grid reference TM 163 438Something we've got wrong about this establishment? Something more you think we should know about it? Please email us
listed building grade II
CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.
last updated 30/12/2019
Ipswich Old Bell (le Stone, Blue Bell)
also traded as as: Bellhistorical closure era: 21st century
1-3 Stoke St, IP2 8BX
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. For a long time the building was left to deteriorate and get vandalised, but work had finished by early 2017.
The pub is shown (though not named) on this old OS map from about the end of the 19th century. larger map
(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.