My Trip to the Trip in Nottingham #TBT

I tweeted this week regarding my trip to England to research No Good Deed.

So I figured I’d share a picture one of the places I went which ended up in the book: Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem.

Ye Olde Trip.jpg

“Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem” by Rozsagab is licensed under CC by 2.0.

Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem is the oldest inn in England. It says so right on the side of the building.

Of course there are other pubs and inns that make the same claim, but whether it’s technically older than all the others, there’s still evidence and logic in favor of it being around a helluva long time.

This spot is almost directly beneath Castle Rock, atop which is Nottingham Castle, which was established in 1067(ish) on behalf of Ye Olde William the Conqueror. See how the inn is built against the cliff face? That’s the promontory of Castle Rock, which is sandstone and full of caves and tunnels. (Nottingham Castle was at the top of it, hense “castle” and “rock” and the fact that it was unassailable from the south and west thanks to geography.)

In a nice bit of geological multitasking, the caves under Castle Rock were (are) perfect for brewing and storing ale, which has to be kept at a cool and consistent temperature. The cellars of the Trip are one of these caves, and there’s archeological evidence that the castle’s brewhouse was on this spot by 1189. (Which explains the sign. The white-and-black timbered building dates back to the 1600’s, which still seems impressively old to me.

Nottingham Caves.jpg
Nottingham was also a frequent stop for crusaders on their way to the ships that would take them to the Holy Land. It’s logical to think they’d have broken their journey at an inn/pub/tavern in Nottingham.

So with the inn—or at least the cellars—being established in 1189, and me sending Ellie, the heroine of No Good Deed, back to 1194, I figured that would be a good place for some history, atmosphere, and lunch.

Sadly, I can never go to this establishment again. It’s a long story. Which doesn’t mean I won’t retell it when I feel up to embarrassing myself. But that’s not today.

Writing No Good Deed, I tried to be as realistic to modern Nottingham as possible. I really liked the city and hope I have the chance to go back someday. (Even if I can’t go into Ye Olde Trip ever again.)

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