Sort file:- Sheerness, December, 2023.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 13 December, 2023.


Earliest 1805-

Belle and Lion

Latest 1938+

Belle and Lion Street

Mile Town


Belle and Lion

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Peter Moynihan.


I am informed by Debi Birkin that the original "Belle and Lion" was situated on Belle and Lion Street, and is not the same building as the current Wetherspoons "Belle and Lion," in the High Street.

She says that the Wetherspoon's pub is relatively new and just adopted the name, she doesn't think the two are in the same area, but says she could be wrong. However Wetherspoons says the following:- The "Belle and Lion" was the first public house to be built in Mile Town. Other inns and ale houses were built soon after. The "Belle and Lion" is listed in a local directory of 1824 and a more recent one published in 1938. Boots store now stands on the site of the inn, at 59 High Street.

So indeed, there have been two different pubs with this name.


Public Ledger and Daily Advertiser, Friday 11th January 1805.

At the "Belle and Lion Inn," Sheerness, on Monday, the 21st inst. at three.

The Hull of the Brig Malvina, register measurements 194 20 94 tons, carries fourteen and a half keels of coals, together with her lower masts, bowsprit, and lower standing rigging, iron necked windlass and capstan, as she now lies on the beach near to Sheerness garrison.

For particulars apply to Messr's Betham and Son, at Sheerness, or to Robert Maxwell, Ship Agent, No. 2, Great George Street, Minories.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 18th September 1810.

Eligible leasehold building ground, to be sold by auction, by J. B. Rose.

At the "Belle and Lion," Mile Town, between six and eight o'clock in the evening of Tuesday, September 18th, 1810, in four lots each, 22 feet 6 inches in front of and adjoining the high road at Mile Town, leading to Sheerness Dockyard, Garrison, &c. by 35 feet in depth - each lot subject only to 10s. per year ground rent.


Kentish Gazette 26 March 1819.

On Friday last an inquest was held at the "Bell and Lion," Sheerness on the body with child about 3 years old, whose clothes had caught fire during the temporary absence, of about 7 minutes, of its mother on the previous Monday.

It died on Tuesday.

Verdict. Accidental death.


Kentish Gazette, 18 May 1852.

Sheerness. Suicide.

On Wednesday a distressing case of self-destruction occurred in this town; on the afternoon of that day about 10 minutes before six o'clock, a Mrs. Beeson, whose husband is employed in the dock-yard, said to a little girl whom she had in the house in the capacity of a servant, that she was going upstairs to put the things on the bed, and that when Mr. Beeson came home, to call her down; Mr. Beeson left the dock yard at six o'clock, and was soon home, when the girl went upstairs to call her mistress, and was horrified at seeing her suspended by the neck from the ceiling; she immediately ran down and told her master, who hastened upstairs and cut his wife down; life not being quite extinct at the time, a surgeon was immediately sent for, but though the medical gentleman arrived in a few minutes the vital spark had fled before his arrival.

An inquest was held the following day at the "Bull (sic) and Lion Inn," before T. Hills, Esq., county coroner, when, after the facts of the case had been deposed to, Mr. W. P. Cullen, surgeon, stated that he had been attending the deceased for some weeks for diseased heart, and his opinion was that the disease had reached the brain and produced insanity, when the jury returned a verdict accordingly. Deceased was 66 years of age, was a remarkably quiet inoffensive woman, and had been a member of the Wesleyan Society for many years.


Maidstone journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 28th March 1854.

Plate robbery at Sheerness.

Silas Skinner, 44, Shoemaker, stealing a silver fork, to silver spoons, and a dessert spoon, value 2, the property of George Clarkson, at Sheerness, on 22nd February.

Mr. Addison prosecuted.

Prosecutor keeps the "Belle and Lion," at Sheerness, and had employed the prisoner in the house. The son of Mr. Clarkson, who had charge of the silver, missed the articles mentioned from a drawer in the bar of the house on the 24th ult. He had seen them safe on the 18th. Prisoner had no business in the bar, and could not get access to it. He was at the house on parts of each day between the 20th and 24th. The prisoner went to the shop of Mr. Henry Wolf, a jeweller, at Sheerness, and asked him to buy the silver. It was then broken up, and prisoner said he had found it under a wall broken as it was. On the next day prisoner again came, and brought another piece, which he said he had also picked up. Wolf brought all the silver, and then put the pieces in his window, uncovered. The Constable, when he went to enquire about the silver, saw three of the pieces in the window, unconcealed.

Guilty. A former conviction at Canterbury, in 1852, was proved.

12 months' hard labour.


Maidstone journal and Kentish Advertiser, Saturday 4th July 1857.

Annual Shearing Meeting.

On Thursday evening the dinner was as usual at the National school room, near Trinity Church, and was provided by Mr. Clarkson, of the "Belle and Lion Inn," in the most liberal and satisfactory style. The wines and dessert were excellent.


Sheerness Guardian, 16 June, 1860.


June 11th, Mr. George Clarkson, of the "Bell and Lion Inn," Mile Town, Sheerness, aged 58 years.


South Eastern Gazette, 19 June, 1860.


On the 11th inst., Mr. George Clarkson, of the "Bell and Lion Inn," Mile Town, for many years landlord of the "Fountain Hotel," Blue Town, aged. 68.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 5 February 1867.

Sheerness. Sudden Deaths.

An inquest was held at the "Belle and Lion Inn," on Saturday, upon the body of Henry Johnson, aged 34. The deceased, who was a baker, was at work on Saturday morning at 1 o'clock, and, after giving his men instructions as to the required work, went to bed again. This was ascertained upon the evidence of Mrs. Wildish, a widow, acting as housekeeper to a Mr. Johnson sen., uncle of deceased, who lives in the same house, and is bed ridden. Deceased was in the habit of sleeping in the same room with his uncle, and had lifted him into bed at about 12:30. At 4:35, Wildish went to call deceased, but hearing no answer she went in, and thinking he was asleep she endeavoured to wake him; but she could not do so, she concluded he was dead. She had previously heard violence snoring, but thought it was from the uncle. Medical opinion was subsequently obtained, and a post-mortem examination made by Dr. Jasp, his medical attendant assisted by Mr. P. Swales, surgeon, who stated that the heart was perfectly healthy, but a fibrinous cast had been formed in one of the arteries, and had been dislodged therefore by violent exertion (possibly by the lifting of the uncle or the exertion of business), and had been forced through the various arteries to the heart, causing death by what is medically termed "Embolism." Verdict accordingly. It was remarked for the medical gentleman that the cause of death in this incident was most palpable but very rare.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 11th April 1891.

Fraudulent Pretences.

Ada Baker, married woman, was indicted for obtaining, by false pretences from David John Penny, a leg of Mutton, value 6s., the property of Frederick Penny, on the 14th February at Sheerness.

Mr. Tassell prosecuted and Mr. R. F. Gibson defended.

Prisoner pleaded not guilty.

David John Penney, son of Frederick Penny, butcher of Sheerness, said on 14th February the prisoner came to his shop and asked for a leg of mutton for Mr. Miles, of the "Belle and Lion," she asked for a bill in Mr. Miles name and ordered a piece of beef to be sent in that afternoon. Mr. Miles came later to the shop and said he had ordered no meat. About 7:30 they went to the prisoners house at West Minster, 2 miles from Sheerness. She denied having been to Sheerness. The leg was subsequently found at her house.

Edwin Pittock, butcher, Sheerness, remembered the prisoner coming to his shop and asking for a half leg of mutton, he said he would send it to Mr. Miles. He identified her next morning.

P.S. Huggett deposed to finding the leg of Mutton.

James John Miles, of the "Belle and Lion Inn," Sheerness deposed to never giving prisoner authority to order mutton at Penny's for him.

For the defence was called Joseph William Shrubsole, High Street, Sheerness, auctioneer, who deposed that on 14th February last prisoner came to his shop between 1 and 2 and behaved in a strange manner, she had a leg of mutton in her arms.

Ann Smith deposed that she lived next door to the prisoner. She had at various times complained of her head.

Lucy Mall deposed to having known the prisoner for some time and to her having frequently complained of her head.

For the defence it was urged that she was at certain times not responsible for her actions.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty, but recommended her to mercy.

She was sentenced to one month's hard labour.

This terminated the business of the Sessions.



SELBY Caleb 1828-40+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

BRISLEY Abraham 1847+

Last pub licensee had CLARKSON George 1851-11/June/60 dec'd (age 49 in 1851Census)

CLARKSON Prudence 1861-62+ (widow age 60 in 1861Census)

CLARKSON Prudence & Son 1867+

CLARKSON Henry George 1871-74+ (age 34 in 1871Census)

BUTLER Walter 1881-82+ (age 47 in 1881Census)

MILES James John 1891-1902 (also mineral water manufacturer in 1902)

LEIGH Frederick Orlando 1913-18+

BERGERSON John Charles 1934-38+


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

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


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