Page Updated:- Monday, 31 December, 2018.


Earliest 1545

Bell Inn

Open 2019+


01797 344355

Above postcard, date unknown.

Bell Inn sign 1985Bell sign 1991

Above sign left, May 1985, sign right, July 1991.

With thanks from Brian Curtis

Bell Inn 1994

Photo taken 5 September 1994 showing the Bell Inn and St George's Church from by bitterman63.


The building can be dated back to 1545 and has been serving ale and bread since this time. It is situated next to St. George's Church.

It is said that the owlers and smugglers would give a hostile welcome to strangers drinking there - not surprising considering the nearby church was blatantly used as a warehouse for contraband.


Passage below taken from their web site.

The "Bell Inn" was built in 1545 on the site of a much older medieval building, probably a hostelry. The origin of the sign of The "Bell" dates back to the 11th century when inns and taverns stood within the precincts of parish churches. How many bells a particular church held, determined the number given to the name of the inn. When The "Bell" was built, the Church of St George held only one bell. The original building was much smaller than now, being timber framed and thatched, and additions were made in the 18th, 19th & 20th centuries.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Romney Marsh, and particularly The "Bell," was something of a centre for smuggling. At that time, smugglers known locally as “owlers”, called The "Bell" “The Stained Glass Window”.

Smugglers ran in gangs of up to 200 men and church vaults and inn cellars were used extensively for hiding all sorts of contraband. In 1744, it was recorded that the Sexton of St. George's warned the Rector of Ivycurch “Bain't be no service s'morning parson, Westry be full wi' baccy and pulpit full o' brandy” - needless to say, there was no service that day!


Kentish Gazette 14 September 1787.


Some Time past, out of the Grounds of Mr. John Skinner, in the parish of Ivychurch, A Small Black Horn Heifer; a little White on her Rump; Horn-marked on each Horn, S.W.

Whoever will give Intelligence of the said Heifer, either to Mr. John Skinner at Lydd, or to Joseph Tolhurst or the "Bell" at Ivychurch, shall receive all reasonable Satisfaction.

Sept. 9, 1787.


Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette 23 March 1844.


March 14, at Ivychurch, Charlotte, wife of Mr. H. Springett, of the "Bell Inn," aged 36.


From the Dover Express, 17 December 2015.

Fantastic pubs for a festive pie and pint.

Bell Inn 2015

COSY AND TRADITIONAL: The Bell Inn, Ivychurch.

GONE are the days of sitting in a beer garden sipping on Pimms. At this time of year a real fire is much more important when choosing where to have a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie or two.



SPRINGETT Henry 1844-51+ (age 43 in 1851Census)

FLISHER Edward 1861-82+ (age 45 in 1861Census)

FLISHER George J 1891+ (age 34 in 1891Census)

ELDRIDGE Henry S 1903-13+




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