Ye Olde Fighting Cocks

Listed by the Guinness Book of Records as Britain’s oldest pub, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans stands firm and proud on the banks of the River Ver.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks history

More than a few fights have gone down in this venue! Be it bar fights or cocks fights, or even the fight over whether the pub is indeed the oldest in Britain, I’m sure if the walls could talk, there’d be some very interesting stories!

The building is octagonal in shape as it used to be a pigeon house. Located close to St Albans Cathedral and moved to the present site sometime after the dissolution of the Abbey in 1539. Those walls sure do have a lot of stories in them! Its foundations are claimed to be even older, dating from around 793!

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is first referenced as being an alehouse is in 1756 when it appears to be trading as the “Three Pigeons”. Around the 1800’s it’s name changed to the “Fighting Cocks”, probably in reference to the sport of cock fighting which was popular at the time and would have taken place in the main bar area. The prefix “Ye olde…” is a late Victorian affectation.

It is even reputed that Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector from 1653 until his death in 1658, slept at the inn for one night during the Civil War of 1642-1651. These walls could tell a thousand tales!

Oliver Cromwell Plaque

Oliver Cromwell slept at the inn for one night during the Civil War.

The pub today

The service of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is impeccable and the food is exquisite! What has also remained the same, thankfully, is the venue’s insistence on sourcing ingredients locally. The beef is well-aged and their chicken is free range and British, making sure that they always stay as local as possible and never compromise on quality. As well as utilising local suppliers they also have their own vegetable garden which supplies them with everything from courgettes to strawberries.

Another passion that has not changed with the times is their love of beer! The Cocks boasts a fine selection of over 35 beers, ranging from dark to light, meaning that all the beers served are Britain’s finest! At Ye Olde Fighting Cocks you will find the solid regulars as well as a great variety of guest ales that get changed around on a regular basis. Possessing a Cask Marque, you are guaranteed that you will be served an excellent pint every time!

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