Page Updated:- Friday, 22 March, 2024.


Earliest 1715+

(Name from)


Open 2020+

The Street

St Nicholas at Wade

01843 847250

Bell 1907

Above photo, circa 1907, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Bell Inn

Above postcard, date unknown.

Above postcard, 1911, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe. Hare Coursing.

Bell 1936

Above postcard, circa 1936, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Bell 1958

Above postcard, circa 1958, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Bell 1967

Above photo, Boxing Day 1967, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

The first tour made by Wantsum Morris Men.

Bell drawing 1988

Line drawing by Dewys Lefevre, 1988.

Bell Inn

Above photo taken from Google Maps 2011.

Bell Inn sign 1986Bell Inn sign 2014

Bell sign left May 1986. Sign right 2014.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Bell Inn beermat

Above beermat, date unknown, kindly sent by Mike L.


The Bell Inn has a relatively modern frontage, but the interior cross-beams give away the Tudor origins. The earliest reference to the Inn is 1622, when the landlord was William Chambers but at that time it was called the "Hare and Hounds."

Reference has also been found in the Wingham Division Ale Licence list, which shows the "Bell," St Nicholas, to be granted a new licensed for the sum of 16 shillings in 1740. It may have

The Bell Inn has a history of smuggling activity. When William of Orange was en route to Holland, he described St Nicholas as having a smuggling fraternity. A tunnel reputedly led from the pub's cellar to the church, where contraband was discovered in the storeroom, the key to which was in the possession of the landlord of the "Bell."

By 1777 the pub was leased to the Cobb Brewery in Margate. In 1798 Cobb acquired the freehold from the Bridges family. Whitbread took them over early 1968 and closed the brewery later that year.

Over the centuries the "Bell Inn" has been used for all sorts of parish business, from auctions to vestry meetings and even coroner's inquests.


Dover Chronicles 14 March 1846.

House Breaking.

Early on the morning of the 7th inst., the dwelling house of Henry Durrant, known as the "Bell," at St. Nicholas, in the Isle of Thanet, was broken into, and 4 gallons of gin, 2 gallons of British brandy, 3 gallons of rum, some foreign brandy, and about 1 gallon of shrub were taken away. The above liquor was in stone bottles, marked on the bottle "Law and Cob, Spirit Merchant, Margate. They likewise stool about 30lb of pickled pork, and escaped undetected, leaving a pickaxe and a large stick, which had been used to commit the depredation. The constable of the district has been actively employed in endeavouring to find out the deprecators but as yet without affect.


Dover Chronicles 30 January 1847.

An inquest was held on the 20th instant, by Mr. Dellasaux, at St. Nicholas at Wade, on the body of Sarah Durrant, whose sudden death, under suspicious circumstances, had given rise to various conflicting rumours.

It appears that the deceased with her husband and son had been drinking at the "Bell" public house till they were all intoxicated, and the husband as one of the witnesses stated, ordered the son to put his mother out of the doors and let her perish. This, however, the son denied. Be it as it may, the deceased died in the night.

On examination by Mr. Freeman a surgeon, some hours after death, deceased's jaw and left arm were found bruise, and the neck dislocated; but he stated that the injury in her neck might have been occasions by a fall. There being no positive proof of violence on the part of anyone, the jury, after hearing evidence at considerable length, could come to the only conclusion that the deceased death was "accidental." Coupled with this verdict the jury expressed there disapprobation of the manner in which the "Bell" public house is conducted, and which that the magistrates, at the next licensing day, would withhold the licence from the present occupier.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 9 April 1870.


A melancholy accident occurred on Sunday last to a labourer named Stephen Jones. He resided in a hut on the St. Nicholas marshes, and had been married about twelve months. He had one child who was to have been christened on that day. While his wife was busy getting the dinner ready he went out to get a bucket of water, which he brought back to the hut, and then went out again. When the dinner was ready his wife went to call him, but to her great astonishment found him in the dyke, and vainly endeavoured to get him out. The poor woman then ran to her nearest neighbour, who lived no less then a mile distant, and returned in about half an hour, when she with the assistance of her companion, at last succeeded in getting him out, but it was too late, as he was found to be quite dead. The unfortunate man had been subject to fits, but had not suffered from one for more than three years. The inquest was held at the "Bell Inn, St. Nicholas, on Tuesday last, and a verdict returned of "Found drowned.”



JOHNCOCK James 1740+ Wingham Ale Licences 1740

DURRANT Henry 1846+

BRETT Edwin 1847-61+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847 (master carpenter & victualler age 35 in 1861Census)

NASH Richard 1855-62+ Melville's 1858

BEAKE Henry 1867-74+ (age 52 in 1871Census)

BUSHELL Samuel John 1881-82+ (age 43 in 1881Census)

JARMAN Thomas 1890-97+ (age 53 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1899

HADDAWAY Albert Edward 1897-03+ Next pub licensee had (age 33 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

CARLINE Frederick Leonard 1911-34+ (age 58 in 1911Census) Post Office Directory 1918Post Office Directory 1922Post Office Directory 1930Kelly's 1934

BROWN Joseph Matthew 1938+ Post Office Directory 1938

???? Danny & Marion 2011+

FALCONER Sarah 2021+ (also "Sun")


Wingham Ale Licences 1740From Wingham Division Ale Licences 1740 Ref: KAO - QRLV 3/1

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1918From the Post Office Directory 1918

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Post Office Directory 1930From the Post Office Directory 1930

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Post Office Directory 1938From the Post Office Directory 1938



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