Ipswich Old Bell
Ipswich Old Bell
also traded as Bell, le Stone, Blue Bell
North East, 52.05106,1.15403
1-3 Stoke St, IP2 8BX
grid reference TM 163 438
The pub can be seen on this OS town plan from about 1880 (larger map).
Prior to closure, the Old Bell was reputed to be the oldest pub in Ipswich (believed to date from the early 16th century and certainly recorded as early as 1639). A Bell Inn is known to have existed in this area since well before the Civil War. Part of the building was demolished when Vernon street was built in 1860s.
The name may refer to a bell foundry which existed nearby before the inn was built; there's documentary evidence of this as far back as medieval times.
The building was empty and decaying for many years after the pub closed in 2007; in 2014 planning permission to convert it into an undertaker's office was granted…
Saturday last (11th), died, Mrs Bore, wife of Mr Bore, of the Bell, in St Mary Stoke, Ipswich.Ipswich Journal, October 1800**
Died on the 3rd December, aged 55, Mr Bore, of the Bell, in St’ Mary Stoke, Ipswich.
A week later a notice informs us that Robert Boore, whose father had recently died, had taken on the Bell. Ipswich Journal, Dec 1805**
Cocking at Ipswich
Three double days play, on July the 26th, 27th, 28th, between the gentlemen of Suffolk and Norfolk. To shew 31 mains and 12 byes for £5 a battle, and £50 the odd, at the Bell Inn, Stoke Bridge.
Six to four on Suffolk.…
(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)
(detailed information from Old inns of Suffolk by Leonard P Thompson)
(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)
(*** historic newspaper information from Bob Mitchell)
Old OS map reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.