Page Updated:- Tuesday, 07 May, 2024.


Earliest 1700s

Eight Bells

Latest 1985

High Street


Eight Bells painting

Above painting by Alfred Robert Quinton (1853-1934).

Above photo, circa 1929, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Eight Bells 1939

Above photo taken during King George's first speech on radio on the 25th December 1932.

Eight Bells 1935

Above photo, 1935.

Eight Bells 1937

Above postcard, circa 1937, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Star and Crowne

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Mark Jennings. The "Eight bells" is the building on the right, while the building on the left is the "Star and Crowne."

Eight Bells 1948

Above postcard, circa 1948, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Eight Bells 1956

Above photo, 1956, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Eight Bells 1960

Above postcard, 1960, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Eight Bells 1962

Above postcard, circa 1962, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Eight Bells sign 1967

Above sign 1967.

With thanks from Roger Pester


This is a 15th century property which was converted to an inn in 18th century. It was named in celebration of the new church bells in 18th century. It is thought that the owner at the time may have been a bell ringer at St Mary's church.

The 1841 census shows Richard Harris, a watchmaker, living at the property with his wife Ann and their family. In 1851 Richard was still working as a watchmaker but Ann was now shown as a beer house keeper. Their son, Alfred, was 18 years old and was shown as an apprentice watchmaker. Ann's 85 year old mother, Charlotte, had also moved in with them and was helping to look after the house and run the beer shop. Watchmaking was a family occupation and was carried down from father to son. Richard and Ann's older son, Walter, was also a watchmaker in Goudhurst.

By 1861 Thomas Boxall had moved in to the "Eight Bells" with his wife, Jane, their two daughters, one son and five lodgers. Some of the lodgers were employed by Thomas to help to run the pub. By the time of the next census, Thomas had left the pub and he and his family had moved to Benenden where Thomas was a gardener.

In 1871 John and Harriett Giles were at the "Eight Bells" running a “common lodging house”. At the time of the census they had their four children and John's father living with them as well as seven lodgers. By 1881 John had died and Harriett was running the pub and lodgings alone. She now had five children of her own and nineteen lodgers with three children between them living there. In 1891 Harriett was still there with three of her now grown up children and thirteen lodgers.

The 1901 census shows that Harriett was no longer at the "Eight Bells." Her son, Albert, had taken over as landlord. Albert had married a local girl, Emily Brabon and had moved to a cottage in Stoney Lane with her. But, Emily had died in 1899. Albert then married another local girl, Lily Weekes, in 1900 and moved back to the "Eight Bells" with his new wife and the two children from his previous marriage. Albert's brother in law and sister in law, William and May Weekes, were living and working at the pub too and there were just two other lodgers there. Albert and Lily were divorced in 1909 and in 1921 Albert died.

Following Albert's death, his son-in-law and daughter Percy and Daisy Blaxland took over the "Eight Bells." Percy died in the early 1940s, but Daisy stayed on there until 1950 when Sheila and Ernest Maxwell, her son-in-law and daughter, took over. Then in the 1960s, Desmond and Monica Quinn took it over.

The "Eight Bells" closed its doors for the last time in around 1985. In the 1990s it was the home of the Garden of England Gallery. After the gallery closed the building was incorporated into the "Star and Eagle" as additional function rooms.



HARRIS Richard 1841-51+ (also watch-maker age 66 in 1851Census)

BOXALL Thomas 1861+ (also carrier age 40 in 1861Census)

GILES John 1871+ dec'd (also agricultural labourer age 33 in 1871Census)

GILES Harriett 1881-91+ (widow and lodging house keeper age 53 in 1891Census)

GILES Albert  1901-22 dec'd (son age 42 in 1911Census)

BLAXLAND Percy H S 1922-40s+

BLAXLAND Daisy 1940s-50

MAXWELL Ernest 1950+

QUINN Desmond 1960s+

Closed 1985




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