Past to Present
The Old Angel has stood in The Lace Market since at least the 1600's with the earliest concrete information within a survey of the approximately 120 pubs which were recorded in 1744. The Grade II Listed building has a long and colourful history - it was the site of two murders in the 1700-1800’s (a policeman and a prostitute!) and was formerly both a brothel and a chapel. The building is said to be haunted by the ghost of the young prostitute - her soul trapped forever in the ancient walls.
Deep underneath the pub - down steep winding stairs below the beer cellar, are caves, hollowed out of the sub-soil in the shape of a crucifix and although the old Chapel with its double height ceilings is now the famous gig venue, the old church pews lie upstairs, perfectly preserved, a relic of the buildings ancient history. Compared to its history, The Angel’s current role as a pub showcasing myriad up and coming musicians – including Oasis, Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys – is rather sedate!
Nottingham has always been a city regarded for its beer brewering, in part due to the clarity of the water, but mainly because the legendary caves of Nottingham possessed the ideal conditions for making beer.
The Angel was frequented regularly by Alan Sillitoe, and a portrait of him was created to adorn the outside of the pub. Due to his working class origins and writing, and combined with the working class rockers it exhibits, it’s quite a humble presentation the pub is exhibiting; especially considering the Nottingham Civic Society described in a pamphlet on the city’s pubs a “pretentious façade tacked onto the entrance”.
Regardless of exteriors, the pub has had a long and colourful history, stemming right back to the caves it is built upon. With Sillitoe on the exterior, and the church pews still lying upstairs, The Old Angel Inn will no doubt continue to be a place of and hosting great impact on the city of Nottingham, while keeping close hold and respect of its history.
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