32 Bell Hill, Finedon, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
This is the oldest pub in Northamptonshire, dating from about 1042, with claimed to be the third oldest in the country. In one niche of the frontage is a statue of Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor. At one time, there was a carved plaque of that queen hanging inside the Bell that read, “Queen Edith; Lady, once of Finedon, Where at the Bell, good fare is dined on’’. A gable at the rear of the inn has a date-stone of 1598. Over the years, there have been stories of a strange old man lurking in the stone-carved doorway, who disappears when addressed. Some have reported him as wearing an old-fashioned smock; others have him with a piece of farm sacking around his shoulders to make a short, rough cloak. In the early 1900s, the headmistress of a local charity school, Mary Ozier, had a three feet tall wooden doll made to represent a girl of the time when the school dates from , 1717. The little pupils were terrified by its evil face, with maintained it walked about as a ghost at night. The doll was later installed at the local church, from where it disappeared in 1981. Some say the ghost of the doll still walks the streets of Finedon.