From the 1903 Croydon Petty Sessional Division of Licensed Victualers, this pub is listed as being on Church Road, 250 yards from the Star and 150 yards from the Bull. Measured using an OS map, this puts it near the corner with the beginning of Love Lane.
It was licensed before 1869 as a beer house for on and off sales. The Poor Rate Assessment was £30. The brewery owner was C. A. Attlee of Tooting. to which it was tied. The licensee was William Willmott, who lived on the premises. As for facilities provided for the public, it offered bread and cheese as refreshments, stabling for four horses, a urinal and w.c. but no sleeping spaces.
I am assuming that the name comes from the eight bells fitted into the new bell tower of the rebuilt parish church, in 1822.
I am further assuming that the pub referred to as ‘The Bell’, in this newspaper story of 22nd May 1747, is the same one as it was named from the original church that had only one bell.
Last Monday a gang of smugglers, consisting of about twenty, well mounted, rode through Reigate, Surrey, loaded with prohibited goods; they fired several shots to intimidate the inhabitants, and, after staying some hours at the Bell at Mitcham, moved towards London, where, in all probability, they found persons ready to vend their commodities to.
Source: Derby Mercury – Friday 22 May 1747 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)
FOUND, on Christmas Day, a brown COLLIE DOG; the owner can have the same by paying expenses ; if not claimed before Wednesday, the 15th, will be sold to defray expenses. —Apply to J. Clark, Eight Bells, Church Street, Mitcham, Surrey.
Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 11 January 1879 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)
The freehold property, the Eight Bells beerhouse, a shop, and six cottages, in Church-street, Mitcham, let at £126 6s. per annum, changed hands for £1,915
Source: Morning Post – Wednesday 27 October 1897 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)
SALE MONDAY NEXT. By Order of the Tooting brewery Company, the House having been closed. Mitcham. Robt. W. FULLER, MOON & FULLER Have received instructions to Sell by Auction, at the “Greyhound’ Hotel. Croydon. on Thursday, 12th September, 1907, at Six o’clock, the well placed FREEHOLD PROPERTY, formerly known as – “The Eight Bells” beerhouse, and 2 cottages adjoining, situate in Church Street, within a few minutes’ walk of the Cricket Green and Mitcham Station. Total frontage about 72 feet. The house will be sold with possession on completion, and the cottages are let to weekly tenants at 4s. 6d. per week each. Particulars and Conditions of Sale to be obtained at the Place of Sale; of Messrs. Chart, Sons and Reading, architects. etc., Vestry Hall, Mitcham (where keys can be had) of the Vendor’s Solicitors, Messrs. Druces and Attlee, 10, Billiter Square. E.C.; and at the Auctioneers’ Offices. 83. High St., Croydon; and at Purley. Coulsdon. Reigate and Epsom. Telephone: 421 Croydon.
1886 : Henry Wisbey
1892 : Ann Wisbey
1903 : William Willmott
1906 : Albertus Troon