Skip to content

About Ye Olde Cock

 

This is the oldest pub in England, so it is natural that its history should be rich, fascinating and full of mystery. Every corner of the pub seems to echo with stories, especially in the sandstone caves that form a peculiar drinking space on the ground floor and an eerie underground network beneath the building. The pub has occupied this scenic spot, backing against the dramatic sandstone cliff topped by Nottingham Castle, since 1189. From the outside, the white building, with its heraldic painted lettering and inviting little courtyard, is the epitome of nostalgic English charm. Inside, dark wood furniture and an old-fashioned bar area complete the traditional look. Less traditional, though, are the rooms carved straight from the rock. These form part of a system of manmade sandstone caves that have formed a connected web throughout Nottingham since around 1250. Over the course of their history, the caves have served as storage facilities, homes and even air raid shelters. Today some areas of the Nottingham Caves, such as the ones beneath the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, are open to the public. Meanwhile, the caves underneath the castle have been converted into an indoor rifle shooting range. The cellar of Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem still holds the opening of a passageway which leads through the cliff and up into the castle above. This supports the theory that the castle’s alcohol was once brewed beneath the pub, in these subterranean sandstone rooms. Just like Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, wider Nottingham is a place to spark the imagination. One of the most renowned figures from English folklore, the highwayman-with-a-heart Robin Hood, made the local forests his hiding place. Real-life literary legends such as Lord Byron and D.H. Lawrence also had strong connections to the city in their lifetimes. It is no wonder, then, that Nottingham was chosen to be one of just a few worldwide UNESCO Cities of Literature. Exploring Nottingham’s historic attractions is an excellent way to get to grips with the many stories, both fictional and factual, that define this city. From Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, the most obvious place to begin is Nottingham Castle, which dates from around 1068. Having served as a fortress, a royal residence and a seat of government and having been partially demolished and rebuilt several times, the castle is now open to the public as a museum. Its Long Gallery houses work by celebrated artists such as Stanley Spencer and L.S. Lowry. Just under four miles away you will find Wollaton Hall and Park, a grand country estate dating from the late 16th century. Today, the beautiful buildings themselves house both Nottingham Natural History Museum and Nottingham Industrial Museum. The extensive grounds, where deer roam free, make a marvellous destination for a summer walk. Music festivals and other large-scale events are also held here throughout the year. Even closer to Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is the Nottingham Playhouse, around a 10-minute walk away. The theatre’s history stretches back around 70 years, although it has only stood in its present location since 1963. Its diverse programme includes everything from Shakespearian classics to lively children’s theatre, and big-name actors who have taken to the stage here include greats such as Sir Ian McKellen. Find the Old Market Square just to the east of the Playhouse. This pedestrianised space is the hub of Nottingham life. The square’s most prominent feature is the town hall or Council House, an ornate early 20th-century building known for the stone lions which flank its grand entryway. The two big cats have been given a series of affectionate nicknames over the years, from the simple ‘Lennie and Ronnie’ to the grandiose ‘Menelaus and Agamemnon’. Directions to Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem: Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is located on Brewhouse Yard, just off Castle Road. The pub is very easy to find, as it is centrally situated, less than 10 minutes south of the Old Market Square by foot. And of course, with the unmistakable outline of Nottingham Castle overhead, the pub is especially hard to miss.