What is the oldest pub in England?
Going to the pub is a quintessentially British pastime, enjoyed by people of all ages and identities.
Many pubs claim the title of England’s oldest pub, we may never know which pub is the oldest, but here are some really old pubs that are worth checking out.
What is the oldest pub in England?
The Doomsday Book from 1086 mentions some pubs that still exist today.
But officially the oldest English pub has been lost to time and the country’s ever-changing landscape.
But one thing is for sure, going to the pub is one of the oldest traditions in England.
The Old Ferry Boat Inn
This quaint thatched pub is in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, overlooking the River Great Ouse.
Many consider this to be the oldest pub in England.
This pub is named in the Doomsday Book and legend has it that it has been serving alcohol since 560 AD.
However, the founding date on the website says 1400 AD.
It is believed to be haunted by the ghost of Julia, an abandoned teenage girl who hanged herself.
She was buried in 1050 AD and the pub was built on her grave.
In the 1950s, a seance was held where participants claimed to have contacted her in the afterlife.
Apparently Julia still haunts this ancient pub!
The porch house
The Guinness Book of Records has authenticated this pub as England’s oldest pub.
The pub is proven to date back to 947 AD.
Once known as a Royalist Hotel, The Porch House in Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds also has a strong claim to the title.
The 16th-century stone fireplace in the dining room is inscribed with symbols called “witch marks” to protect against evil.
Today the pub is a five star hotel but retains its ancient heritage with original fireplaces, windows and oak doors.
The George Hotel
The George Hotel of Stamford is set in the site of a medieval coaching inn and can trace its history back 1,000 years!
It was once owned by the Abbots of Croyland.
In later years, the George became an important stop on the London to York route.
Although it has now been extensively modernized, it still retains some ancient features, including the remains of an old chapel and the original gateway.
The Mermaid Inn
The Mermaid Inn in Rye, East Sussex, also known as the Smugglers’ Inn, with Norman-era cellars and secret passages in some of its rooms.
It was originally built in 1156 and rebuilt in 1420.
The infamous Hawkhurst gang of smugglers are said to have drunk there in the 1730s.
Ye Olde Journey to Jerusalem
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem in Nottingham claims to be the oldest pub in Britain, having been established in 1189.
Built into the rock on which Nottingham Castle was built, the pub offers little nooks and crannies to enjoy a pint.
Once inside, you can have a drink in caves carved into the rock and marvel at curiosities, including a cursed ship thought to kill anyone who cleans it and a chair thought to increase the chances of pregnancy.
The George Inn
The George Inn in Norton St Philip, Somerset claims to have had a license to serve ale since 1397 and also claims to be Britain’s oldest tavern.
It certainly has a fascinating history.
The diarist Samuel Pepys passed through here on his way from Salisbury to Bath. Later in 1685, during the Duke of Monmouth’s rebellion, the inn was used as the headquarters of his army when they withdrew from Bath.
After the rebellion failed, the notorious Judge Jefferies used the inn as a courtroom during the Bloody Assizes; 12 people were then arrested and executed in the village square.
The Crown Inn
The Crown Inn was originally built as a rest stop for pilgrims traveling from Winchester to Canterbury.
The inn is 600 years old and has been welcoming guests since 1383.
Royals have visited the inn in the past. A 14-year-old King Edward VI stayed here in 1552.
The medieval building has been updated and modernized over time but retains the traditional Wealden mullion roof, stained glass windows and cozy fireplaces.