North West, 52.0709,1.46683
closed August 1999
The St, IP12 3LH
grid reference TM 376 470
The pub is shown here on an old OS map from about the end of the 19th century. interactive map
Now residential, the Bell had a reputation as a smugglers' pub.
The 1904 Woodbridge licensing records show that the Bell's license was issued in 1853. Whether this was when it was first licensed or when it got a full (ie not just beer) license isn't clear, though the latter seems more probable.
A Victorian brewery was at this pub.
The village website tells us:
This was a pub of no other pretension than what it was - a place for a man to have a drink and play the odd game of darts if he wants to. They came here by tractor and van, by bicycle and foot and the conversation was relaxed local gossip indespersed with lively discussion on the right time of year to dig up carrots or how best to store onions. The loos were basic in those days and ladies were shown into the private bathroom. There were no carpets, no polished brasses and no bar snacks and this was the ideal stopping place for walkers. On a hot day it is bliss to sit outside in the shade, to rub warm crinked feet through the cool grass, to drink a cold beer and listen to the Suffolkness inside the pub. It was Tolly then!
Characterful old smugglers pub. The present owners have wisely slimmed down the range of ales, concentrating on quality. Fodens take-away fish and chip shop operates from the rear of the pub.
Beer: Greene King Abbot; Whitbread Flowers Original; guest beers (independents & micros).CAMRA's 1997 Suffolk Real Ale Guide
To be sold by private contract that old established inn called the Bell at Boyton, now in full trade; it has 2 front parlours, backroom, kitchen, bar, backhouse, and good cellars, and convenient sleeping rooms; together with carpenter's and wheelwright's shop, saw house, stable, and large garden, all in excellent repair, The proprietor's leaving the Bell is owing to his wife's ill health. For price and further particulars apply to Mr James Clouting, upon the premises.Ipswich Journal, April 1830**
The charge of assault against James Smith, innkeeper of the Boyton bell was dismissed after the court heard testaments from various witnesses that the landlord had used reasonable force to eject Ann Chambers from his house…
(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)
(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)
Old OS map reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.