Welcome to

It would seem fairly certain that the pub, known in the nineteenth century as 'The Bell Inn', was previously the Ring of Bells referred to in the following extract from the Exeter Flying Post dated 23/4/1794, and so we know that the pub had been in this location since before that date.

To be SOLD by Publick Survey at the Ring of Bells, in Witheridge, on Wednesday the 29th April Inftant, by three o’clock in the Afternoon, NINETY LARGE OAK TREES, with their Tops and Bark, now ftanding on trifhcomb, in the Parish of Lapford, and Blagrave, in East Worlington, marked with a Crof, in Paint. For a View of the Trees, apply to the Tenant, Samuel Weflacot, at Irifhcomb, and for further Particulars to Mr Cleave, Attorney at Law, at Crediton.

The premises of Mr Joseph Churchill, saddle maker, were, until the mid-1870s, the Bell Inn of which Mr Churchill was the Landlord. One resident whose father was at a concert on in the Drill Hall, now the Church Room, recalls the day the line of thatched cottages and the thatched "Bell Inn" along the north side of the Square burnt down, It was on February 27th 1886, and his father "went round with the bell rousing the village."

The telegraph had summoned the Fire Brigade at Tiverton, who came galloping out, but by the time they arrived, the fire had too strong a hold, and as there was little water anyway, all they could do was go home again.

The following transcription of a record held at A North Devon Record Office indicates that Joseph Churchill sold the rebuilt premises in 1888 to Frederic Day of South Molton.

Joseph Churchill - Saddle Maker - Premises formerly the Bell Inn, The Square Witheridge
House formerly called The Bell Inn 2309 B/T67/1: date 1888
From Scope and Content] Joseph Churchill of Witheridge, saddler
Scope and Content: Mortgage
1. Joseph Churchill of Witheridge, saddler
2. Frederic Day of South Molton, gent

The Misses Holcombe are known to have run a dressmaking business together there from the turn of the century until about 1920, and a photograph taken prior to 1919 shows name over the shop of Holcombe. After that date, Miss Claude Holcombe continued on her own until the 1930s. Other owners since then have included Mr and Mrs Kessal, for whom Wally Sullivan worked during the second world war whilst here as an evacuee, and also by Mrs Burr and her mother, Mrs Schooling. At a later date Olive Vernon and her husband Bill, owned the newsagent and sweet shop, and also introduced a good selection of knitting wool, haberdashery and some clothing. Currently, Brian and Sheila Wheeler are the owners, and operate under the banner of the Witheridge Newsagents.

Identified Inn Keepers

Richard Churchill - Bell Inn - Inn Keeper Directory 1850

Previous      Go to Top      Home       Text Version      Next Page

Last Edited 03/07/2006    Copyright © 2000-2006 Witheridge

Unless otherwise indicated on the page in question, the photographic images reproduced on this site belong to the Witheridge Archives, and, as such may not be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission. However, you are welcome to use any of the photographs belonging to the archive for personal and/or non-commercial use. Any material shown as not being owned by the archive may not be reproduced in any form without first receiving written permission from the owner of the material in question.