Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem in Nottingham is one of the 20 public houses (including Ye Olde Salutation Inn and The Bell Inn also in Nottingham, and Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans (acclaimed in the Guinness Book of Records)) which claim to be the oldest drinking establishment in England. Its painted sign states that it was established in 1189 AD. However, there is no documentation to verify this date, and the main building, built on the foundations of earlier constructions, is about three hundred years old.
The Trip (as it is known locally) is at the foot of Castle Rock in Nottingham’s City Centre. According to local legend it takes its name from the 12th Century Crusades to the Holy Land: legend has it that knights who answered the calls of Richard I to join the crusades stopped off at this watering hole for a pint on their way to Jerusalem. It is even claimed that Richard himself frequented the pub although this is probably merely legend as the king spent little time in the country. However, the word “trip” in the pub’s name does not mean an entire journey; it derives from an older meaning of the word: a stop during a journey (ie “break in the journey to the Holy Land”). Others say that the pub takes its name from a religious group called the Philadelphians who used to meet in Brewhouse Yard (but this does not fully explain the name).
The pub is famous for its caves, carved out of the soft sandstone rock (beneath the castle) against which the building is set. The larger “ground level” caverns are now used as the pub’s rear drinking rooms. There is also a network of caves beneath the building, originally used as a brewery. They seem to date from around the time of the construction of the castle (1068 AD).
The cursed galleon is a small wooden model of a ship in one bar. It’s claimed that people who have cleaned it have all met a mysterious death. Landlords have refused to allow anyone to dust the ship over the years, allowing inches of thick grime to build up on it. The galleon is now encased in glass — previously, large clumps of dust would fall off into unsuspecting drinkers’ pints.
The Trip also contains an antique chair; it is claimed that a woman who sits in the chair will increase her chances of becoming pregnant.
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