“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Nottingham’s Ancient Boozers

Whilst visiting Nottingham, and following my hankering for a good pint, Mrs J and I came across two rather old pubs, both of which would like to lay claim to being one of the oldest drinking establishments in the country. Old or not, they are certainly worth a look; here is what we found:

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem lies at the base of Castle Rock, which is a sandstone outcrop on top of which Nottingham Castle is built. A large portion of the pub is carved out of the sandstone, meaning the pub is essentially a building attached to a series of caves. Having a pint in a room carved from the rock face is indeed an interesting experience!

According to the pub sign the pub dates from 1189 AD, and there is some evidence to suggest that the cellars beneath the building (which were originally the castle brew house) date from the same period as the construction of the castle (1068 AD). The main pub building (which is built on the foundations of earlier constructions) is reported to be only about three hundred years old.

Aside from an interesting building and the usual resident ghost, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem has a number of other interesting features:

A "secret passage" - the pub is reported to have a tunnel (now closed off) which once connected it to the castle.

A "cursed galleon" - the pub has a small wooden model of a ship in the upstairs bar. Pub legend claims that the last three people who have cleaned the galleon have all met a mysterious death, and because of this Landlords over the years have refused to allow anyone to dust the ship, allowing inches of thick grime to build up on it.

A "pregnancy chair" - the pub contains an antique chair, and it is claimed that any woman who sits in this chair will increase her chances of becoming pregnant. Ignoring the sign that said not to sit in the chair (as it is fragile) Mrs J bravely gave the chair a quick whirl. So please check back in nine months time to see the outcome of that experiment!

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
The cursed galleon
 Cursed galleon sign 
The pregnancy chair
Pregnancy chair sign

Ye Olde Salutation Inn

Ye Olde Salutation Inn in its current form is believed to date from around 1240. It was built upon the site of an even older ale house known as The Archangel Gabriel Salutes the Virgin Mary and also sits atop some Anglo-Saxon caves which are believed to date from the 9th century.

Exploring the caves beneath the pub the visitor will see a number of teddy bears and dolls scattered about.  These are the toys of the resident ghost, Rosie, a 4 or 5 year old urchin who died in the Victorian era.

Ye Olde Salutation Inn has a special interest for Mrs J, as research into Mrs J’s family tree hints towards her Great Great Grandmother (Eliza Brooks) being the owner of the Inn during the 1800’s.

So if you find yourself in Nottingham, you now know where to go for a drink or two!

Ye Olde Salutation Inn

Ye Olde Salutation Inn

The pub sign
A potted history
The caves
Rosie's sign

Pictures, Nottingham (January 2013).

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