HERE at the Argus, we love good pub, and we want to tell you about all the best ones in Newport and across Gwent. In the latest in our series, we visit the Bell Inn on Bulmore Road in Caerleon. Sallie Phillips reports. 

The Bell Inn on Bulmore Road in Caerleon has a storied history, stretching back more than 400 years, first dating to the 17th century, originally as a house, then later a busy coaching inn. 

By the 18th century, it was modified, with further rebuilding taking place in the 20th century, when the prominent chimney stack was given its current form.

Lying in an area of Caerleon known as Ultra Pontem, which means 'beyond the bridge', it is across the river from the former Roman fortress of Isca, and was even a venue for inquests in the 19th century. 

Now, it is a thriving local pub, currently under the management of chef Rickie Ash, who took over the pub three and a half years ago. 

The Bell Inn is a beloved local pubThe Bell Inn is a beloved local pub (Image: Bell Inn) Mr Ash first became acquainted with the Bell Inn when he completed his chef apprenticeship there in 2001, and jumped at the chance to take on the reins of management when the opportunity arose. 

He said: "I thoroughly enjoy being the manager here, especially as the chef where I can decide on the menus and know I'm providing good quality food. 

"We're really popular with the locals here, particularly on Friday nights when the bar is absolutely packed."

With regular live music performances on Sundays and a wealth of live sport available to be watched at the Bell Inn, Mr Ash believes they have become a real hub of the community. 

He added: "Things have been going really well for us recently. We get a lot of rugby fans in here, but we're expecting people to come and watch the football this summer. 

"I think we're a popular place  for drinks too, especially as we have some really good pale ales here, including Timothy Taylor and Wye Valley HPA."

The Bell Inn has a variety of popular pale ales on tapThe Bell Inn has a variety of popular pale ales on tap (Image: Bell Inn) The Bell Inn has even won awards for its drinks, including featuring in the Good Beer Guide and the Campaign for Real Ale. 

Mr Ash says the thing that makes the Bell Inn stand out is the simplicity of their food and drink. 

He said: "We're a really honest pub. We just serve good food, good beer, and like to keep it simple with lots of popular pub classics."

Mr Ash says the Bell Inn is proud to serve good food full of pub classicsMr Ash says the Bell Inn is proud to serve good food full of pub classics (Image: Bell Inn) He has encouraged people to continue to support their local pubs in these tricky times, and believes that hospitality is still "going strong" but continues to need the love of their communities. 

The Bell Inn allows dogs in their garden, and has a range of popular dishes, including pub classics such as Scotch eggs and fish and chips.