The ancient Somerset pub that claims to be the oldest in Britain

The George Inn in Norton St Philip claims to be not only one of Somerset’s oldest taverns, but one of the oldest in Britain.

Located in the centre of the village near Bath, the inn was built in the 14th or 15th century and has been designated as a Grade I listed building.

Dating back to 1397, it has nine en-suite bedrooms along with a cosy pub with log fire and the perfect base to explore the village and its surroundings.

It prides itself in being Britain’s oldest tavern, which has been serving beer continuously for 700 years.

Inside, you will still find plenty of antique furniture and exposed beams as well as the ancient galleried courtyard.

Looking for today’s top stories in one place? Sign up for our newsletter here.

The building was originally a wool store but was eventually turned into a pub and soon became part of the stage coach route between London and South West England.

The pub has seen its fair share of famous faces, with Samuel Pepys visiting in 1668, and it was later used to film major motion pictures including The Remains of the Day, Tom Jones and The Canterbury Tales.

In 1998, a major programme of restoration was undertaken, funded by the Wadworth Brewery, which included archaeological investigations into the history of the building.

This showed that part of the building had been demolished in the 17th century and that the roof timbers had been replaced around 1431.

Roof repairs included removing all 29,750 stone slates, 70 per cent of which were able to be reused.

The pub has garnered national attention down the years.

Among those publications to recognise it is the Guardian, which named it in its top 10 historic pubs list in 2018.

The newspaper’s write-up said: “Its visual attraction lies in additions that are clearly very old sitting atop stone so ancient it almost seems to be melting.

“Inside, the open fires, candlelit tables and leaded windows feel unchanged rather than artificially preserved or restored, evoking centuries of people sitting here eating, drinking and laughing.

“Upstairs, the creaking bedrooms will provide a challenge for even the most sceptical disbeliever in ghosts.”

Somerset Live Bath