Above photographs by Paul Skelton 6 Oct
Smith permission by
Creative Commons License. Showing the Brewery House next door to the
Five Bells in Eastry.
Above shows the Five Bells circa 1917.
Above photograph Circa 1970.
From the Dover Express, 13 March, 1970
Above shows an advert that appeared in the Dover Express.
From Liber Estriae; or, Memorials of the Royal Ville and Parish of Eastry, By William Francis Shaw. 1870
The fact of there having been a Roman settlement
here is proved by the Roman graves, containing human bones,
weapons, and ornaments, which have been discovered, from time to time,
in that triangle of ground, in the parish, which is formed by the Lynch,
" the Five Bells," and Butsole Pond. The first recorded discovery of
these remains took place A.D. 1792, and the account of it will be best
given in Mr. Boteler's own words: "In March last (1792), in digging
a cellar in the garden of a cottage belonging to me, eastward of the
highway leading from Eastry Cross to Butsole, I discovered the ancient
burying ground of this neighbourhood. I caused several graves to be
opened, and found, with the skeletons, fibula, beads, knives, umbones of
shields, &c., in one an elegant glass vessel. From other skeletons that
have been dug up in the gardens nearer the Cross, I am of opinion that
they extended on this side the road up to the Cross, now covered
pretty much with houses. I mean at a future time to pursue the
The tumuli that formerly covered them have long since been levelled by
the plough. The graves were very thick, in rows parallel to each other,
in a direction from east to west " [Botel. MSS., vol. C.p, 164).
Since Mr. Boteler's day other familiar remains have been brought to
light at different times; and, about the year 1860 or 1861, in the
of some alterations in and around Southbank, skeletons were discovered
lying in clay in the bed of chalk.
Several of the objects discovered by Mr. Boteler, in A.D. 1792, as well
other familiar remains — Roman and Saxon — found on the same property,
and near the same spot.
The following extracts from the oldest account book of the church-
wardens, which is now extant, furnish us with a complete list, as far as
it goes, of the dates at which our parish has been perambulated: —
1719 Spent at the Five Bells when went the Bounds of the parish £1. 2s.
1762 May 20 Spent at the Five Bells going the Bounds of the Parish £1.
1782 May 15 Paid at the Bull going the Bounds of the Parish £2. 16s. 0d'
1801 Expenses at the Five Bells (28th May) going the Boundary of the
Parish £3. 2s. 10 1/2d.
One time a tied house of Thompson and Sons, Walmer.
This public house at Eastry possessed 'a record of "Mine Hosts" from 1695,
numbering only fifteen' ('The Walmer Brewery Handbook'), although the list I
have seen at the pub, list 28 from 1675 to 1992.
One reference found is in the Wingham Division Ale Licence list,
which shows the "Five Bells," Eastry, to be re-licensed for the sum of 8 shillings in
1740, the licensee being William Vigden, who incidentally wasn't mentioned
on the list from the passage below.
The next passage is a direct copy from other information displayed in a picture
frame at the pub.
The inn known as the Five Bells at Eastry was built during the reign of Charles
II (1660-1685) in the year 1675. The ancient sign of the Five Bells dates back
to the eleventh century, when inns and taverns stood within the precincts of
parish churches. However many bells a church held, determined the number given
to the title of the inn.
The earliest recorded keeper of the inn is one Nathaniel Woodhams who purchased
the property in 1675, along with six acres of land a barn and commodious
stables. In May of that year Woodhams stood before two justices at Dover and was
granted a licence to administer ales and ciders on certain days and hours set
out in an act of parliament in 1495. Woodhams is recorded as a "fruiterer and
here retayler" of the parish of "Stayple".
In 1692 the property as in the hands of Michael Sampson, who, in February 1693
was granted a wine licence and in October of the same year a full spirit
licence. At the same quarter sessions sitting Sampson registered the inn under
the title of the Five Bells.
The Five Bells is mentioned in the will of one William Pittock drawn up in
1771 in which he decreed that "my tenamente or messuage situate and beinge
within the parish of Eastry, knowne by name and sine of the Five Bells with its
lande and staybles therein belonginge I hereby bequeathe to my foremost son
William, and lete nothinge contrarie to the trewe meaning of mye laste will and
At the height of the coaching era, the Five Bells was a recognised pick up
point. Here private and local coaches would await passengers alighting from
through coaches at the Bull Inn. During this period and for many years after the
inn was a posting house where mail was collected an sorted, and quite often the
task of delivering fell upon the shoulders of the resident keeper.
On October 14 1831 one John Dixon and another man set fire to a barn in Eastry
Street. In retracing their steps the authorities found that the two men had been
seen in the Five Bells, only minutes before the blaze started. The two men were
arrested and stood trial at Maidstone. Though local inhabitants believed him to
be more innocent than the other, John Dixon was found guilty of incendiarism and
hanged on Penenden Heath in April 1832, while his friend was acquitted and
In 1866, the inn was kept by George Foord, grandson of Eastry builder Abraham
Foord who used to dig chalk from the caves near the main street and carry it to
By 1885 the inn was in the hands of William John Thorne who in Kelly's directory
of 1899 was also said to the assistant overseer & clerk to the parish council.
At the time it was mentioned in Kelly's Directory as a hotel and posting house,
with ample accommodation and parties catered for.
Kelly's Directory 1934 gives the proprietor as R G Hayman who offered
accommodation for motorists and visitors, and provided teas for those who didn't
partake in alcoholic beverages.
The Five Bells has seen and undergone many changes since first it was built but
its historic charm and character remain unchanged. So stay, enjoy the fayre and
reflect on those bygone days.
From the Kentish Gazette, March 31 to April 3, 1770. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.
Auction of Timber at the sign of the Five Bells, in Eastry, April 5, 1770.
Above photo shows the Five Bells, date unknown.
Sky shot of the Five Bells at Eastry.
From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General
Advertiser, Saturday 3 February, 1844. Price 5d.
An inquest was held on Saturday last, by T. T. De Lasaux, Esq., at
the "Five Bells," Eastry, on the body of John Cook, an inmate of the
Eastry Union, who had died in a fit the previous Thursday.
Verdict - "Died by the visitation of God."
Deceased had been subject to fits of epilepsy for many years.
From the East Kent Mercury, 17 January, 2013
ON FILE 100 YEARS AGO:
According to the Mercury a century ago the members of the Eastry and
District Cottage Gardeners' Society spent an evening at the "Five Bells
Inn" for their annual dinner. There was an attendance of 40 members
under the chairmanship of George Gardner (vice-president). A toast was
given towards the 1913 season ahead.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6
March, 1914. Price 1d.
The licensee of the "Five Bells," Eastry, was granted an extension
from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. on April 2nd, on the occasion of the annual
dinner of the Eastry Rat and Sparrow Club.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6
March, 1914. Price 1½d.
WINGHAM PETTY SESSIONS
Mr. W. A. Thorn, of the "Five Bells," Eastry, applied for an
extension for January 11th for the annual dinner of the Eastry
Horticultural Society. Applicant said that the dinner was held annually
until 1913, but was suspended owing to the rationing. The application
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 5
October, 1923. Price 1½d.
An occasional licence was granted to the licensee of the "Five
Bells," Eastry, for Lord Northbourn's farm sale at Betteshanger on
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 4
January, 1924. Price 1½d.
An extension was granted for the "Five Bells," Eastry, for the annual
dinner of the Eastry Horticultural Society on January 17th.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 3
October, 1924. Price 1½d.
An occasional licence was granted to the "Five Bells," Eastry, to
sell from a barn at Barville Farm, Tilmanstone, on October 7th at a farm
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 2 January, 1925.
Mr. A. W. Amos, of the "Five
Bells Inn," Eastry, was granted an hour's extension for the annual
dinner of the Gardeners' Society on January 22nd.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 6 May, 1927. Price 1½d.
The "Five Bells," Eastry, was granted an extension for the annual
dinner of the Rat and Sparrow Club, on May 12th, to 10.30.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 25 November, 1938. Price 1½d.
The licensee of the “Five Bells,” Eastry, was granted an extension till
10.30 p.m. on 31st December for a wedding reception.
From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 28 August,
2008. Advertising feature
PROMISE BECOMES A REALITY AT PUB.
THE transformation of the Five Bells pub in Eastry is all down to a very
Any budding punters can easily see that since Mary Franks took over as
landlady in March a lot of notable changes have been made.
The ivy, which coated the entrance, and the broken sign have disappeared
and been replaced with hanging flower baskets and a new placard bearing
the pub’s name.
Walk in and you immediately notice the two bars have been swapped around
with the public bar now on the left and the lounge on the right.
Miss Franks has spent thousands of pounds on renovating her new business
and said her motivation comes from a promise she made to her father on
“My father died three-and-a-half years ago and I had just recently been
“I said to him I would change
my name back to my maiden name and put it above the door of my new pub
so he would live on with me.”
There are other changes too.
An old shed in the back yard has been replaced with a new green space
for children to play in.
The function room has been completely refurbished from being the old
Eastry fire station and has had a new carpet laid and a new coat of
It will be able to seat 40 people for a hot meal and hold 90 for a
However it is important for Miss Franks for the pub to maintain its
atmosphere and function as a place for the community to come together.
With two pool teams, five darts teams, two petanque teams and acting as
a meeting place for the British Legion and the Women’s Institute,
community activities are an essential part of the pub’s future.
“When I first walked into the "Five Bells" I knew it was the place for
me,” she said.
“It has plenty of character and the changes I have made are designed to
freshen the place up but keep its cosy atmosphere.”
Miss Franks wanted to say a special thank you to her project manager and
brother Reg, her friend Tim and all her friends and family for making
her dream a reality.
To celebrate the renovation the pub will have its full re-launch on
Saturday. Happy hour is from 7pm to 8pm. The Eastry Band will play in
the function room.
A fun day will be held the following day with bouncy castle, garden
games and live entertainment.
From the Dover Mercury 25 March 2010.
BONUS GIFT FROM PUB
Landlady of the Five Bells Mary Franks, left, presents a cheque to
Joan and John GoIdup in aid of Asthma UK.
KIND-HEARTED regulars at the Five Bells at Eastry have been busy
raising cash for good causes.
Landland Mary Franks, from the pub at The Cross, Lower Street, has
handed a £100 cheque to Joan and John Goldup for Asthma UK after
collecting the money from a bonus ball competition.
Regulars have also raised cash for Kent Air Ambulance and on Saturday
staged a table top fair at the pub to collect money for Great Ormond
From the Dover Mercury, 28 October, 2010.
A TASTY CHRISTMAS LUNCH
WITH only 59 days until December 25, the "Five Bells"
in Eastry is already well prepared and bookings can now be made for its
Landlady and licensee Mary Franks is taking orders and looking forward
to visitors spending the special time of year at her traditional old
She said: "We offer a warm welcome and cater for all needs.
"Why not make the celebrations even more enjoyable and combine a meal
with one of our entertainment evenings for the perfect start to get you
in the Christmas mood?"
The pre-Christmas menu is from November 26 to December 24, and there is
also a different Christmas Day menu served at 2pm.
Two courses until Christmas Eve cost £15.50, or £19.50 for three
courses, with a delicious selection of four starters, four main courses
and also a choice of four desserts.
Coffee and mints are included in the price and there is the added
attraction of a selection of music nights for the Christmas meal,
ranging from rock, pop and ballards to Irish fiddle players and an Elvis
tribute singer. Or why not arrange your big evening to coincide with a
fun bingo night?
The "Five Bells" has a comfortable function room for about 45 people, with
its own bar, and about 30 people can dine in the lounge bar.
Mary said: "We have lots of options at the pub for our Christmas meal
packages. All the food is home cooked and sourced locally, so ring 01304
611188 now or visit Facebook to see what is going on at the pub."
She has been at the "Five Bells" for almost three years and it is a real
Mary added: "We aim to be the heart of the village, so join us for a
Christmas meal. Book now."
WOODHAMS Nathaniel 1675+
HOWARD Jonathan 1686
SAMPSON Michael 1692-93+ ☼
COCK Jonathan 1707+ ☼
LAMBROOK Thomas 1721
VIDGEON William 1733-1740+
VIDGEON Daniel 1769+
PITTOCK William 1752
PITTOCK William Jnr 1771+ ☼
PITTOCK Martha (Widow) 1805-06+
FAGG Jonathan 1812
WILSON John 1822-1840 ☼(
out of date info?)
WILSON Elizabeth (Widow) 1839+ ☼
WILSON C 1847+
FAGG Edward 1848+ ☼
SILVER Joseph 1852-53+ ☼
CULVER Elias 1856+ ☼
FOORD George 1866-74+ ☼
FOORD Elizabeth Ann Mrs 1882+
THORNE William John 1885-1903+
out of date info?)
THORNE Horace Amos 1902-14
THORNE Wilfred Amos 1919-23+
AMOS Mr A W 1925+
MAGNUM Robert G 1929
HAYMAN Mr R G 1934 to Jan/1937
CARRINGTON Mr Frederick W Jan/1937-Apr/38
CURLING E J Mr Apr/1938-53+
TUGWOOD Patrick & Mary 1968-74+
Charrington & Co
BREACH Maurice 1976
PATERSON Ian James Edward 1982
MARTIN Harold 1987
PORTER James Stephen 1992
STOTTARD Ron (years unknown)
STOTTARD Tom (years unknown)
GILHAM Roy (years unknown)
JONES Debbie & ARMSTRONG Stuart (years unknown)
FRANKS Miss Mary 31/Mar/2008+
From Wingham Division Ale Licences 1740 Ref: KAO - QRLV 3/1
From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34
From the Pigot's Directory 1839
From the Pigot's Directory 1840
Bagshaw Directory 1847
From the Post Office Directory 1874
From the Post Office Directory 1882
From the Post Office Directory 1891
the Kelly's Directory 1899
From the Post Office Directory 1903
From the Post Office Directory 1913
From the Post Office Directory 1914
the Kelly's Directory 1934
Library archives 1974
From the Dover Express
☼From Memorials of the Royal Ville and Parish of Eastry