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24 September 2014
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Pub names - Trip to Jerusalem
Trip to Jerusalem
The Trip 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.

There are, of course, other claimants around England for that title but as some cannot equal the date of Nottingham’s second oldest pub, the Salutation, of 1240, I will leave it to you to comment on the truth.

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, dropped off there to grab a quick pint of Kimberley Mild on the way to rid the Holyland of the heathens. This may be so, although Richard spent little time in England.

In fact the word "trip" does not 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 means a stop or rest on the way to Jerusalem.

This would seem to give a greater credence for the theory of imbibing carriers of the cross stopping here. Does history actually bear this out? Well nearly.

Early maps of Nottingham do not show any buildings in the vicinity of the Trip’s site but that is no obstacle.

It must be remembered people were living in the caves of what is now the Castle Rock even before the Saxons populated the present Lace Market. Therefore we can take it the Castle Rock’s caves were in use after the castle was built.

I suggest the caves were being used as the castle’s brewhouse in the twelfth century.

Some people would point out it was very odd the castle’s most essential service was taking place outside its walls but there was a steady supply of water from the River Lean 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.

There is also some evidence the Trip has a former name of the Pilgrim - someone else who would be making his/her way to the Holyland. So who’s to say the Crusaders did not stop, or trip, on their way to Jerusalem?

Mark Andrew Pardoe 2001

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