Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is one of several pubs claiming to be the oldest in England – other pubs which claim to be the oldest include Ye Olde Salutation Inn and The Bell Inn also in Nottingham, and Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans. The pub claims that it was established in 1189 AD – the year that Richard the Lionheart became king and Pope Gregory VIII called for a Third Crusade to the Holy Land; however, there is no documentation to verify this date.
Evidence suggests that caves in the rock against which the pub is built, were used as a brewhouse for Nottingham Castle, and may date from around the time the castle was built in 1067. The oldest parts of the current building were constructed between 1650 and 1660, though a map by John Speed shows a previous building in existence in 1610. By 1751 the building was being used as an inn with the name The Pilgrim, and was shortly after that date purchased by William Standford. The first record of the use of the name Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem dates from 1799.