Sort file:- Sandwich, November, 2023.

Page Updated:- Monday, 06 November, 2023.


Earliest 1651-

Bell Family and Commercial Hotel

Open 2020+

Strand Street


1304 613388

Bell Hotel garage pre 1926

Above photo pre 1926, showing an array of cars outside the garage of the "Bell Hotel" at Sandwich Barbican. The reason for the gathering is not known, but a chauffeur stands beside each car at a time when motoring was still only for the wealthy. The garage was pulled down in 1926. (Audrey Lowley - Whitfield WI)

Bell 1939

Above postcard, circa 1939, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Bell 1973

Above photo 1973. Kindly sent by Paul Wells.

Bell Hotel matchbox

Above matchbox, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Bell Hotel 1998

Above photo 1998. From the Dover Mercury.

Bell Hotel 2012

Above photo by Paul Skelton 14 January 2012.

Bell Hotel 2010

Above photo taken by Patricia Streater, 28 April, 2010.

Bell in Sandwich, 2007

Photo from Dover Mercury 15 March 2007.


From an email received 19 August 2020.

John Revell Bell Token 1660s

John Revell, landlord of the original "Bell Inn" during the 1650s & 60s, was a direct ancestor of mine, my great x8 grandfather. His descendant Ann married my Great-great grandfather at St. Laurence in 1861.

John and his wife Alice had four children, all baptised at St. Mary’s in the town 1649-59; John died in 1670, his wife in 1673. It was probably he or she who poured the glass of sack for the Mayor to give to the new King Charles II who with his brother James, Duke of York visited the town in 1660. The Revells were still in the town in numbers in the late 19th century.


Mike Mirams.


From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, Wednesday, 3 May, to Saturday 6 May, 1769. Price 2½d.


A large quantity of very good old Oak Timber of different Scantlings, some of which is Thirty Feet in Length, being Part of a Tenament now taken down, near the “Old Bell Inn,” in Sandwich.

Enquire of Mr. Samuel Paramor, Carpenter, in Sandwich.


Kentish Gazette, September 2 to 6, 1791. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

The Bell, Sandwich, has been taken over from Mrs Sarah Harrison by Mr. John Friday.


From the Kentish Gazette, 27th Nov 1821.

MEAD's Bankruptcy

All persons indebted to the estate of Thomas MEAD of Sandwich, innkeeper, a bankrupt, are desired within 21 days from the date hereof, to pay the amount of their debts to William CURLING, wine merchant or Charles PORTER, baker, the assignees, or they will be sued for the amount without farther notice.

Sandwich Nov 26 1821.

(However, Thomas Mead is shown as licensee in the 1823 edition of Pigot's directory.)


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 4 January 1834. Price 7d.

WHEREAS a Fait in Bankruptcy is awarded and issued against WILLIAM KINGSFORD of Buckland, near Dover, in the County of Kent, paper manufacturer, miller, dealer and chapman, and being declared a Bankrupt is hereby required to surrender himself to the commissioners in the said Fait named or the major part of them, on the sixth day of January next, at one o'clock in the afternoon precisely, and on the Fourteenth day of February next, at Twelve o'clock at noon precisely, of the same days, at the "BELL INN", SANDWICH, in the County of Kent; and make full discovery and disclosure of his Estate and Effects; when and where the creditors are to come prepared to prove their debts, at at their first sitting to choose Assigners; and at the last sitting, the said Bankrupt is required to finish his examination; and the Creditors are to assent to, or dissent from, the allowance of his certificate. All persons indebted to the said Bankrupt, or that have any of his Effects, are not to pay or deliver the same but to whom the Commissioner shall appoint, but give notice to Mr SURRAGE, Solicitor, Sandwich; or Messrs. W and E DYNE, Solicitor, 61, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London.


From the Kentish Gazette, 24 January 1837.


That a Meeting will be held at the "Bell Inn," Sandwich, at One o’clock in the Afternoon, on WEDNESDAY DAY, February the First, for the general transaction of the business of the DEAL and SANDWICH MEDICAL CLUB, and for the purpose of receiving the contributions of the Voluntary and Benefiting Members of the said Society, when the Stewards for the respective parishes are particularly requested to attend, or to send their quarterly accounts to the Secretary.

W. M. HARVEY, Secretary and Treasurer.


From the Kentish Gazette, 18 February 1840.


(The following was in response to Queen Victoria's recent marriage to Prince Albert on 10 February 1840. Paul Skelton.)

At daylight the bells sent forth a merry peal, and continued at intervals throughout the day. Flags were hoisted on all the churches, and on the ships lying in the river. In the evening a band paraded the town. A ball and card assembly was held at the "Bell Inn," and a large party met at the "King's Arms," to celebrate the occasion.


Kentish Gazette, 15 October 1844.


MRS. HADLOW begs most respectfully to inform the Inhabitants of SANDWICH and its Neighbourhood, that her House-warming Dinner will take place on FRIDAY next, the 18th Inst., when the company of any Gentleman will he esteemed a favour.

Ticket, including Dessert and Waiters, 5s.

Dinner on Table at Four o’clock precisely.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 22 February, 1845. Price 5d.

The Mayor gave his annual dinner at the "Bell Inn," on Tuesday last, to the members of the Corporation. The evening was enlivened by the excellent singing of Messrs. Powell and Pettman; and the spread upon the occasion was, in every way, worthy of our respected mayor. Great credit is due to the worthy hostess for the manner in which the dinner was provided.


From the Kentish Gazette, 27 May 1845.



The insolvent had kept the "Bell Inn," at Sandwich, and was opposed on the part of Messrs. Hart, wine-merchants, on the ground that he had concealed or made away with considerable property.

The insolvent was required by an order, made on the 9th of December last (since which time he has stayed in prison), to pay into Court £450, being a portion of a sum which he alleged he had paid his relations, out of the sale of his public-house, including £300 to his brother-in-law, Daniel Tapley, a farmer residing at Barham Court, Dover. The insolvent swore to the payment of the money for advances obtained at different periods, and Tapley as positively denied that there was the least pretence for the statement. The evidence was painfully interesting. The insolvent and his brother-in-law stated that what each had said was untrue. About 13 years ago Tapley said he lent the insolvent £25, which he had repaid in two months afterwards.

Mr. Commissioner Pollock thought an opportunity should be given to the insolvent to consider the tissue of fraud and perjury committed; he was, perhaps, not aware of the statement to be made, and in common charity he should have permission to consider his conduct.

Mr. Dowes, who opposed, said Tapley had previously made an affidavit in which he denied the alleged loan, or repayment by the insolvent. The Learned Counsel prayed the Court to adjourn the case until the money was forthcoming.

Mr. Commissioner Pollock adjourned the case until the 28th of June. There was a limit fixed by the Act, otherwise he knew no limit for such a case. He urged on the insolvent to consider his statement.
The insolvent said he could not alter his evidence.

The case was adjourned.


From the Kentish Gazette, 16 June 1846.



ON the Premises, Strand Street, SANDWICH, on WEDNESDAY, the 24th day of JUNE, 1846, and Two following Days, the HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, Plate and Plated Goods, Linen, China, Glass, Horses, Carriages, Wines, Patent Mangle, Fixtures, and other Effects of the above Establishment:—

Comprising mahogany four-post and tent bedsteads and furniture's, feather beds and bedding, with suitable furniture for twelve bed rooms, mahogany dining, card, Pembroke, tea, and side tables, Brussels and Kidderminster carpets, hearth rugs, register and other stoves, two large kitchen ranges, smoke jacks, copper, lead pump cast iron fenders, fire irons handsome set of 18 mahogany Trafalgar and other chairs, pier glasses, sofa, window curtains, large quantity of glass and blue ware, china bowls, plate, and plated goods, linen sheets, table cloths, towels, doyleys, numerous kitchen requisites in copper, iron, and tin ware, knives and forks, three brass barrelled single-motion beer engines, horse-shoe dining table, with extra boards and tresses, large meat safe, gas pipes and fittings, lamps, patent mangle, &c. &c.

Yard and Stables:— Three useful post horses, four-wheel chariot in excellent condition four-wheel phaeton, two sets post harness, two gig ditto, two pair long traces, saddle, bridle, chaff cutting machine, ladder, horse cloths, stable implements, quantity of corn, hay, and straw, measures, corn chests, and other effects.

The Cellar contains a small stock of choice port, sherry, and other wines and spirits.

May be viewed on the mornings of he days of Sale when Catalogues, 6d. each, may be had on the premises, or of the Auctioneer, Market-street, Sandwich.


London Gazette Friday November 20 1846.

Re: Squire, an Insolvent Debtor.

The creditors of Thomas Squire, formerly of the "Duke of Cumberland," in the parish of Barham, near Sandwich, next of the "Bell Inn," Sandwich both in the county of Kent, Innkeeper, next of West Hougham, near Dover, in the county of Kent, and next and late for a short time of the "Catherine Wheel Inn," High-street, borough of Southwark, Surrey, at both last-named residences not in any business or employ, an insolvent debtor, are desired to meet the assignee of his estate and effects, appointed by the Court for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors on Thursday the 10th day of December next, at twelve o'clock at noon precisely, at the offices of Messrs. Dimmock and Burbey, No. 11, Clements-lane, Lombard-street, London, in order to assent to or dissent from the said assignee compromising and arranging, on terms to be then and there stated, a legacy or interest under the will of Mark Sandford, deceased, to which the said insolvent became entitled in right of his wife, on the death of Elizabeth Tapley, now lately deceased.

Dated this 17th day of November 1846.


A Hotel has been on this site since the 1300s although the present building is mainly 19th century.

This building dates from 1648. In 1769 I have found reference to it being called the "Old Bell Inn" and assume that it is the same. Unless of course this refers to an even earlier building.

Pigot's Directory 1823 & 1839 referred to the "Bell" as a posting and commercial hotel, latter date run by Thomas Matthews and Mary Maylon.

Melville's directory of 1858 states that the Bell Inn in Strand Street also housed the Assembly Rooms.

The Bell Hotel has been an important centre of Sandwich life since Tudor times. A Bell Inn has existed on The Quay, adjacent to the Barbican Gate and Toll, overlooking what would have been the harbour, now the River Stour, since about 1300. Known as the "Bell Tavern" in the 17th century.

The present listed building is mainly 19th century. Today with its 34 en suite bedrooms; a Georgian regency room catering for up to 120 guests; the Stour conference suite overlooking the river, a brasserie with a menu specialising in local produce and two bars, that importance is set to continue as The Bell undergoes a programme of refurbishment and restoration.

In 1648, during the last months of the Civil War, a fake Prince of Wales stayed at the hostelry, and received enthusiastic support from the Royalists among the townspeople. This impostor, whose name was Cornelius Evans, was finally caught out and sent packing to Canterbury Jail. In 1660 the real Prince of Wales, now King Charles II, came ashore at Sandwich with his brother James, Duke of York, Prince Rupert and the Earl of Sandwich, to make their way by road to Deal.

The Merry Monarch King Charles II was presented with a glass of sack (spicy wine) at the door of the Bell by the Town Mayor on his way to Dover to receive Queen Henrietta Maria, on her return from exile, which he drank without dismounting. There was a minor incident when a stray dog bit a horse of the King's retinue.

Bagshaw Directory 1847 describes the inn as a Posting House.

Today, 2012 the hotel is owned and run by Shepherd Neame and offers 37 individually decorated ensuite bedrooms, a choice of two function rooms and a restaurant capable of serving 100 guests. 


Bell Hotel circa 1900

Above photo circa 1905 doesn't show the Bell Hotel but show Allgoods cycle and motor shop, a private house, garage and a cinema. The sign shown is actually pointing the direction of the actual hotel.

Bell pointing sign 1905

The AA as shown on the sign on the building was formed on 29 June, 1905. The buildings on the right were demolished during the 1920s.


Kentish Gazette 06 October 1868.


Mr. V. J. Collier, will sell by auction, at the Mart, Tokenhouse Yard, London, on Friday October 9th 1868, at One for Two o'clock.

The "Bell Inn," at Sandwich, an old established and respectable Commercial and Family Hotel, containing good accommodation, including billiard and assembly rooms, extensive stabling and tap, of freehold tenure and let on lease for an unexpired term of 13 years at £75 per annum. The beer trade of the hotel and tap is reserved, and the lessee, who is also the occupier, is open to an offer for his interest; thus the property offers an equally eligible investment to either a brewer, innkeeper, or other person seeking a well secured income arising from Freehold Property.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 14 September, 1872. 1d.


John Jordan, George Durban, and William Hoile, three youths, were summoned upon the information of Supt. Brothers, with being drunk and riotous in the streets on the night of Saturday week, August 31st.

Jordan pleaded guilty to being drunk, but denied that he was riotous, and Durban and Hoile said they were not drunk.

John Burch, the landlord of the "Bell Inn," deposed: I saw the defendant John Jordan in my house between 15 and 20 minutes past eleven on the night in question. In came in with several others, accompanied by Supt. Brothers. All the men were exceedingly rough and violent, and they demanded to be served with ale, and the defendant was decidedly not sober. The language used by the men was very bad, but I did not hear them use any threats. They had an idea that my house was allowed to be open after others. My front door was closed and the shutter up when the men all rushed in. I had closed my house that night at 10 minutes to eleven, and everybody in the house but myself had gone to bed. I was waiting till the last train had come in. The men demanded the lights to be extinguished throughout the house, and some gravel was thrown at my bedroom window. There were 30 men at least and they were all disorderly. I refused to serve them, and got them out of the house as quickly as possible. They thought some of the authorities were using the house, and Supt. Brothers requested me to let him go through the house in order to satisfy the mob. After the men got out of the house they remained in the street and made a great noise - yelling and shouting.

Cross-examined by Jordan: I have a distinct recollection of your being in my house on the night in question.

By Durban: I have no recollection of your being in my house, nor do I remember your calling for a glass of ale, and I did not serve you with one.

Durban: I did not go into your house and ask for a glass of ale.

Hoile had no questions to ask.

Supt. Brothers said: On Saturday the 31st of August shortly after eleven o'clock, there were a number of men assembled in front of the "Sun," public-house, and they were making a great noise. The three defendants were the most prominent. They were cursing and swearing. Jordan had a stone bottle (a gallon one I should imagine) over one of his shoulders, Hoile was endeavouring to conceal his face, and Durban had the brim of his hat turned down for the same purpose. The mob went on up through the Chain and down the High Street. They said they were certain there were houses in the town which had permission to keep open after hours, and one of the mob said, "Let us go down to the "Bell."" I told him the "Bell Hotel" was closed, but they would not believe it, and I therefore accompanied them there. When we got there, Durban went towards the door and he said the bar was open. He then went in and called for a glass of ale. I heard him do so. I did not observe whether Jordan entered the house, but he was amongst the mob, and he said he did not care for the ______ Magistrates, and that he knew some of them were playing billiards. I consider that he was the principle offender. After we got the men out of the "Bell," they remained in the street for a long time, but when the clock struck 12 they cooled down.

In defence Jordan said: I have nothing to say only that I am sorry I was there, and I hope it will never occur again.

Durban: I was not drunk, thought brothers says I was - I was no more drunk than I am now.

Hoile: I went in the country, and I was coming home I tied my handkerchief round my neck as I had a sore throat. When I got into town I fell in with the mob, and I was pushed first one way and then another. I was not drunk or disorderly.

There was another summons against the defendant Jordan, and the Magistrates decided to hear the evidence in this case before considering their decision in the other.

Jordan was then charged by Supt. Brothers with being drunk in the "Three Colts," public-house, on the night of the 1st of September, and of riotous and disorderly behaviour.

Click here for continuation.


From the Deal, Walmer, and Sandwich Mercury, 7 July, 1900.


Tuesday was a day which will never be forgotten by the members of the 1st Cinque Ports, a most lamentable accident occurred, which caused the death of the second-in-command of the Regiment, and cast a gloom over the entire Camp. Major Harby mounted his horse before breakfast to proceed to Sandwich, in order to pay a visit to Lieut. Lane, who, having been thrown from his (Major Marby's) horse the previous day, was at the Cottage Hospital at Betteshanger. He intended, also, to meet the detachments from the different companies, who were to arrive by early trains for the inspection. He had not proceeded far before the horse threw him, but he soon re-mounted, and proceeded out of Camp. The animal was very fresh and restive, and as he approached the gate, by the head-quarter guard, he was again thrown, and the horse bolted towards Sandwich, turning into the road leading to the St. George's Golf Club House. two of the gunners ran after and caught the horse, the Major following, and stating that he had not received any injury. He again mounted and rode into Sandwich, and when in New Street, the horse ran away with him. Major Harby tried to pull the animal up, when it reared on to the pavement at the corner of New Street and Galliard Street, and he was pitched violently against the house, falling heavily on the pavement, and bringing down the window shutter with him in his fall. When picked up, he was found to have received serious injuries to the head, and he was taken to the surgery of Surgeon Captain Harrisson close by. On examination, it was found that he had sustained a severe cut on the head, and that hios shoulder was dislocated. He was taken to the "Bell Hotel," and later in the day he lost consciousness, and died about noon. The terrible news was brought to the Commanding Officer as the men were marching off the parade ground after the inspection; the Union Jack, which was flying at the Guard tent, was lowered to half mast, and the sad tidings quickly passed from one to another, until the entire Camp was in a state of consternation. Major Harby was without doubt the most popular officer in the regiment. Enrolled in No. 2 Company, Dover, as a gunner, he very soon gained, by merit, the position of bombardier, and afterwards, corporal, when he took a commission in the Corps as Lieutenant, and was promoted step by step, until at the time of his death he was the senior Major, and had he lived another year, in the ordinary course of events he would have been promoted to the commander of the regiment on the retirement of Colonel Daniel. Major Harby was held in the highest esteem by every member of the regiment, from the Colonel downwards. he was a most efficient, and at the same time a most popular officer. he had a kind word for every one, no matter his rank or station in life, and there was never an officer of the 1st Cinque Ports who so thoroughly won the hearts of every member of the corps. He will be greatly missed by officers, non-commissioned officers and men alike, and his loss is deeply deplored. The horse which was the cause of his death belonged to an ex-sergeant of one of the Dover Companies, and the Major had had it in camp three years in succession. It was a collar horse, but had been with a trooper under training in the east Kent Yeomanry. Owing to the weather the previous day it had very little exercise, and was fresh when taken from the stable. The same animal threw Lieut. Lane when exercising it on Monday. The Lieutenant sustained slight concussion, but was able to present at the inspection on Tuesday.

The inspection was held by Col. Baker, Commanding Militia and Auxiliary Artillery, S.E.D., who afterwards expressed himself much gratified with what he had seen. He was pleased that they had mustered so strong, and with the general turn out, and particularly with the march past, which was very well done. He noticed that there was a marked improvement in the way in which the equipment was fitted, and in the general appearance of the men.

The death of major Harby has entirely upset the arrangement of the camp. The official dinner, which was to have taken place the same evening was indefinitely postponed, the concert will not take place on Thursday, and it is very probable that the camp will break up at the end of the fortnight.


Was held at the "Bell Hotel" the same afternoon at 4.30, by Dr. F. W. Hardman, Coroner for Sandwich and its Liberties. The following were sworn on the Jury:- Messrs. Herbert Hicks (foreman), Francis W. Lass, James Howard, Arthur w. Chapman, Joseph W. Carr, William W. Woodruff, Harry Forbes, F. Walter Pain, Albert Yarrow, A. Jordan, George Arnold, and Walter E. Fagg.

The Jury having viewed the body, Reginald A. Bullock, proprietor of the "Three Colts," said that at about 7.45 that morning he was in his house when he saw the horse and rider gallop violently past, proceeding down New Street from the direction of the station. he rushed out and saw them come into contact with Sackville House. The rider was thrown with considerable force against the shutter, which fell with him, and the horse also fell, but immediately got up and rushed off in the direction of Mrs. Fagg's stable, where it had been kept. The occurrence was so instantaneous that he could not say which part of the deceased came into contact with the shutter. Witness went across and held the injured man's head on his arm, and undid his jacket collar. The deceased was then groaning. He could not speak at first, and seemed partially unconscious, but when witness bathed his temples with vinegar he murmured to him to detest. Witness sent a man immediately for a doctor. Several people then came round, and deceased walked with assistance to Dr. Harrison's surgery, and then sat on the door step. The horse was certainly running away with its rider when he first saw them. As witness held deceased, blood was coming from the back of his head. It appeared to witness that the deceased officer endeavoured to guide the animal straight down New Street, but it would not go, and was no doubt making for Mr. Fagg's stables.

Stephen Bingham, in the employ of Mr. Farley, of Dover, said he was acting as groom, the horse being owned by Mr. Farley. It was about 12 years of age as near as he could tell. He had always known it to bear a good character, and never remembered the horse running away with anyone before. He had frequently ridden it himself.

Questioned by the Coroner, witness said it threw another officer the day before, who was galloping across the camping-ground. That was caused through the stirrup-strap breaking. The horse had been used to town work, and also saddle work twice a year for the Yeomanry and Volunteer Camps. It had run in a milk-cart twice a day while at home, and was not a spirited or awkward horse for a stranger to have. Nothing led him to expect an accident. There was no intention at any time of killing the animal. It had a very tender mouth. It was in good condition, and had only had its usual feeding up to the time of going to the camp. The Major had ridden the horse occasionally for five years, and this was the third camp at which he had had it. Witness rode the horse from Dover to the camp last Thursday morning, and he would not mind riding it back, but he had orders to box it on account of the bridle being broken. The Major was a good rider as far as he knew.

Asked by the Coroner if the animal was likely to be more trying in camp than out, witness replied that probably it would be. He took the horse to the camp about seven that morning, and afterwards saw the deceased, who was going for a ride to Betteshanger. From what he had heard, the deceased came by the road by the "Lord Warden" Stables, intending to cross the railway, but the horse would not go, and turned round, and went towards the town, and deceased then used the spurs. While with witness the horse had never shown any particular signs of temper, unless when passing a traction-engine or motor car.

In answer to questions by several jurors, the witness said a horse of that description was not used to a rider wearing spurs, and deceased should not have used them. The horse would not have the spurs or the curb-bit. The deceased knew of this, and he was cautioned on Thursday, and witness had been warned not to use either when started from Dover.

Dr. Harry Kerswell deposed that he was called about a quarter to eight. When the call came, he was in bed, and he immediately dressed, and when he went down, the deceased had reached the surgery. His injuries consisted of a scalp wound on the left side, and a skin abrasion about three inches long on the right side of the head, and the left collar bone was fractured. He complained of great pain in the shoulder. He seemed dazed, but was not unconscious. The wounds were dressed at the surgery, and the collar bone was set after his removal to the "Bell." Deceased got no better. Witness did not suspect any injuries beyond those that were apparent. About an hour and a half after the accident, depression came on, and deceased got drowsy. When witness left him, at about 11.30, having occasion to go to the surgery for something, deceased was about the same as when he saw him first at the surgery, but on his return to the hotel he found him dead. There were two other medical men with the deceased the whole time. He expired about 12 o'clock. In witness' opinion, death was caused by compression of the brain, due to intracranial haemorrhage, occasioned by the rupture of a vessel in the brain. The compression would not be noticeable at first.

Col Daniel was then called to give evidence of identification. The deceased was 38 years of age. Col. Daniel remarked that he considered the horse was somewhat skittish. It was a safe horse in the hands of an experienced rider, and Major Harby had the making of a good rider, with any amount of pluck.

The Coroner, in summing up, said it was clear from the circumstances which the evidence brought to light, that the groom took the horse to the camp on Thursday, and the major had ridden the horse at various times the past five years, whilst twice a year it had been used for Volunteers and Yeomanry training. he stated that it showed no signs of vice, and had never thrown anyone before, although it was of a nervous character when passing traction-engines and motor cars, and he also implied that the deceased had been warned not to use the spurs or the curb rein. The deceased's experience of riding did not appear very considerable, although he had had lessons when he was appointed Major. The deceased was a personal friend of his, and he knew him to be a man of considerable nerve, and who was not likely to have lost his head. He appeared to have intended riding to Betteshanger, and on passing out of the road by the "Lord Warden" directed the horse's head towards the railway, but the horse insisted on going in an opposite direction, and probably, on the Major using the spurs, the animal bolted with him. At the Galliard Street corner he appeared to make another effort to control the horse, and in the struggle between the horse and man they came into collision with the house, the deceased receiving the injuries described, the horse running away to the stables. He did not think that blame attached to anyone. The deceased evidently attempted to unwisely coerce the horse by the use of the spurs, and he thought the jury could only find that death was caused accidentally. He commended Mr. Bullock for the prompt aid which he rendered. As he had previously said, the deceased was well know to him, and to a great many, and was very popular. He felt that Major Harby's loss would be greatly deplored.

The jury returned a verdict of "accidental death," and the4 foreman said he had been desired to express on behalf of the jury the deep sympathy they all felt with the relatives, and also with the officers and men in the loss of so able an officer.


After the inquest on the body of Major Harby on Tuesday evening, his remains were placed in an elm shell, and at nine o'clock were removed from the town. The officers, Sergt-Major Hewlett, Quarter-Master Sergeants Smith and Beau, the Sergeant-instructors, and those of the sergeants who had become acquainted with the fact, assembled at the "Bell Hotel," and the staff-sergeants and sergeants were permitted to once more look at the face of their late esteemed officer, whose remains were then carried on the shoulders of six sergeants, from the bedroom to the hearse on the Quay, the pathway being lined with officers, non-commissioned officers and men, who saluted the corpse passed. The shell was covered by the Union Jack. The Colonel and other officers accompanied the body, by road, to the residence at Dover.

On Wednesday, the general orders contained the following:- "The Officer Commanding, desires to take the earliest opportunity of expressing his deep sorrow and regret, which will be shared by all ranks, and the sad and lamentable accident which had deprived the regiment of one of its most popular and efficient officers, in the person of Major Harby, whose indefatigable services during the present camp have contributed so greatly to its success, and whose death while in the actual performance of his duties, leaves a blank in the regiment which will now be difficult to supply." All life seems to have been taken out of the camp, and only the necessary routine was undertaken. On Wednesday, Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 8 companies, and on Thursday, Nos. 5, 6, and 7 companies went to gun practice at the South Lines, Dover, excellent practice being made - the best, in fact, that has been made by any auxiliary regiment mobilised up to the present this year. The companied left in camp each day practised with the 40-pounders, at No. 2 Battery. The time will be occupied on Friday and Saturday in a similar manner, and in consequence of the death of Major Harby, the camp will be struck on Wednesday next, instead of on the following Wednesday.

Prior to the detailed companies leaving for gun practice, at Dover, this (Friday) morning, the regiment was paraded, and Captain Bradley, addressing the men, said that they were assembled in consequence of the regrettable death of Major Harby, and in order that a letter from Mrs. Harby might be read to them. The letter was as follows: "Mrs. Harby wishes to thank the officers, and all ranks, for their kind sympathy, and hopes that the death of her husband will not effect the enjoyment of the camp, as she feels sure that that would be the wish of her husband." Captain Bradley went on to say that he knew if the Colonel had been present, he would have expressed to them the very deep sorrow he had felt in the terrible loss the regiment had suffered from the lamentable death of Major Harby. He knew it had been felt throughout the regiment by all ranks. Major Harby had been in the regiment a great many years, serving from a gunner to the rank he held at the time of his death; and through every rank he was popular, and he would be very greatly missed. He knew, too, that sympathy of the regiment was with Mrs. Harby in her troubles.

The funeral takes place today (Friday), at Dover Cemetery, and will be of a private character, by the wish of the family, but the whole of the officers of the regiment will attend, and the remains of the gallant Major will be bourne to their last resting-place by the sergeants, one from each company.



On the Town Council assembling on Tuesday, the Mayor said: I think that after the sad intelligence we have received this morning, we will adjourn the business over till next week. It has really quite overwhelmed me, and I am sure the sympathy which I feel, you share with me. (Here, here). I refer to the lamented death of Major Harby, who is really one of our Corporation officers. he was deeply interested in everything that tended to the welfare of the town, and it is a sad circumstance that he should be cut off in the prime of life, and more especially while he was doing his duty as a soldier. I propose that an expression of our deep sympathy be forwarded to Mrs. Harby and the family. I also move that the business be adjourned for the week.

Mr. Mackenzie seconded, and Mr. Martyn Mowll and Ald. Peake having spoken, the resolutions were carried unanimously.

On the suggestion of Mr. Mackenzie, a telegram was sent to Col. Daniel, commanding 1st C.P.V.A., to the following effect:- "The Mayor and Corporation, on behalf of all inhabitants, desire to express their deep sympathy on the occasion of the lamented death of Major Harby."


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette 02 November 1901.


Mr. Rudyard Kipling paid a brief visit to Sandwich last week, staying at the "Bell Hotel."


Hull Daily Mail 17 June 1907.

Mr. Minter, 75 years old, a solicitor, of Folkestone, committed suicide by shooting himself on Sunday at the "Bell Hotel," Sandwich.


From the Dover Mercury, 15 March 2007.

COME and meet our specialist wedding exhibitors including florists, tailors, bridal wear companies, photographers, toastmasters, jewellers, harpists, a Kent Marriage Registrar offering expert and friendly advice and our own in-house Wedding Adviser. Enjoy canapés and sparkling prosecco from our 'place at the bell' brassiere. Guided tours through the refurbished and redecorated hotel including the Regency and Stour Rooms and the white wedding bedrooms.

The historic Bell Hotel is licensed for weddings. Its elegant double height Regency Room with deep original Georgian sash windows and Minstrels' Gallery is a perfect setting for a wedding reception for up to 100 guests. The Stour room, with deep windows high ceilings overlooking the river, is licensed for the wedding service and will hold up to 60 guests. Our 'White Bedroom' is the romantic room for this most special of days.

The head chef of our brassiere 'The Place at The Bell" will create a wedding menu that is simply delicious. Seafood and fish straight from Sandwich bay, lamb from nearby Romney Marsh and vegetables, salads and herbs supplied by local farmers. Nothing too fussy and fancy, just the freshest ingredients simply cooked to bring out their fullest flavours. We use local free range and organic products whenever possible, change the menu according to the seasons and always have an interesting selection of vegetarian choices. We offer wines from new regions that are never predictable or boring, including some from Kent and Sussex vineyards, as well as local ales and juices. Choose from three different types of menus: a canapé/crostini selection, our buffet collection and a 'table service' menu.

The Bell Hotel Sandwich has 34 individually decorated bedrooms, including 3 larger suites. Some bedrooms have balconies and views over the River Stour or the Kent peg tiled rooftops of the old town.

The Cinque Port of Sandwich is arguably the most complete medieval historic town in England. The Guildhall and Town WaIl, The Butts, The Ropewalk, Millwall, The Bulwarks, The Fisher Gate, The Barbican and Tollbridge over the River Stour are all redolent of its historical wealth and importance. Thomas a Becket passed through Sandwich on his flight from Henry Il, Richard the Lionheart landed at Sandwich on his return from the crusades. The Black Prince brought King John of France back as prisoner from his victory in Poitiers and Elizabeth I was entertained in Sandwich, to try to persuade her to help restore the harbour when it started to silt up and the town's fortunes went into decline. Sandwich is now two miles inland and the famous links golf courses of Royal St George's and Prince's now occupy the once flourishing port. Tempting lanes and footpaths follow the line of Richard Il's fortified walls where Henry V's archers probably practised en route for the Battle of Agincourt. There are lovely walks, by the River Stour and over the salt marshes and nature reserves towards the sea.

For further information or if you would like to meet and talk through your requirements, please call 01304 613388.



David G. Collier writes:- During the last months of the Civil War, (1641-1651) a fake Prince of Wales stayed at the "Bell Tavern," having made his way from Deal with his entourage.

He was greeted with much enthusiasm by local Royalists, but seemed to be reluctant to meet them face to face. In fact when they insisted on calling upon him, he escaped via a window and was caught in Ramsgate. He turned out to be Cornelius Evans, an impecunious Welshman, who was packed off to Canterbury jail.


From the Deal and Sandwich Express, 27 October, 2011.


SANDWICH'S "Bell Hotel" which was described as "brilliant" by Jeremy Clarkson - has been sold to Shephard Neame.

The renowned hotel, in the heart of the town, is a further addition to Shephard Neame's growing accommodation estate, now totalling seven hotels with 450 rooms across the South East.

Situated on The Quay, the "Bell" was sold with a hefty price tag of £3.6 million.

The "Bell" had previously been bought by Albion Ventures in 2005.

Albion invested £3.1 million in revamping the hotel's bedrooms and public areas.

Since the refurbishment, the hotel has won an AA Rosette and served as the headquarters of the R&A during the 2011 Open Golf Championship.

Henry Stanford, a partner at Albion Ventures, said, "We are delighted to have played our part in restoring the hotel to its former glory and wish it every success under Shephard Neame's ownership.

Shephard Neame retail director Nigel Bunting added: "The "Bell" is a well-known and prestigious hotel, ideal for business travellers, visitors on short breaks, keen golfers and customers looking for high-quality function venues.


From the East Kent Mercury, 27 October, 2011.


The "Bell Hotel" in Sandwich has been sold for £3.6m.

The 37 bedroom-hotel on the Quay hat been bought by brewer Shepherd Neame who now have seven hotels In the South East.

It was previously owned by Albion Ventures.

Shepherd Neame retail director Nigel Bunting said: "The Bell is a well known, prestigious hotel, ideal for business travellers, visitors on short breaks, keen golfers and customers looking for a high quality function.

General manager Matt Collins is remaining at the helm with a team of duty managers and an army of staff staying with the hotel.

A statement by the Faversham brewer said the acquisition follows Shepherd Neames  recent purchase of the Fayreness Hotel in Broadstairs. Other hotels owned by Shepherd Neame include the Royal Hotel in Deal, the Royal Albion in Broadstairs and the George Hotel in Cranbrook.

The Bell has won an AA Rosette for the Old Dining Room.

The news follows on from other successes this summer when it was the Royal and Ancient headquarters hotel during the Open Golf Club championship.

Henry Stanford, partner at AIbion Ventures, said: "We are delighted to have played our part in restoring the hotel to  former glory and with it every success under Shepherd Neame ownership."



In 2005 the "Bell" was purchased by Albion ventures.

2011 Shephard Neame have now added this to their list of tied houses.


From the By Georgia Woolf, 3 August 2019.

Bell Hotel guests transferred following fire in The Quay Sandwich.

Hotel guests have been moved to other establishments following a fire in Sandwich.

People who were staying at the "Bell Hotel" in The Quay, were put in taxis and moved to other hotels after a fire tore through the premises at around 5.30pm yesterday.

Four fire engines were sent to the hotel which was evacuated as a result of the blaze.

The fire is thought to have started in ducting in the kitchen - causing damage to the room and a function room above.

The blaze also resulted in smoke and water damage to a number of bedrooms and hotel furnishings.

Fire-fighters wore breathing apparatus and fog spike to put out the flames and remained at the premises to check for hotspots until 1.15am.

Shepherd Neame confirmed the hotel was evacuated and no one was injured in the blaze.

A spokeswoman said: "A fire was reported in the Bell Hotel kitchen at 5.30pm yesterday.

"No-one was injured as a result of the fire.

"The Bell is currently closed and we arranged for taxis to transfer all guests to local hotels where they will remain while we assess the damage.”


From the By John James, 29 Jan 2020.

 Kitchener camp: The forgotten story behind the Kent camp which saved 4,000 Jewish refugees.

It was set up in 1939 to offer refuge to German and Austrian Jews who were being persecuted by the Nazis.

The Kitchener Camp in Sandwich was home to over 4000 refugees in the early stages of the Second World War.

The town of Sandwich is famous for many things, but not many people know that it was once home to a Jewish refugee camp at the start of the Second World War.

As the situation for Jewish people in Europe worsened during the 1930s, plans were drawn up for a refugee camp on the East Kent coast.

In total, Kitchener camp took in more than 4,000 male refugees from Austria and Germany in the short time it operated.

In the week of Holocaust Memorial Day, this is the full story behind the forgotten camp.

Kitchener Camp 1940

The camp as it looked in 1940 (Image: Erich Peritz)

A transit camp.

In 1939, as anti-Semitism in Germany worsened the council for German Jewry advised that the formation of refugee camps in Britain was an urgent matter to be addressed.

However, the Home Office had reservations, fearing that a 'pool of refugees' would be formed in England unless there were proper measures in place.

Eventually, a compromise was reached wherein an army camp in Richborough would be transformed into a transit camp for refugees with the means to eventually emigrate from Britain.

This camp was named Kitchener camp and there were strict rules for prospective refugees.

Only those who could expect to move on 'within a reasonable period' were eligible and all those who arrived in the camp had no rights of British citizenship.

It was expected that they would move to another country within 12 months and in this time they were not permitted to work.

Despite these severe terms, countless Jewish refugees made the trip.

'Friendly aliens'

Kitchener Camp friendly aliens 1940

The camp was encouraged to be self sufficient (Image: Lothar Nelken).

The camp was operated by the Jewish Lads Brigade who built the facility with the help of 100 refugees granted temporary visas by the Home Office.

It was intended to cater to 5,000 people and was equipped with space for agricultural and language training,

Those who lived in the camp were not confined and could leave the camp with temporary permits.

The refugees were split into three categories depending on their status.

The first class was simply 'interned', while class two were known as 'enemy aliens'.

These were refugees, who for some reason or another were known to the authorities and so had to register with the police.

The last class were classified as "friendly aliens", and were allowed to work through a labour exchange along with those in class two as long as there 'were no English subjects able to take jobs for which there were openings'.

The Kitchener soldiers.

Kitchener Camp friendly aliens

Many of the refugees at Kitchener Camp volunteered for national service (Image: Hugo Heilbrunn).

At the camp's peak it had 4,000 refugees, a population 500 people higher than the nearby town of Sandwich.

In total, there were around 65,000 refugees in Britain between 1939-40 and the pressure was beginning to show.

It was suggested that the Kitchener men might be called to help the British war effort.

In total, 1,900 of the Kitchener men volunteered for national service and were placed in either the Auxiliary Pioneer battalions, as specialists and technicians or in general service in the army.

Eduard & Eric Elias 1940

Above photo, kindly sent by Eric Elias (son of Eduard), showing Eduard and Hans Elias and two unknowns.

In 2019 a blue plaque was erected on the Bell Hotel in Sandwich to commemorate the camp.

Blue Plaque

Sadly, with the onset of the Second World War public opinion began to shift against refugees.

Following the Dunkirk evacuation, paranoia began to infest public opinion leading some to suspect any German speaking refugee of being a spy or a saboteur.

The camp was closed in 1940 and all those who had not volunteered for the war effort were deported to Australia or Canada.




REVELL John 1660s+

CURLING Kirby Mr 1768+ Kentish Gazette

HARRISON Sarah Mrs Sept/1791

FRIDAY John Sept/1791-98+ Next pub licensee had

MEAD Thomas 1821-28+ Pigot's Directory 1823

MATTHEWS Thomas & MALYON Mary 1832-39+ Pigot's Directory 1839Pigot's Directory 1832-34

MATTHEWS Thomas 1840+ Pigot's Directory 1840

MATTHEWS Esther 1841+ (age 35 in 1841Census)

Last pub licensee had SQUIRE Thomas 1842-44

MOLYNEUX William 1847-51+ (age 53 in 1851Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847

MOLYNEUX & HADLOW 1855 Post Office Directory 1855

MOLYNEUX William 1858+ Melville's 1858

WANSTALL  R 1862+ Kelly's 1862

BURCH John 1872-74+ Kelly's 1874Post Office Directory 1874

FILMER John James 1878-82+ Post Office Directory 1878Post Office Directory 1882

JONES Jane A Mrs 1891 Post Office Directory 1891 (Manageress age 34 in 1891Census)

CARPENTER Miss Annie L (Manageress) 1899+ Kelly's 1899

JOYCE Mr J to Aug/1904+ Next pub licensee had

Last pub licensee had GOSLIN Sidney James after 1934

FRANKS Peter A 1974+ Library archives 1974



Pigot's Directory 1823From the Pigot's Directory 1823

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 1839From the Pigot's Directory 1839

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

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1855From the Post Office Directory 1855

Kelly's 1862From the Kelly's Directory 1862

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874

Kelly's 1874From the Kelly's Directory 1874

Post Office Directory 1878From the Post Office Directory 1878

Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Kentish GazetteKentish Gazette



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