Page Updated:- Friday, 07 August, 2020.


Earliest 1715+

(Name from)


Open 2020+

The Street

St Nicholas at Wade

01843 847250

Bell Inn

Above postcard, date unknown.

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


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.


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

BRETT Edwin 1847-51+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847 (carpenter & victualler)

NASH Richard 1855-62+ Melville's 1858

BEAKE Henry 1867-74+

BUSHELL Samuel John 1881-82+

JARMAN Thomas 1890-97+ Kelly's 1899

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

CARLINE Frederick Leonard 1913-34+ Post Office Directory 1918Post Office Directory 1922Post Office Directory 1930Kelly's 1934

BROWN Joseph Matthew 1938+ Post Office Directory 1938

???? Danny & Marion 2011+


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

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:-