It’s not uncommon for York’s boozers to carry centuries worth of history, but we think this one might just hold the most significant of the bunch.
Named the Guy Fawkes Inn after its most famous resident, this York city centre pub was not only the home of famous Catholic ‘radical’ Guy Fawkes, but the actual birthplace, too.
Previously owned by Guy Fawkes’ family back in the 1500’s, 25 High Petergate – now a popular watering hole – is a modest 13-bedroom property that sits right next door to the famous York Minster, and has grown in popularity over the years thanks to its rich, British history as the plotter’s official birthplace.
The most fascinating part, however, is that many of the building’s original features remain, meaning that guests get the true experience when visiting the inn.
Think ornate gas lamps, original fireplaces, the original timber staircase and more – with other details nodding to the Renaissance era such as candle lighting in the dining room, period decoration in the bedrooms and plenty of rich colours and tapestry-style fabrics throughout.
It’s widely believed that Fawkes was born in the cottage that sits behind the pub – which resides within a Georgian terrace – however, the two properties are now attached, making for plenty more space for visitors to stay should they wish to enjoy the full experience.
While the Guy Fawkes Inn holds the most popular claim to being the birthplace of Fawkes, it’s not known where he and his family resided during his early life. It is, however, widely reported that his protestant father passed on when he was just eight-years-old, leading to his mother remarrying a recusant Catholic – the start of Fawkes’ journey as a Catholic himself.
After joining the Eighty Years’ War in Spain against the protestants, Fawkes attempted to rally up support in Spain for a Catholic rebellion in England, however, following his unsuccessful attempt, joined Thomas Wintour and Robert Catesby in their existing group of Catholic conspirators – who together, planned to assisinate King James I and restore a Catholic monarch on the English throne. This was the beginning of what later became known as the ‘Gunpowder Plot’, which Guy Fawkes has come to be the face of over the centuries, despite not being the group’s leader.
So, why is Guy Fawkes the most notable name attached to the plot? Quite simply, because he’s the poor sod who got caught.
Guy Fawkes Night is now celebrated across the UK on November 5th – the evening Fawkes was caught guarding explosives beneath the House of Lords. It’s not Fawkes who is celebrated that eve, however, it’s actually the survival of the King. Following Fawkes’ capture, people bean lighting bonfires around London in celebration of the plot’s failure – and has now snowballed into the huge fireworks celebration (linking it back to ‘gunpowder) that we know today.
Interestingly, any property once owned or affiliated with Guy Fawkes does not participate in Bonfire Night, including the inn itself and his former school, St Peter’s School, who do not believe in burning “effigies of old boys”.
Today, the pub is a popular place to drink, and boasts thirteen en-suite rooms beautifully decorated to reflect the property’s history. If that wasn’t all, the pub also serves up delicious, British cuisine, in an opulent dining room amplified by romantic candlelight.
The boozer itself is bright and airy, with beautifully crafted furniture and furnishings synonymous with the Renaissance period.
The Guy Fawkes Inn can be found at 25 High Petergate, and is surrounded by the historic cobbles that lead to the famous York Minster. Find out more here.
[Featured image: The Guy Fawkes Inn]