Thursday, 25 October 2012

Oldest Pub in England?

There are around 20 pubs that claim to be the oldest pub in England. Nottingham has three that make the claim - Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Ye Olde Salutation and the Bell Inn,

Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem

Its painted sign states that it was established in 1189 AD. However, there is no documentation to verify this date, and the main building, built on the foundations of earlier constructions, is about three hundred years old.
The Trip (as it is known locally) is at the foot of Castle Rock in Nottingham's City Centre. According to local legend it takes its name from the 12th Century Crusades to the Holy Land: legend has it that knights who answered the calls of Richard I to join the crusades stopped off at this watering hole for a pint on their way to Jerusalem. It is even claimed that Richard himself frequented the pub although this is probably merely legend as the king spent little time in the country. However, the word "trip" in the pub's name does not mean an entire journey; it derives from an older meaning of the word: a stop during a journey (i.e. "break in the journey to the Holy Land"). Others say that the pub takes its name from a religious group called the Philadelphians who used to meet in Brewhouse Yard (but this does not fully explain the name).

Ye Olde Olde Salutation

The current building was constructed as a workshop for a tanner with living accommodation above in 1240 on the site of an old alehouse known as The Archangel Gabriel Salutes the Virgin Mary. The name led local historian J. Holland Walker to speculate a connection with the local Carmelite monastery but no documentary has been found to support this.
Borough records from 1440 record a private dwelling belonging to John Alastre on the site.
During the English Civil War (1642–1646) both factions established recruiting rooms in the Inn. Following the Puritan victory the authorities objected to the religious implications of the sign and the Inn was renamed Soldier and Citizen. The original name was restored along with the Monarchy in 1660.
An investigation by the Thoroton Excavation Society in 1937 dated the caves to the 9th century and concluded that they were part of a Saxon farm later used for servants accommodation and brewing

Unfortunately I missed this pub when visiting, so this photograph is not mine but from Wiki

The Bell Inn

Foundation and early history
In 1276 a group of Carmelite friars established a Friary on what is now Friar Lane with lands that included a guesthouse on the site of what is now The Bell Inn.
The Inn was originally constructed around 1420 (according to dendrochronological dating of timbers) as a refectory for the monks of the monastery on Beastmarket Hill, but became a secular alehouse in 1539 (following the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII) taking its name from the Angelus bell that hung outside.
The earliest known written reference to the Inn is the 1638 Will of Alderman Robert Sherwin which bequeaths the leasehold of the establishment to the poor of the local parishes.
John White bequeathed the freehold of the Inn to his wife Mary in 1732 and two years later she sold it to wealthy local banker Abel Smith. The freehold subsequently passed down the Smith family line to the politician and banker Abel Smith, in 1756, and then to Robert Smith, 1st Baron Carrington, in 1782.

The 19th century
Jane Lart purchased the freehold from Lord Carrington in 1803 and the leasehold from the Church in 1806 combining the two legally. Under the terms of the lease she also undertook extensive repairs of the building and constructed a Georgian frontage that allowed for the preservation of the rare crown post structure to this day.
The cricketer William Clarke gave up his bricklaying job to become landlord of the Inn in 1812 before going on to marry the landlady of the Trent Bridge Inn where he established the famous Trent Bridge cricket ground.
Rioters protesting against the Reform Act gathered at the Inn on Goose Fair night 1831 and smashed the windows before going on to burn down many of the city's prominent buildings, including Nottingham Castle and Colwick Hall.
Tory politician John Walters established his campaign headquarters at the Inn for the 1841 British general election and had to take refuge here when he was set upon by an angry mob in the Square.
The Charity Commission sold the Inn in 1888 to A.W. Hickling for £7,210 (£595,540 as of 2012), and it subsequently became a tied house to a brewery for the first time in its history.
Joseph Jackson bought the Inn on October 21, 1898 for £12,500 (£1,032,490 as of 2012)
 The 20th century
Mary Jackson succeeded her husband as proprietor in 1913 and established the famous two course Market Dinners of Stilton cheese, beef and vegetables, and a pint of Nottingham ale for one shilling. Following her death a quirk in her will meant the Inn had to go for sale by public auction.
The Inn was purchased for £26,000 (£1,161,250 as of 2012), by her youngest son Robert who in 1928 converted the stable courtyard at the rear of the premises into the café bar style Snack Bar which included a large cabinet radio gramophone and catered to the workers building the new Nottingham Council House nearby.
Robert’s widow Dorothy continued the business following his death in 1934 and was joined by their son David in 1953. Extensive renovations opened up the family’s first floor accommodation to public use as the clubroom (now The Belfry Restaurant).
In 1957 the Jacksons established the Presentation of the President's Tankard ceremony which takes place on the first Wednesday in November and sees the President of the Nottingham University Students' Union receive an engraved silver tankard and a public banquet of two roasted pigs with stuffing, bread, and apple sauce. A plaque engraved with a list of all the Presidents since is on display in the snack bar
In 1982 the Inn became a Grade II listed building.
Dorothy died in 1984 and David continued running the business with his two sons Paul and Richard. Another period of renovation concluded with the extension of the Snack Bar in 1991.
The Jackson family celebrated 100 years of ownership in 1998.

The 21st century
The Inn was sold to Hardys & Hansons in 2002, which was in turn sold to Greene King in 2006.

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