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!

12 comments:

  1. Ah you know my weakness. There is an excellent little pamphlet published by the Otley Conservation Task Force called "The Pubs Of Otley - a Pictorial Record" which goes into considerable detail about each of the 17.

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  2. It is so good that these pubs keep operating and are kept in good repair. They are so historic and part of the countryside.

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  3. Impressive to read that this pub lived so long and saw so much events and people!i like its name, like in a Daphné du Maurier's book..

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  4. What an interesting history! I like their sign and the planters on the wall.

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  5. What a great-looking pub! We have a Black Bull Pub in toronto which is one of older ones but it is very urban and not nearly that old.

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  6. Fancy being able to drink in the same pub as the Roundheads! That is surprisingly appealing :)

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  7. The pub has been well cared for! What history behind it!

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  8. Pubs like this are so charming. I have a photo book of English country pubs and just checked the index. Regrettably, the Black Bull isn't included.

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  9. I agree with Jack they do look charming. I would love to take a pub tour.

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  10. We have a John Bull more or less with the same architecture. :-)

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  11. I'd be happy to come have a Timothy Taylor Landlord ale at the Black Bull.

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  12. My eye went directly to those gorgeous planters. ~Lili

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