Page Updated:- Wednesday, 11 August, 2021.


Earliest 1792-


Open 2020+

Bell Lane


01233 770283


Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Bell 1950

Above photo, circa 1950, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Bell 2010

Above photo 2010 by Oast House Archives Creative Commons Licence.

Bell sign 1990Bell sign 2010

Above sign left, 1990, sign right 2010.

Bell matchbox

Above matchbox, date unknown.


Kentish Gazette, 20 April, 1792.

At Headcorn it rained a perfect deluge, the river rose three feet and a half perpendicular in the space of two hours, overflowing several gardens and adjoining lands.

A public house called "Smarden Bells" had all the windows broke by the hail, which was very large.

The storm was also equally violence at Egerton.


Kentish Gazette, 5 October 1852.

Ashford. Petty Sessions.

Before J. B. Wildman, Esq., (chairman) H. W. Carter, E. K. Hugesson, W. Burrs, E. R. Sayer, and — Walker, Esqrs., and the Rev. N. R. Toke.

John Tassell, of the "Bell" beer house, Smarden, was fined 20s.. including costs, upon the information of Superintendent Gifford, keeping his house open at an improper hour, on the night of Saturday, the 4th inst.

Tassell said that it was in consequence of his having a running match, and after it a supper.


From the Dover Express, 25 May 2017. By Ben Ashton.

Fab four are halfway there on a 250-mile Pilgrims trek.

FOUR trekkers are more than halfway through a 250-mile walk across Kent in aid of charity The group of friends - Donna French, Teresa Sanders, James Aylott and Simon McKay - started their 14-day journey in Rochester on Sunday, May 14, and are scheduled to finish in Smarden, where they all live, this Saturday.


The foursome take a rest mid-walk Smarden.

They are hoping to raise 25,000 for Pilgrims Hospices and The Friends of the Wisdom Hospice by making their way across the county’s footpaths on a mission as part of “Walk the Walk Kent”.

En route.

So far, they have passed through the Isle of Sheppey, Sittingbourne and Herne Bay - and at present they are en route to Ramsgate before they head to Ashford, and then finally Smarden.

The walkers all met at their local pub, The Bell in Smarden, where they realised they had each had heartbreaking experiences with cancer, which is how the idea originated of giving back to the hospices and staff that supported them and their loved ones.

After having cancer diagnosed in 2013 Donna’s mother-in-law received care at Pilgrims Hospices, where she died.

Her father then had the disease diagnosed in April 2015 and, just three months later, he was admitted to Pilgrims, where he spent six days before he died.

She said: “Money raised will help patients and their families get through the most difficult of times, as well as the running costs of Pilgrims and Wisdom Hospice, enabling the charities to continue to support adults across Medway, Swale, Canterbury, Thanet and Ashford who need end-of-life care.”

Teresa suffered similar heartbreak in December 2016 when her aunt died of cancer after being taken into the “amazing” care of Wisdom Hospice.

She said the help they received made her “appreciate” how lucky they are to have these places to turn to.

She said: “People expect to lose loved ones when they are admitted into a hospice, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

“For me, I am doing this walk because I am in awe of what these hospices do and the support they provide to people who have nowhere else to turn.

“One day I hope I can join them and help out at Pilgrims Hospice but I wanted to do this in memory of my aunt first.”

Fellow walker James said: “There’s a time for talking and a time for walking. It’s our turn to take action, time to get off our backsides and show some appreciation for the selfless staff that support our loved ones, when we no longer can.”

Outside the Bell 2017

From an email received 17 February 2021.

My father, Gordon James Hughes, was very keen on Greyhounds, both for the sport of coursing and later for Racing. He converted the old skittle Alley at the "Bell" into Kennels for the dogs. He had fixed ideas on how to get the best from the dogs and he must have been right as he was a member of the winning England team against Ireland in a coursing challenge.

During the war years my mother Daisy ran the pub and the attached grocers shop with help from my brother and sister. The attached butchers shop was run by Ernie Ledger, a family friend.

I was born in the Bell, as were my brother Gordon and my sister Betty.


Arthur Hughes.



TASSELL John 1852+

DAY Edward 1861+ (also grocer age 25 in 1861Census)

CORNES Charles 1871+ (also grocer age 30 in 1871Census)

WELSTEAD/WELLSTED William 1881-20/Jan/84 dec'd (also grocer age 69 in 1881Census)

GASSON Mary Mrs 1891 Post Office Directory 1891

READ David 1891+ (age 39 in 1891Census)

OFFEN William 1901-13+ (age 59 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

HUGHES Gordon 1925-39

HUGHES Daisy 1939-45 (wife as Gordon called up for war)

HUGHES Gordon James 1945-51 Next pub licensee had

BROMLEY Mrs 1951+


Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


Post Office Directory 1891From the Post Office Directory 1891


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