The Pub Guide, 2013

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The Bear and Billet, Chester

Posted on 09. Jun, 2011 by in Pubs

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Bear and Billet, Chester

The Bear and Billet is a 17th century timber framed pub owned by the Isle of Man brewery Okells.

Brief History and Interior

The pub dates back to 1664 and was built to replace a building destroyed in the siege of Chester during the English Civil War in 1645. It is one of the finest examples of a black and white half timbered building in Chester and much of the front is original.

It was originally the town house of the Earl of Shrewsbury, sergeants of the Bridgegate in the mid 17th century and it has been an inn since the 18th century. It is not clear how the pub got its name, as the bear and billet (a bear holding a ragged staff) was a symbol of the Earls of Warwick.

The pub’s claim to fame is that John Lennon’s grandmother, Annie Jane Millward, was born in the Bear and Billet in 1873.

The pub is split over three levels with a bar, seating areas and outside smoking area on the ground floor, and a restaurant and lounge areas on the first and second floors. There are lots of exposed beams throughout the pub but it does have a distinctly modern feeling to it.

The Beers

You can expect a good selection of beers on up to six hand pulls. When I visited in June 2011, four ales and a cider were available – Okells Bitter, Pheonix Hopsack, Salopian Oracle, Spitting Feathers Thirstquencher and Chedder Valley cider.

More Photos of the Bear and Billet

Venue Location

Bear and Billet

94 Lower Bridge Street



Tel: 01244 311 886

(Twitter: @awv)

Beer Taster, Pub Attendee, Photo Taker

Robert Gale likes beer, pubs and beer festivals. He also likes to take photos of beer, pubs and beer festivals. Most weekends of the year you can find him travelling around the UK (and sometimes beyond) photographing and reviewing good quality pubs and beer festivals. He also has a day job in the form of a web developer for Ozum.

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