarged so the Zetland was closed for the changes, to be reopened for Tim Cobbett to take charge. In September the same year, television broadcaster David Frost and former prime minister Harold Wilson called in at the pub while filming in the area.

At Thursday's reopening guests include actor Neil Stuke, who has a home in Kingsdown.

Opening picture

Tom, Josie and Kerensa Miller with Shepherd Neame's Jonathan Neame.


Zetland Arms 2013

Above photo taken by Julius Benedict Pidduck. 24 August 2013.

From the Dover Express, 17 July, 2014.

Kingsdown newcomers' pub award.

A KINGSDOWN couple have scooped a top pub gong.

Kerensa and Tom Miller

BEST NEWCOMERS: Jonathan Neame with the Kerensa and Tom Miller.

Tom and Kerensa Miller, who run the "Zetland Arms" in Kingsdown, were crowned new licensees of the year at the annual Shepherd Neame Pub Awards.

The prize was presented by the brewery’s chief executive Jonathan Neame during a glittering ceremony at the "Conningbrook Hotel" in Ashford on Tuesday July 8.

The couple - who were up against 347 other pubs across London and the South East - received 500 and a magnum of Taittinger champagne.

Mrs Miller said: “Tom and I are very proud to receive this award. We hadn’t run a pub before we took on the "Zetland Arms," so it was a challenge to begin with. But our hard work has definitely paid off and we are really enjoying ourselves."




ARNOLD Jarvis James 1863-May/79 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and RogersPost Office Directory 1874Dover ExpressCensus (aged 55 in 1871)

ERRIDGE William Robert May/1879-91+ (age 48 in 1881Census)Dover ExpressPost Office Directory 1882

ERRIDGE Susanna 1901+ (widow age 65 in 1901Census)

WELLARD William 1910-Jan/33 Post Office Directory 1913Dover Express

BARTLETT Robert Jan/1933-39+ (Retired C.Q.M.S., Corps of Signals.) (age 45 in 1939) Dover ExpressThe Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

BEARD Henry 1948+ The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

FURNELL Percy 1950s The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

DORRAS Margaret L 1974+ Library archives 1974 Charrington & Co

WESTBY Frank 1977 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

COBBETT Timothy 8/July/1977-Dec/2012 The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers

MILLER Tom and Kerensa Feb/2013-16+ also "Coastguard" 2016


Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and RogersThe Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer by Glover and Rogers



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