Greatstone History: 'The Jolly Fisherman'

There has been a Jolly Fisherman pub in Greatstone for over 100 years.

The Old Jolly Fisherman

The first Jolly Fisherman pub is shown on old 1899 Ordnance Survey map (see picture on right) which confirms its location has being in Lydd-on-Seaon on the now Dungeness Nature Reserve, to the west of Leonard Road and just before Hull Road. This  location  is  some 2 miles to the south of where the now Jolly Fisherman stands. 

It ceased being a pub at that location when its license was transferred to the present day Jolly Fisherman in c1935.Nothing remains of the old site today (2016).

The old Jolly Fisherman c1920
The old Jolly Fisherman c1920

The Present Jolly Fisherman

The present Jolly Fisherman pub is located in the center of Greatstone at the junction of Dunes Road and The Parade.

This was built by the Maidstone brewers Stlye and Wiinch Ltd, who owned the old Jolly Fisherman, in about 1935 as a pub and hotel.  It was to form part of a major development scheme for Greatstone. 

It was given a grand opening, with Cllr C E Andrews, who owned and developed the Greatstone area estate, the Mayors of New Romney and Lydd and other local dignitaries attending. Directors of Style and Winch, including Colonel G B Winch, who presided over the opening event, also attended.

The first licensees were Mr and Mrs D H Smith.

1899 map showing the old  Jolly Fisherman
1899 Map  showing the old Jolly Fisherman, north of the
Coastguard Station at  Lydd-on-Sea Battery No 2

The Jolly Fisherman c1935

On opening the pub, or country hotel as it was referrred to, had a large saloon bar with its circular window and an extensive lounge bar leading to the  cosy dining room on the ground floor. Above were delightful balconies overlooking the dunes and giving a fine view of the English Channel. 

On each side of the corridor there were about 12 single and double bedrooms, each with hot and cold water. There was a large tea lounge on this floor, above which was a roof garden providing even better views of the surrounding area.

Locals, who were about at the time, say that the pub was to be called 'The Ship'. Indeed they say that if you look at  the  pub side-on, it does resemble a ship, bows, bridge and all.

The old Jolly Fisherman c1935
The old Jolly Fisherman c1935

Be that as it may, there was already a ship pub at Lydd-on-Sea, so the new  pub  took over the licence from the old Jolly Fisherman and thus became The Jolly Fisherman.

The Jolly Fisherman Today

The pub today still thrives today as the centre of the local community. The present licensees Steve and Shirley Wilmott took over in January 1995 and have run the pub ever since, together with their son Lee.

For more information about the pub today, please go to our Jolly Fisherman page.

Today's Jolly Fisherman c1935 just after it was built.
Today's Jolly Fisherman c1935 just after it was built.


The Jolly Fisherman c1970s
The Jolly Fisherman c1970s??

The Jolly Fisherman 2014
The Jolly Fisherman 2014