Page Updated:- Tuesday, 08 February, 2022.


Earliest 1675

Five Bells

Open 2020+

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01304 611188

Five Bells Eastry
Five Bells Eastry
Five Bells Eastry Sign

Above photographs by Paul Skelton 6 Oct 2007

Brewery House next door to the Five Bells in Eastry

Photo by Nick Smith permission by Creative Commons License. Showing the Brewery House next door to the Five Bells in Eastry.

Five Bells circa 1900

Above postcard, date circa 1900 kindly sent by Peter Moynahan.

Five Bells 1917

Above shows the Five Bells circa 1917.

Five Bells 1952

Five Bells 1952. Creative Commons Licence.

Five Bells 1952

Five Bells 1952. Creative Commons Licence.

Five Bells ledger

Thompson & Son ledger. Creative Commons Licence.

Five Bells, Eastry

Above photograph Circa 1970.

From the Dover Express, 13 March, 1970

Five Bells advert 1970

Above shows an advert that appeared in the Dover Express.


Kindly sent by Gillian McKenna.

Will written 14/1/1821 & proved 25/10/1821:

Elizabeth Rammell left a considerable fortune and seemed to own much of Eastry at her death, including the "Five Bells Pub," Eastry, A Brewery and large tracts of farmland.

Elizabeth Rammell of Eastry spinster. To cousin John Hoile of Sandwich, brewer, the public house known as the "Five Bells" with stable, grounds, etc occupied by Mary Pittock widow, with 2 adjoining cottages occupied by Thomas Bean and the widow Bowles and the malthouse with still house, stable, yard, etc. nearby now occupied by John Bowes and 2 cottages adjoining the malthouse occupied by Richard Dixon and the widow Bankett and the barn now used as a carpenters workshop adjoining the cottages occupied by Benjamin Moat and arable land called Coopers of 10 acres occupied by Thomas Pettman, all in Eastry.

Elizabeth Rammell's aunt, her father's sister Margaret Rammell married Valentine Hoile and they lived in Ham/Northbourne. John Hoile was their son b1754 & d1793.


I found an interesting snippet about John Hoile by googling:

London Gazette 1793

Captain J Hoile of Sandwich, hoyman, suddenly taken ill at the corn market in Mark Lane & expired in less than one hour leaving a wife and nine children.

A hoyman is a the captain of a hoy, used to transport goods via sea.


Kentish Gazette, 9 July 1850.

Richard Mann was indicted for assaulting William Romney, one of the constables of Eastry, on the 21st May. The offence in the second count of the indictment, was charged as a common assault.

Prosecutor being sent for to quell a disturbance at the "Five Bells, found defendant fighting with a man named Culver. After remonstrating and struggling with him, prosecutor was struck, he could not see by whom. The defendant afterwards offered him money to make it up.

Cross-examined:— Defendant was very much intoxicated.

Frederick Romney stated that he saw the defendant strike the prosecutor, his father.

The Hon. Mr. Denman, having addressed the jury, called several witnesses to rebut the testimony for the prosecution.

Verdict:- Not Guilty.


Kentish Gazette, 23 December 1851.


Fagg:— December 8, at Eastry, Mr. Edward Fagg, landlord or the "Five Bells Inn."


From the Kentish Chronicle and General Advertiser, 19 October, 1861. Price 1 1/2d.


On Friday T. T. Delasaux Esq., and a respectable jury held an inquest in this parish touching the death of George Cook, labourer, who hanged himself on Thursday morning, in the stable of the “Five Bells” public house. The first witness called was George Kendall, who deposed that he saw the deceased in the “Five Bells” public house, at 12 o'clock on Wednesday night, in a state of intoxication. He (witness) and a policeman placed him on some straw in the stable. He saw him again at half-past two on Thursday morning, when he was apparently asleep and snoring. At a quarter before eight the same morning he went into the coach-house adjoining the stable where he had left the deceased, and found him hanging from a beam. He called a policeman, and assisted in cutting him down. He was then quite dead.

Mr. George Chapman said that he had looked at the body of the deceased, and identified it as that of George Cook, whom he had known from his birth. He had been in his employ as general servant eight years. He saw deceased on Wednesday evening last, and saw nothing particular in his manner or appearance. About two years since he was tipsy, and he was then strange in his behaviour.

P.C. Buss stated that he saw the deceased at twelve o’clock at night in a room at the “Five Bells,” and took him down stairs and out of the house. With the assistance of George Kendall he placed him on some straw, placing his head and loosening his necktie, and look away his knife and 1s. 1d., and then left him. He with other persons went into the stable at about half-past two, and he was then apparently asleep, as he was snoring. He was called on Thursday morning by the first witness, and found the deceased as described. There was not anything particular in his conduct on Wednesday night, but he never saw a man more helplessly drunk in his life.

The jury returned the following verdict:— “That deceased hanged himself, but there is not sufficient evidence to show in what state of mind he was in at the time.”


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 discovery.

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 making 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 as 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. 6d.

1762 May 20 Spent at the Five Bells going the Bounds of the Parish 1. 19s. 0d.

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 testamente."

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 freed.

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 lime kilns.

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.


Five Bells at Eastry

Above photo shows the Five Bells, date unknown.

Five Bells, Eastry sky-shot

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.


Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 12 July 1873.


George Ford, "Five Bells," Eastry, applied for a special license to keep upon one hour later on the 22nd of this month, as a fete was to be held near his house.

The Bench refused the application.


From the East Kent Mercury, 17 January, 2013


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 1d.


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 was granted.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 5 October, 1923. Price 1d.


An occasional licence was granted to the licensee of the "Five Bells," Eastry, for Lord Northbourn's farm sale at Betteshanger on October 18th.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 4 January, 1924. Price 1d.


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 1d.


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 sale.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 2 January, 1925. Price 1d.

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 1d.


The "Five Bells," Eastry, was granted an extension for the annual dinner of the Rat and Sparrow Club, on May 12th, to 10.30.


Dover Express, Friday 13 December 1929.


A dinner arranged by the Eastry Committee of the British Legion took place at the "Five Bells Inn," on Tuesday last. The repast was served by Mr. and Mrs. Hayman. A very successful evening was spent, about forty members being present. Mr. F. Tordiffe presided, others present included: Captain Archer, Lt.-Com. Hopper, Dr. Fraser, Messrs. Manaers, Temple, Bishop, Denham, Baker, Tranter, Thornburn, Flood, Harffey, Town, O. Tritton, M. Pittock, L. Tritton, Hollingswood and F. Deverson etc. The usual toasts were honoured
including The United Services, The British Legion and The Chairman, The latter part of the evening was spent in songs. etc., the following contributing: Messrs. Thornburn, Harffey, Manders, Setterfield and Press.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 25 November, 1938. Price 1d.


The licensee of the “Five Bells,” Eastry, was granted an extension till 10.30 p.m. on 31st December for a wedding reception.


Dover Express 20th July 1945.


58 members from the A R P, Fire Brigade and Special Police attended a social held at the “Five Bells” on Wednesday last week, Mr. F. Hopper presiding. Short speeches were given by Mr. Evans (sub-controller of the A R P), Mr. Fleming (Supervisor of the Specials) and Mr. B. Revel (member with the longest service in the Fire Brigade). An excellent concert was arranged by Mr. L. Hopper, the artists coming from Dover. They entertained the company with songs, musical items, sketches and recitations. Those contributing were PC House, PC Ewer, PC Punter, PWR Dyer, PC Pollington with Mr. Press, of Eastry, at the piano. Mr. Hopper gave a hearty vote of thanks to the artists, also to Mr. Curling for his cooperation.


Dover Express 4th July 1947.

Plans Approved.

Plans were approved for the alteration of the sanitary arrangements at the “Fitzwalter Arms”, Goodnestone and for the removal of a wall in the lounge of the “Five Bells”, Eastry.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 28 August, 2008. Advertising feature


Five Bells 2008Mary Franks

THE transformation of the Five Bells pub in Eastry is all down to a very special promise.

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 his deathbed.

“My father died three-and-a-half years ago and I had just recently been divorced.

“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 paint.

It will be able to seat 40 people for a hot meal and hold 90 for a buffet.

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.


Five Bells landlady

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 Street Hospital.


From the Dover Mercury, 28 October, 2010.



Five Bells 2009

WITH only 59 days until December 25, the "Five Bells" in Eastry is already well prepared and bookings can now be made for its Christmas menu.

Landlady and licensee Mary Franks is taking orders and looking forward to visitors spending the special time of year at her traditional old English pub.

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 community pub.

Mary added: "We aim to be the heart of the village, so join us for a Christmas meal. Book now."


From an email received 6 February, 2014.


Me and my family lived at the pub from '76 – '82. Maurice and Julie Breach are my parents.

I remember as a child (4 or 5 yrs) filling an old pair of wellies up with snow that were left by a back door. They belonged to an old fella who went mad!

Years later I was working nearby and popped into the pub for the first time since we left in '82 – this was around 1997. I told the barman that I used to live there and he said you might remember this old fella.

I got talking to this old boy and he started telling me that one of us filled his boots up with snow and that he hadn't forgotten. I told him it was me and he clipped me round the ear!!

He said “You were too small for that back then but you're not now!”

I laughed it off and my mate who was with me was laughing his head off!

If I get time, I'll email you some photos.


Sam Breach.


From the East Kent Mercury, 7 May 2015.

Pub's efforts.

The Five Bells in Eastry has raised more than 500 for Cancer Research UK.

The pub held a raffle at its Easter beer festival which raised 300. They also had a fun day on St George's Day with donations for stall items and a penny jar on the bar.

In total they raised 526.02.

Landlady Mary Franks said: "We wanted to support the charity anyway and then a couple of our customers have recently dies of cancer and it made it even more poignant.

"We'd really like to thank our customers for their generosity."


From an email received 11 August 2015.


I was reading your website about the "Five Bells" Public House at Eastry in Kent with interest. I am researching my family tree. I am descended from the Rammell family of Kent and have come across references to this pub.

The daughter of Michael Sampson, Susan, born 1675 Eastry married Thomas Rammell in 1699. Susan Rammell died in 1749 Eastry. She wrote a will dated 8th Dec 1747. Her son Thomas Rammell (1703-1759) was his mother's executor and she bequeathed the "Five Bells" pub in Eastry to him.

I believe that the pub then passed from the Rammell to the Boteler family from Thomas' last surviving child Elizabeth Rammell. None of Thomas' children had any issue. I can investigate this more if you are interested.

Best regards,

Gillian Mc Kenna.



WOODHAMS Nathaniel 1675+

HOWARD Jonathan 1686

SAMPSON Michael 1692-93+

COCK Jonathan 1707+

LAMBROOK Thomas 1721

VIDGEON William 1733-1740+ Wingham Ale Licences 1740

VIDGEON Daniel 1769+

PITTOCK William 1752

PITTOCK William Jnr 1771+

PITTOCK Martha (Widow) 1805-06+

FAGG Jonathan 1812

WILSON John 1822-1840 Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34Pigot's Directory 1839(Pigot's Directory 1840 out of date info?)

WILSON Elizabeth (Widow) 1839+

WILSON C 1847+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847

FAGG Edward 1848-8/Dec/51 dec'd

SILVER Joseph 1852-53+

CULVER Elias 1856-61+ (age 40 in 1861Census)

FOORD George 1866-74+ (age 54 in 1871Census) Post Office Directory 1874Whitstable Times

FOORD Elizabeth Ann Mrs 1881-82+ (age 63 in 1881Census) Post Office Directory 1882

THORNE William John 1885-1903+ (age 47 in 1901Census) Post Office Directory 1891Kelly's 1899(Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903 out of date info?)

THORNE Horace Amos 1902-Sept/19 Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1914Dover Express

THORNE Wilfred Amos Sept/1919-23+ Dover Express

AMOS Mr A W 1925+ Dover Express

MAGNUM Robert G 1929

HAYMAN Mr R G 1930-Jan/1937 Kelly's 1934Dover Express

CARRINGTON Mr Frederick W Jan/1937-Apr/38 Dover Express

CURLING Ernest John 24/Mar/1938-63+ (age 40 in 1939) Dover Express

TUGWOOD Patrick & Mary 1968-74+ Library archives 1974 Charrington & Co

BREACH Maurice and Julie 1976-82

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 Mary Miss 31/Mar/2008-15+


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

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

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

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

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 1914From the Post Office Directory 1914

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express

☼From Memorials of the Royal Ville and Parish of Eastry 1870

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:-