Page Updated:- Friday, 14 April, 2023.


Earliest 1600

Blue Bell

Closed 2009

Maidstone Road


Blue Bell

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Derek Radburn.

Blue Bell

Above photo, date unknown.

Blue Bell 1930

Above photo, 1930.

Blue Bell

Above photo, date unknown.

Blue Bell 2003

Above photo, 2003 kindly sent by Derek Radburn.

Blue Bell 2003 inside

Above photo, 2003 kindly sent by Derek Radburn.

Blue Bell bar 2003

Above photo, 2003 kindly sent by Derek Radburn.

Blue Bell restaurant 2003

Above photo, 2003 kindly sent by Derek Radburn.

Morris dancers 2003

Above photo, 2003 kindly sent by Derek Radburn.

Blue Bell garden 2003

Above photo, 2003 kindly sent by Derek Radburn.

Blue Bell 2013

Above photo 2013.

Blue Bell 2013

Above photo 2013 by Tasha Nicholls.


Blue Bell 2010

Above photo 2010 by Stacey Harris Creative Commons Licence.

Blue Bell drawing 1965

Above drawing 1965.

Blue Bell Inn sign 1987Bluebell sign 1991

Above sign left 1987, sign right July 1988.

With thanks from Brian Curtis and Roger Pester

 Blue Bell sign 1993Blue Bell sign 2013

Above sign left, April 1993, sign right 2003.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


The census of 1891 referred to this as just the "Bell Inn." I also have reference to a "Bell" addressed in East Peckham which could be one and the same.

An entry in Fremlin's 1950s publication called "Where shall we go," indicated the following:- Phone - East Peckham 213, Parking accommodation - 30 coaches (Appointment) 50 cars, Lunch - Snacks at bar, Tea - Snacks at bar, Remarks - Piano available. View of Large Hop Farm.


Kentish Gazette, 6 August 1850.


On Wednesday last the annual hop dinner took place at the "Bell Inn," Beltring. There was a larger attendance than usual. Mr. Bookham, of West Malling, in the chair. Mr. Martyr Luck, of Pembary, was the winner of last year’s sweepstakes. There were twenty-six sets for the present year, varying from £150,000 to 250,000. The average betting was about £200,000.


Maistone and Kentish Journal, 1 December, 1898.

Paddock Wood. Larceny.

Frederick Levitt, 58, gardener, pleading not guilty to an indictment charging him with having stolen two flower pots and plants, the property of John Henry Baldwin, of the "Maidstone Road Inn," Paddock Wood, on November 8th.

Mr. Hohler appeared for the prosecution.

It appeared that the prisoner visited the inn on the day in question and the ensuing morning the plants were missed from the greenhouse. He afterwards saw the landlord of the "Beltring Bell Inn," and sold the plants to him for 4d. Prisoner contended that he purchased the plants, together with some tools.

The Judge, in summing up, expressed his regret that there was no power given to the Magistrates to dispose of such cases of petty larceny.

Prisoner was found guilty, and sentenced to 1 month's hard labour.


Information taken from 2006.



The Bluebell Inn at Beltring is easily missed sitting, as it does just off a busy dual carriageway past the Hop Farm. It is one of the oldest buildings in the area dating back at least 600 years. It is believed that there may have been a building here before this. In a time when hops were the main industry in these parts this was the only public house for miles and inside there are photographs of this era showing crowds of people being served through the windows. It now consists of 2 bars (one considerably older than the other) and a restaurant with living quarters above. Outside is an early 20th Century function hall.

Ghost Connections received reports of sightings of spirits within the building and previous clairvoyant information of a spirit in the restaurant area. Tales of unnaturally quickly expiring batteries in clocks abounded and some photographs taken in the hall, shown to the team on a recce, prompted them to 'feel' the atmosphere here and deem this worthy of some attention on the night. An account of a ‘dream' of a boy crawling though a hole in the attic had previously been said the be close to an account of a boy jumping out of a previous window on the upper floor.

It was intended to investigate the attic area although due to circumstances beyond the team or tenants control this was not feasible on the night.

The team investigated the hall and the restaurant area using various methods and used the opportunity of the photographs shown to them of the hall to experiment with long exposure photography in an effort to replicate often produced images said to provide evidence of ghosts.

Ghost Connections - Ian, Paddy, Kim, and Dave.


Use of EVP, still photography and camcorder to record the evenings events whilst calling for spirit in the hope of capturing evidence of paranormal activity.

The Investigation:

The team first located to the hall. General feelings of an oppressive nature were sensed although despite calling out no activity was experienced here. During a more intense séance held here feelings of sickness were encountered and certain unexplainable noises were heard in the area of the bar. There were a number of other noises but were found to be electrical or mechanical equipment in this area.

Whilst in the hall the team also experimented with long exposure photography with interesting results. Dave's Canon EOS-10 was also used and the films are awaiting development. The airtight pendulum experiment was set up and recorded on cam. From the teams position it seemed that there may have been unexplained movement of the pendulum by request although close scrutiny of the footage shows very little movement at all.

This session had to be called off after an hour and a half as Kim felt a tightening of the chest and throat and could not stop coughing severely.

CCTV had been set up to record continuously in this area.

The team had a short break and then moved into the main building to investigate the restaurant area.

CCTV had also been set up here focussed on the fireplace area.

The team conducted a lengthy vigil in this area and also conducted a glass experiment on a table prompting anyone else present to communicate. No noises were heard of an unexplainable nature. Nothing was recorded on cam footage or voice recorder that cannot be readily explained.


The CCTV and Voice Recorders produced nothing of note in any areas. Camera footage and stills produced nothing of note in any areas.

The noises heard by the team were substantiated on recordings.

The glass experiment produced no movement at all.


Despite current reports and eye witness accounts from the venue no evidence was forthcoming.

A few noises remain unexplained in the hall.

Kim's coughing cannot be explained naturally however its cause cannot be said to be paranormal due to lack of conclusive corroborative evidence.

It may be suggested that the situation within the premises regarding possible closure was having an influence on the staff and the team. This is a suggestible reason for any normal ‘friendly’ activity to cease in the light of impending uncertainty. We may never know if this was the case. A further investigation in the future may establish if this theory is at all relevant to the reported activity at The Bluebell Inn and whether this is why little was experienced on the night we visited.

There was an amount of information forthcoming of a clairvoyant psychic kind, but this cannot be validated. As Ghost Connections conducts scientifically based investigations we do not publish such observations, however, this information is held on a separate database and may prove interesting when compared to other peoples experiences.

We would like to thank Derek and Mandy at The Bluebell Public House for their hospitality and interest.


Information below taken from 2014.

The "Blue Bell Inn" is a Grade II listed building dating from the 18th Century or earlier. The site is also home to a curtilage listed single kiln Oast, the ground floor of which is used as cellarage. The separate function room of the inn, latterly used as a café, was destroyed by fire in May 2009 and the inn was left vacant.

The planning permission and listed building consent were first granted on the basis of a hotel addition. They proposed rebuilding the dilapidated toilet facilities at the rear of the inn and replacing the rear porch with a window. The overpainted hanging tiles on the front will be replaced by unpainted reclaimed tiles. The rebuilt toilet facilities and some levelling of internal steps will overcome the inn's non-compliance with disabled access requirements.

The first floor of the Oast was proposed to be converted to an ancillary staff flat with an external wooden stair on the east (Laddingford) side. To provide financial support to the inn, 15 rooms of hotel accommodation were proposed on the site of the former café with a covered walkway to the rebuilt toilet facilities area at the rear of the inn. This was of two storeys, with the upper floor in the roof. Parking for 40 cars plus 4 mobility spaces was proposed and areas of hardstanding will be replaced by landscaping. This proposal is an enabling development, the principles of which are set out in English Heritage guidance.

The main policy conflict the development raised was with Green Belt, which would not normally allow the hotel accommodation on the site of the former café unless Very Special Circumstances are demonstrated. The wider public benefit of enabling the listed inn to continue on a viable basis was considered to amount to Very Special Circumstances. In addition, the new accommodation is calculated to be the minimum necessary to make it viable, as required by English Heritage. With the detailed submissions on ecology, viability, flood risk, design and access etc submitted by dha in mind, the proposal was not called in by the Secretary of State and permission was granted by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.

Following a period of marketing dha submitted an alternative enabling scheme for conversion of the inn and oast to two dwellings with construction of 3 new homes in the grounds. This was also granted planning and listed building consent. Work started in 2013.



STREETER Thomas Mar/1854-58+ (also carpenter) Maidstone and Kentish Journal

STREETER Mary 1861+ (age 52 in 1861Census)

BARDEN John 1862+

MOUNTFORD David 1874-91+ (age 57 in 1881Census)

FRANCIS Leonard 1901-03+ (also farmer age 50 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

BURTON William J 1911-13+ (age 29 in 1911Census)

HUTCHINSON James 1918+

HUTCHINSON Harriet Mrs 1922+

JACKSON George E 1930+

BUTCHERS Frederick 1938+

RADBURN Derek 2003-08


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


Maidstone and Kentish JournalMaidstone and Kentish Journal


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