the history of yeovil's pubs





bell inn (1)

High Street / The Borough


Yeovil had a Bell Inn certainly as early as 1444 when it was recorded that the rent of the Bell Inn was £2 3s. 4d. per annum (see Documentation below). This Bell Inn (marked as 'F' on the 1886 map below) fronted High Street, in the Borough. It was the property of the Chantry of the Holy Trinity of St John's church, certainly in 1501 when the accounts of William Weaver, senior priest in the chantry, noted that John Wyning was the host of the Bell Inn, the rent of which had fallen from 100s to 43s 4d p.a.

The accounts of the Chantry of the Holy Trinity note that in 1548 a widow, Isabella Welfare, was running the Bell Inn and the rent had fallen further to 33s 4d per annum.

In 1618 an order was made that only nine licensed premises be allowed in the borough (that is the town, not that part of High Street today called the Borough) and two outside, with the rest being 'suppressed'. The Bell Inn was undoubtedly one of the nine 'allowed' premises.

In 1639 a lease referred to a "messuage between the Bell and the Rose and Crown in High Street".

It is not known when this initial Bell Inn (there were two later Bell Inns) ceased trading, but was probably in the early 18th century since the second Bell Inn was in operation by 1735.





owners / tenants / licensees


1444-67 - Licensee not named but rent of Inn referred to (Goodchild 'The Borough of Yeovil')
c1500 - John Wynyng – Host (Chantry of the Holy Trinity Accounts)
1548 – Isabella Welfare, widow (Chantry of the Holy Trinity Accounts)
1564 – Isabella Welfare / Giles Hayne (Calendar of Somerset Chantry Grants)
1599 – The Bell Inn mentioned in Latin document
1615 – Thomas Lane (Notes of LC Hayward)
1664 – Widdow Hayne (Rate Book)
1667 – Mary Hayne (Notes of LC Hayward)
1669 – Thomas Atkins, late Lang (Notes of LC Hayward)
1689 – John Game (Notes of LC Hayward)
1690 – Dr. Gayme (Notes of LC Hayward)
1695 – Jane Game (Notes of LC Hayward)





In these and subsequent years the rent of the 'Bell' Inn was £2. 3s. 4d. a year. (Goodchild et al: The Borough of Yeovil, 1954. p48)


The accounts of William Wever, temp. Henry VII, senior priest of the Chantry in the parish church of Yeovil, show that the rent of the Bell Inn, of whom John Wynyng was host, had fallen from 100s. per annum to 43s. 4d. (SCHNQ Nov. 1901)


Yevill, The Chantry of the Holy Trinity... Isabella Welfare, widow, holds a burgage or Inn with certain curtliages, called the Bell, and renders per annum 33s 4d. (Somerset Chantries, S.R.S. 2)


To Thomas Reve, gentleman, William Revette, merchant, and William Hetchins, of London, 14 July 1564: Yeovil: Holy Trinity Chantry:... Isabella Welfare, widow, 1 burgage or Inn with certain curtilages called the Bell, £1 13s 4d. rated at 24 years. Reve and Revette conveyed the Holy Trinity Chantry properties to Giles Hayne of Kingston next to Yeovil on 20 July 1564... Isabella Welfare renewed her lease for the Bell Inn and other Yeovil properties worth £1 13s 4d. (Calendar of Somersewt Chantry Grants, 1548-1603: Cal 72.)


The Bell Inn mentioned in Latin document signed by Raufe Horsey, Thomas Freke and Gerrad Sterr (SRO. DD/PH c295.23)


Thomas Lane - Notes of LC Hayward


Burrow - Widdow Hayne att the Bell 1s. 4d. (Rate Book)


Mary Hayne - Notes of LC Hayward


Thomas Atkins, late Lang - Notes of LC Hayward


John Game - Notes of LC Hayward


Dr. Gamee - Notes of LC Hayward


March 1695. Portreeve and Burgesses of Yeovill to Jane Gayne of Yeovill, Messuage and burgage in High Street, between burgage now or late in the possession of Joseph Hayne, commonly called The Bell on west messuage of Thomas Phillips, als. Phelps, commonly called the Rose and Crown on east, formerly held by Thomas Atkins decd. Rent 14s. 8d. (Signed) Richard Rogers portreeve and 11 burgesses - Giles Hayward, Francis Mines, James Markes, John Chaplin, John Knight, John Old, Edward Boucher, William Rowe, Henry Avoke,