City Centre Tour 11. The New Inn

The New Inn in Northgate Street is one of the finest medieval galleried coaching inns in Britain.

Venture into its timber-framed courtyard and be instantly transported back to the 15th century. Built around 1440 by the monks of St Peter’s Abbey, the inn provided accommodation for an ever-growing number of pilgrims visiting the tomb of King Edward II. At the time of its opening, it was the largest inn in the country, with dormitories capable of housing more than 200 guests.

Over the centuries, many landlords have taken advantage of the galleried courtyard and provided entertainment from travelling animal shows to theatrical plays.

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Fun Fact

A notable guest was Charles Stewart Rolls, co-founder of the Rolls Royce company, who had an unfortunate (some might say embarassing) stay here in 1896. The brakes on his car had failed during the steep descent of nearby Birdlip Hill, so Mr Rolls stopped at the inn to repair the damage. The following morning he had the humiliating experience of being run over by his own car. Rolls had left the car in gear, and as he swung the starting handle, the engine fired and the vehicle lurched forward over the prostrate motorist!

Location

Longitude and latitude for The New Inn: 51.8658262,-2.2450159

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