Page Updated:- Thursday, 25 January, 2024.


Earliest 1700s-

Bell Inn

Open 2024+

High Street


10732 761550

Bell Inn 1902

Above photo, 1902.

Bell postcard

Above postcard, date unknown.

Bell Inn

Above photo, date unknown.

Bell 1930

Above postcard, circa 1930. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Bell 1953

Above postcard, circa 1953. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Bell 1964

Above postcard, circa 1964. Kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Bell 2017

Above photo, remembrance service, 2017.

Bell 2018

Above photo 2018.


Above photo, date unknown.

Bell 2019

Above photo 2019.

Bell sign 1993Bell sign 1995

Above sign left 1993, sign left 1995

With thanks from from Brian Curtis

Bell sign 2015

Above sign 2015.

With thanks from from Roger Pester


Kentish Gazette, 2 April 1850.


George Kipps was indicted for a misdemeanor.

Mr. Deedes prosecuted—Mr. Campbell defended.

Prisoner, who in a tailor at Kemsing, near Sevenoaks, and a married man with eight children, was proved to have on several occasions tampered with a young girl only sixteen years of age, daughter of a person named Jefferys, landlord of the "Bell Inn" there, with whom he kept up a correspondence, pretending an ardent attachment, and at length induced her to leave her home and elope with him to Cobham, and thence to Sheerness, whither she was traced by her mother, and prisoner given into custody.

The defence set up was that the girl had not been "abducted," but had voluntarily gone away with him.

Guilty:— His Lordship, after a severe animadversion, sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment with hard labour, and to pay a fine of 50, or be imprisoned till paid.


Kent & Sussex Courier 25 April 1924.


The circumstances of the death of Mr. Horace Avery, butcher, of High-street, Kemsing, reported elsewhere, were brought to light at the inquest held by the District Coroner (Mr. A. H. Neve) yesterday (Thursday) evening, at the "Bell Inn," Kemsing.

Mrs. Mary Ann Avery, wife of deceased, said her husband, who was 67 yean of age, had been unwell for some months. He had suffered from gout and bronchitis, and had also been a victim of depression and sleeplessness. He worried on account of his illness, and despaired of getting better. On Tuesday morning he got up as usual, went into the shop and was apparently quite all right. He returned home for dinner between 1 and 2, but had nothing to eat, and went out at the back without saying anything. A few minutes later she went to the woodshed door and saw deceased standing inside near the mangle. She thought her husband might have been in a sort of hysterical fit similar to one he had had previously, and she went to a friend.

William Henry Small, licensee of the "Wheatsheaf Inn," Kemsing, said on Tuesday, about 1.40 p.m. he was called by Mrs. Avery and her friend to go round to the woodshed. On arrival he saw deceased hanging by a rope on a pulley block, with his feet about a foot from the ground. He immediately put his arms round his legs and lifted him. He could not say whether he was alive. At witness's request another man named Swaisland let the rope down from the pulley block and they got deceased to the floor. Witness went for the doctor, the rope remaining loose round deceased's neck.

Emily Margaret Barker, wife of Mr. William Barker, said that on Tuesday, about 1 o'clock, Mrs. Avery came to her in an agitated state and they went round to the woodshed. She corroborated the last witness.

Walter Ernest Barker, Elm Tree Cottage, Seal, general labourer in the employ if Mr. Small, said he followed the latter when he was called to the woodshed. He and Swaisland let deceased down between them, and as soon as he was on the ground he loosened the rope, undid his collar, and stripped his chest. Afterwards with Mrs. Barker they applied artificial respiration, but he thought he was dead when taken down.

Dr. Ronald Walker, Ightham, deposed to attending deceased regularly since January. He was depressed, but showed no suicidal tendencies. Deceased was a singularly jovial person. Coming back through Kemsing about 2 o’clock, he was stopped by Mr. Small, and went to the woodshed. Deceased was lying on the floor and breathing in rather a stentorious manner. He held him for about an hour, and stayed and watched him for another two hours. Afterwards they removed him from the shed to the house, and got him to bed, and witness left him about 5 o'clock, breathing in a perfectly natural manner. Round the front of his neck was a mark indicating where the rope had been. Deceased died the following day about 10 a.m., the cause of death being heart failure produced by shock resulting from the attempted suicide.

The Coroner recorded a verdict of suicide whilst temporarily insane. He expressed his sympathy with the widow and sons, and complimented the neighbours on the very prompt assistance they gave.


Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, Friday 21 October 1927.


Mr. Joe Ames, licensee of the "Bell Inn," Kemsing, passed away on Wednesday week after a long and painful illness. The deceased was 70 years old, and had resided in Kemsing for the last 11 years, previous to which he was coachman to the late Lady Dunsany, of Dunstall Priory, Shoreham, for 25 years. He was well-known and respected by many people locally, and was a member of the Foresters. The funeral took place at St. Mary's Church on Saturday afternoon, the Rev. R. V. Bristow officiating, assisted by Canon Sopwith (Maidstone).




WIGZELL William 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

WALE/WHALE Thomas 1832-40+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1840

JEFFRY William 1841-71+ (also carpenter age 53 in 1861Census widower age 65 in 1871Census)(46 in 1841Census)

MILLS George 1881-1901+ (age 54 in 1901Census)

BROOK Peter 1903+ Kelly's 1903

MILES John Henry 1911-13+ (age 43 in 1911Census)

AMES Joe 1922-Oct/27 dec'd

AMES Martha 1930+

AMES Arthur Thomas 1938+

MANSFIELD (nee AMES) Muriel "Martha" 1939+ (age 32 in 1939)


Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

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

Pigot's Directory 1840From the Pigot's Directory 1840

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:-