The Bell in the 1970s
There used to be four public houses in Helmdon, but only the Fat Landlord, formerly The Bell, survives. It has
always been called a "free house", which means it was never tied
to a brewery and thus bound to supplying the ales that the brewery
For the first years of its life it was called the King William IV so
it is not fanciful to think that it was first licensed during his
reign (1830-37). The first recorded beerhouse keeper was
John Pratt, whose family had lived in the village since the seventeenth
century. He was licensed in 1841 and was the landlord for at
least 38 years.
The 1861 census refers to the King William IV as "the Queen", most lilkely
because Victoria was on the throne, but in 1884, at the time it was
taken over by the Leamington Brewery Co, it changed its name to
The Bell, presumably because it was the pub nearest to the church.
In 1934 it came into private hands and has stayed that way ever
since. In January 2018 Richard Phillips, who has been the landlord for many years, changed its name to The Fat Landlord..
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