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Blank Sign of the Past


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Ye Olde Fighting Cockes pub,  St Albans,  February 2016

The pub beneath this sign is one of a tiny number that claim to be the oldest hostelry in the UK; maybe its almost blank sign is to help emphasise its age.

It is believed to have been first licensed is 1756, which puts it in tight competition with a few others in the country but it was acknowledged as being the oldest by the Guinness Book of Records.

This slightly odd shaped pub, originally a pigeon house dating back to around 1400, was moved to this location at the edge of the River Ver, around 200 years later.

It is believed that Oliver Cromwell spent a night here in the 1640s, during the Civil War between king and parliament. Cromwell and his men won a battle against the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in the High Street, the sheriff was arrested and I guess Cromwell then had a choice of accommodation.   His horse got to spend the night in what is now the bar area of this pub.

In the 17th and 18th century it gained fame as the local centre for cock fighting, but was renamed The Fisherman in 1849 when cock fighting was made illegal.

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It is now known as Ye Olde Fighting Cocks and is just a brief walk from St Albans Cathedral – the ideal spot for a quick historic break if you’re visiting the local sights.

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aDSC_0636_ppCopyright Debbie Smyth, 23 April 2016


Part of Thursday Special and Travel Monkey

8 replies »

  1. I used to wander past that pub in a semi-annual basis, and I had no idea it was (one of) the oldest in the country. Of course, at that point I took all the lovely country pubs in the general area for granted. Bah! Must make it back!


  2. haha that’s awesome!! Nice observed about the sign, it probably is there because of the age 😀
    I’d love to visit this place, it seems soo original. Did you go inside?

    Thank you for joining #MondayEscapes this week 😀


  3. The oldest hostelry in the UK 🙂 Thank you, Debbie. I could use a drink now. I watched a documentary about Dubrovnik (international cooproduction) and in the first episode they said that the oldest inn in London was opened by a man from Dubrovnik. I will have to see the documentary again to tell you where exactly it is 😀 I hope you are well, and I appologise that I will not check other posts now; I am very tired and will take a short 1 week break as of Tuesday.


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