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Folkestone’s Long-Lost Georgian Theatre

20 April @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Poster for the talk Folkestone's Long-Lost Georgian Theatre featuring a Georgian image of a tightrope-walker

A talk by Dr Jean Baker.



Jean will recall the remarkable story of Sarah Baker (no relation!) and her involvement ​with ‘The New Theatre’ on The Bayle – which featured tightrope-walking, comic dancing, musical dramas, operas and pantomimes – as well as other theatres across Kent.
Refreshments will be served.

Born in 1737, Sarah Baker was an obscure fairground performer who went on to become one of the wealthiest, most successful self-made women of her era. This talk will focus on Sarah’s incredible life-story, on her theatre on Folkestone’s Bayle and on the four ‘great grand’ theatres, as she described them, that she built elsewhere in Kent at the end of the eighteenth century.

(Poster image from the Wellcome collection.)

Doors open at 2pm for a 2.30pm start.

Jean’s book, Sarah Baker and her Kentish Theatres 1737-1816: Challenging the Status Quo, will be available to purchase for the discounted price of £20 (cash only).



Jean Baker’s book, Sarah Baker and her Kentish Theatres, 1737-1816: Challenging the Status Quo was the Society for Theatre Research’s annual publication for 2019. The former journalist and teacher’s published work also includes: ‘The Proclamation Society, William Mainwaring and the Theatrical Representations Act of 1788’, Historical Research, 76:193 (August 2003), 347-363; ‘Theatre, Law and Society in the Provinces: The Case of Sarah Baker’, Cultural and Social History, 1:2 (2004), 159-178.



The Back Hall is located within the Cornerstone Centre, formerly the United Reformed Church, next to Folkestone Central station.  It is located on Castle Hill Avenue, near the junction with Cheriton Road.  From the main entrance to the church, walk towards Kingsnorth Gardens and take the path behind the church, just before Bus Stop C.

The hall is on the ground floor with no stairs and has a disabled toilet.  There is a slight step into the entrance and a couple of 90 degree turns to enter.  If you have any accessibility needs, please Contact Us so we can make arrangements for you, including on-site parking.



By Bus:

The venue is close to the Folkestone Central stops.

Stop A serves buses heading towards Folkestone town centre from Canterbury (16/17), Cheriton (71/71A), Creteway Down / Dover Road (76) and Hawkinge (73).

Stop B serves buses departing from Folkestone Bus Station towards Broadmead (74), Canterbury (16/17), Cheriton (71/71A), Creteway Down / Dover Road (76), Dover via Temple Ewell (91A) and Hawkinge (73).

For timetables, to book tickets and to check for any journey delays or cancellations, visit the Stagecoach website or download the app.


By Car:

There is a controlled parking zone around the Cornerstone Centre.  Parking can be found on Shorncliffe Road or the dual carriageway part of Castle Hill Avenue.  Alternatively, you can pre-book a space at Folkestone Central station via the APCOA website or app.


By Train:

Take the train to Folkestone Central station (one stop on from Folkestone West coming from London/Ashford).  When exiting the station, turn right, follow the road to the end, then walk under the bridge on your left.  The Cornerstone Centre is the church in front of you.

For timetables, to book tickets and to check for any journey delays or cancellations, visit the Southeastern website.



Tickets will be available on the door subject to availability – cash or card accepted.

To guarantee your place, book on Ticketsource without fees by clicking the ticket below.

Book now

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20 April
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Categories:


New Folkestone Society


The Cornerstone Centre
Castle Hill Avenue
Folkestone, Kent CT20 2QR United Kingdom
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