Reviews Restaurants & Pubs

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. Oldest pub in England

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is one of the oldest pub in England, according to them, the oldest, see their website for details. I’ve been wanting to go there since I’ve read about it a couple of years ago. Yesterday we went there for lunch, after we visited St. Albans, the cathedral, an antiquity shop from where I got a few items, the city centre where we found delicious desserts we took home, along with a fab loaf of sourdough, and the roman mosaic. There are still a few things to see in St. Albans, there are many shops, and a roman museum that is surely interesting. I would love to go back to St. Albans, and, when I’ll do that, I’m going to go to Ye Olde Fighting Cocks again.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. Oldest pub in England

The Ye Olde Fighting Cocks dates back to the 8th Century. But, the pub that is now was built later, in the 11th Century. St Albans Cathedral is very close, less than 10 minutes walk. Between the pub and the cathedral there are tunnels that were used by monks.

It’s believed that Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector from 1653 to 1658, slept at the inn for one night during the Civil War. The main part of the building has an octagonal appearance, because of its earliest use as a pigeon house. The building was extended during the next hundreds of years, but the original timber-framed structure is still visible.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, main room

The ceilings are very low, my husband had to duck a few times. This means the ceiling in parts is lower than 6ft 2inch tall. Next to the big fireplace in the main room is an original bread oven.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, main room, seen from a different view

As the name of the pub suggests, cock fighting used to take place in the main bar. For hundreds of years cock figts took place there, up to the 19th century. Cock fighting as a sport was banned in 1849. At that time, its name was changed to ‘The Fisherman’. However it has been known officially as ‘Ye Olde Fighting Cocks’ since 1872.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, table with menu

After marveling at the beauty of the place. We found a table and sat down.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, interior

Of course, my husband hurries to take pictures from inside until new customers arrived. As we got there 10 minutes after it opened, we had a few minutes for ourselves. By the time we left, the pub was busy.

Books on a shelf

I love these small details, like the books in a corner, the warming pan near the fireplace (a picture of it is near the end of the post). The decor is lovely.

We’ve ordered from the set menu for lunch. It was great value for money, being £12.50 per person. The portions are big, neither us managed to finish our chips.

Soup

The soup of the day was Broccoli & Stilton. It was delicious and it came with a slice of sourdough bread with butter. I liked it a lot, it was delicious.

Burger with chips

The main was burger with chips. The vegetarian burger, that we got, was portobello mushrooms with halloumi, houmous, fresh tomato, onion. The bun was delicious too. I like everything. When I make burgers, I always think of bean burgers or falafel burgers, but not at a mushroom as a burger. Sounds not too complicated, but it worked. Having all the extras, like the houmous and halloumi gave it more flavour and texture.

Both of us were delighted with the food.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, interior room

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, warming pan beside the fireplace

Dog at the pub

The pub is dog friendly, as you can see.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks sign

We had a wonderful time there. There a few other pubs that say there are the oldest pubs in Britain. Hopefully, I will visit all of them and I will blog about all of them too. Regardless if this is the oldest or not, it’s a stunning pub, with friendly staff, and delicious food.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is at 16 Abbey Mill Lane, St Albans, Herts, AL3 4HE. There is a small car park nearby, but a big (and cheaper) car park can be found near the park. From that car park is only a 10 – 15 minutes walk through the park.

3 Comment

  1. What a gorgeous pub! I love the really old ones – the wooden beams and low ceilings give a place a really cosy vibe! And so much history!

  2. I love old pubs like this one, they all have their individual charm! We’ve got a really old one in Leeds too, now wedged in between lots of shopping buildings.

  3. I’m sure quite a few pubs are competing to see which one’s the oldest in England – some of them are indeed quite old! When you think about it the 11th century was so far ago, it’s amazing that it’s still there. The food looks really good, especially the mushroom burger!

    Julia x
    Julia recently posted…FASHION | The Best TK Maxx FindMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge