Historic Leeds pub marks 300 years

Whitelock's Ale House off Briggate.
Whitelock's Ale House off Briggate.
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One of Leeds’s oldest pubs has celebrated 300 years of pulling pints.

Customers and staff at Whitelock’s, off Briggate, marked the milestone for the pub which is described as “the heart of Leeds”.

In 1867 the licence of the Turk’s Head was granted to John Lupton Whitelock.

Customers have included poet laureate Sir John Betjeman, who described the pub as “the heart of Leeds”, and Charles Dickens.

Yorkshire Evening Post pub writer Simon Jenkins said: “It is an absolute Leeds institution and a true survivor from a bygone age.

“Its current building may not be quite so old, but when a pub first opened on this site in 1715 Leeds was a very different place, with shops, houses and taverns cramped into narrow yards either side of Briggate.

“Much of that history has been bricked over in the name of progress, and only really at Whitelock’s can you glimpse the ancient footprint of the city.”

Simon, whose new book The Great Leeds Pub Crawl tells much of the city’s development through the history of its pubs, added: “It’s a great pity that so few of the city’s really old pubs have survived.

“The fact that places like Whitelock’s, the Adelphi, the Victoria and the Garden Gate continue to thrive should give hope to those campaigners, like at the Templar in Vicar Lane, who are fighting to save their pubs from the bulldozers.”