Confusingly, Hull’s George Hotel isn’t a hotel. Never has been.
It gained its name by virtue of serving as the tap room and gate house for the long-demolished George Hotel, a huge establishment which stood round the corner on Whitefriargate. Guests would enter the hotel’s courtyard via the archway located to the left of the pub and this in turn lead to the creation of one of Hull’s quirkier claims to fame -– the Smallest Window In The World.
This peculiar tourist attraction is basically a gap in between two wall stones that has been (for reasons lost to the depths of time) glazed. Apparently, in the old days, a lad would sit in the hollow wall and identify bone fide hotel guests by looking through the window. He would then allow them entry by opening the courtyard gate. At about 10in by 1in, the window is undeniably small, but anyone drawn to the George solely to see it may, quite legitimately, feel a tad underwhelmed. Let’s hope they seek solace in the pub.
The George is another historic pub with a chequered recent past. Open and closed, open and closed, then virtually derelict until this summer when rookie publicans Kev Conman and Fiona George decided to take the place on. They are now offering five cask ales and a full menu of pub classics to anyone who likes their pubs cosy, wood-lined and haunted. I’m not one for ghost stories but the locals will happily talk of The Grey Lady and her nocturnal trips into the bar.
Personally, I’m just happy that the George is back open as it is the only pub on the spectacularly named street Land Of Green Ginger. Any street with a name as evocative as that should have a pub.
1 Land Of Green Ginger, Hull. 01482 226373.