Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, a jaunt back in time
YE OLDE TRIP TO JERUSALEM in Nottingham has been serving ale to weary travellers for over 800 years and in that time its walls have probably heard a strange tale or two.
We visited Nottingham recently to experience its rich and colourful history – in particular its many haunted pubs of which the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is one of its most famous.
Apparently the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is one of 20 inns purporting to be the oldest in England. In fact, when we visited, we noted there was the Bell Inn (est. 1437) just around the corner in Angel Row, Old Market Square, which also was claiming that title.
The “Trip” – as locals call it – says it was established in 1189. The building currently standing is about 300 years old. Nevertheless the tunnels underneath the inn are historic and whether Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem is the oldest inn in England doesn’t really matter because it is one really old pub.
The Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem gets its name from the Medieval Crusaders, who would stop at the pub for refreshing ale. The Inn is steeped in history and as with all Nottingham buildings has a deep and complex system of caves and passages underneath it. (Nottingham is built on soft stone, so passage and cave building in the area has gone on since ancient times – meaning you can walk underneath the East Midlands city for miles.)
The pub has its resident ghost – a George Henry Ward aka “Yorkey”, who was the landlord of Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem between 1894 and 1914. According to the Inn’s website www.triptojerusalem.com:
“Yorkey, who never wanted to leave Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, is said to regularly visit the cellar caves. Having been seen in the cellars on many occasions, he apparently plays tricks on the staff and likes to move things around.
“Located in the Cellars is an old cockfighting pit and part of the Castle Gaol was said to be housed in the cellars at one time. This included the condemned cell, a small cell with a very low ceiling with small holes drilled to allow a little air to flow through. The Gaoler would have sat just outside the cells on the ‘Gaoler’s Chair’ which was etched out of the rock and can still be seen today.”