Love caves, or beer? In Nottingham you can explore both…
You’ll know that Nottingham city centre has lots of pubs, but did you know that some of them have their own caves which are part of the city’s secret (or not so secret) underground network? Pretty cool eh?
Posted: Jul 2023
A steep, winding staircase in the Angel leads down to a decent-sized space that served as an air raid shelter during the Second World War, while the original pews can now be found upstairs. This cave is not easily viewable to the general public, but keep an ear out, they have been known to hold occasional events in them.
7 Stoney St, Nottingham NG1 1LG
The whole of the Bell Inn is built in a cave! The entrance leads to a stone-flagged corridor between two cosy, oak-beamed drinking salons featuring some nice, early 20th-century stained glass elements, to a main lounge bar at the rear. Points of interest here include an old well, now topped with glass, which forms part of the serving counter and an informative frieze along the length of one wall displaying a timeline of previous landlords.
18 Angel Row, Nottingham NG1 6HL
The original alehouse and brewery on the Cross Keys site, complete with its extensive cave cellars, dates back to 1785. Railway construction required the excavation of a tunnel passing directly below the premises which caused the cellar and its entire contents to collapse into the tunnel workings, apparently much to the delight of the men toiling away down below. The entire structure had to be demolished and subsequently rebuilt in its current form in 1900.
15 Byard Ln, Nottingham NG1 2GJ
Situated in Nottingham’s oldest hotel, where such luminaries as Charles Dickens, Henry Irving, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor are reputed to have stayed, the Curious features a rectangular, weight-bearing glass panel that affords a tantalising view of the cave cellars below. You can go for a drink down there in the ‘Lost Caves Gin Bar’ below too.
2A George St, Nottingham NG1 3BE
The Malt Cross was originally built by Edwin Hill in 1877 as a music hall and is still very recognisable as such. Extensively restored in 2014, many original features have been carefully preserved, including the basement rooms constructed partly by taking advantage of caves. They put on occasional events in the caves.
16 St James's St, Nottingham NG1 6FG
Raglan Road Irish Bar
Converted into a bar from a music shop in 2008 and into an Irish-themed bar in 2015, the name is derived from a poem by Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh. In the spacious downstairs room, two small alcoves are carved into the solid rock, which also reappears in the adjacent gents' toilet. Unfortunately, the tiny cave cellar itself, measuring just 6m by 3m, is no longer in use.
69-73 Derby Rd, Nottingham NG1 5BA
Sir John Borlase Warren
Named after a Navy officer and politician, who was born in nearby Stapleford, this attractive, Regency-era hostelry is one of two that are sited side by side on what is effectively a roundabout. The split-level interior comprises four well-appointed rooms and extends back to include a secluded beer garden and upstairs patio.Meanwhile, the sandstone cave cellars below measure 18m by 28m and accommodate lots of beer casks.
1 Ilkeston Rd, Nottingham NG7 3GD
Six Barrel Drafthouse (Hockley)
Originally called the Lord Nelson, the interior has been completely remodelled in recent years and now features plenty of rustic woodwork, both in the fittings and the furniture. An old well, nowadays concealed, used to look down towards the cave cellar beneath measuring 9m by 17m.
14-16 Carlton St, Nottingham NG1 1NN
Ye Olde Salutation
A contender for the title of Nottingham’s oldest pub with foundations dating back to the 13th century, most of the current Grade II listed ‘Sal’ was built some 400 years later above a labyrinth of caves, some of which are thought to be haunted. It is even believed by some that the legendary outlaw, Dick Turpin, managed to escape arrest by the skin of his teeth upon being found hiding within these excavations. Today, the heavily restored interior has retained much of its stone-flagged flooring, along with its oak beams.
Hounds Gate, Nottingham NG1 7AA
Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem
Last but certainly not least, the Trip lays claim to being this country’s oldest public house, reputedly dating from 1189. Mostly carved out of solid rock, it features four characterful ground floors and two upstairs rooms, the latter accessed by a rock-hewn staircase - creating a unique drinking environment packed with interesting features. There is also a stone cellar below measuring a rather roomy 17m by 27m and complete with an old cockpit and supporting rock pillar, though this is not generally open to the public.
Brewhouse Yard, 1, Nottingham NG1 6AD
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