Enjoy the 'Old Town Crawl'
It’s a drinker’s delight.
Hull’s Old Town is THE place to go for a pint when visiting the city.
Here you’ll find some of the finest pubs in the entire county of Yorkshire, reflecting centuries of history.
It’s difficult to know just where to start, or for that matter, where to end.The Old Town area is easy to find your way around and probably no other part of Yorkshire can boast as many quaint, and fascinating pubs as this relatively small area.
We’ll begin our tour at the the Kingston which stands on the corner of the Market Place and Trinity House Lane.This is a pub with an outstanding architectural heritage. Large Italian style windows provide natural light which illuminates the fine hand-crafted wooden carvings which adorn the bar.
Leaving the Kingston turn right and just a few yards down you will find the Bonny Boat. It’s a small pub, but it has a long history, its name reflecting the great days when Hull was one of the world’s biggest whaling ports.
It recalls the story of one captain returned with an Eskimo he had captured during a sea skirmish. The Eskimo, complete with his kyak was kept in the city, but pined for his homeland and his freedom until he died. His boat, now kept in Trinity House, was his memorial - a “bonny boat.”
This is a fine old pub with good atmosphere and good ale. Well worth a visit.
From here turn right and walk about 100yards straight across the bottom end of Whitefriargate and into the quaintly named Land of Green Ginger - the longest street name in Yorkshire.
Just past the Britannia Building Society is The George, one of the oldest licensed premises in the city which boats a truly great bar in best tradition of English pubs.
But The George can probably claim its fame from something very much removed from its beer - and certainly harder to find. It is said to have the smallest window in the world.
The street itself is quaint, but unremarkable. It’s name, however, continues to attract speculation. Some believe it arose from the ginger trade. The more romantic prefer a very different story.
They claim the street is called after a lady of the night who walked the area in the 18th Century. A red-head, it is claimed she was hailed with cries of “gie us a grin, Ginger,” an obvious reference to her hair.
After a pint or two here, turn left on leaving and walk about 50 yards to the junction with Alfred Gelder Street. At this point on your left you will find the Burlington Tavern, a popular and long established Bass house. Well worth a look.
Levaing the Burlington head back the way you came turning left into Bowlalley Lane - and on the right, down a narrow passage, th entrance to Ye Olde White Harte.once described as "an ancient jewel in an ancient city" and surely one of the most remarkable public houses in Yorkshire.
It was here that a critical meeting saw the beginnings of what became the English Civil War when Sir John Hotham refused entry through the gates of Hull to the Royalist forces.
Today you can dine in the room where the decision was taken, aptly named the Plotting Room - and downstairs enjoy an atmosphere that is truly historic.
Carving in the Plotting Room is original and dates back to the Jacobean Period - the 17th Century.
This really is an old worlde pub - it even has a carefully preserved skull retained behind the bar.
Legend has it that the skull, which has been examined by doctors on several occasions, was found in the attic during renovation work in 1881 and that it is of a poor serving girl.
Others have claimed it is the skull of a young man who may have died from a blow to the head.
*The houses mentioned in this article are only a few of the many fine Old Town pubs. We’ll be taking a look at some of the others in a future article.
Written by The Editor - 14/03/2001 16:12:09
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