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(formerly Green Dragon; Saracen's Head)

12 Market Hill
CO10 8NN

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About the Pub

A Grade II Listed 16th cent. timber framed family & commercial hotel on old market square. Quiet, comfortable lounge, busy public bar with a conservatory to rear. Full hotel service available. Good food venue and occasional live music.

Historic Interest

Historically listed as a family & commercial hotel & posting house. Records show town officials having dinner there in 1611 at a cost of eleven shillings. It was greatly expanded to a post house in the 1750s when the beautiful interior carved beams including ornately carved ceilings, some with folded leaf ornamentation, were added. These are similar to the beams in the Priory & The Grove (30 Callis Street). It was extensively altered to become the Green Dragon Inn around 1580. The Green Dragon was a wholesale trading house with brewhouse & bar, & at the beginning of the 19c it specialised in chandlery - oil, ropes & candles which were made on the premises. It was a posthouse, providing changes of horses, & gigs to rent to travellers, & remained an important posting house until the mid 1920s. Barns & yards at the rear were used for the cattle market in the mid 1800s, but the site was redeveloped as the 'Bell Villas' later in the century. In about 1825 it was enlarged & modernised & an adjoining small shop incorporated with the original building. When the outside timbers were exposed in a much later period the join became clearly visible from the outside. The pitch of the roof can also be seen to have been adjusted to give a better height to the bedrooms. A report in the Ipswich Journal** on 20 Sep in 1854 states that : "Died, on 04 Sep 1854, Mr Micah MELLOR, for many years, landlord of the Bell Inn, Clare". A report in the Ipswich Journal** on 16 July in 1856 states that : "To be let, the Bell Inn, Clare. Apply to Mr PEARSON, on the premises". A report in the Ipswich Journal** on 31 Dec in 1856 states that "To be shot for, on 09 Jan 1857, by 18 subscribers, at 10s each - a fat Hog & Sheep… apply to Mr PRESTON, at the Bell Inn, Clare" Parts of the original building can be seen in the long irregular wall fronting the Cavendish road, where there is a low, nicely-carved, beam. The 18c stables were converted to bedrooms in the 1970s giving the hotel 23 rooms, all with period furniture. Some parts of the timber-work on the west front are of modern origin, presumably to help give the feel of the period. Free Press in January 1903: A cow escaped from its drover, turned into the hotel yard, & entered the back door. It walked along one passage & turned into the narrow passage leading to the smoke room, the door of which was closed in its face. It tried to enter the bar, but that door was also shut. It did manage, however, to get into the commercial room, where it studied its reflection in a mirror over the fireplace before walking into the street again. This seems always to have been an alehouse or an inn, & has celebrated its 400th anniversary. It has been suggested that the hotel's present reception area was the original small alehouse site.

Regular cask ales

This pub serves 3 regular beers.

  • Greene King Abbot
  • Greene King IPA
  • Ruddles --other--

Changing cask ales

This pub serves 1 changing beer.

Source: National

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  • RealAle Real Ale Available
  • Quiet Quiet Pub


  • LunchtimeMeals Lunchtime Meals
  • EveningMeals Evening Meals
  • Garden Garden
  • Parking Parking
  • FamilyFriendly Family Friendly
  • Accommodation Accommodation
  • Games Traditional Pub Games
  • Restaurant Restaurant Area
  • SeparateBar Separate Bar

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12 Market Hill
CO10 8NN

Sat Nav Reference

52.078583, 0.581771

OS Reference



  • <Bus Close to Bus Routes

Nearby Bus Routes (< ½ mile)

Big Green Bus Co: 18; Chambers: 236, 374

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Bell - Clare


12 Market Hill
CO10 8NN

Pub Features

  • Real Ale Available
  • Quiet Pub
  • Lunchtime Meals
  • Evening Meals
  • Garden
  • Parking
  • Family Friendly
  • Accommodation
  • Traditional Pub Games
  • Restaurant Area
  • Separate Bar
  • Close to Bus Routes

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