Page Updated:- Tuesday, 01 June, 2021.


Earliest ????

Canterbury Bell

Latest 1956

(Name to)

Queen Street


Canterbury Bell 1952

Above photo, 1952.

Canterbury Bell 1950s

Above postcard circa 1950, kindly sent by Michael Wheeler.

Canterbury Bell 1952

Above photo, 1952, kindly sent my Garth Wyver.

Canterbury Bell sign 1950

Above sign, circa 1950.


No idea how old the pub was but it used to stand next to the "Swan." The pub became a private house whilst the "Swan" was demolished and the new building amalgamated with this to become the "Canterbury Swan."

I am informed that the original building was demolished in 1957 just after closure and a new pub, the new "Swan" was built on the site. At the time it closed, takings were about 10 a day, although takings did rise to 100 per day in the hop picking season. It was a simple beer house and never sold spirits.

After Percy Wheeler left the "Canterbury Bell" in 1957 he was promised a place for him and his wife in the Licensed Victuallers Retirement home in Asylum Road, Peckham. Whilst waiting for a place to become available he was allocated the "Victory" in Gads Hill, Gillingham.

The "Canterbury Bell" itself was named after the "Bell," an old coaching inn a few hundred yards at the top of the hill on the Rye road. The "Bell" is now "Bell Farmhouse."


Sussex Agricultural Express, Saturday 8th November, 1890.

Extension of time.

The landlord of the "Canterbury Bell," at Sandhurst, in connection with the proceedings of a bonfire celebration.


Sussex Agricultural Express, Saturday 26th November, 1892.


William Gooding, 39, and William Luker, 52, labourers, of no fixed abode, were severely and jointly charged with feloniously stealing, on or about the 7th inst., two pocketing hop bags, value at 2s., the property of James Coleman Vidler, of Dingleden and Oxden Farms, Benenden and Sandhurst, and they were further charged with stealing, on or about the following day, a glass pepper bottle, value at 6d., the property of John Frederick Fairhall, landlord of the "Canterbury Bell," Sandhurst, to the former charge, pleaded guilty and to the latter not guilty.

The evidence in the first charge showed that both of the accused were thrashing for a week for the first-named prosecutor, and lodging in the farm buildings, and were given a number of bags to keep them warm; and, bearing on the second charge, they called at the "Canterbury Bell" when their job was finished and had a meat dinner, asking for the pepper bottle to season there fare with, the article being missed when they had gone. On the road to Flimwell they were intercepted by P.C. Lidlow, who questioned them and over-hauled the bags they were carrying. One of the bags being marked led to enquiries being made, as also to the ownership of the pepper bottle found at the police-station in the handkerchief of the prisoner Gooding, and the results was a month's imprisonment each, with hard labour.


Sussex Agricultural Express, Saturday 5 May, 1894.


An occasional licence was granted to J. Fairhall, proprietor of the "Canterbury Bell" beerhouse, Sandhurst, for the sale of refreshments in a booth, to be erected on the village green on the day of Sandhurst Fair.


Sussex Agricultural Express, Saturday 27th September, 1902.

Rough Customers.

George Golden and Thomas Smith, hop pickers, which charged with being drunk and disorderly at Sandhurst, on the 21st inst., and with assaulting P.C. Wallis and refusing to quit licensed premises, the "Canterbury Bell," Sandhurst. Smith was also charged with assaulting George Lockyer, who was called to the assistance of the police.

It appeared that P.C. Wallis was called to eject the prisoners from the "Canterbury Bell." They were drunk, and created a disturbance outside, and assaulted the constable. Assistants was three time sent for, and it took 6 men to hold prisoners when arrested, and great difficulty was experienced in getting them into the conveyance.

Evidence was given by P.C. Wallis, Corporal Lawrence, George Lockyer, and Mr. Holdrich (licensee of the "Canterbury Bell.")
Prisoners find 2s. 6d. and 6s. costs for being drunk and disorderly, 1 and 8s. costs for assaulting the constable, and 1s. and 6s. costs for refusing to quit the public house. Smith was fined 2 and 6d costs for the assault upon Lockyer.

Committed to prison for one month in default of payment.


Kent & Sussex Courier, Friday 22 June 1934.

Licences Death.

The death took place on Tuesday of Mrs. Annie Holdich, of the "Canterbury Bell Inn," a house she had been proprietors of for over 45 years. A native of Tenterden, Mrs. Holdich, who was 64 years of age, was married to Mr. John Fairhall about the time they came to reside at the "Canterbury Bell Inn." Ten years later Mr. Fairhall died and later his wife married Mr. Yorke Hungerford Holdich, who predeceased her in 1918. There were three sons and one daughter of the first marriage and one daughter of the second, all of whom are married. Always of a retiring nature, Mrs. Holdich's genial disposition made her many friends. She always took a practical interest in the social life of the village although she took no active part. The funeral will take place at the Parish Church at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday).


Kent and Sussex Courier, Friday 20 May 1938.

Sandhurst. Death of Miss Nora Fairhall.

Many months of suffering borne with great courage came to a peaceful end on Tuesday, when the death occurred of Miss Nora Fairhall, age 15, the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fairhall, proprietors of the "Canterbury Bell Inn," Sandhurst.

Her long and painful illness has been followed with profound sympathy by practically everyone in the parish. Nora was recently presented with a Badge of Fortitude by the Girl Guides, of whom she was a member. The funeral will take place at Sandhurst Parish church, Sandhurst, today (Friday) at 3 p.m.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 9th June, 1939.

Failure to Report.

Ralph Cecil Franklin, of Firle, Wayside, St. Michael's, Tenterden, was summoned for failing to report an accident which occurred at Sandhurst on April 10th.

In a statement made to the police defendant said he was travelling from Hawkhurst towards Newenden and near the "Canterbury Bell" at Sandhurst a little girl run out from behind a stationary 'bus and a collision occurred. He was thrown from his machine as sustained injuries for which he had to received the attention after he had been taken home by car. The child was taken into a nearby house and defendant, before he left, was told that she was not injured and was only suffering from shock.

Franklin was fined 5s. and 2s. 6d. costs.


Kent and Sussex courier, Friday 9 May, 1941.


St. Nicholas Church was the scene of a pretty wedding on Wednesday, when Miss Gwendoline B. A. Lewis, daughter of Mr. J. Lewis, of Hatch End, Middlesex, and neice of Nurse Bather, of Underwood, Sandhurst was married to Mr. Frederick Y. Fairhall, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. J. Fairhall, of the "Canterbury Bell," Sandhurst.

The bridegroom is a wireless operator mechanic in the R.A.F. The bride, given away by her father, was a attired in white corded silk and carried a bouquet of white carnations tied with the R.A.F. colours. Her gold chain and cross were the gifts of the bridegroom.

Miss Dorothy Bather, who attended the bride, wore a dress of pink net over pink taffeta and carried a bouquet of forget-me-nots and primroses. Her present from the bridegroom was a gold cross and chain.

Mr. W. Hougham was best man.


Kent and Sussex Courier, Friday 13th January, 1948.

Fireman with axes formed a triumphal arch for Mr. Edward Hugh Gibbs and Miss. Joan Barbara Collins, after their wedding at St. Thomas's Church, Southborough, on Saturday. Both are members of Tunbridge Wells N.F.S.

The bride's parents are Mr. and Mrs. Collins, of 5, Edward Street, Southborough, and the bridegroom is the son of the late Mr. A Gibbs, of Shepherd's Bush, and of Mrs. E. Wheeler, of the "Canterbury Bell," Sandhurst.


Kent and Sussex Courier, Friday 9th March, 1956.

Those Pewter Pots.


In the "Courier" of February 10 you report the the finding of a set of pewter mugs in a sealed cupboard during the demolition of the "Canterbury Bell Inn" at Sandhurst.

They could only have been there a few years, because during my time as licensee of the Inn from 1935-1945, until just before we left, they were always kept hanging in the bar. My wife well remembers them, having had to keep them clean. I was offered money for them many times, as they were fine set, and as you state, the name Maynard was on the bottom.

These have been in the family since my father took over the licence in 1889. As a child I remember my mother using them for measures.

After my father's death, another took over the licence and carried on the business until her death in 1934, and I took over the licence then. Also after living there as many years I knew every nook and cranny in the place. We left the pots in the evaluation. What happened then I wouldn't know.

Yours truly. F. J. Fairhall, 12, Common View.




VIGOR Mrs 1858+

WILLISS John William 1881+ (age 41 in 1881Census)

HOLDICH Annie Louisa 1889-June/34 dec'd (age 31 in 1901Census)

FAIRHALL Frederick John 1892-1938+

Last pub licensee had WHEELER Percy 1/Jan/1945-57 Next pub licensee had

Pub closed and new one built called the "New Swan."




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