Page Updated:- Wednesday, 08 June, 2022.


Earliest 1740-

Bell Inn

Open 2020+

81 Canterbury Road


01304 830296

Bus outside Bell in Lydden date unknown

Bus stopping outside Bell in Lydden, date unknown. Picture taken from a postcard by kind permission Dover Library.

Bell 1910

Above postcard, postmarked 1910.

Bell Inn at Lydden

This view of Lydden facing The Bell shows the village pond - often victim of drought in recent years - coming back to life and attracting wading birds again.

Information above taken from Dover Express 30th April 1998.

Bell at Lydden in 2000

Above photo was taken from the Lydden calendar of 2001, so I assume this picture to be the year 2000.

Hunt meeting at Bell in Lydden

Above photo by kind permission of Dover Library show a hunt meeting starting from the Bell in Lydden, date unknown.


Earliest reference found so far is in the Wingham Division Ale Licence list, which shows the "Bell," Lydden, to be re-licensed for the sum of 8 shillings in 1740 indicating that the pub was present before 1740.


From the Kentish Gazette or Canterbury Chronicle, Saturday 20 May to Wednesday 24 May, 1769. Price 2d.


Near the “Bell” at Lydden.

Four Thousand of very good Hop Poles.

Almost all Ash.

Enquire of Mr. William Pilcher, at Dover.


From the Kentish Gazette, November 10-13, 1770. Kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

Sale of some underwood on November 22nd, at the Bell, in Lidden-street, near Dover.


From the Kentish Gazette, July, 1775. Article kindly sent from Alec Hasenson.

Sale by auction July 24, of a Messuage or Tenement at the Sign of the Bell in Lidden, near Dover.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 23 November, 1833. Price 7d.

WALDERSHIRE UNDERWOOD To be sold by auction by Mr Huntley. At the Bell Inn, Lydden on Tuesday December 3rd 1833, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the following valuable. FALLS of UNDERWOOD, belonging to the RRt. Hon. Earl Guilford, Viz:

                                                          A    R    P

Beglars Dane Fall, Bedlen Wood in the parish of Northbourne.        8    2    23

Hallwood in the Parish of Swingfield                             9     1    6

Hop Garden Carvet in the Parish of Swingfield                     2     1    11

                                                         20     1    0

The above woods abound with ash-poles and law well for the carriage of poles, being contiguous to hard roads, and are laid out in small cants, the tenant of North Court farm, Swingfield; Mr Dawkins, Waldershire, or to Mr Huntley, Land Agent and Surveyor, DOVOR.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 16 January, 1841. Price 5d.


The floods have arisen in the low lands in the neighbourhood to a much greater height than has been known for many years. At the "Bell" at Lydden, the water rose to a height of 3ft. in the bar; consequently, the inmates were driven up stairs. The whole of the horses, have been obliged to be removed. At Priory farm, Dover, we understand, the water had risen to a great height, and that Mr. Coleman was near upon losing some of his horses thereby; but fortunately, a party being on a visit on a Thursday night, Mr. Coleman and servants sat up later than usual, and thereby found out that the water was entering the stables at a rapid rate. By morning, we understand, the water in the stable was several feet high. At the Elms farm too, (Dover) the flood has risen at a considerable height, and the stock has been obliged to be removed from the yard.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday 13 March, 1841. Price 5d.


On Thursday sennight (an archaic word for week) a disagreement took place at the "Bell inn," at Lydden, between three broom dashers and three husbandmen (farmers) named Hodges, of Barham, Seath, of Wootton, and Pilcher, of Swingfield Minnis, which at one time wore a very serious aspect. The two parties had been tossing for beer, the gipsies were losers, and being called on to pay, wished the stakes to be doubled, which the countrymen refused, and having made use of some expressions which incensed the gipsies, they attacked Hodges and Pilcher. The latter was knocked down and lay bleeding on a form in the taproom, when the housekeeper ran and called Gilham, the parish borsholder, (The head or chief of a tithing, or borough; the headborough; a parish constable.) who came on the scene of action, and desired the parties to desist and keep the peace. One of the gipsies, names Aaron Williams, inquired if he were a constable? Gilham answered in the affirmative, and produced his staff, when he was immediately struck a violent blow in the jaw, which made him stagger. He, however, succeeded in striking Williams down with his staff. A second gipsy, name unknown, then attempted to strike Gilham; but he was also knocked down by the same weapon. A third gipsy, named J. Baker, next made an attempt upon Gilham, and the others having somewhat recovered, joined him; but Gilham retreated out of doors. The gipsies, however, followed him, and drawing their formidable broom-knives, swore if they could get hold of the borsholder, they would rip him up; but he succeeded in getting clean away. The gipsies then began a search for him, and one of them waited about his door to watch his return. Some of the inhabitants finding things looking very serious, sent off an express to Mr. Pain, the constable of the Half-hundred, to come to Lydden with all possible dispatch, and to bring assistance with him. Upon their arrival they, together with Gilham, proceeded to the "Bell," and after a desperate scuffle, succeeded in disarming the gipsies of their knives, and took them into custody. They then handcuffed the prisoners and placed them in a cart to convey them to Dover; but one of them succeeded in getting clear off with his handcuffs, without being for some time missed by the constables. Williams also tried to escape, but was after a long chase, taken by Friend, whom he attempted to strangle, and was lodged in the station-house. They underwent an examination on Sunday, at the office of Messrs. Shipdem and Ledger, solicitors, Dover, and each of them was fined  50s. and 25s. costs, and in default of payment they were committed to the house of correction at St. Augustine's for over two calendar months.


Kentish Gazette, Tuesday 9 April 1844.

Commutation of Tithes. Parish of Barfrestone.

The Draught Apportionment of Maps together with the Bill of Costs, are deposited at the house of Mrs. Martin, in the said parish, for the inspection of all person's interested, and an Assistant Commissioner will attend at the "Bell Inn" in the parish of Lydden, on Thursday the 18th day of April, at 11 o'clock in the Forenoon, to hear objections (if any) to the intended apportionment.

John Coleman, Apportioner.

Kearsney Court, 1st April, 1844.


From the Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, Saturday, 1 May, 1847. Price 5d.



We shall attend at the “Bell Inn,” in Lydden, on Friday, the 21st day of May next, at the hour of Seven in the Evening, to collect the half Year's Rent Charge for the Parish, due 1st January, 1847, when the attendance of all Payers is requested.

KENNETT & SON, Solicitors, Dover.

1st may, 1847.


Kentish Gazette, 11 March 1851.

Wingham Division, March 6.

Before Sir B. W. Bridges, Bart, W. O. Hammond, Esq., Captain French, J. Godfrey, Esq., and a full bench.

William Gillham of the "Bell" public house, Lydden, was charged by superintendent M'Gregor, with selling liquors on Sunday morning, 9th of February, at 11 o'clock. It appearing that one of the men in the house had travelled 7 or 8 miles, and that the other called upon the landlord on business, the case was discharge, with a caution to the landlord.

Gillham was then charged with allowing gambling in his house. The charge was distinctly proved, and the defendant was fined 1, and 18s. cost; which he paid.

Mr. Delasaux appeared in each case for the defence.



In 1864, brewers Jeken, Colman and Marsh put the premises up for auction with other lots, and described the premises as follows:- That most valuable Freehold road-side Public-house, known as the "BELL," at Lydden, situate on the Turnpike Road leading from Dover to Canterbury, with extensive stables and buildings, about 4 acres of good pasture land, and a large garden, now in the tenure of Mr. Gillman, who also carries on the business of a wheelwright and blacksmith.


From the Kentish Chronicle, 6 June, 1863.


A few days ago, as two children were playing beside the pond opposite the “Bell Inn,” at Lydden, one of them by accident slipped into the water. He shouted for help, as children in tribulation usually do, and a dog at hand, a fine retriever, at once plunged into the pond and rescued the struggling youngster, having sustained no injury from his immersion, except the close grip of the dog.


From the Kentish Chronicle and General Advertiser, 17 October, 1863, Price 1 1/2d.


On Saturday, the 3rd of October, a sad Accident, which terminated finally, happened at the Shepherdswell station of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway. It appears that Mrs. Keeler, the wife of a respectable farmer, living at Lydden, was travelling from Canterbury by the down train which is due at Shepherdswell at 9.10, when the train arrived at the station she was about to alight, when, by some accident, her foot slipped and she fell between the platform and the carriages, whereby her arm from the shoulder downwards was much lacerated, the flesh being laid open to the bone. A surgeon from Dover was quickly in attendance; but unfortunately the deceased was enceinte (pregnant), and within a fortnight of the time when she expected her confinement. The shock to the system, under these circumstances, proved fatal, death putting an end to the sufferings of the deceased on Sunday morning last.

An inquest was held on the body on Monday afternoon last, at the “Bell” public-house, Lydden, before the Deputy Coroner (W. Callaway, Esq.) and a very respectable jury, who chose the Rev. Mr. Brockhurt as their foreman.

Mr. Robert Gee, of Canterbury, instructed by Captain Daniel, attended to watch the case on behalf of the Railway Company, and said on their behalf that they wished to give every facility for the fullest investigation into the cause of the accident.

Mr. Greenhow, of Dover, attended to watch the case on behalf of the relatives of the deceased.

The Coroner having briefly opened the inquiry, called Edward Keeler, who said—The deceased was my wife. She was thirty-four years of age. On Saturday week she was travelling on the Loudon, Chatham, and Dover Railway. She left Shepherds well for Canterbury on that morning. I expected her home by the train due at Shepherdswell at 9.15 p.m. I went to the station to meet her. I was waiting with my cart outside the station when the train came in. I was called on to the platform first by the station-master, who said my wife had met with an accident. I went and found my wife in a chair, and one of the company’s servants standing by. She said to me, “Oh, Edward, this is a sad accident. I shall get blamed; but I assure you I took every precaution, knowing my state, to let the train get perfectly still.” She added that the door was opened either by the porter or the company’s servant. She also said, “I am a dead woman, Edward.” I took her home afterwards in my cart. I telegraphed for Mr. Barton, and he came immediately.

John Marklew said—I live at Shepherdswell, and have been a farmer. I was travelling by the same train as the deceased on Saturday week, I got out at Shepherdswell. I cannot say whether the train quite stopped, I think there was a little jerk. I had just got out of the train when I heard a scream from the front part of the train. I heard the deceased say, “I am under the carriage.” The train was then quite still. The deceased was on her back between the platform and the wheels of the carriages. I assisted the porter in getting her on to the platform. I heard what she said to her husband.

By a Juryman— The space between the platform and carriage wheels is about three feet. Deceased was under a first-class carriage. She travelled by a second class carriage.

William Bourne said, I am the Station-master of the Shepherdswell station of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway. I was on the platform on the day in question. The train was due at 9.15 p.m. She arrived at 9.23. She did not overshoot the station. The signal man was on duty with me, and also the porter. They were both on the platform—the one working the signals and the other calling out the stations. I did not observe either of them opening the doors of the carriages. It is usual to call the name of the station before the train stopped. I did not see any doors open as the carriages passed me. I did not see any jerk in the train after it had stopped. The train did not move after it had stopped until it started again for Dover. Soon after the train stopped I heard some screams from the front part of the train. I went to the spot with my lamp, and saw the deceased lying on her back between the platform and the rails. I directed her removal. It was the duty of the Company’s servants to open the carriage doors when the train stops. It was done on this occasion by myself, the porter, and signalman. I did not see Mrs. Keeler get out of the carriage. I think the iron step is about a foot clear of the carriage. The wooden step that runs all along the carriages is about six inches below the iron one. It is below the platform. The distance from the iron step to the platform is about a foot and a half. It may be more. The floor of the carriage is about a foot from the iron step. Mrs. Keeler was lying under a first-class carriage, which was, I think, between two second-class carriages. I am sure the train did not move after it had been stopped. I did not see any passenger get out of the train before it did stop. A person might have got out without my seeing him. We offered Mr. Keeler a first-class carriage, if he liked to take his wife on to Dover, to get the train there in ten minutes, and to telegraph for a doctor to meet her at Dover.

By Mr. Greenhow—I will undertake to swear that the iron step projects more then three inches from the carriage. I should say it projects six.

By the Foreman—I imagine Mrs. Keeler must have got out whilst the train was in motion, to account for her being under a first-class carriage.

David Pain, signalman, George Briggs, head-guard, and Cornelius Chase, porter, in the employ of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway Company, corroborated the evidence of the station-master, the guard stating that he heard a scream before the train stopped.

Francis Barton, surgeon, of Dover, attended the deceased at her house. He was sent up by the Company from Dover by a special train. Erysipelas supervened on the second day, and from that time she gradually got weaker, and died on Sunday morning. Deceased was far advanced in pregnancy. Erysipelas was the immediate cause of death. She was in danger from the time of the accident.

The Deputy Coroner then carefully summed up the whole of the evidence. The jury after having consulted for about half an hour, returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.” the jury also added, that they considered no blame attached to any of the servants of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway Company, who had given evidence before the Coroner.

The enquiry lasted nearly five hours.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 29 July, 1881. 1d.


A very distressing fatal accident occurred at Leycock Farm on Friday last. George Sydney Cook, whose son is one of the Town Porters at Dover, was at work on Mr. Churchward's farm. He had been with others harvesting hay, but it coming on wet, he went with a horse and cart to bring home a load of roots, which had been grubbed up in Leyoak wood. When the cart was loaded, he was coming down a steep incline in the clearing when the horse caught against a root or something of that kind and fell. The cart fell over and both horse and cart rolled over and the poor fellow, who was rendered insensible by the blow he received. A man named May came up and found the deceased, who was then insensible, lying on his back beside the horse and cart. Cook was carried to his cottage, and Mr. Ashby G. Osborn surgeon, of Dover, being in the village at the time, was called, but life was found to be extinct.

An inquest was held on Saturday last at the “Bell Inn,” Lydden, before T. T. Delasaux, Esq., Coroner, when the witnesses gave evidence as above, and Mr. Osborne, who was also called as a witness, said deceased had a severe contusion over and around the right eye, and a large lacerated wound behind the right knee joint, at which place the large artery and veins were torn through, causing the loss of a great quantity of blood. A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned.

The deceased, who was 62 years of age, leaves a widow. The funeral took place at Lydden on Tuesday, and much sympathy was manifested by the villagers.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 22 April, 1887. Price 1d.


Fred W. Allard and Alfred McMellen were charged with assaulting Henry Goldfinch and his wife, Laura Goldfinch, at the “Bell Inn,” Lydden on the previous day.

Henry Goldfinch, landlord of the “Bell Inn,” Lydden, said: Last night, soon after six o'clock, the defendants came into the bar and called for a quart of beer, and I served them. It was paid for, and they asked for another quart. I refused to serve it and told them to go on to Dover. They had been in during the afternoon with several others. As I refused to serve them the prisoner McMellen struck me in the face. With the assistance of several customers who were in the bar at the time the defendants were put out. They said they had lost their fish up Lydden Hill. They commenced firing stones at the windows. I went and put the shutters up, but they had broken six panes of glass, one stone struck my wife on the arm. After I had put up the shutters I pened the door to see if they were gone, and another stone was thrown, which struck me in the face. I then followed them to Dover and gave them into custody. The cost of the damage done would amount in all to 10s.

Laura Goldfinch said: I am the wife of last witness and live at the “Bell Inn,” LYdden. I was in the bar in the afternoon when the defendants came in with several others, and I was also there when they came in the evening. Defendants called for a quart of beer, and my husband served it. They afterwards wanted another quart, but my husband refused to serve them and told them to go on home. They had a quantity of beer in the afternoon, but they did not appear top be drunk. I saw the defendant McMellen strike my husband in the face. They started throwing stones when they had been put out, and one stone struck me on the arm causing my arm to bleed. I had bought some fish of defendants in the afternoon.

The Magistrates considered the case proved, and fined the prisoners 10s. each, which. Together with the costs, amounted 1 each, or in default of payment fourteen days' imprisonment with hard labour.

They went to prison.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 13 April, 1888.


The East Kent Coroner (R. M. Mercer, Esq.) held an inquest yesterday on the body of John Friend, aged 66, who was found drowned in a pond near Lydden. The deceased's hat was found at the back door of the public-house “The Bell,” at Lydden, and inside was a piece of paper on which was written “Perry in the Pond.” The pond was searched and deceased discovered with his feet tied together.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 20 April, 1888.


On Thursday the East Kent Coroner, Mr. R. M. Mercer, held an inquest at the “Bell Inn,” Lydden on the body of John Friend, formerly an inmate of the Dover Workhouse, who was found dead in a pond at Lydden with his feet tied.

Police Constable Ross, K.C.C., stationed at Alkham, deposed that on the previous morning at 5.30 while on his beat he found the hat (produced) lying near the door of the cottage next to the “Bell Inn.” He picked it up and showed it to the landlord of the “Bell Inn,” Mr. Goldfinch, who said it was not his. He said it was not there the previous night. The hat lay on its top with an envelope over it, and it contained some clean rags, a tract, 6d. in bronze, 2 penny postage stamps, and a knife. He read some writing on the envelope and showed it to Mr. Goldfinch who then said “Perry (Friend) is in the union. He (witness) commenced to search and found deceased in the pond opposite with his head under water. He got him out at once, and found that his legs were tied with a piece of cord, and his slippers and stick were thrown upon the bank. Witness sent to the union and discovered that no one had seen deceased since Wednesday morning. There were no marks of violence on the body or any signs of a scuffle having taken place. Everything was quite orderly.

Edward Dawkinge deposed that the deceased had been a labourer. He was unmarried and had been in the Dover Union ever since last autumn.

The Jury returned a verdict of “Suicide, while temporarily insane.”


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 16 February, 1900.


John Foord was summoned for having assaulted on January 2nd, at Lydden, Joseph Fox.

Mr. Rutley Mowll prosecuting.

Defendant pleaded guilty.

Mr. Fox said that the defendant was in his employ as carter when the offence was committed. On the day in question he had taken a load of fodder in a waggon from the farm. On going through Lydden witness found the horses outside the “Bell Inn” in the cold, while on going inside the house the witness found the defendant sitting drinking. On being spoken to he became abusive, and declined to go out and take the horses on. Witness told him he would have to get another man and went away. On his return half an hour later defendant was still in the house, and witness said he had another man. The defendant went out, and in spite of witness he seized the horses and began to back them onto witness, so that he was nearly pushed into the pond, which is about eight feet deep, and it would have drowned him.

The Bench advised defendant to keep his temper in future, and fined him 15s.


From the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. 24 February 1900. Price 1d.


Before Mr. G. E, Toomer, Mr. J. L. Broadley, and Mr. W. H. Bursh Rosher.


John Ford, a labourer, was summoned for assaulting Joseph Fox at Lydden on February 2nd.

Mr. Rutley Mowll, who appeared in support of the summons, said that the plaintiff was until recently, defendant's employer. On the day in question Mr. Fox found the defendant in the public house at Lydden, he having left his horses in the highway unattended. Mr. Fox remonstrated with defendant, and it was then that the assault complained of was committed.

Defendant pleaded guilty, and was fined 15s., including costs.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 2 March, 1900. Price 1d.


We are about to start a Gaol Running Club for this season. If there are any teams who would like to fix a date foa a match we shall be glad to meet them – Address letters to Secretary, D. Batcheller, Bell Inn, Lydden, near Dover.


From the Dover Express, 20 June,1902.


The County Petty Sessions were held on Thursday at Dover before Messrs. W. H.; Burch Kosher, J. L. Bradley, and T. A. Terson.


Applications were made by the landlords of the "Bell Inn," Lydden, "Three Ravens," Tilmanstone, and "Four Bells," East Langdon, for an extension on June 26th, Coronation night.

Superintendent Chaney said he had a very strong objection to this being granted, as it would cause a great deal of unnecessary drinking.

The Chairman said the Magistrates were unanimously of opinion that the occasion did not warrant the extension of the hours for the sale of intoxicants. There was ample time during which people who were celebrating the occasion could drink as much beer as was good for them. The applications would be all refused.


From the Dover Express, Friday 16 October, 1903.


An occasional license was granted to Mr. Batcheller, of the Bell Inn. Lydden, on the occasion of a Farm sale at Wickham Bushes on 19th October.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 22 March, 1912. Price 1d.


An occasional licence was granted to Mr. J. Fox, landlord of the "Bell Inn," for a farm sale at St. John's Farm, Swingfield, on 26th march. It was stated by applicant that Mr. Prebble, senr., was giving up the farm.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 19 September, 1913. Price 1d.


Mr. Fox, of the "Bell Inn," Lydden, asked for an hours extension on the  27th September for a cricket and harvest supper.

The application was granted.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 18 February, 1916.


The monthly sitting of tie Dover County Petty Sessions was held on Thursday, before Major Banks (in the chair), Messrs. Terson, H. Hart, Edward Chitty, F. W. Prescott and A Matthews.


This sitting was the annual licensing meeting of the Justices, and Superintendent Stone reported that the houses in his district were well conduced. Superintendent Castle also made a similarly satisfactory report.

It was stated that the "Bell Inn," Lydden, had been proceeded against and fined for selling during prohibited hours.

Mr. Edward Chitty said that the licensee ought to have attended.

The Magistrates' Clerk said that he need not attend unless special notice was given.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 16 February, 1923. Price 1d.


Mr. Fox, of the "Bell Inn," Lydden, was granted an extension for the Lydden Stock Sale on March 7th, during the day.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 17 August, 1923. Price 1d.


Mr. Fox, of the "Bell Inn," Lydden, was granted an extension for the Lydden stock sale on August 24th.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7 September, 1923. Price 1d.


Mr. Fox, of the "bell Inn," Lydden, applied for an extension for a stock sale on September 20th and October 25th; and the bench granted the extension from 3 to 5 p.m., the Police opposing an extension until 6 p.m.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 16 May, 1924. Price 1d.


An extension was granted to the "Bell Inn," Ltdden, on the occasion of the Lydden stock sale.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 17 October, 1924. Price 1d.


The "Bell Inn," Lydden, was granted an extension for farm and stock sales on Thursday and Friday.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 16 January, 1925. Price 1d.


John Fox, licensee of the "Bell Inn," Lydden, was summoned for supplying liquor during prohibited hours on January 9th.

Walter Lelliott and Edward Thomas Kemp were summoned for consuming such liquor.

Mr. Rutley Mowll appeared for the defendants, and pleaded guilty in each case.

Detective Sergeant Waddell, K.C.C., of Gillingham, said on the morning of January 9th, in company with Detective Constable Jackson, he was keeping observations on the "Bell Inn." During that time he was a steam Fodden waggon arrive, and the driver entered the house. Shortly afterwards a commercial car arrived, containing Kemp and Lelliott. At 9.15 a.m. witness entered. The driver of the waggon came out. Witness saw Kemp, as he went into the bar, taking a glass from his lips, and placed it on the floor and left the premises. Lelliott was in conversation with the proprietor. Standing in front of him was a half-pint glass containing beer. On the extreme left was an empty glass, which had contained beer. he called for two cups of tea, and the licensee left to supply them and invited them into the tap-room. There they could see what transpired. The licensee returned and whispered to Lelliott, who picked up the empty glass from the floor and gave it to the licensee, who put it under the counter. he then picked up the half-pint glass in from of Lelliott and moved it to the extreme left of the counter. Soon afterwards Lelliott started to drink out of it. Witness caught hold of the glass and told Lelliott he was a Police Officer, and asked for an explanation. he replied, "No." Witness asked if he agreed that the glass contained beer, and Lelliott said, "I came out from Dover on business, and it will be some considerable time before I return home." Witness told him he would be reported. The licensee, who had heard what was said, went to the bar door and said, "We are copped by Policemen." Witness asked him for an explanation, and he replied, "No; its hard , though. It is a job to get a living these times." He added that he had not seen Lelliott for twelve or fourteen years. On the way back to Canterbury witness met a car driven by Kemp and stopped him. he told him he would be reported. kemp replied, "I gave the other man a lift from Dover to Lydden, and we went in and called for two half-pints and paid for it. I did not see any money, and it is the first time I have seen the man."

Mr. Mowll said that the artificial arrangements in force at the present time made the temptations in country roadside houses a very real one. The licensee was expected to, and did, provide tea and non-intoxicants during prohibited hours, as he did in the case of the two plain clothes Policemen. Fancy the temptation to men arriving at a country house during those hours, with the aroma of intoxicating liquor under their noses. It must be a tremendous temptation to say, "It is not possible to have something a little more satisfying than a cup of tea!" He thought that there were many who would be glad to see the restrictions in regard to roadside houses altered. As it was, the defendants had committed offences against the law. Mr. Fox had been the licensee of the "Bell Inn" for 17 years, and of a public-house at Coldred for five years, and he had never been convicted. Neither of the other two men had been in a Police Court before. he asked the bench to take a course which would not take away the defendants' living in a trade in which he had been for 22 years.

Supt. Russell said that it was in consequence of complaints received by the Chief Constable that those officers were sent down.

The Chairman said that Fox would be fined 1, and each of the other defendants 10s. each, including costs.

Mr. Mowll asked if the Bench would express an opinion as to the defendant continuing at the house.

The Chairman said that from what they had heard and knew of Mr. Fox his conduct of the house had not been unsatisfactory. He thought there were many worse licensees in the district, in spite of this. He knew the house very well, and they would have heard something from him in seventeen years if there had been much at fault.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 20 March, 1925. Price 1d.


Mr. Fox, of the "Bell," Lydden was granted an extension for a stock sale on March 26th.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 17 April, 1925. Price 1d.


Mr. Fox, of the "Bell," Lydden, was granted an extension for the Lydden Stock Sale on April 22nd.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 6 August, 1926. Price 1d.


Mr. Fox, of the "Bell," Lydden, was granted an extension for stock sales on August 18th and September 10th, from 2.30 to 5.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 19 August, 1927. Price 1d.


The license of the "Bell Inn," Lydden, was granted an extension from 2.30 to 5 p.m., on September 14th, on the occasion of a sheep sale.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 6 September, 1929.

An extension was granted to the "Bell," Lydden, for the stock sale on September, 18th.


Dover Express 16 May 1930.


The death of Mr. John Fox, who for 19 years was the licensee of the "Bell Inn," was heard with general regret in the village. He is a son of Mr. Joseph Fox, of Coldred, so well known in Dover and the oldest member of the Dover Rural District Council.

Mr. John Fox after leaving the "Bell" resided at the "Dolphin Inn," Dover, which he managed, and on Sunday morning was taken ill and removed to the Dover Nursing Home, where he was operated on, but died shortly afterwards. He was 54 years of age. The funeral took place at Coldred yesterday afternoon.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 19 February, 1932. Price 1d.


An extension was granted to the "Bell Inn," Lydden, for the 9th and 30th March on the occasion of a stock sale.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 21 July, 1932. Price 1d.


The licence of the "Bell Inn," Lydden, was granted an extension allowing him to open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 10th August, on the occasion of the Lydden Stock Sale.


From the Dover Express, 20 October 1933.


"The Bell” Inn, Lydden, an extension on 25th October on the occasion of a stock sale.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 18 October, 1935.


An extension was granted at the "Bell" Inn, Lydden, from 10 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. and from 2.30 p.m. to 5 p.m., on October 24th, for a stock sale.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 7 August, 1936.


An extension was granted at the "Bell" Inn, Lydden, from 10 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. and from 2.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on 14th August, for the Lydden Stock Sale.

A similar extension for another Stock Sale was granted on September 16th.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 8 October, 1937.


The licensee of "The Bell" Inn, Lydden, was granted an extension from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 22nd for a sheep sale.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday, 22 October, 1937.


The Magistrates approved plans for alterations to the "Bell" Inn, Lydden, consisting of removing the wall dividing the Tap Room and bar and taking in the adjoining cottage and converting part of it into sanitary accommodation and the other part into a kitchen and bath room.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 5 August, 1938. Price 1d.


The licensee of the “Bell Inn,” Lydden, was granted extensions from 10-10.30 a.m. and 2.30-5 p.m. on 31st August, for a sheep sale.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 2 September, 1938.

The licensee of "The Bell" Inn, Lydden, was granted an extension from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a sheep sale on 22nd September.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 17 March, 1939. Price 1d.


Extensions of time were granted to the "Bell Inn," Lydden, on April 5th, from 10 p.m. to 10.30 p.m., and from 2.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. for sheep sales.


From the Dover Express and East Kent News, 10 April, 1942.


Albert Ester, a gunner, pleaded guilty to contravening the Rationing Order by obtaining pork without authority.

George Henry Marley and Reginald Clark, both of Lydden, were summoned (1)selling pork at a price in excess of the maximum; (2) supplying pork otherwise than according to the ration Order; (3)selling rationed meat by retail other than under the authority of the Minister of Food.

Marley pleaded guilty to all three summonses and Clark pleaded guilty of supplying, but not guilty of the other two.

Mr. A. K. Mowll prosecuted for the Dover R.D.C. and Mr. P. A. G. Aldington appeared for Clark and Marley.

Richard Hazeldene, Divisional Enforcement Officer of the Ministry of Food, said that on 31st January, he went with Mr. Goldfinch, Deputy Area Meat Agent for the Dover area, to Dover Castle where he was handed two pieces of pork by Ester. Later he saw Clark, formally a butcher, but was now licensee of the "Bell" Lydden, who said, "That is the pork I sold to the soldier. I didn't know him, except as a customer at the house. Marley told him he had a license to slaughter pork and asked me to cut it up. I just guessed at the price and gave the money to Marley."

Marley said that he had not disposed of any of the pig except that sold to the soldier. Ester made a statement that when he asked Clark if he could buy a piece of the pork, he was told that it was not for sale. He asked again the following day and was sold some. Witness added that Ester was charged 1/10 a lb. for a fore-loin and 1/6 for hand and foot, whereas the proper prices were 1/6 and 10d lb.

Mr. Aldington said that it was one isolated transaction, and not a "black market." No sale would have taken place had the soldier not persisted.

Ester said that he bought the pork to give some people who had often invited him to their house. He did not know it was rationed.

An officer said that Ester had 22 years service in the army at home and abroad, and that there was not even a minor charge against him.

The summons against Ester was dismissed under the probation of Offenders Act; Marley was fined one guinea on each summons and six guineas costs; and Clark was fined two guineas on each summons and three guineas costs.


Dover Express 19th October 1945.

Ploughing Match.

An extension of hours from 2.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. was granted to the “Bell” Inn, Lydden, for a farm sale on 3lst October.


Dover Express 11 March 1949.


There was a good turn out for the usual Sunday morning practice of Dover Town Band at the "Bell," Lydden, in a room lent by Mr. L. Terry. There was another practice at Charlton School on Monday, but the Band is still short of instruments, and any offers of the loan of instruments or any other help would be gratefully received.

Next practices :- Sunday "Bell Inn," Lydden, 10.30 a.m.

Monday:- Charlton School, 7.30 p.m.


Dover Express 03 June 1949.


The Dover Town Band will be making their first public appearance when they give a concert at the "Lydden Bell," Lydden, on Whit Sunday evening, from 7.30 until 9 p.m. in aid of their instrument fund. The subscription list, which up to date shows 5 13s., is still open.


From the Dover Express, Friday 29 December, 1950. Price 2d.

Tramps supper 1950

Above photo showing a tramps supper that took place in the Lydden Bell. Names, unfortunately unknown.


From the Dover Express, 25 January, 2001.

Cheers to our success.

Bell, best pub winners 2001

WINNERS of the Dover district's Best Pub and Best Shop competition received their certificates on Monday.

The two competitions were organised by the White Cliffs Country Tourism Association

Winner of the Best Pub for Tourists was The Bell Inn at Lydden where the association's chairman Annette Macpherson handed over framed certificate to Francis Gorham and Catherine Woodward.

They are the tenants of the Pubmaster hostelry where manager and chef is Jason Chamberlain.

Francis and Catherine, who have been at The Bell for nearly five years, also run The Pickwick at Kearsney.

Highly commended this year were The Hope Inn and the Clyffe Inn, both at St Margaret's, and the Admiral Penn at Deal.

Winner of the Best Shop for Tourists was Laughton's in Deal with runners-up The Cookshop at Sandwich, Simmonds the Dover jewellers and the gift shop at Dover Museum.

Our picture shows Francis and Catherine with Ms Macpherson and judges Phyllis Lear and committee member Terry Sutton.


Lydden Bell at Lydden

Above photo, circa 2004.

From the Dover Express, 25 May 2006.

Family-run hostelry offers a taste of something good.

Owners of Lydden Bell 2006

Family friend Daniel Bent, with Sarah, Andrew, Kevin and Joseph Anthony at the Lydden Bell. Picture by Terry Scott.


THERE are new faces at the popular Lydden Bell.

The Anthony's, husband and wife Andrew and Sarah, brother Joseph and father Kevin, are looking forward to welcoming customers old and new to a warm and family-friendly atmosphere in a non-smoking environment to enjoy their home-cooked food.

Chef Andrew, with 10 years' experience, prides himself on producing high-quality, well-presented dishes. Menus will vary seasonally with special dishes offered regularly.

To ensure the best quality, Anthony has sourced local ingredients, using the finest selection of seasonal vegetables, cuts of meat and fresh fish from suppliers who cater for the most exclusive restaurants and pubs in the area.

Tuesday is steak night offering a 16-oz rib-eye for just 8.95. Sunday is the day to bring the family and enjoy the traditional roast.

There is a secluded garden with a child's swing, skittle alley and a marvellous view of the surrounding countryside.

Lydden Bell offers a lighter lunchtime menu, with excellent freshly home-cooked food that will appeal both to customers with limited time and those fortunate enough to spend a leisurely time over their meal and appreciate the freshest foods simply cooked, to bring out the fullest natural flavours.

Cask ales are available, or choose from the wine list to complement your choice from the lunchtime or evening menus.

The Lydden Bell, at Canterbury Road, Lydden, can be contacted on 01304 830296.


Lydden Bell Lydden Bell Lydden Bell sign Lydden Bell sign

Above 4 photographs by Paul Skelton 7 June 2008.


From an email received 13 January 2011

Just to let you know I have closed the Lydden Bell and today I have had it shuttered up. Its on the market freehold for sale.


Dean Saunders.



Closed in January 2011 and opened again on 20th May 2011.


From the Dover Express, Thursday, 19 May, 2011. 60p


Couple's new venture aims to being boarded-up premises back to life

Jason Chamberlain of the Lydden Bell

A CHEF has returned to the pub he managed seven years ago -this time as owner.

Jason Chamberlain. 35, and his partner Hayley Pettet have bought the freehold on the "Lydden Bell" near Dover and plan to reopen it tomorrow.

Father-of-two Jason used to manage the premises before leaving to run pubs in Eythorne and Elham. This is the first pub he and Hayley have owned outright, but they are also still lease holders in Elham.

Jason said: "What appealed to me was the fact that it was a freehold. It makes our overheads lower from my point of view.

"When I passed by I saw it was all boarded up and I thought 'I'll have that."

Jason said he was encouraged by the success he enjoyed at the pub when he was chef/rnanager; and feels he can do just as well this time around.

He said: "You've got to be inventive with your menus, using local produce, theme nights. The pub trade is never going to be what it was, but I believe that if you work hard the rewards are still there.

"Hayley and I are going to run the two pubs for now, but we're not sure what we're going to do about the one in Elham."

David Foley; chief executive of the Dover District Chamber of Commerce, said: "What we need is for people to support the pub and others like it to ensure they all thrive and survive."


Bell at Lydden

Above photo taken by Tony Wells, 23 May 2011.

From the Dover Mercury, 5 July, 2012. 80p


Changing horses at the Bell.

Above, changing horses at the "Bell" Lydden. FM2121489

PEOPLE had a chance to see what transport was like in the 19th century on Sunday when a stagecoach, pulled by four horses, arrived in Dover at the end of a two-day journey from London.

The trip was organised to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens and the coach and its passengers stopped off at various locations in Kent connected with the author.

Dickens' great-great-grandson Mark Dickens was on board for part of the journey.

The coach, called Nimrod, was drawn by five teams of horses and the final change took place at The "Bell Inn" at Lydden, where the last set of horses were waiting to be hitched up to the coach to complete the 88-mile journey into Dover.

With the post horn being sounded along the way, it all made an impressive sight. A number of people were outside the "Dover Marina Hotel" on the seafront to welcome the coach's arrival, and to see the “post” - some commemorative packages - being delivered to those involved. Reflecting Dickens' great concern for the plight of disadvantaged children, the passengers had made donations to Bamardo's in exchange for their places on the coach, and collections were also made from spectators, and at various pubs, along the way.


From the Dover Mercury, 2 July 2015.

Dads eiyoyed a beer and cheese father’s day treat.

Lydden Bell 2015

Dads have been celebrated at the Lydden Bell pub with a three-day beer and cheese festival.

The Canterbury Road boozer was bustling with hundreds of people as they queued to try the 20 British-made cheeses and ales on offer.

Owner, Jay Chamberlain, 40, said: “On the Sunday there was a couple of hundred people. All of the roads were manic with cars and the back of the public house had a sea of people.”


Mr Chamberlain said that no particular beer struck him as the most popular, but the fruit ales went down well.

Guests were treated to a hog roast and live performances and children were kept entertained with a bouncy castle.

The occasion takes place every Father’s Day - but this year Mr Chamberlain decided to theme it, a choice that proved popular with the punters.

He said: “It is our third year and we are going to continue the themed weekend now because it was so popular.

“Everything was British, there were loads of different cheeses, from Brie to goats cheese, and they all came from our supplier Cheese Works. It was nice to be supported by so many customers who have been coming to us for years.

“It was a good weekend so make sure you mark it in your diaries for next year.”


Reynolds is shown in the 1841 census as a farmer at Swanton Court which is at the top of Lydden Hill, about 2.5 miles west of the Bell. William GILLHAM seems to have been a character in the village having regard to the articles above. GILLHAM and his wife Sarah were living in an unspecified property in The Street, Lydden in 1841.



WESTON Sarah 1740+ Wingham Ale Licences 1740

REYNOLDS Henry 1847+ Bagshaw's Directory 1847 (farmer & victualler)

GILLHAM William 1851-64+ (age 58 in 1861Census) Post Office Directory 1855Melville's 1858 GILLMAN 1864)

BARNETT James 1871-74 (age 62 in 1871Census) Post Office Directory 1874

WARD James 1881+ (age 42 in 1881Census)

Last pub licensee had HALKE/HAIKE John James May/1882+ Post Office Directory 1882Dover Express

GOLDFINCH Henry 1891 (age 35 in 1891Census) Post Office Directory 1891

BATCHELOR James D 1899-Apr/1906+ Next pub licensee had (age 38 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1899Post Office Directory 1903Kelly's 1903Dover Express

Last pub licensee had FOX John Nov/1907-Jan/27 (age 35 in 1911Census) Kelly's 1913Post Office Directory 1913Post Office Directory 1914Post Office Directory 1922Dover Express

BROWN Arthur Thomas Jan/1927-Apr/29 Dover Express

BETTNEY Charles Fred Apr/1929+ (Licensee from Gillingham) Dover Express

TAPLEY Mr Daniel Herbert to 1934-Jan/1937 Kelly's 1934Dover Express

TERRY Mr L S Jan/1937-Feb/41 Dover Express

CLARK Reginald Feb1941-42 Dover Express

TERRY Mr L E S up to 12 Jun 1942 Dover Express

PHILLIPS E H H Mr 12 Jun 1942+ Dover Express

CLARK Mr to Mar/1946 Dover Express

TERRY Mr L S 1946-49+ Dover Express (returned from war service)

WILLETT Charles S T 1974+ Library archives 1974 Fremlins

GORHAM Francis & WOODWARD Katherine to 2002

ANTHONY Kevin Andrew 2006-Aug/2010

SAUNDERS-FINCH Dean 13/Aug/2010-13/Jan/2011

CHAMBERLAIN Jason May/2011+


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

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Post Office Directory 1855From the Post Office Directory 1855

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

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

Kelly's 1913From the Kelly's Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Post Office Directory 1914From the Post Office Directory 1914

Post Office Directory 1922From the Post Office Directory 1922

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Library archives 1974Library archives 1974

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express



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