A historic pub interior of national importance
Listed Status: IIBrewhouse Yard
Parts of this remarkable building are 17th century - but not from the 12th as the made-up date outside would have us believe! Its uniqueness derives from a series of rooms carved out of the soft sandstone of Castle Rock. Alterations in 1997-8 did not impact adversely on the historic core and, indeed, won a CAMRA/English Heritage design award. A flagstone passage leads to the Ward Room (named after the family of licensees from 1894 to 1989), hollowed out of the rock. Opposite, the servery is of varied but fairly indeterminate dates. The tiny rock-cut snug beyond was created during the alterations. Up a staircase is 'Mortimer's Room', a cavernous lounge refitted about 1930 with a quarter-circle counter and brick fireplace: beware the 'cursed galleon', not cleaned for over 50 years after the mysterious deaths of the last three people who tried to do just that! From here, a passage (again from 1997-8) leads to another small room, previously an office. Back downstairs, room no.3 may once have been a kitchen and is known as Yorkey's Room after 'Yorkey' Ward, landlord 1894-1914 (see his inn sign on the wall). The adjacent snug was converted from living accommodation in 1996.
A very remarkable pub, parts of which date back to the early 17th and 18th centuries (and not the 12th century as the date outside might have you to believe!). In part it is half-timbered but what makes it particularly special is the way it extends back into the castle rock in a series of hewed-out rooms on two levels. Above the main entrance door is a colourful glass panel with the words “Ada G Etherington-Ward, Licensed Brewer, Retailer of Beer, Wines, Spirits & Tobacco to be consumed on or off the premises” - 'The Trip' was owned by the Ward family for 100 years until they sold it to Hardy & Hansons for a reputed £1 million in 1990.
A flagstone passage runs past the door to the servery with a ‘1’ on it to the first of five rooms – the Ward Room, originally the Tap Room, which is partly hollowed out of the sandstone and has a flagstone floor with leatherette covered high backed settles all around at least 50 years old, and a large black painted brick fireplace at least 70 years old. On the back wall is a black iron hook with a ring tied to a piece of string hanging from the ceiling. This is the traditional pub game of 'Ringing The Bull'. Have a go at throwing the ring across the room with the aim of hooking it over the 'bull', you will do well to get it over!
As you walk further into the pub there is a tiny snug on the right created during alterations in 1997-8. Between the main bar and the rock-cut areas at the back lies the servery with identical panelled counters on three sides that do look more post-war work than pre-war - the bar back fitting is mostly modern. A staircase leads upwards and backwards to Mortimer’s Room which has a ‘4’ on the door with a stained and leaded glazed panel. This lounge appears to have been refitted about 1930, the date of the quarter circle fielded panelled bar counter and brick fireplace, but the bar back fitting is modern. Note the unusual clock - dated 1856 – with the minute hand set to Greenwich time; and the 'cursed galleon' now in a glass case hanging above the bar which, according to legend, the last three cleaners to clean it died mysteriously, so it has not been cleaned for over 50 years! From here there leads off a passage formed in the rock in 1997-8 to another small room (previously an office) hewn out of the sandstone.
Downstairs is a room with a number '3' on the door originally called the Bar Parlour with a modern quarry tiled floor, a small range fireplace indicating it may have been a domestic kitchen in the distant past and some leather covered fixed bench seating which is difficult to date. Up three steps there is a small Snug which also only opened in 1996 and is a conversion from living accommodation. It has a 1930s tiled and wood surround fireplace and a parliamentary clock (or old moon dial, a clock shaped dial on the wall which indicates the phases of the moon?). The 1997-8 works won a CAMRA/English Heritage award.