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Helmdon Trail - The Bell

 
The Bell in the 1970s
The Bell in the 1970s

 

There used to be Four Public Houses in Helmdon, but only the Bell survives. It has always been called a "free house", which means it was never tied to a brewery and thus tied to supplying the ales that the brewery produced.

For the first years of its life it was called the King William so it is not fanciful to think that it was first licensed during his reign (1830-37). However, the first recorded beerhouse keeper was John Pratt, whose family had lived in the village since the seventeenth century. He was licensed in 1841 and he was the landlord for at least 38 years.

The 1861 census refers to the King William as "the Queen", presumably because Victoria was on the throne but in 1884, at the time it was taken over by the Leamington Brewery Co, it changed its name to the Bell, presumably because it was the pub nearest to the church. In 1934 it came into private hands and has stayed that way ever since. Today it dispenses Bankes Beers, and the present landlord says that it is "full of character and characters with a warm and friendly atmosphere".

  click for full article Four Public Houses

 
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