Sort file:- Margate, August, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 18 August, 2021.


Earliest 1857

(Name from)

Northern Belle

Open 2021

4 Mansion Street


01843 298674

Northern Bell

Above showing the "Northern Belle," reputedly Margate's oldest pub.

Northern Bell sign

Above photos by Chris Whippet printed under the Creative Commons License.

Northern Bell 2007

Photos taken on 1 June, 2007 from by John Law.

Northern Belle 2021

Above photo, May 2021, kindly taken and sent by Michael Mirams.

Northern Belle 2021

Above photo, May 2021, kindly taken and sent by Michael Mirams.


Probably Margate's oldest pub, the Northern Belle, may date from 1640, but incorporates timber from the wreck whose name it bears.

Formerly the "Waterman's Arms" and was renamed in 1857 after the wrecking of the "Northern Belle."

The "Northern Belle" is supposedly haunted by the whispy white form of a woman in a veil or shroud who has been seen many times over the centuries drifting through the cellars, bars and rooms above the pub.


From Wikipedia 26 May 2013.

Northern Belle was an American transatlantic ship which ran aground near Thanet, England on January 5, 1857. No lives were lost, thanks to heroic rescue efforts, in blizzard conditions. However, another ship sank en route to the scene, the Margate lugger "Victory" was lost with a crew of 9.

The Northern Belle set out from New York, crossing the Atlantic, only to run into trouble at Thanet, so close to its destination of London. At 3 am, on a bitter-cold morning, it became apparent that a ship was in some peril in local waters near the little harbour of Broadstairs.

The ship had been cast ashore on a dangerous ledge of rocks below the Foreness Point, at Kingsgate, between Broadstairs and the coast of Margate. On seeing the plight of the Northern Belle's crew, the Coastguard had sent warning to Broadstairs, and so despite the severe conditions prevailing, the Mary White and Culmer White lifeboats were hauled overland by horse-drawn trailer, against the blizzard, to a point where they could be safely launched.

After the event, one of Margate's oldest pubs, the "Watermans Arms" was renamed the "Northern Belle", and timber salvaged from the shipwreck was used to renovate the pub. The original wooden beams and davitts, which became bar posts, are still visible today. The pub is still called the "Northern Belle" and is Open 2014+ daily. During the Second World War and the Cold-War years, the pub was used by American airmen. (Margate historical society).




This traditional old pub people called after an American transatlantic ship, the Northern Belle that ran aground in 1857, with foundered near Thanet. No lives were lost, thanks to heroic rescue efforts in blizzard conditions. However, another boat sank en route to the scene of the disaster. The Margate lugger, Victory, was lost with a crew of nine. The Victory had set sail to help the stricken ship. However, was struck by a tremendous sea and capsized. All the crew perished within sight of hundreds of the town’s people, watching from the shore and cliff top. Inside the Northern Belle are a series of small rooms with a narrow bar, low beams hung with small pewter pots and a wooden floor. It exhibits ghostly manifestations, these include a woman with a very pale face wearing a white shroud, witnesses see her, in the bar and cellars (once used by smugglers). The proprietor, Robert Edward Brockman, first recorded this ghost in 1869. Many have observed it since; several of the men, who drowned in the rescue attempt in the Victory, had used this pub, with among those that haunt it.


From the by Kathy Bailes, 8 May, 2021.

A taste of Cambodia comes to Margate’s oldest pub.

Siman and Neang Allen

Khymer Kitchen comes to the Northern Belle, showing Simon Allen at one of his "Pop-up" kitchens. By Jodie Nesling.

Margate’s oldest pub is set to re-open with a Cambodian restaurant upstairs, making it only one of seven restaurants in the UK to offer the South East Asian cuisine.

The Northern Belle and restaurant Khmer Kitchen will be run by new publicans Neang and Simon Allen who moved to the town two years ago.

Former publicans Ray and Sharon Summers, who had been at the helm for some five years, handed the keys back to brewer Shepherd Neame last month.

Neang had extensive experience cooking in her native Cambodia before moving to the UK to run restaurants in 2011 and describes the food of her homeland as “the undiscovered gem of South East Asian cuisine.”

Simon has worked all over the world running clubs and restaurants including venues in LA and New York City. He also has years of film and TV industry experience.

He said: “We first came to Margate around seven years ago and tried to move but the property fell through – we ended up in Somerset for a time and now we are back. Margate has always been a place of migration.”

He added: “After moving we hosted very successful pop-ups at the "Rose in June," and "London Tavern" - we were looking for a venue and this is just perfect.”

The Northern Belle is Margate’s oldest pub and the community was saddened to see it close its doors during the pandemic. The traditional boozer will open up the first and second floors with new and intimate dining areas and up to four individual club rooms. They will be serving cocktails, cask and bottled beers and offer guests a bold wine list.

Dishes will include their signature dumplings which combine the flavours and ingredients of Cambodia but the couple will also looking to source local ingredients where possible.

The menu for their new restaurant adds a creative twist to traditional Khmer curries, noodle and dumpling dishes.

Simon said: “The vegan menu will incorporate many versions of Khmer dishes using Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan and seasonal vegetables – it will be as extensive as the usual menu.”

Khmer Kitchen at The Northern Belle, 4 Mansion Street, Margate, CT9 1HE, will open at the end of May.


I have been informed by Michael Mirams that this closed in May 2021 and is likely to be changed into an Oriental restaurant, although I believe that will only be in the upstairs area.



MONDAY John 1861-67+ (age 40 in 1861Census)

BROCKMAN Robert 1869-82+ (age 36 in 1881Census)

HEDGECOCK Walter James 1890-1903+ (age 66 in 1901Census) Kelly's 1903

HEDGECOCK Charles William 1911-22+ (age 38 in 1911Census)

HALLS Charles Edward 1930+

BOND Walter 1938+

SUMMERS Ray & Sharon 2015-Apr/2021

ALLEN Simon & Neang May/2021+



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:-