Page Updated:- Sunday, 31 March, 2024.


Earliest 1783-

Five Bells Inn

Open 2020+

The Street

East Brabourne

01303 813334

Five Bells Inn 2007

Above photo 2007 by Adam Hincks Creative Commons Licence.

Five Bells Inn 2012

Photo 3 October 2012, from by Jeremy Sage.

Above signs left and right July 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Five Bells Inn sign 2014Five Bells Inn 2015

Above sign left 2014, sign right, 2015.

Five Bells inside 2018

Above photo showing the inside in 2018.

Five Bells Inn 2019

Above photo 2019.

Five Bells 2019

Above photo 2019.


Kentish Gazette, Saturday 15 February 1783.

“Notice - The Creditors of John Marshall, late of the Parish of Waltham, deceased, are desired to attend, with the Account of their several Demands, on Tuesday the 18th Day of February, 1783, by Eleven o'Clock in the Forenoon, at the House of Thomas Cassell, called the "Five Bells," at Brabourn, in Kent, in order to receive such Composition [sic] as may arise from his Estate and Effects.

And all persons, refusing or neglecting to attend, will be excluded all Benefit of the Composition [sic].”


Kent Gazette Reports 3 September 1805.



ON Monday next, the 9th day of September, instant, at eleven o’clock, in the forenoon, (unless previously disposed of by private sale,)

All that Messuage or Tenement, with the stables, buildings, garden and four acres of very rich meadow land, be there more or less, to the same belonging, with their appurtenances, in the parish of Brabourne, in the county of Kent, and now in the occupation of Stephen Ratcliffe.

N. B. — The house is very advantageously situated for trade, near the new barracks on Brabourne Leese, and possession will be given at Michaelmas next.

For particulars apply to Mr. Starr, attorney, Canterbury.


From the Kentish Gazette, 12 December 1837.


AT the "Five Bells," BRABORNE, on THURSDAY, the 21st day of December, 1837, subject to such conditions as will be then and there produced.

All that MESSUAGE or TENEMENT, and Three Acres of pasture LAND, more or less, situate, lying, and being in the parish of Postling, in the county of Kent, with two cow leezes, or right of pasturage for two cows on a certain common called Postling Leese, now in the occupation of the Widow Philpott.

Further particulars may be known on application (if by letter, post paid), to Mr. O. Andrews, Braborne; or at the Office of Mr. DeLasaux, solicitor, Canterbury.


Kentish Gazette, 4 July 1854.


George Andrews and William Fox a charge of assault.

The parties in this case reside at Brabourne, the complainant being a farmer there, while the defendant is the landlord of the "Five Bell's" and, so far as we could learn rather a disputatious character. On the 29th ult., there was a sale at Mrs. Pursehouse's, and complainant bought a lot of china, defendant buying another lot but of different pattern and colour. Defendant in packing up the lot he had purchased was about to include in it a jug and another article belonging to complainant, who spoke to him about it, as did other persons in the room. Defendant said he should take them home, and as his house was not far off, complainant could fetch what belonged to him. To this complainant demurred, saying there was no occasion as he could take them then. Upon this defendant became very fightable and abusive, and struck complainant twice in the face. The complainant’s evidence to this effect was fully borne out by two most respectable witnesses. The defendant said complainant struck him in the breast, and he being highly exasperated thereat, drew his hand across complainant's face. He was fined 5., and directed to be kept in custody until he should pay the money.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times & Farmers Gazette Sat 11 Aug 1855.

“The License of the Five Bells, Brabourne, was transferred from William Fox to Thomas Lilley”


South Eastern Gazette, 23 October, 1860.

House Stealing at Brabourne.

Sidney Hammond and Edward Gimber were indicted for stealing a grey horse, value 3, the property of George Taylor, at Brabourne, on the 10th ult. Mr. Russell prosecuted, Mr. Biron defended Hammond, and Mr. Addison was for Gimber.

The prosecutor, a carrier, deposed that he lived at Brabourne. On the 10th Sept. he was riding a brown bone, and one of the prisoners came op. They said they had a horse which they thought would suit him - a grey mare. Hammond proposed to chop, and said be would give prosecutor 1 besides. They put his (prosecutor’s) horse in their van, and he rode off with the grey to a public house. He tied it up at the door, and they all went into the tap-room and had some beer. Hammond then gave him the 1. After several hours the prisoners left the house, and shortly afterwards prosecutor found that the grey mare was gone, and the brown horse was in its place. The following day he went with a constable in search of the grey mare, and found it loose in the parish of Lympne.

By Mr. Addison:— Whilst they were drinking he went out to look at another brown horse which the prisoners showed him. He did not agree to change it for the grey one.

Mary Lilley, landlady of the "Five Bells" at Brabourne proved that the prosecutor and prisoners were at her house on the day in question, and that she saw Gimber's wife with the grey mare.

Thos. Lilley said he saw Gimber’s wife feeding the grey mare.

Mr. Addison addressed the jury, and was about to call evidence on behalf of his client, when the court stopped the case.

The same prisoners were also indicted for having stolen 18s., a money bag, and a knife, the property of the same prosecutor, George Taylor, at Brabourne, on the 10th September. This case arose out of the last and the evidence was very similar. It appeared that the prosecutor got drunk, and he alleged that the money &c. were taken out of his pocket. Before the case was finished the court discharged Gimber, and the jury ultimately acquitted Hammond.


South Eastern Gazette – Tues 10 Feb 1863.

“Transfer of Licences – the License of the "Five Bells," Brabourne, was transferred from from Mr Gutteridge to Mr C Alexander”.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 7 February 1865.

Public House Offences.

Edward Rock, landlord of the "Five Bells," Braboume, was summoned for knowingly allowing gaming in his house on the night of Dec. 31st. The gaming consisted in a party of the Brabourne ringers, having a game of cards together, previous to ringing the old year out and the new one in. P.C. Edward Butcher happened to be listening outside the house, and heard what was going on.

Rook was further charged with being drunk and riotous on January 14th. It seemed he found the policeman Butcher watching outside his house that night, and quarrelled with him for being constantly there; but it did not appear that he was the worse for liquor.

The Bench dealt with both cases together, and fined the defendant 20s., including costs.


Kent Fed. of Licensed Victuallers’ & Beer Retailers’ Associations – Joint Year Book & Directory 1966/67.

Brabourne - Five Bells – A.N. Godfrey.


I am informed by Bob Martin that in 2015 the pub was trading as a free house. By 2018 the pub chain Ramblinns owned the premises.


From the By Charlie Harman, 29 May 2019.

Where's the best pub in Kent? The Five Bells in Brabourne, according to the National Pub Awards.

A village pub has been named as Kent's top tavern.

The Five Bells in Brabourne was named Best Pub in Kent at the National Pub Awards, held at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London.

The drinking hole dates back to the 15th Century, and was frequented by worshippers journeying on the Pilgrim's Way to Canterbury.

Having been recently restored and with four individually-designed guestrooms, the inn has twice won Kent Life's Pub of the Year Award.

Part of the Ramblinns collection of independent inns - which includes The Woolpack, The Globe Inn Marsh and the Radnor Arms - the new commendation was picked up by the company's founder, John Rogers.

Mr Rogers said: "It was fantastic to be recognised by the National Pub and Bar Awards and to be voted Best Pub in Kent, in the face of stiff competition in the county awards.

Jay Rayner presents Ramblinns founder John Rogers

Famous critic Jay Rayner presents Ramblinns founder John Rogers with the Best Pub in Kent Award.

We are so pleased that the judges like what we have to offer at the Five Bells Inn, a pub that we completely refurbished and which, like all our Ramblinns, prides itself on offering the best food and drink from our beautiful region of Kent.

"I’d like to thank all of those that work tirelessly for and with us and to congratulate them too in making The Five Bells the popular destination that it has become.

"It really is a great honour to be recognised and we’re very grateful."

Five Bells bathroom 2019

One of the inn's guest bathrooms.

Five Bells dining room 2019

The inn has rustic features to highlight its heritage as a village pub.

Five Bells staff 2019

The Five Bells' award-winning team.

John Rogers also designed The Church Inn in Mobberley, the winner of The Best Pub in the UK award at the event on May 22.


From the By Lauren MacDougall, 6 November 2019.

Kent’s cosiest pubs with gorgeous log fires that will shield you from the cold.

These stunning pubs come with crackling fires, beautiful interiors and tasty food.

Is there anything better than curling up next a toasty log fire, pint in hand?

With the winter months drawing in and November predicted to be one of the coldest ever, knowing your local cosy pub with a gorgeous log fire is more important than ever.

Whether you're looking for a tipple after a brisk walk or just after a warm afternoon out, there's plenty of choice.

These stunning pubs come with crackling fires, beautiful interiors and tasty food.

Some of them even have more than one wood burner, so you won't be fighting for the coveted space in front of the flickering flames.

If you're looking for some inspiration, check out our list below.

Five Bells Inn.

Five Bells 2019

Where: The Street, East Brabourne, Ashford, TN25 5LP.

What: Set in the countryside, The Five Bells has an array of warm hearty food on its menu and a rustic yet traditional pub setting.

Its a perfect place to stop off on a countryside walk.

People can also stay over in one of its four plush suites.

And to top it all off there are warming open fires not only in the pub itself, but in the bedrooms too for that really cosy vibe.



CASSELL Thomas 1783+

FOX William 1841-Aug/55 (age 49 in 1851Census)

LILLEY Thomas Aug/1855-60+

HILLS William 1861-62+ (also wheelwright age 45 in 1861Census)

GUTTERIDGE Mr to Feb/1863

ALEXANDER Mr C Feb/1863+

ROCK Edward 1865+

WILDISH William 1871-81+ (age 65 in 1881Census)

HOWLAND Allen 1891+ (age 25 in 1891Census)

AWFORD John Finch 1899-1918+ (age 65 in 1911Census) Kelly's 1903

BELL Arthur William 1922+

CORNWELL Hugh J 1930+

SIMMONS Ernest to Apr/1933 Next pub licensee had Dover Express

MOON Alexander M 1934+

MOON E Mrs 1938+



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:-