Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, Nottingham: Oldest Pub in England:
Keywords: Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, Nottingham, crusades, Holy Land, oldest pub in England, grotto, richard I, richard the lionheart Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem is a pub in the historic city of Nottingham, England. According to local legend Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem takes its name from the 12th Century Crusades to the Holy Land, and it has a strong claim to be the oldest pub in England. Not only that, but Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalemthe pub is built into a cliff face, making use of a network of caves, and many of the rooms thus resemble dark and secretive grottos.
Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem is one of several pubs in Nottingham (including Ye Olde Salutation Inn and The Bell Inn) which claim to be the oldest drinking establishment in England. Its painted sign states that it was established in 1189 AD, but there is no documentation to verify this date. The main building is about three hundred years old, although it is built on the foundations of earlier constructions.
Affectionately known as The Trip, the pub stands at the foot of Castle Rock, a rugged hill in the heart of Nottingham and upon which stands Nottingham Castle. The name refers to the medieval crusades: 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 has been suggested that Richard himself frequented the pub, although this is probably merely legend as the king spent little time in the country.
The pub is one of only two I know of to be built in a cave (the other is the Marsden Grotto at Marsden on the North East coast). The pub is justly famous for its caves, which are carved out of the soft sandstone rock beneath Nottingham castle. The caves seem to date from around the time of the construction of the castle (1068 AD). The larger ground level caverns are now used as the pub's main drinking rooms. There is also a network of caves beneath the building, which was originally used as a brewery.
Another curiosity is the cursed galleon, a wooden model of a ship which can be seen in one of the bars. It is claimed that people who have cleaned the model have all met a mysterious death. Landlords have refused to allow anyone to dust the ship over the years, allowing inches of thick grime to build up on it and the galleon is now encased in glass. The Trip also contains an antique chair reputed to have magical powers - it is claimed that a woman who sits in the chair will increase her chances of becoming pregnant.
This article is part of an ongoing series. Please see my article on The Eagle and Child, Oxford, a legendary pub where J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis met to discuss The Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia:
One of the most ornate pubs in Britain is the Philharmonic in Liverpool. Members of the Beatles regularly frequented the pub before the group’s meteoric rise to prominence: