Sort file:- Sheerness, February, 2023.

Page Updated:- Thursday, 23 February, 2023.


Earliest 2014

Belle and Lion

Open 2020+

22-24 (59) High Street

Mile Town


01795 665486

Belle and Lion 2016

Above Google image, July 2016.

Belle and Lion figreheadBelle and Lion plaque

Above photos, circa 2016 with thanks from from Roger Pester

The Plaques says the following:- THE BELLE AND LION. Prior to its conversion into a Wetherspoon free house, this three story building had been a tv/electrical store since the 1970s. Earlier still the premises had housed an ironmongery business dating back to at least the early 1870s. At the rear, there was a row of cottages where there is now an outdoor seating area. Clarence Cottages were names after the Duke of Clarence who opened the Royal Navy Dockyard. In 1823, which gave rise to Sheerness, The Belle and Lion was the first public house to be built Recorded in 1824, it stood for many years on the site of 59 High Street. These premises were refurbished by J D Wetherspoon and opened in July 2014.


The "Belle and Lion" was the first public house to be built in Mile Town. Other inns and ale houses were built soon after. The "Belle and Lion" is listed in a local directory of 1824 and a more recent one published in 1938. Boots store now stands on the site of the inn, at 59 High Street.


Local knowledge, further pictures, and licensee information would be appreciated.

I will be adding the historical information when I find or are sent it, but this project is a very big one, and I do not know when or where the information will come from.

All emails are answered.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 11th May 1858.

Sittingbourne Petty Sessions, May 3rd.

(Before the Rev. J. Poore, D.D., E. Twopenny, Esq., Sir. J. M. Tylden, Rev. G. B. Moore, J. D. Dyke, Esq., and W. Bland, Esq.)

David Ovenden v. George Clarkson.

This was an information against the defendant, who is landlord of the "Belle and Lion," Sheerness, for refusing to admit a constable into his house on the morning of Sunday, 11th April.

Fined 2, and 13s. 6d costs, which was immediately paid.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 19 June 1860.


Clarkson. June 11th, at Sheerness, Mr. George Clarkson, landlord of the "Bell and Lion Tavern," Mile Town, Sheerness, age 63 years.


Sheerness Times and General Advertiser, Saturday, 11 June, 1881.


On Wednesday evening last, an inquest was held at the "Bell and Lion" Inn, by. Mr. W. J. Harris, coroner for the Sittingbourne district, to enquire into the circumstances touching the death of Thomas Dennis, a blacksmith, who was found dead in his forge in Cross Street, during the afternoon of the same day. The following gentlemen composed the jury Messrs Morgan, Pellatt, South, Briggs, Bligh, Nunn, Hunt, Howard, Standen, Hare, Waters, and Jude. Mr. Standen was elected foreman.

The jury proceeded to view the body, and upon their return the following evidence was adduced:—

Charles Mansfield deposed that he was a constable in the Chatham division of the metropolitan police, stationed at Sheerness dockyard. About half-past two that afternoon he was in Cross Street, and heard from some children that a man had hung himself in the blacksmith's forge. Upon looking through the crevices in the door he found such was the case, and saw the body of the deceased suspended from a beam. Witness forced the door open, and cut the body down. He had the appearance of having been dead for many hours. The rope (produced) is the one by which he was suspended. He had known deceased for many years, and he was a man that frequented public-houses. The door of the forge was locked on ths inside.

Edward Dennis identified the body of the deceased as his brother. He was 64 years of age, and resided at No 3, Chapel Square, Russell Street. He last saw him on on the previous Sunday night, when his manner was very strange. He had been ill for three weeks, and seemed to be full of trouble. He was in difficulties with his rent, and had received notice to quit.

There was no evidence to show when the deceased entered the forge.

The Coroner said that it appeared perfectly clear that the deceased died through strangulation, and it also appeared clear that no one else was in the forge. Probably his pecuniary difficulties had preyed upon his mind, and had led him to commit the rash act.

The jury returned a verdict of "Temporary Insanity."


Whitstable times and Herne Bay Herald, Saturday 7th May 1898.

Sheerness. The rating of licensed houses.

Nearly the whole of the licensed houses of Sheerness have recently been reassessed for rating purposes for the overseers. The increase in the assessments in some cases are double, the rating of the "Wellington Hotel" having been advanced from 60 to 125, the "Belle and Lion Inn," from 44 to 84, the "Britannia Hotel" from 80 to 165, the "Goat Inn" from 32 to 84, the "Victory Tavern" from 48 to 92, the "Criterion Inn" from 36 to 75.

The total increase in the ratings of 55 licensed premises amounts to 1,161 10s.


Reading Evening Post, Monday 21 November 1977.

Bulls Eye.

A new world record of 28 hours 11 minutes for scoring a million and one at darts has been claimed by the "Belle and Lion," Sheerness, Kent, after a marathon contest organised by Sheppey Round Table.




SELBY Caleb 1828-40+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29Pigot's Directory 1832-34

BRISLEY Abraham 1847+

CLARKSON George 1851-June/60 dec'd (age 49 in 1851Census)

CLARKSON Prudence 1861-62+ (widow age 60 in 1861Census)

CLARKSON Prudence & Son 1867+

CLARKSON Henry George 1871-74+ (age 34 in 1871Census)

BUTLER Walter 1881-82+ (age 47 in 1881Census)

MILES James John 1891-May/1902 Next pub licensee had (also mineral water manufacturer in 1902) Kelly's 1903

LEIGH Frederick Orlando 1913-18+

BERGERSON John Charles 1934-39+ (age 38 in 1939)


Pigot's Directory 1828-29From the Pigot's Directory 1828-29

Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


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