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Our Story

The Ring O' Bells Journey

19th century Tudor-style inn

The current Ring O' Bells pub was built in 1810, on the site of an earlier pub of the same name, said to be one of the oldest in England.

The pub (once hotel) has passed through many a hands in its history from Argyle Brewery (later Birkenhead Brewery) to Whitbread, a name change to Loch Fyne in the 1990’s and then back to the Ring O’Bells in the hands of Greene King in 2012 before it came to rest in ours in December 2019 where we intend to keep it for many years to come.


Original building

Early 19th century

The early years

There have been several extensions over the years to make the inn/hotel a picturesque centre piece of the old village of West Kirby. The Ring O’ Bells was so named because it was in earshot of the sound of St Bridget’s bells. It was probably frequented by the bell ringers of St Bridget’s church (2019 was the anniversary of three hundred years of four of St Bridget’s eight bells).

In earlier days inns were often dual purpose and used as mortuaries, auction houses and venues for public meetings. They were popular venues for club or work outings.

An interesting fact is that tunnels run underneath the pub and are said to go to the rectory, the church, Abbey manor, and even as far as Middle Eye. It is thought that these tunnels are still there today. There has been many a rumour of ghosts in and around the area of the Ring O’ Bells but we haven’t spotted any mysterious goings on as of yet.

(Image - The early building was quite small and looks like a pair of cottages.)

IMG 9734 WEB


First landlords at the pub

The first tenants were Isaac and Rebekah Male, as indicated by the 1810 date stone on the outside of the building.

John Rowlands was the landlord from 1822 to 1837. The next landlord was John Jackson who lived there his wife, Mary and three young children. John and family were at the Ring O’Bells at the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses.

1849 advert WEB


Pub for rent

1849 – Ring O’Bells described as a tavern or public house. It seems likely that the early building was a pair of cottages.

Up for rent at the cost of £24 for the year!

Birkenhead brewery
Birkenhead brwery


The hotel was owned by Birkenhead Brewery at one time.

In 1866 there was a conveyance to Birkenhead Amalgamated Brewery. Birkenhead Brewery started as two family breweries: Anchor Brewery in Livingstone Street, which was owned by the Aspinall’s family and Argyle Brewery in Oxton Road owned by the Cook brothers.

Argyle Brewery was operating by 1839 by Robert Hiscock, and was taken over by the Cook Brothers in 1848. In August 1865, Cook Brothers’ Argyle Brewery merged with Aspinall’s Anchor Brewery to form to form Birkenhead Amalgamated Brewery. The company changed name to Birkenhead Brewery Company Limited in March 1872 and continued operating on the two sites. Birkenhead Brewery was taken over by Whitbread in 1967.

The Ring O' Bells was owned by Whitbread during the 1980's before it was purchased by Greene King and rn by them for many a year until it came to rest in our hands in 2020.

ROB extension 1882 2
ROB extension 1882


Extensions and renovations

The pub had an extension about 1882 to convert it to the attractive building we see today. The building itself is Tudor in style with its black and white exterior as well as its quirky character of being set on various levels due to the nature of it resting upon a hill. Surrounded by large gardens and land, the pub remains a secluded village gem.

Thomas lowe landlord 1896 to 1906 WEB


West Kirby railway opened

This advertisement by Thomas Lowe emphasises the convenience of the hotel to the new Kirby Park Railway Station (which opened in 1894). The hotel offered accommodation and dinner and picnic parties were specially catered for.

Thomas Lowe was the landlord between 1892 and 1906. (His grandson, market gardener Thomas Lowe, ran the Kirby Park Nurseries opposite the Ring O’Bells at a later date).

There were various landlords over the following years.

1897 bowling green 2
1897 bowling green 3
1897 bowling green


Let the games begin

In 1897 a new bowling green was laid on land recently leased from the Bishop of Chester. This fine bowling green brought many hours of pleasure to local residents. A tennis court was added at a later date.

1916 advert William Henry Poingdestre and family emigrated to America in 1920


Landlord William Henry Poingdestre

1916 advert - William Henry Poingdestre, proprietor at the time, he and his family emigrated to America in 1920.

Vera mckechnie bbc tv presenter daughter of herbert Mckechnie WEB

1940's and 1950's

Landlord Herbert McKechnie

A notable landlord in the 1940's and 50's was Herbert McKechnie. His daughter, Vera McKechnie, was one of the first BBC TV presenters known for her narration of Andy Pandy in the 1950's.

Men only bar
The interior of the Hotel had a long corridor with small rooms leading off WEB


"Men only" bar

The interior of the hotel had a long corridor with small rooms leading off. One of these rooms was the snug or the “men only” bar also known as "Ernie's Room".

Bowling marathon 1976
Bowling marathon EVENT 1976 2


The Ring O' Bells enters the Guinness Book of Records

The Ring O’ Bells staged a marathon bowling event in 1976 and broke the existing time to be entered in the Guinness Book of Records.

Ring O Bells 3
The bowling green became a beer garden with a popular childrens playground HORSES WELCOME
The bowling green became a beer garden with a popular childrens playground


The "Ringers"

The Ring O’ Bells was refurbished, walls knocked down and became open plan. The bowling green became a beer garden with a popular childrens’ playground and horses were welcomed onto the garden.

No smoking pub 2004


Wirral's first non smoking pub

The pub was the first in Wirral (and one of the first in the country!) to ban smoking indoors in 2003.

Lochfyne WEB
ROB sign WEB
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Loch Fyne and Ring O' Bells comeback

The Ring O’ Bells was ran by Greene King and became Loch Fyne Seafood Bar & Grill for a short while. When Loch Fyne closed and reverted to the Ring O’ Bells the apostrophe on the sign was missing. Residents complained and a new sign was erected. The old sign came down in 2013.

Bigcheese V038 001 cropped


Stange & Co. take the helm

We purchased the pub in January 2020 before covid hit with plans in place and every intention of opening later that summer. Sadly the pandemic scuppered our plans and things had to be put on hold for quite some time.

Things came together in 2023 when were able to get the project underway in the summer and finally get the doors open in December 2023. Here's to many a year as part of the West Kirby community.


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Stange & Co. Ltd
Registered Office: 19 Trinity Square,
Llandudno, LL30 2RD
Company registered number: 639690
VAT number: 160 2262 07

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