England’s oldest pubs

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Fancy a Pint? Somewhere with a bit of history?

The charming and beloved pubs of England! They serve as the beating heart of villages and communities all across the country. From the rolling hills of the countryside to the bustling city streets, there are countless fantastic old pubs to explore and enjoy.

But have you ever wondered which pub takes the top prize as the oldest in all of England? Well, wonder no more! We’ve scoured the land and rounded up a selection of pubs that are considered by many to be among the oldest in the country.

So grab a pint, pull up a chair, and join us as we delve into the rich history of England’s most ancient drinking establishments.

Read on for England’s Oldest pubs, that are still serving happy customers today.

Step back in time as we introduce you to some of the oldest and most historic pubs in England. Each one with its own unique story to tell, a visit to these ancient inns is an unforgettable experience. Not only can you go for a beer, but there are mouthwatering menus full of local produce and rooms for overnight stays.

The Old Ferry Boat

First up, we have The Old Ferry Boat in Cambridgeshire. This pub, overlooking the Great Ouse river in the hamlet of Holywell, is reputed to be England’s oldest inn.

According to the pub’s website, there are records of drinks being sold here as early as 560 AD! Just imagine, sitting on the banks of the Great Ouse, pint in hand, taking in the beautiful views, and knowing you’re in one of the oldest pubs in the land.

Address: Holywell, St Ives, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE27 4TG

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks

Next, we have Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans, Hertfordshire, a pub that dates back to the 8th century. The building you can see today was built in the 11th century and is located across the road from St Albans Cathedral and its grounds.

The pub has tunnels stretching from the beer cellar to the Cathedral, allegedly used by Monks. Cock fighting took place in the main bar in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, thus the name of the pub. It’s hard to imagine the tales that the walls of this ancient pub could tell.

Address: 16 Abbey Mill Lane, St Albans, Herts, AL3 4HE

The Porch House

We also have The Porch House in Gloucestershire, originally built in 10th century, This is also reputed to be England’s oldest inn, many of the original features can be seen today in the beautifully presented public areas. Take a step back in time and enjoy a pint in one of the oldest pubs in England.

Address: Digbeth Street Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire GL54 1BN

Mermaid Inn at Rye

In the South East on the East Sussex coast, The Mermaid Inn at Rye is another ancient inn that is steeped in history.

With cellars built in Norman times and secret passageways in some of its rooms, it’s hard not to be in awe of this ancient establishment. This Grade II listed building was originally constructed in 1156, rebuilt in 1420 and was a favourite haunt of the notorious Hawkhurst Gang of smugglers in the 1730s.

Address: Mermaid Street, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7EY

The Bingley Arms

The Bingley Arms, located in the picturesque village of Bardsey, West Yorkshire, is a true original English pub. This 1000 year-old stone pub is an experience not to be missed.

Address: Church Ln, Bardsey, Leeds LS17 9DR

The Royal Standard of England

The Royal Standard of England in Buckinghamshire is another truly historic country pub with a rich history spanning over 800 years. It’s the perfect place for a pint with plenty of nooks and crannies, gnarled timbers, worn flagstones and carved oak panels.

Address: Forty Green, Beaconsfield, HP9 1XS

WATCH: A closer look at the lovely Royal Standard of England.

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem

For something truly unique, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem in Nottinghamshire. This ancient pub built into stone caves of castle rock, home to Nottingham Castle and Robin Hood. With a charming interior and even resident ghosts! The pub claims to have been established in 1189, and you can even take a cellar tour to learn more about the history of Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem. From a Sunday Roast to a wide selection of premium beers, there are lots of good reasons to visit.

Address: 1 Brewhouse Yard, Nottingham NG1 6AD

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve in Norwich is another legendary public house, it’s a former monastery brewhouse set in a seasonal garden, believed to be at least 750 years old.

Address: 17 Bishopgate, Norwich NR3 1RZ

WATCH: An interesting tour of the Adam and Eve Pub and history.

Ye Olde Man & Scythe

Finally on our list, Ye Olde Man & Scythe is a public house on Churchgate in Bolton, in Greater Manchester. The earliest recorded mention of its name is in a charter from 1251, making it one of the oldest public houses in Britain and the oldest in Bolton.

Address: 6-8 Churchgate, Bolton BL1 1HL

There are aproximately 40,000 pubs in England, so there are quite a few pubs claiming to be Britain’s oldest watering hole. It is safe to say that there are a lot of very old pubs across the country! Each one with its own unique history, and stories to tell, it’s hard not to be fascinated by the ancient inns of England. Even though the debate over oldest actual building and longest serving will always come into play. Each county has lovely old pubs, full of character and unique stories and legends.

For more information on Historic Pubs take a look at the Real Heritage Pub Guide the definitive guide to the nation’s most important historic pub interiors.

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