Sort file:- Canterbury, December, 2023.

Page Updated Canterbury:- Saturday, 16 December, 2023.

PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton & Rory Kehoe

Earliest 1848

(Name from)

Bell Hotel

Latest 1974+

15 High Street


Bell Hotel 1948

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

Canterbury map 1874

Above map 1874 identified by Rory Kehoe.

Bell 1948

Above photo circa 1948, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Bell 1953

Above photo circa 1953, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Pub shown on the right of the picture.

Bell Hotel 1965

Above showing a picture of the "Bell Hotel" taken in 1965.

Former Bell Hotel 2009

Above showing the same premises as taken from Google July 2009.

Former Bell 2017

Above photo, kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe, September 2017.


Also know as the "Queen's Head," and listed as early as 1803, "White Horse," as far back as 1837 and "Chequers," but adopted the name of the "Bell" in 1848.

Rigdens the brewers give a date in the 18th century, but only listed for definite in a directory of 1803.

In 1840 the "Bell" now owned by Flints brewery was sold for the grand sum of 830, so a report in the Kentish Gazette reported.

In 1865 a fire that started on the High Street damaged part of the building and destroyed the "Market Hall" in Sun Street

The inn finally closed in 1974.


George and Elixabeth Oakenfull

Above photo, date unknown, showing licensees George and Elizabeth Oakenfull, kindly sent by Roger Woodman, who says this could have been their wedding photo. They were married on the 10 April 1838.


Kentish Gazette, 26 June 1849.


Oakenfull:- June 17, at Canterbury, after a lingering illness, Mr. George Oakenfull, landlord of the "Bell Inn," formerly of the "Guldhall Tavern," aged 34 years, much respected.

Kentish Gazette, 1 July 1851.

E. Oakenfull.

"Bell Inn," High Street, Canterbury.

Stabling and Lock-up Coach House.

Omnibuses' to all Parts, Morning and Evening.

Good and well-aired Beds.


Intaglio plate 1848

The above Intaglio printmaking plate circa 1848 has been mirror imaged to allow you to read the words. They say the following:- G. Oakenfull, Stabling & Lock Up Coach Houses. Omnibusses to all parts Morning & Evening. Bell Inn, High Street, Canterbury.

G. O. begs to inform his Friends and the Public in general that he has taken the above Inn where he trusts by strict attention and moderate charges to secure a continuance of their favours.

Good Will and Aired Beds.

This was kindly sent to me from Roger Woodman from Australia.

Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 12 June 1849.


Important sale of the extensive Brewery of Messr's Flint, including 30 old established Inns and Public Houses, and other valuable property.

Mr. V. J., has received instructions to sell by auction, at the "Fountain Hotel," Canterbury, on Tuesday and Wednesday, 26th and 27th of June, at 12 o'clock each day, (in consequence of the death of the senior acting partner and the retirement of the surviving partners,) the valuable property known as Messrs. Flint's Brewery, in Stour Street, Canterbury, and the Inns, Public Houses, and other valuable property connected with theirwith. The first day sale on Tuesday, 26th June, 1849, will comprise the following property in and near the city.

Public houses.

Lot 1. The "City of Canterbury," situate on the road to Whitstable. Freehold.

Lot 2. The "George and Dragon," Westgate without, leasehold under Hind's charity for 17 years unexpired.

Lot 3. The "Three Compasses," Westgate within. Freehold.

Lot 4. The "Bell Inn" and Coach Office, in the High Street. Freehold.

Lot 5. The "Prince of Wales," St. Alphege Lane,. Freehold.

Lot 6. The "Weavers Arms," Broad Street, freehold and partly leasehold.

Lot 7. The "White Swan," Northgate. Leasehold under St. John's Hospital for a short term, at a ground rent.

Lot 8. The "Kings Head," Northgate. Freehold.

Lot 9. The "Swan Inn," at Sturry (close to the railway station). Freehold.

Lot 10. The "Ship," St. Martins Hill, freehold.

Lots 12. The "Star Commercial Inn and Tap," St George's, close to the Cattle market and Dane John. Freehold.

Lot 13. The "Blue Anchor," Old Dover Lane, near the Cattle market. Freehold.

Lot 14. The "Fleece Inn," High Street, opposite to the Corn market. Freehold.

Lot 28. Three neat Cottages opposite the Brewery, with large gardens extending to the river.

Lot 29. The "Two Brewers" public house and Spirit Warehouse, adjoining the last lot.

Lot 31. The "Black Dog" public house, Castle Street.

Lot 34. The "Duke's Head" Public House, Wincheap Street.

Lot 35. The "King's Head," Public House, Wincheap Street.

Lot 37. The "Royal Exchange," public house, Stour Street.

Lot 38. The "Kentish Arms," public house, and 5 cottages in Jewry Lane. Leasehold for a short term at a low rent.

Lot 40. The "Duke William," at Ickham, abiout five miles from Canterbury. Freehold.

Lot 41. The "Royal Oak Inn," at Deal. Freehold except a small portion.

Lot 42. The "King's Arms," Beach Street, Deal, and Cottage in the rear. leasehold for a short term, at a Ground rent.

Lot 43. The "Fleur De Lis," near the Railway Station, Dover. Leasehold for a term of 6 years, at a Ground rent of 3.

Lot 44. The "Two Brewers," Limekiln Street, Dover. leasehold for a term of 46 years, at a ground rent of 3.

Lot 45. The "Fountain Inn, adjoining the Market place at Dover. Freehold.

Lot 46. The "Lord Nelson," Radnor Street, near the harbour, Folkestone. Freehold.

Lot 47. The "Bricklayers Arms," Fancy Street, Folkestone. Freehold.

Lot 48. The "Castle Inn," at Sandgate. Leasehold for a short term, at a ground rent of 7s. 6d.

Lot 49. The "King's Head Hotel and Tap," at Margate. Freehold.

Lot 50. The "New Inn," at Elham, on the road to Hythe. Freehold.

Lot 51. The "King's Arms," at Milton near Sittingbourne. Freehold.

The Public Houses are for the most part in the occupation of unexceptionable tenants, and the majority of them are doing trades, both in beer and spirits, considerably above the average run of Country houses. (None of them have been beer shops; they're all old Licence Houses, with connections of long standing, thereby affording ample security for the permanency of the trade). The Premises generally are in a superior state of repair.

Particulars and Plans, price 1s. each, may be had of Messr's. Furleys and Mercer, Solicitors, Canterbury; at the "Fountain Hotel;" and of Mr. V. J. Collins, 3, Moorgate Street, London.


South Eastern Gazette, 7 August, 1860.

INSOLVENT DEBTOR to be heard before Chas. Harwood, Esquire, Judge of the County Court of Kent holden at Canterbury, on Wednesday, the 22nd day of August, 1860, at 11 o’clock in the morning precisely.

GEORGE BALDOCK, late of the "Bell Inn," High-street, in the city of Canterbury, in the county of Kent, in no business or employment; previously of Bryant House, Strood, and also of Newland farm, in the parish of Saint Mary, in the Hundred of Hoo, both in the county of Kent, farmer; formerly of Bryant House, Strood, aforesaid, and also of Newland farm, in the parish of Saint Mary, in the Hundred of Hoo aforesaid, farmer.



From the Kentish Chronicle, 20 October, 1860.

(Before J. Brent and E. Holttum, Esqrs.)

A bricklayer, named Robert Day, who stated that he had been employed on the railway at Bekesbourne, was brought up, in custody of P.C. Knight, charged with fighting and creating a disturbance at the "Bell" public-house, High-street, about four o'clock on Saturday afternoon. The officer stated that he was sent for to the "Bell" when he found the prisoner and several other persons fighting. The others went away, but the prisoner persisted in creating a disturbance and the policeman was obliged to lock him up.

Fined 1s. and 5s. expenses.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 14 July 1894. Price 1d.

Canterbury and District Licensed Victuallers' Association.

The annual general meeting of the members of this Association was held last week at the “Bell Inn,” Councillor T. Barren presiding. The proceedings were very largely attended. The twentieth annual report of the committee congratulated the organisation upon a large increase of membership, and stated that several important matters had been dealt with during the year. Members were further congratulated on the success of the opposition offered by the Association to the application for a licence by Mr. Cave, and also that legal assistance had been only once required in the protection of members of the Society - a highly creditable fact. The committee west on to state that the increase of licence duty has caused much dissatisfaction, especially at the burden of the tax is not properly administered, and they expressed the opinion that the time has arrived when the legislation should put all clubs under the same regulations and restrictions as the trade. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: Chairman, Mr. G. Green; Vice-Chairman, Mr. A. Makins; Solicitor, Mr. R. M. Mercer; Treasurer, Mr. T. Burren; Secretary, Mr. G. Potter. Committee: Chairman and Vice-Chairman, ex-officio; Messrs. T. Burren, E. Parker, A. Solly, G. Morecroft, W. Dale, G. Gammon, J. Webb, Lee, F. Clarke, and T. Browning.


From the Whitstable Times, 10 June, 1944.


The licence of the "Bell Hotel," High Street, Canterbury, was temporarily transferred from Edward R. Greenaway to Dora Callander, at Canterbury Police Court on Friday.


Dover Express 2nd June 1944.


Stated to have walked out of a Canterbury public house with a 50 radio set under his arm, Albert E. Smith of 12 King’s Road, Aylesham, pleaded guilty at Canterbury Police Court on Friday last week to stealing the set, the property of Leonard C. Greenaway.

Inspector Wren stated that Greenaway, a barman at the “Bell Hotel”, Canterbury, missed the “Ever Ready” wireless set from the private room at the rear of the bar on April 23rd. He informed the Police and, on May 23rd, identified the set at the Police Station. Sgt Robson went to prisoner’s house at Aylesham and saw the set playing in the living room. He later saw prisoner who said “I bought the set off a man in Canterbury some time ago”. On the way to the Police Station, Smith admitted the offence. Later, when charged by D C Haver, he replied “I was boozed when I took it. I took it myself.”

The Chairman (Mr. S. Williamson) asked how it came about that prisoner got away with a bulky thing like a wireless, adding “He would almost want a wheelbarrow to transport it”. He was informed that Smith walked out of the hotel with the set under his arm to the railway station and so home.

Bell Hotel advert 1963

Above advert 1963. Kindly sent by Len Parrick.

From an email received 1 January 2019.

Bell pint glass

I remembered that we have a tangible souvenir of the "Bell", in the shape of a glass which holds just on One Pint, with "G. Oakenfull Bell Inn" engraved upon it.

Whether the engraving was there to prevent customers nicking the glasses, or George Oakenfull was staking a claim for his personal glass, we shall never know.


Roger Woodman.



Last pub licensee had OAKENFULL George 1848-17/June/1849 dec'd

OAKENFULL Elizabeth (widow) June/1849-58 (age 32 in 1851Census) Post Office Directory 1855

HOGBEN George 1858-62+ Melville's 1858Post Office Directory 1862 (also omnibus proprietor age 45 in 1861Census)

BROWNING M 1868+ Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

Last pub licensee had BASSENDEN John Edward 1871+ (age 66 in 1871Census)

HILGER Anthony 1874+ Post Office Directory 1874

ALLRIGHT Lloyd H to Sept/1879 Whitstable Times

HAINES C Pryce Sept/1879+ Whitstable Times

DERRY Thomas 1881+ Census

WOODGATE Arthur 1882+ Post Office Directory 1882

GAMMON Louisa 1901+ (widow age 60 in 1901Census)

GAMMON Bertha 1903+ Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903

THOMPSON George 1911-13+ (age 40 in 1911Census) Post Office Directory 1913

GASKING Richard R 1930+ Post Office Directory 1930

MONEY Stanley 1938-39+ (age 31 in 1939) Post Office Directory 1938

GREENAWAY Edward R to June/1944

CALLANDER Dora June/1944+

PATTISON Pat to 1974 Edward Wilmot Canterbury


Post Office Directory 1855From the Post Office Directory 1855

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Post Office Directory 1862From the Post Office Directory 1862

Greens Canterbury Directory 1868Greens Canterbury Directory 1868

Post Office Directory 1874From the Post Office Directory 1874


Post Office Directory 1882From the Post Office Directory 1882

Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891

Post Office Directory 1903From the Post Office Directory 1903

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938

Edward Wilmot CanterburyInns of Canterbury by Edward Wilmot, 1988

Whitstable TimesWhitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald


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