Sort file:- Maidstone, March, 2021.

Page Updated Maidstone:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 1861-

(Name from)

Ye Ancient Bell

Closed 1920s

14 (26-28) Week Street


Ye Ancient Bell pre 1920

Above photo, pre 1920.

Location of Ye Ancient Bell 2013

Above Google image, December 2013.

Ye Ancient Bell clock 1805

Above clock photo kindly sent to me by Edward Burd who says it dates from circa 1805, and I assume Thomas Sutton was the clock maker and not the licensee.

Further research tells me that Thomas Sutton was indeed a clock maker, working in Maidstone from between 1790 and 1823.


I also have this pub listed as simply the "Bell," but believe it was renamed when the "Bell Inn" on Gabriel's Hill was closed at the beginning of the 18th century.

This was situated at John Leland's (English local historian) visit in 1538 on Gabriel's Hill, and also exists in the song, "The Maidstone Landlords" in 1798. The premises apparently moved to 14 Week Street around 1711 where it was a Posting house.

This has also been referred to as "Ye Ancient Bell" at some time. The "Bell Tap" was situated next door.

"Ye Ancient Bell" closed some time in the 1920s and stood next door to the "Fountain Inn," the building was used as The Works bookshop until this was burnt in a serious fire in June 2015.


Local News on this day 13th December 1894.

On the evening of 10th December, the borough coroner Mr. R. T. Tatham held an inquest at the "Bell Hotel," Week Street, on the body of an infant named Harry Hadlow, who died on the previous Friday, under rather singular circumstances.

Mr Reynolds of Week Street was chosen as foreman of the jury.

The body having been viewed, the child's father Charles Hadlow, a labourer at the South Eastern railway, identified the body. The child was eleven months and the family lived at Bell Cottage, Church Street. He had left home on Friday morning after breakfast, the child was on the hearth rug, eating a piece of bread and butter. Just as he went indoors to diner, his wife screamed and looking at the child, he saw what he believed to be a fit or convulsion. He immediately got some hot water and the infant in it, but the child died. Dr Strouts was sent for, but the child was already deceased. Dr Strouts stated the death was due to constriction of the throat.

The Coroner Mr. Tatham stated it was a singular death and in fact he had never heard of a similar cause. Dr Strouts said the father could not have done a better thing than put the infant in hot water, but nothing could have been done, for the infant who had been well cared for. The throat was closed and death was due to suffocation. The construction was not caused through eating, it was a muscle affliction, the jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes.



Last pub licensee had WILDISH Dilnot 1811-Sept/15 Next pub licensee had

Last pub licensee had WILDISH Valentine Sept/1815-Aug/48 Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Kentish Gazette (age 68 in 1851Census)

SWIFEN/SWINFEN Spencer Bow Aug/1848-58+ (age 38 in 1851Census)

ISAACS John S 1858+

WELLER Mary C 1861 (listed as housekeeper age 21 in 1861Census)

MURRUS Edward 1862+

MARTIN Henry 1867+ Post Office Directory 1867

MARTIN Elizabeth 1871+ (age 34 in 1871Census)

WAIN Frank James 1882+ ?

FROST William Wootton 1874-91+ (age 37 in 1881Census)

BANBURY Francis 1913+

MILLETT Henry S 1918+



Post Office Directory 1867From the Post Office Directory 1867


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