Hempton past to present

Hempton past to present

Of the three Inns in Hempton, all of which were still active in 1939, the Buck has been demolished, the King’s Head is a private residence and the Bell alone keeps open house.


The deeds of the Hempton Bell can hardly be more frustrating to read. The earliest deed to hand, dated 1721, is marked Number 19 so one’s imagination wanders to the years previous when deeds 1–18 were being drawn up but all the evidence points to the existence of the Bell in the early 1600’s.


In the reign of Henry 1, (1100–1135) the Augustinian Priory of St.Stephen was founded about 150 yards from where the Bell now stands and, local legend has it that a building on or near the site of the Bell may have been an outlet for the local monks brewing activities which later supplied ale to the Hempton fairs during and after the reign of King John – all hearsay but all very plausible.


Photography | Steve Norris