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24 September 2014
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Tales from the Trip
Je Olde Trip to Jerusalem
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem

Reputed to be the oldest pub in England, The Trip to Jerusalem is said to have been built in 1189 and is shrouded in history...

David Haslam, Nottinghamshire Ghosts and Legends

It was a favourite watering hole for the crusaders on their way to the Holy Land.

Richard the-Lion-Heart is said to have stayed here on one of his brief stops in England.

The word "Trip" or "Trypp" is said to come from an old word for halt or stop.

Much of the fabric of the building is carved out from the living rock on which the castle above stands.

The pub has two bars on one level, with a further bar up a short flight of stairs known as the Rock Lounge.

The cursed galleon:
In the Rock Lounge is a model galleon hanging from the ceiling, covered by what looks like 50 years of dust and cobwebs. No one will clean the galleon because it is cursed. According to Marilyn, landlady in 1994:

the cursed galleon
the cursed galleon

"The last three people who have cleaned it are said to have died mysterious and unexpected deaths within 12 months of doing so."

The model is the largest of several hanging from the ceiling. They are said to be parting gifts from sailors who had made them to pass the time at sea, like the scrimshaw of the whalers.

Nottingham was once a busy inland port; the River Trent is navigable for quite large vessels all the way to the Humber and the North Sea.

The maker of this particular model is unknown but it is completely shrouded in dust thickened cobwebs.

No name is visible on the galleon's side, and it would be a foolhardy soul that would wipe away the dust to find one.

Strange happenings:
The Rock Lounge in particular seems to be a focal point for odd happenings. Things such as keys disappear only to turn up later in odd places. Glasses and bottles have been known to fly off the shelves and smash, when no one is near by.

the cursed galleon on top of the bar in the Rock Lounge
the cursed galleon on top of the bar in the Rock Lounge

Staff have heard the sound of breaking glass coming from the bar, but when they've gone with a dust pan and brush to clear it up, they simply can't find any. Sometimes a waft of perfume fills the air, which Marilyn describes as old fashion scent, like lavender or rose water.

Marilyn and Patrick were told the pub was haunted when they arrived.
"We were told that a group of tourists had asked to see the cellars and they saw two foot soldiers walk through a wall. This was seen by the whole party, a group of five people."

Ruff business:
A medium visited the pub and she told us that a clock hanging in the bar was possessed by two evil spirits. A previous landlady had two Dobermans that hated that clock. They would stand and bark at it for no reason.

Marilyn’s Doberman, Moritz, named after Baron Von Richthofen's Deerhound, howled whenever it was put in the office. "He still doesn't like being shut in there. This is an entrance Mortimer's hole and they say animals are very sensitive to atmospheres.

"Previous landlords have both seen and heard two ghosts, a man and woman. We hear people calling when there's no one there. The woman, wearing what appears to be crinoline skirts is seen walking down the stairs into the cellars."

Haunted caves:
tunnels under the pub
tunnels under the pub

Carved out from the soft rock, the cellars of the Trip to Jerusalem are like interconnecting caves.

They have been in use at least since the Norman conquest and probably longer.

A narrow shaft pierces the rock above all the way up to the castle.

It is believed this was a "shouting hole" to allow those in the castle to call for more ale from the cellars bellow.

grated over cockfighting pit
cockfighting pit hidden under grates

In one chamber in the cellars a horseshoe shaped bench has been cut into the rock around the walls; this was a cockfighting pit.

According to Marilyn:

"Sometimes you can smell tallows burning down there. They used this for candles.

The smell can linger for twenty minutes and then it's suddenly gone."

Left to die:
On the far side of the cellars a rusting iron gate hangs limply from it's hinges before a doorway cut into the rock wall. This is said to be the condemned cell of the castle prison.

A curious green mould grows on the walls and ceiling. A rock bench has been carved out on one wall, offering cold comfort to the unfortunate inmates.

the rusting iron gate
the rusting iron gate

The condemned cell isn't used to store beer as the ceiling is too low, for the most part it is kept empty. There is something more to the cell's oppressive atmosphere than it's natural chill. There is a palpable cloud of doom here.

Marilyn concurs with this, "As you walk in the cell, you know it's not right, you know it is evil. Men condemned to death were shackled to the walls in there. Some left to die of starvation or dehydration."

"Two of the pubs regulars, full of Dutch courage, once decided they would spend the night in the condemned cell. They lasted twenty minutes, and were violently sick afterwards."

Moveable objects:
"My husband had some eerie experience down there, not long after we'd moved in. The mallets for tapping the barrels kept disappearing. These are big rubber ones that are always kept in the same place. Sometimes you go down there and you can't find one anywhere, only to look again to see three mallets lined up on three consecutive barrels, where you've just looked."

"One day he needed to get something from the other side of the cellar. He didn't bother to turn the light on and as he crossed the room something icy touched him lightly on the back of his neck. Needless to say the lights are always on now if any one is working in there."

"Some time later I was working at the sink, near the condemned cell, washing some buckets out, when I saw something walk past me. There was no one else there and it couldn't have been a shadow, it was like a grey mass."

"I had this feeling like an icy bar being passed through my body. I just stood there totally still. Then I looked at my feet because I felt this iciness come down and go out through my toes and I shuddered from head to foot. I don't know whether it was a condemned prisoner that hasn't passed over properly, or a soul in torment but it was a totally evil feeling, horrible. I wouldn't go down there again for about three weeks. It really frightened me."


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