Certainly the most historic & oldest pub in Harrogate, our establishment has a history going back to the earliest days of the town’s emergence as a leading spa resort. Originating as one of the first inns for spa visitors after sulphur wells were first established in the mid-18th century, sulphur springs still flow beneath the cellar & the distinctive odours occasionally percolate up to the bar area.
The premises were rebuilt circa 1827 & known as The Promenade Inn. At this time it was said to be a most successful coaching inn. It was enlarged in 1856 & known as Hodgson’s until 1882 when William Hales became the landlord.
Our main lounge bar preserves itself well, with mirrors & other interesting features & fittings from the Victorian era, including traditional gas lighting & cigar lighters.
The smaller Georgian style Vaults room previously traded as a wines & spirits merchant. Newly refurbished in 2013, uncovering original wooden beams, a stone display alcove & real log fire re-instated from the old coaching inn of yesteryear.
The inn would have been known to Tobias Smollett who in May 1766 visited Harrogate in which he set part of his novel Humphrey Clinker. Used by Sir John Barbirolli as his favourite when the Halle Orchestra visited to play in the town, it was also used for interior scenes in the film Chariots of Fire & DCI Banks in 2012. Reputed to be haunted, although we’ve yet to be spooked.
In 2016, a “secret” garden at the rear of the premises was created giving guests a lovely outdoor seating area with beautiful flower displays.