The Angel & Royal Hotel, in the market town of Grantham, is said to be the oldest Inn in England.
The Angel & Royal Hotel, in the market town of Grantham, is said to be the oldest Inn in England. Although the facade of the current building is a mere 600 or so years old, the inn dates back to 1203, and was built as a hostel for the chivalrous Brotherhood of the Knights Templar.
It stands on the route of the ancient Roman road, the Ermine Roman Way, and would have been a popular stopping point on the long journey from London to Edinburgh. The road later became the Great North Way, and is now Grantham’s bustling High Street, lined with cafes, antique shops, and boutiques.
As the Angel Inn, BEST WESTERN Angel & Royal in Grantham had plenty of royal visitors. King John (of Magna Carta fame) held court here in 1213, and, over the centuries, so did Richard III, Edward III, Charles I (as well as his enemy Oliver Cromwell) and George IV. But no one thought to add ‘Royal’ to the name of the hotel until 1866. What prompted the change – after 663 years in the hotel business – was a visit by Queen Victoria’s eldest son, Edward the Prince of Wales, and heir to the throne. This visit was finally considered to amount to royal patronage, and the old Angel Inn became the Angel & Royal Hotel.