The Old Bell Hotel in Derby was one of several coaching inns in the area that are steeped in history.
It was built circa 1680 by the Meynell family who were of the higher gentry classes of the time.
It was later extended in 1776 to include a grand ballroom and additional ancillary areas to the rear.
It had its own stables and livery and could accomadate horses and coaches as well as their occupants,many of them rich businessmen who had travelled long distances carrying valuables.
Therefore it also attracted vagabonds,thieves and highwaymen who would listen in to their business and then go ahead to intercept and rob them on their forward journey.
It was regularly raided by the lawkeepers of the era,but unbeknown to them the "swines"would slip into the abyss of the cellar unseen and disappear along a tunnel between here and another local coaching inn to escape.
The building has suffered many alterations over the years,most noteworthy was in 1929 when the landlord decided that it did not look old enough,so he decided to add the mock tudor black and white exterior thus hiding the traditional brick and timber construction.
On 20th June 1952, the building was listed Grade II ,it is 4 storeys high and 4 gables with leaded casement windows.It has a lovely 17th century staircase and rain water gulleys to the front elevation dated 1717.
However,the peril of recent times have overtaken the old place and it was recently closed down by the authorities due to a tragic incident which occured just outside very recently and the fact that the place seemed to be failing generally.I wont post the details of the incident here out of respect for those concerned but suffice to say it is in the Derby Telegraph news archives.
It was a very popular and busy venue in recent times however, with bands and other music events and in years past I have spent some good nights with a fair few pints in here, so I was quite saddened to see it in its current state.
This place has been totally abandoned by the looks of it and nobody seems to know what is happening with the old place.
So after some research,observations and some cheeky chat with some nearby workmen we donned suitable PPE and spent a good three hours in the place.Anyway on with the pics.
A FRONT VIEW SHOWING SIGNAGE.
A REAR VIEW SHOWING SOME OF THE DISREPAIR.
ENTRANCE YARD SHOWING MOCK TUDOR ADDITIONS OF 1929.
A VIEW ACROSS THE CITY FROM A TIRED OLD WINDOW.
PART OF THE BEAUTIFUL OLD 17TH CENTURY STAIRCASE.
UP A HIDDEN STAIRCASE WE STEPPED RIGHT BACK INTO THE 1700`S.
A TYPICAL TOP FLOOR ROOM.
THE (LOCALLY)FAMOUS ROOM 29.
TYPICAL PERIOD ROOF TIMBERS.
ONE OF OUR FAVOURITE WINDOW SHOTS.
LOOKING UP THE 17TH CENTURY STAIRS TO LANDING/ROOF TIMBERS.
PLEASE IGNORE THE RUBBISH AND CHECK OUT THE INSCRIPTION ON THE EDGE.
SUPPOSED TO BE THE MAIN OFFICE,MORE LIKE RUBBISH HQ.
PART OF THE EXTENSIVE CELLARS.
FURTHER DOWN INTO THE UNKNOWN WE GO.
STRANGE GRAFFITI ROOM.
PART OF THE GRAND BALLROOM,NOW IN A VERY SORRY STATE INDEED.
SAME ROOM FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE.
ONE OF THE MAIN BARS.
WINDOW SHOT IN MAIN BAR.
MOCK TUDOR THEME CARRIED INDOORS TO BAR AREAS.