Bell Vat

The Bell Hotel, 1 Church Street, Old Town, Bexhill-on-Sea.

Blower Jack Derry.

Bell Vat

The original Bell Hotel was probably built in the 17th century. The hotel is one of the most historic and important buildings in Bexhill with a fascinating history that includes gossiping in the backroom about a murdered Revenue Man, the body in the fish cart, Admiral Bythesea, and the secret tunnel .

During the late 18th  and early 19th centuries, smuggling had become a serious problem in the area and many local families were involved to a greater or lesser degree.  The story of a Revenue Man being shot in 1821 may have been misheard as it was George England, a Revenue Man who shot a local fisherman called Joseph Swaine, with the Revenue Man tried for murder.

A baby found at Bexhill in the early 19th century was given the name Bythesea (by-the-sea). That baby became a father of Rear Admiral John Bythesea, a VC in the Crimea  War.

This hotel is currently closed. It may reopen as a ground floor bar with flats above it.