Pub Facts - Did You Know?

The great British pub has been the centre of our communities for centuries. As providers of specialist pub insurance and restaurant insurance we have come up with the following interesting facts.

Did you know that:

  • The Public house dates back to Roman times with the introduction of the Roman road system that had inns called tabernaes along the roadsides so travellers could stop and get refreshments and lodging on their journeys.

  • There are approximately 50,000 pubs in the UK.

  • Pubs employ over 600,000 people in the UK.

  • The Red Lion is the most common pub name in the UK, closely followed by The Crown and Royal Oak.

  • It's been hard to prove which pub is actually the oldest - but the oldest three pubs in the UK are The Old Ferryboat in Holywell, records show that alcohol was served there are early as 560; Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans which was recognised as the oldest by the Guinness Book of Records and has documentation that prove the pub has been there since 795. And Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem which is built into the rock face under Nottingham Castle and documents exist that prove a castle brew-house occupied the site since 1189 and parts of the foundations date back to 1070.

  • The town of Rhayader in mid Wales has the most pubs per person with 12 pubs for the 2,075 residents; followed by Manningtree in Essex with five pubs for its 900 residents.

  • The pub with the longest name in the UK is The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester.

  • The largest pub in the UK is the Moon Under the Water; this Wetherspoon pub was originally built as the Regal cinema in 1937 and seated 1,300 people.

  • The smallest pub in the UK is The Little Prince in Margate though The Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds is currently the official smallest pub in the Guinness Book of Records.

  • The strongest beer is Dutch, 60%, and called Start the Future.

  • The most expensive beer was produced by Brewdog, costing £500 for a 330ml bottle of The End of History beer. Only 12 were made, each unique bottle is made out of a stuffed animal dressed in an eccentric outfit.

  • The most expensive pint was served at the Rake in Borough London, where a pint of Cloudwater North West Double IPA beer cost £13.40 in 2017.

  • The lowest pub in England is the Admiral Wells in Peterborough which is 9ft below sea level.

  • The highest pub is the Tan Inn in the Yorkshire Dales which is 1,700 feet above sea level.

  • Five of London's Underground stations were named after pubs that existed close to their site. Angel, after the Angel Coaching Inn which dates back to 1638. Elephant & Castle; Manor House, after the Manor Tavern which was later renamed Manor House in 1931. Royal Oak and Swiss Cottage named after The Swiss Tavern which was built in 1803 and later renamed Swiss Cottage.

Pub insurance from Towergate

Towergate provides licenced trade insurance to cover pubs, bars, nighclubs, entertainment venues ETC ETC. For more information, visit our dedicated pub insurance page or call us on 01493 845 305 to speak to a specialist adviser.

About the author

Mike Stephens is a respected senior industry professional and Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) with well over 40 years’ varied experience in the commercial insurance sector as a director, underwriter, and operational improvement manager.


Data correct as of February 2013

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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