About this image
The Trip to Jerusalem pub has an old and venerable history which, as can be seen by the date on its outside wall, it claims goes back to 1189. It is difficult to verify this date especially as there is photographic proof that its wall once displayed 1199 as the pubs establishing date. However, the Trip does claim to be the oldest inn in the world. The one notable thing about 1189 is that it is the date of King Richard I's accession to the throne and this is where the legend begins. We are told the Trip to Jerusalem is so called because the Crusaders, if not Lion-hearted Richard himself, stopped there on the way to the Holylands on the Crusades to fight the Saracens. This may be so, although Richard spent little time in England. The word 'trip' does not necessarily mean a journey in this case. An old meaning for trip is a stop on a journey, like being tripped up, so the inn's name could mean a stop or rest on the way to Jerusalem. The Trip was also formerly named 'The Pilgrim'. Very early maps of Nottingham do not show any buildings in the vicinity of the Trip's site but it must be remembered that people were living in the caves of what is now the Castle Rock even before the Saxons populated the present Lace Market, and The French Normans developed the Castle Rock area. There is evidence that the Castle Rock's caves were in use after the castle was built. It is possible that the caves were being used as the castle's brewhouse in the twelfth century, using a steady supply of water from the River Leen at the bottom of the rock. Perhaps further evidence can be found in the area's name of Brewhouse Yard but, of course, this may be of a much later date taking its derivation from the Trip and its now demolished neighbour, the Gate Hangs Well.