History of the Golden Fleece York

The History of the Golden Fleece Pub in York

The Golden Fleece is believed to have been named for gild members of the nearby Merchant Adventurers' Hall who used to drink in the pub. The Gild traded in fleeces and wool. During the English Civil War, Siege Tokens were issed for the pub. When currency was in short supply, tokens for certain trades were issued instead - the inns and hostelries were deemed important enough trades to have their own tokens produced! The token for the Golden Fleece was created for the landlord, Richard Booth, its vaule being a halfpenny.

A pub on this site was first mentioned in the city archives in 1503,a Fleece or Golden Fleece is frequently mentioned in the city archives since then. The building has also unfergone many structural changes over time, but essentially has remained the same. One major change is that the front used to be a big open archway, which can still be still be seen in the brickwork, with the pub itself being accessed down an alleyway, which is now the corridor to the back of the pub. The pub is said to be built on stilts, with no real foundations, which could explain some of the weird angles of the floor and ceilings!

An 1827 sketch be George Nicholson  shows Herbert's house with three gables (the current building only has two), the Golden fleece appearing to be part of the same building.

In the Victorian times there was an enforced reduction in the number of liscensed premises in York resulting in The Fleece and The Queens Head Hotel (no longer in existence), Fossgate, sharing a licence, the yards or both pubs would have joined.

The Golden Fleece has a reputation of being the most haunted pub in the country. In 2005 the Golden Fleece was visited by the Most Haunted team including Yvette Fielding, Derek Acorah and Ciarán O'Keefe, accompanied by Radio 1 Scott Mills and his team.

Possibly the most famos ghost is Geoff Monroe,  a Canadian airman who was staying at the pub in room four when he died in 1945, by throwing himself or falling out of one of the windows. People staying in his former room have been frightend in the night by his figure, in full uniform, standing over them, his icy touch having woken them from their slumbers.

Customers have complained of bedclothes being removed of bedclothes being removed, clothes had been taken off the rails and thrown on the floor, the sound of footsteps were frequently running across the passage ways and The Lady Peckett's Dining room.

During a ghost hunt in 2002 a numbern of people including a (now former) skeptic, saw a man walking through the wall of the front of the bar, Dressing in late 17th century clothes, he walked of a wall adjoining Herbert's House, across the corridor to the Shambles bar. The most chilling aspect of the sighting was that the ghost paused as he crossed the corridor and looked straight at the horrified ghost hunters.


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