The 1,000-year-old stone-built Leeds pub is England’s oldest
Located in the beautiful village of Bardsey, Leeds, the Bingley Arms is no ordinary pub, it is the original English pub – according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Dating back over 1,000 years to a time when the Vikings conquered parts of the country and before England had its first king, The Bingley Arms is officially Britain’s oldest pub.
Originally named The Priests Inn, The Bingley Arms has a rich and fascinating history dating back to between AD 905 and 953.
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It once served as a refuge for persecuted Catholic priests, as well as a courthouse from around the year 1000, from where offenders were taken to the pillory across the road.
The Bingley Arms was originally run by a guy called Samson Ellis, who brewed on site and provided shelter for traveling monks and passing people in need of a meal and a place to rest their horses.
The pub was a well-known stopover between Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds and St. Mary’s Abbey in York.
In 1780 the inn was acquired by Lord Bingley, it was at this point that it received its present name.
Nowadays the charming pub is a hotspot for local dishes and its wide selection of drinks.
However, the history of this nostalgic tourist spot remains a hot topic of conversation.
Tucked away from busy roads in a quiet location near a stream, the magnificent building must be seen up close to be fully appreciated.
Many of the original features have been preserved, from the original Dutch oven in the living room to the inglenook fireplace and the old priest’s holes hidden in the fireplace – each room is full of history and nostalgia.
Priest Holes, which will be a hit among all budding historians, were used to hide priests at a time when Catholics were persecuted during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
The spectacular beer garden is home to a yew tree that predates The Bingley Arms.
Yews carry a lot of mythology, a popular theory suggests that they were once used to cleanse the graves of plague victims.
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This charming and cozy pub is easily accessible from all of Leeds and York’s main attractions, including Harewood House, York Minster and the National Railway Museum, making it the perfect place to stop for a pint of real ale or to grab a bite of rustic, Yorkshire food to eat.
The pub is a former Yorkshire Evening Post Restaurant of the Year Award winner and has a wide variety of food on the menu, from traditional fare like bangers and mash to a plethora of grills such as burgers and steaks.
And the bar is also well stocked, with a wide selection of fine wines from countries around the world, including Australia, Argentina and France, which complement the menu wonderfully.
The Bingley Arms continues its history and today serves food and drink to local visitors. England’s oldest pub can be found at Church Lane, Bardsey, Leeds, LS17 9DR.
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