While the old Bell Hotel in Liskeard may have been silenced these last 60 years or so, the Brewery Archive Research Team has unearthed a wealth of history about the old coaching house that was owned by St Austell Brewery until its closure in 1940, located in Church Street. Registered as early as 1853 to a Mr Richard Hawkes, it is possible that the Bell also has some links to an earlier pubic house in the street known as the Bullers Inn, referenced in an 1842 itinerary of the town.
On its closure, the Bell was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence for war purposes, initially between the years of 1940 and 1941, for what we believe was to act as a billeting centre for US troops based in Cornwall. We’ll be following that up but if anyone can confirm that for us, or shed any further light on the Bell’s wartime use, we’d be really grateful.
Also, we’d love to hear from anyone who might remember the landlady of The Bell, Mrs Frances Preston. She originally ran The Bell from as early as 1919 under her maiden name of Frances Cullen and then, after her marriage to John Preston at the local church, found herself at the Temperance Hotel in Minions for a time before coming back to manage The Bell in her married name until it was closed down in 1940.
Again, we’d love to hear from anybody with a little local insight into the history of the Bell and Frances Maud in particular, to help us complete our records.
You can contact us by emailing our archives department