Sort file:- Gillingham, August, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 01 August, 2021.


Earliest ????

(Name from)

Five Bells

Latest 2007-

42 Church Street


Five Bells 1978

Above photo date 1978, from by Ben Levick.

Former Five Bells 2011

Above photo 2011, from by Ben Levick.

Five Bells sign 1978

Above sign 1978.


Previously known as "Ye Old Five Bells" the building can be traced back to 1700.


Information below by Ben Levick

The name of this pub goes back to before 1700 when the Parish Church opposite it had only 5 bells. The earliest landlord records seem to have survived for is Charles Dibberman in 1766 who seems to have died that year as his widow took it over in 1767-8 before Thomas White became the licensee in 1769. In the eighteenth century is seems to have been called the Five Bells and Cricketers and that name is echoed in 1901 when it is referred to as Ye Olde Five Bells and Cricket Player's Inn. These names suggest it may have been popular with cricket players after a game on the nearby green. It is also sometime incorrectly referred to as the old manor house. It was not the manor house but it is thought to be built on the site of the oldest houses in Gillingham. The confusion probably arises because the Manorial Court Leet used to meet there once the old manor house and court lodge were pulled down. When it was offered for sale in 1864 the advert said it had good stabling, a skittle ground and a large garden.

The Five Bells was said to have more than just liquid spirits inside: in the 1970s the landlord claimed that the resident ghost was always taking 10p and 50p coins which were left between opening hours. His only explanation for it not removing notes is that it was used to sovereigns and half sovereigns!

Sadly it is now closed down sometime before 2007 and was converted into flats.


From the Kentish Gazette, 10 January 1804. Price 6d.


TO be SOLD by AUCTION, by Mr. Argles, on Monday tie 16th of January, 1804, at the sign of the “Five Bells,” at Gillingham, precisely at three o'clock in the afternoon.

A capital Piece or Parcel of Land; containing by estimation five acres and a quarter, desirable situated, about a quarter of a mile from the church, and late in the occupation of Mr. Dyne,

For further particulars, apply to Mr. Binsted, at the “Five Bells,” Gillingham, who will shew the land; or of Mr. William Green, Week-Street, Maidstone.


The building by 2018 was converted into flats.


Local knowledge, further pictures, and licensee information would be appreciated.

I will be adding the historical information when I find or are sent it, but this project is a very big one, and I do not know when or where the information will come from.

All emails are answered.



BRICE William 1858+

TOWN Henry 1861-62+ (widower age 62 in 1861Census)

COOKE Walter 1881-82+ (age 32 in 1881Census)

COOKE Kate Mrs 1891+

PEDDLE George Hill 1903-13+ (age 49 in 1911Census) Kelly's 1903

HARRISON John H 1918-38+


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903



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