Sort file:- Dartford, August, 2021.

Page Updated:- Friday, 13 August, 2021.


Earliest 1778

(Name from)

Eleven Cricketers

Closed 1988

2 East Hill


Eleven Cricketer's 1890

Above photo showing the original pub circa 1890, kindly sent by Michael Norman.

Eleven Cricketer's 1900

Above photo, circa 1900, kindly sent by Michael Norman.

Eleven Cricketers

Above photo, date unknown.

Eleven Cricketers

Above photo, date unknown, kindly sent by Brian Brockie.

Eleven Cricketers

Photos taken on 20 February, 2009 from by Dave Dunmall.

Eleven Cricketer's sign 1991

Above sign August 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis


The "Eleven Cricketers" is built on the site of the "Queens Head" which had existed as long ago as 1700. The pub was renamed in 1778 to commemorate the first ever cricket match played in England (in 1709).

Owned by famous cricketer John Bell in 1760 and frequented by other cricketers of the time.

John Bell (born in 1718 at Dartford in Kent; died at Dartford in January 1774) was a noted English cricketer of the mid-Georgian period at a time when the single wicket version of the game was popular. He was an accomplished wicket-keeper with Dartford and Kent who also played many times for All-England teams.

John Bell's occupation was probably shoemaker, a trade known to have been followed by several of his family. But in 1760 he took over the "Eleven Cricketers" public house on East Hill in Dartford, remaining there till his death in January 1774 at the age of fifty-five. A few days later the newspaper Bingley's London Journal referred to him as "the most noted cricketer in England".

Thomas Bell, brother of John, also played for Dartford and All-England. In 1762, Thomas Bell was condemned to death at Maidstone Assizes for highway robbery, but was later reprieved. Nothing more is known of him.

This was a tied "Fleet Brewery" pub in 1865 when the brewery was put up for auction.

The original building was demolished just before the turn of the 20th century and a new building we see today built, I believe, on the same site.

The pub closed in 1988.

I believe the premises has been converted into the "Abbey Hotel."

See Dartford Map 1905. The pub was referred to simply as the "Cricketer's" on the 1905 map.


Kentish Gazette, 30 December 1851.

Dartford. Fatal Accident.

On Saturday evening Inst two men called at the "Railway Tavern" beer-shop, Overy-street, and had something to drink; while there one of the men, who was intoxicated, became ill; he drank a little vinegar and afterwards seemed better; he shortly afterwards left the house and proceeded towards the town; at a late hour at night he was seen to go in company with a female in the direction of the Railway Bridge, near the Priory, when it is supposed he walked too near the edge of the embankment, and was precipitated to the bottom, a distance of from fifteen to twenty feet, where he was afterwards found a corpse. The body was removed to the Union. The name of the deceased is Alexander Read, of Whitby, a sailor belonging to a collier called the "Lavinia," of Stockton, now lying in Long Reach. The result of numerous inquiries enables us to give the following facts:—

He was in company with, and last seen by, a fellow-shipmate, whose name is John Smith, belonging to the same ship, on Saturday night last, about a quarter before twelve o'clock. He states that they had left their ship and came ashore that evening. They called in at the "Eleven Cricketers," at Dartford, on Saturday night last before twelve, in company with a girl of the town, whom they treated, and afterwards called for half a pint of rum each, which the landlord, at their request, put into two ginger-beer bottles, in order to take it away with them. They then all three left together, when as they were about leaving the house, another girl of the town, (who has since absconded and cannot be heard of, although every search has been made), accosted the deceased, and after holding a few minutes conversation, the two parties separated, the deceased going one way with the girl who had just come up to him, and Reed with the girl they had been already in company with. His shipmate states that he saw nor heard nothing more of him till eight o'clock the next morning, when he heard that he was dead. He had been looking about for him all night, in order that they might join their ship together.

The girl the deceased was with, it appears, met a young man of the name of Nettlingham, of Dartford, who was returning from the club, about half-past twelve o'clock on the Sunday morning, in Avery-street, which leads down to the railway, and also to Fulwich Bridge which crosses the railway. She told him that a young man whom she had just been with had fallen down a cutting near the above bridge, and she was afraid he was killed, and asked Nettlingham to go and see about him. He said he would if she would accompany him, which she at first refused to do, but afterwards consented. She told Nettlingham where she was lodging. They then proceeded to the bottom of the street which the railway intersects, and proceeded along the line of railway to the spot in question, where they found the body of the unfortunate deceased, apparently dead, lying at the foot of the cutting.

Nettlingham then proceeded further along the railway to the lodge of the railway gatekeeper for assistance, which was the crossing to Cotton Farm. The girl wanted to accompany him, but he told her that she bad better stay where she was, as he would be back in a few minutes. Having called the gatekeeper up, they proceeded back to where the body was, but found that the woman was gone. They then went on into Dartford to give information to police-constables Lillywhite and Hickey, who were on night duty in the town. The police immediately went for medical assistance (Mr. Fisher’s assistant,) and afterwards the five all went together in company to the spot where the body was lying. On coming up to the deceased, they found him lying on the left side, his face turned partially on the ground, with his left arm bent under him, blood oozing from the nostrils, and his neck broken, and, of course, life quite extinct.

On the medical man stating that he was dead, the police proceeded at once to search him, when they found upon him the ginger-beer bottle containing the rum (or a portion of it,) 2s. 6d. in silver, and 8d. in copper, and some tobacco. They also examined his dress, and found that it was not disordered in the least. After which they proceeded to remove the body to the union house. The police then went to the lodging house where she stated to Nettlingham she was living, and knocked up the landlord, and then made inquiries for her, but they found she had not been in. This was about three o'clock in the morning. They have subsequently made every search for her, but she is not to be found in the town of Dartford.


Gravesend Reporter, North Kent and South Essex Advertiser, Saturday 26 July 1873.


An inquest was held at the "Eleven Cricketers" on Monday before Mr. Carttar, coroner, on the body of Mr. John Russell, a clerk in the employ of Messrs. Russell, Son, and Scott, solicitors, and an army pensioner who committed suicide by hanging himself in his garden, at the back of No. 1, East Hill Villas, Dartford.

It appeared from the evidence that between 5 and 6 o'clock on Friday the 18th inst. the deceased was seen by a gardener in the employ of Mr. Miskin hanging to a post in his garden. He immediately cut him down, but though the body was still warm, he was quite extinct.

Verdict "Temporary insanity."



BELL John 1760-Jan/74 dec'd (also shoemaker aged 55 in 1774)

WINTER Edward 1828+ Pigot's Directory 1828-29

WINTER Mary 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

WINTER Edward 1840-62+ (age 40 in 1851Census)

MATTOCK Henry 1847-82+ (age 53 in 1881Census)

MATTOCK Ann Mrs 1903+ Kelly's 1903Electoral Register

SABINE Harry E 1913+

DIPROSE Thomas 1918-22+

RITSON John 1930+

LONKLATER George H 1938+

MCCARTHY Pat  pre 1982 Next pub licensee had

BAYLEY Alan to 1982 Next pub licensee had


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

Electoral RegisterElectoral Register


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