Ring O’ Bells (Kendal)

39 Kirkland, Kendal, LA9 5AF
Ring O’ Bells (Kendal) Outside

A stone’s throw from the Abbot Hall gallery on the edge of Kendal’s town centre, the Ring O’ Bells is a quirky and traditional pub that has the unusual claim of being one of just a handful of pubs built on consecrated ground.

This cosy and charming inn dates back to 1741 and the interiors are brimming with period features, including some interesting decorated windows with various inscriptions from the 19th century. The inn serves a good choice of real ale, receiving awards from the local CAMRA branch, and it offers home cooked, comforting food.

Food & Drink

Ring O’ Bells (Kendal) fireplace

Photo thanks to the Ring O’ Bells

The Ring O’ Bells was named the Westmorland CAMRA Spring 2017 Pub of the Season thanks to its dedication to serving a varied choice of real ale. This is a freehouse and therefore it is able to supply ale from a number of different breweries. There are three ales on hand pump, usually sourced from Cumbrian and northern England breweries. The inn also has various beers and ciders on draught, as well as a limited selection of wines, whiskies and spirits. The well-stocked bar includes around 15 gins, plus the usual choice of soft drinks.

The food at the Ring O’ Bells is of the type you might make in your own home to comfort the soul on a cold winter’s evening. Hearty, filling, and wholesome, all of the food is prepared on site, with a menu that includes traditional home favourites such as stroganoff, soups, pies, and lasagne. A limited choice of baguettes are available for those who prefer something light. There is no food service on Thursdays – traditionally a day for half-day opening in Kendal. During the rest of the week, food is available from noon until 2pm (3.30pm on Sundays) and on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings from 5pm until 8pm.

Other Features

There are regular events held at the Ring O Bells. Every Monday evening from 8.30pm patrons are invited to bring their voices and instruments and join in with a folk music night. On the first Thursday of the month the pub holds a bingo night, with a chance to win cash prizes. A monthly quiz is held on the last Thursday of the month. This is a fun, free event with no prizes. There is a small seating area at the front of the pub.


Ring O’ Bells (Kendal) in the snow

Photo thanks to the Ring O’ Bells

The inn was apparently built in 1741 in the grounds of the Kendal parish church by Thomas Barker, the church sexton of the time. It is thought that he ordered the church to be built to serve the needs of the church wardens. However, other sources suggest the church was built later in 1746, this time under the instruction of the church’s reverend.

The inn was popular amongst church wardens and other parish staff, and there have been some suggestions that there was once a tunnel leading from within the church to within the pub. Furthermore, it is thought that the snug room in the pub was once used to lay bodies out before funerals at the church.


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