Forever In Our Hearts – Forever In Our Heritage - A history of the ancient BEST WESTERN Angel & Royal, circa 1203
Some say that the old Angel has more historical interest than many of our stately homes in the United Kingdom.
Widely regarded and fondly known as the oldest surviving English Inn, the main façade of the building that stands today was built approximately 600 years ago. The site then, however, had already been an Inn for 200 years, and was built as a hostel for the chivalrous Brotherhood of the Knights Templar. It was then that the beautifully carved building caught the eye of King John (“he of Magna Carta fame”) who decided it would make a suitable location for a visit of his Royal Court in 1213.
An Angel was a common medieval sign that reflected the early connection between religious establishments and a travellers hostel. The Inn was extended in the mid 14th Century and again in the 15th Century
There then followed many royal visits, and the next appears to have been by Edward III and his Queen “Philippa” in the 14th Century. Evidence of this visit can still be seen today where over the original archway rests the gold emblem angel holding the King’s crown, which surmounted at the time as a tribute to this Royal Patronage.
Now owned by Ashdale Hotels and a member of the BEST WESTERN brand the Angel & Royal steadily continues it's historic journey...
In our lobby we have a featured History wall featuring a selection of documents, photographs and drawings of the Angel & Royal throughout it's life.
You can also read more history by downloading our History fact sheet.
"I love everything that is old, the old angel, old manners, old friends, old times old books, old wines." - Oliver Goldsmith, 1764