Bell Inn

Essex - Horndon-on-the-Hill

A historic pub interior of some regional importance

Listed Status: II*

High Road
SS17 8LD

OS ref: TQ671833

Tel: (01375) 642463




Real Ale: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

Public Transport: Near Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

Of interest mainly for the public bar, essentially unchanged since 1958 when the room was extended back; new bar fittings were provided and panelling installed in the new section to match that from the 1930s in the older space. 1958 bar counters are also found in the front left room and the dining room but there has been much internal reconfiguration.

The 14th/15th century Bell at Horndon-on-the-Hill is worth a visit to see the public bar which has remained virtually unchanged since 1958. The painting dated 1948 over the (modern) fireplace shows a smaller room with a 1930s counter. In 1958 the room was extended back and new bar fittings added by Charringtons; panelling to match the 1930s ones were added to the rear section. The front left room with half timbered walls was the lounge bar until 1976 when the front door was blocked up and an old fireplace removed. The room is now used by diners but does retain the 1958 counter (the bar back looks more modern). There was a small snug which is now the first section of a further dining room but also has a 1958 bar counter.

Upstairs the 'Room At The Top' is another dining room with one half timbered wall. Look for the hot cross buns hanging in the saloon bar which is a tradition started about 90 years old. Jack Turnell took over the Bell on a Good Friday and marked the occasion by hanging a bun from a beam. It's a tradition that has continued ever since - now the oldest person in the village (or at least the oldest available on the day) hangs the bun. The tradition even continued during the war - a concrete bun bearing witness to the shortage of food. In the same family ownership for 50 years.

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