Saturday April 13th 2019
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
£29.99 Per Person
As England's oldest inn, the pub is nestled beneath the cliff on which Nottingham's historic castle stands, and was once a well-known pit stop for crusader knights. It is said that King Richard the Lionheart and his men are more than likely to have gathered at this historic royal dwelling before journeying to Jerusalem in 1189AD, thus giving the pub its unusual name.
Beneath the pub, cave cellars root deep into the sandstone cliff and, like many of Nottingham's 800+ caves, have for centuries been used for storage of ale. Also 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 in.
Carved out from the soft rock, the cellars of the Trip to Jerusalem are like interconnecting caves. They have been in use at least since the Norman conquest and probably longer. A narrow shaft pierces the rock above all the way up to the castle.
It is believed this was a "shouting hole" to allow those in the castle to call for more ale from the cellars bellow.
In one chamber in the cellars a horseshoe shaped bench has been cut into the rock around the walls; this was a cockfighting pit.
On the far side of the cellars a rusting iron gate hangs limply from it's hinges before a doorway cut into the rock wall. This is said to be the condemned cell of the castle prison. A curious green mould grows on the walls and ceiling. A rock bench has been carved out on one wall, offering cold comfort to the unfortunate inmates. The condemned cell isn't used to store beer as the ceiling is too low, for the most part it is kept empty. There is something more to the cell's oppressive atmosphere than it's natural chill. There is a palpable cloud of doom here.
The cursed galleon:
In the Rock Lounge is a model galleon hanging from the ceiling, covered by what looks like 50 years of dust and cobwebs. No one will clean the galleon because it is cursed. According to Marilyn, landlady in 1994: .
"The last three people who have cleaned it are said to have died mysterious and unexpected deaths within 12 months of doing so."
The model is the largest of several hanging from the ceiling. They are said to be parting gifts from sailors who had made them to pass the time at sea, like the scrimshaw of the whalers. Nottingham was once a busy inland port; the River Trent is navigable for quite large vessels all the way to the Humber and the North Sea. The maker of this particular model is unknown but it is completely shrouded in dust thickened cobwebs. No name is visible on the galleon's side, and it would be a foolhardy soul that would wipe away the dust to find one.
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