Sort file:- St Marys/Pauls Cray, April, 2023.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 27 April, 2023.


Earliest 1786-

Five Bells

Latest 1939+

98 High Street

St Mary Cray

Five Bells

Above photo, date unknown.

Five Bells

Above photo date unknown, premises shown just above men on left in hats.


The "Five "Bells was a meeting point for the important people of the area, the employers and Gentry. Societies of skilled men met there including the Ancient Order of Shepherds.

A double murder that shocked the area had its beginning in this public house. Joseph Waller was a heroic police officer badly injured in the line of duty and his personality changed after recovery and he was discharged from the service still a young man. He joined the ranks of farm labourers and worked occasionally for the Beren Estate. On this frightful day he was disgruntled to say the least at not gaining any work on the estate. After trying to see Mr. Beren he then sought the estate manager Ned Alice with a vengeance, killing him and his wife.

This was a tied "Fleet Brewery" pub in 1865 when the brewery was put up for auction.


From a local paper, October 1840.

An inquest was held on Wednesday last before C. J. Carttar, Esq., Coroner, at St Mary Cray, on the body of Lucretia Ann Watkins, aged 14 years, the barmaid at the "Five Bells," who have been found drowned in the River Cray, which flows past the back premises of that house.

There was no evidence to show how the deceased came into the river. She was seen for the last time about 9 o'clock the previous evening, and was not discovered until nearly midnight. She was then in about three feet depth of water. She was of exceeding full habit of body, and very short in the neck; and it is believed that she was seized with a fit of apoplexy or giddiness while stooping down at the brink of the river to wash her hands, which was her constant custom.

After a particular inquiry by the coroner and jury, a verdict of "Found Drowned" was recorded.


From the Kent and Sussex Courier and Southern Counties Herald. 25 July 1873. Price 1d.


On Friday evening last, J. C Carttar, coroner, held an inquest at the "Five Bells Inn," on the body of Henry Daley aged 74, a native of Bromley, who was killed at the railway station on the preceding day, while attempting to cross the line. From the evidence it appeared that the deceased, who would cross the line in spite of the remonstrance's of those on the platform, was knocked down by a passing train and killed on the spot. The jury considered that there was no one to blame in the matter, but the unfortunate deceased himself, and returned a verdict of accidentally killed, appending to it, however, a recommendation to the company that a bridge should be built across the line, the passengers now having to pass from one platform to another by means of a level crossing. It is understood that the deceased was to be married next month to a young woman to whom he had been on a visit that evening.


Bromley & District Times, Friday 11 July 1890.


Thomas Peters and James French, fruit pickers, were charged with having been drunk at St. Mary Cray on the previous Saturday evening. Police Constable Cadman said the men were ejected from the "Star" public house, and thereupon became very noisy. A crowd assembled, and they were therefore taken into custody.

Defendant pleaded "they were doing nothing."

The Chairman pointing out that the Magistrates were dealing very leniently with the case, in finding them 5s. and 3s. costs.

Bridget Hannett was also charged with a similar offence.

Police Constable Hills said she was ejected from the "Five Bells Inn," and became very noisy in the street.

The Chairman fined her 5s. and 2s. 6d. costs.


Eric Rush informs me that the pub was destroyed by a landmine attack in WW2, and also that this and the "Bridge House" had the same husband and wife licensee. He was unfortunately killed in the above attack and I believe his son carried on the business afterwards.



VOLLINS/VALLINS John & Ann 1786+

TIBBS Pet 1826+

HARDS William 1832-34+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

SPARKS William 1840+

DORMER William 1852+

DONMALL George 1858+

PALMER James 1881-1901+ (widower age 67 in 1901Census)

PALMER Alfred John 1901-03+ Kelly's 1903

HAYSON Henry Joseph 1911+ (age 29 in 1911Census)

ZILKEN Peter 1913+

BURROWS William G 1918-38+ Next pub licensee had


Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

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:-