New lease of life given to iconic 15th century Lincoln pub

A beautiful historic pub in upper High Street in Lincoln, which dates back to the early 1400s, is to be restored to its former glory, with a unique menu and refurbished interior.

The Cardinal’s Hat, a rare Grade II listed three storey building, has been leased by Lincolnshire businessman Rupert Abbott, who is creating 25 new jobs with the development.

Photo: The Lincolnite

Photo: The Lincolnite

The pub will serve a large selection of beers, guest ales, wines, ciders and spirits as well as a selection of dishes, sharers and bar snacks sourced from artisan producers.

An opening date for the pub has been set for September 7, complete with upstairs and downstairs bars, individual rooms, a small beer garden and state of the art refrigerated cellar.

Robert Abbott. Photo: The Lincolnite

Rupert Abbott. Photo: The Lincolnite

Rupert from Louth, who owns a number of pubs in Lincolnshire said: “I got the lease for the building just before Christmas and started work at the end of July.

“We can date the site back to 1255, however we found a wall at one point which was Roman so the refurbishment of the site has been full of historic finds.

“The building as you look at it today was finished in the early 1400s.

“The building was previously called The Cardinal’s Hat and it was named after Cardinal Wolsey, Bishop of Lincoln, in 1514 – we wanted to keep that along with the historic elements of the building.

“It’s seen the great plague and it’s seen the two world wars and it’s quite a piece of history.

“I’ve been trying to get hold of the building for about two years. St John’s Ambulance, who bought the building for their HQ in 1952, are still going to be working at the back of the building.

“There are certain elements of the building’s former life that we are revealing. It was once a fish mongers and grocery store at the end of the 1800s. As much of the history that we’ve found that we can show, we are showing.

“Internally, we have tried to make a lot of different rooms with different feels and the building is on lots of different levels.

“What we are focussing on are products which are hard to find. There won’t be your Carling or Carlsberg, it’ll be a selection of niche beers from all over the world. There are some brands that you won’t see anywhere else in Lincoln.”

The business is going to be managed jointly by Simon and Belinda Hall, who have worked for Rupert for a number of years.


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