The “oldest inn in England”, built into the castle rock, with hidden tunnels and 1000 years of history

With an unusual name and a fascinating past, this Nottingham icon is much more than just a pub

Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem claims to be “the oldest inn in England”((Live from Nottinghamshire)

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is a Grade II listed inn in the city of Nottingham, reputed to have been founded in 1189, although there are no documents to confirm this date.

The pub is located on Castle Rock, on which Nottingham Castle was built, and is connected to several caves that were said to have originally served as the castle’s brewery. The “Trip”, as it is known locally, is believed to be the oldest inn and is said to have hosted King Richard the Lionheart and his men before their journey to Jerusalem in 1189 AD.

Part cosy town centre pub, part homage to the past, the Trip is packed with cavernous voids, atmospheric nooks and ancient relics, including an inviting suit of armour. Beneath the pub are cave cellars dug deep into the sandstone cliffs, which have been used for centuries to store beer.

Full of mystery and intrigue, the cellars are also home to an old cockfighting arena and are believed to have once been part of the castle’s prison. Intrepid pub-goers can book a guided tour during their visit to learn all about the labyrinth of history-filled caves.

Over the centuries, many ghostly goings-on have even been reported between the ancient walls, and the building itself is steeped in legend. The Rock Lounge on the first floor in particular seems to be the epicenter of many spooky happenings.

According to the Nottingham BBC website, “a model galleon hangs from the ceiling, covered in dust and cobwebs accumulated over 50 years.” Marilyn, the pub’s landlady in 1994, told the BBC: “Nobody will clean the galleon because it is cursed. The last three people to clean it are said to have died mysterious and unexpected deaths within 12 months.”

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is a Grade II listed inn in the city of Nottingham(Visit Nottinghamshire)

Another spooky part of the building is the death cell, located in the interconnected caverns that make up the basement. Marilyn said, “When you walk into the cell, you know it’s not right, you know it’s evil. Men sentenced to death were chained to the walls there. Some were left to die because they starved or became dehydrated.

“Two regulars of the pub once bravely decided to spend the night on death row. They lasted twenty minutes and then vomited violently.”