Wednesday, 24 August 2011
The Black Bull
Otley is a contender for the title of 'English town with the most pubs per head of population'! At one time I believe it had 17 pubs. There are still a great many, perhaps because historically the town had several markets including two cattle markets, and was also on a major coaching route. Many of the pubs still have archways where coaches and horses would have entered to get to the stables at the back.
The Black Bull is believed to be the oldest of them all and alterations revealed a 16th century fireplace and door. It is said that in 1644, on the eve of the battle of Marston Moor, a decisive battle in the First English Civil War, Cromwell's Parliamentarian troops (the 'Roundheads') camped outside the town and drank this pub dry. The next day they comprehensively routed the Royalist troops in one of the biggest battles of the war. Sadly they wouldn't have enjoyed a pint of the excellent Timothy Taylor's 'Landlord' ale, as the brewery was not founded until 1858. You could though!