A Charming City Pub Steeped in History: The Bell Inn
We all know Nottingham is home to some of the oldest attractions in the UK, enticing visitors from across the globe. But The Bell Inn, located in the heart of the city, has perhaps one of the most colourful pasts making it an ideal cultural visit (not forgetting the beer!).
One of 120 Friaries set up by monks in the area; The Bell is one of only 40 which still stand today. In fact the original beams still in place date back to 1420, making the building itself older than Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem – The oldest pub in Britain.
The much-loved pub even survived the Riots on Goose Fair night in 1831, narrowly escaping being set alight, unlike the castle, and only suffering a few broken windows. With this lucky escape, the Inn first set up its brewery in 1888 and is still in business today; the great historic ales ensuring a visit to The Bell is not to be missed for Beer Lovers.
Family run throughout two World Wars by the Jackson family, the pub was transformed into what we know today, establishing Nottingham ‘Market Dinners’ and introducing accommodation for the public and later converting these rooms into the Belfry Restaurant. Despite these changes, the iconic historical features of the pub remain preserved and in 1982 The Bell was included in the Statuary list of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest- safeguarding its wonderful stories for generations to come.
These great features can be seen throughout the pub, for example ‘Lizzie’s Bar’, an Elizabethan bar supported by original timbers over 500 years old. Relax with a pint of local Greeneking IPA in The Tudor Bar, which has been an integral part of the pub since 1437, and includes original preserved wallpaper, photographs and other historical pieces.
The ‘Snack Bar’ is popular with students and older generations alike with its 50 year tradition of Presenting the Student President from the University of Nottingham with a silver tankard each year, proving the pub to be one of the city’s truly loved landmarks.
If you fancy delving deeper into The Bells history, Cellar tours take place every Tuesday at 7:30pm within the sandstone caves under the pub. The tour will explore a vast labyrinth extending beyond the cellar and underneath a large section of the city. Discover the old bonded Warehouse and cave wells from which spring water was used to brew local ales by monks. This exciting tour and the Inn itself are guaranteed to win the heart of any ale enthusiast or history lover alike.
To find out more on The Bell Inn, visit their website, which lists their events and more information on tours, food and drink and the history of Nottingham’s iconic inn.