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Main road, Boreham Chelmsford CM3 3JE
The Six Bells was originally a pair of cottages built in around 1750. They were only recently knocked together. At the same time, a further earlier building dating back to the 17th century was also adjoined. This 3rd building faced onto Plantation Road and was probably owned by hop gardeners. Opposite here were The Maltings, and the cottages on Plantation Road, still bear that name today. You can still see the original timber framing in the pub.
The Six Bells was at the heart of the village, even in Victorian times, with the adjacent building being occupied by Mrs. Hannah Seabrook, the local butcher. The pub served cream teas and offered accommodation to cyclists. The butcher's shop had its own abbattoir and slaughtering was carried out on the premises every Monday.
One of the more famous owners of the butcher's shop was Mr. Dines, who took over the business just before the war, managing the villagers' weekly meat ration. A great party was held in the village for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953, with Mr. Dines carving an ox, while plentiful supplies of ale were provided by The Six Bells.
Another great village establishment was the bakery, established in the late 1800s by a Mr. Smith. Mr Smith had a pony and trap, which he used to deliver bread to Boreham and the surrounding villages. When he retired, the shop became a grocery, but sadly does not survive today.
The Six Bells is believed to have become a "beer house" during the 1830s after the Beer Act of 1830 created beer houses. The then owners would have had to apply for an excise license for the princely sum of 2 guinea, and would then be allowed to sell ales, but not spirits.
The Six Bells was named by the licensee, Joseph Young, probably the son of the owner, Isaac Young of Braintree, and was so called because of the number of bells at the church. These had only been installed in 1746, so were still new to the villagers at the time. (In 1913, two more bells were added to the church, but the pub kept its original name.)
From 1883 to 1895 the pub had no fewer than 5 separate tenancy owners. The last of these was Edgar Tracey Pennick, who was also the local blacksmith. He kept the pub until 1905, when the property was sold to Greene King. It has been a Green King pub ever since.