Date Visited



Angel & Royal Hotel



The Angel and Royal Hotel developed from an old coaching inn that has been in operation since 1203 making it is one of the oldest hotels in the world. Over the years a number of Kings and Princes have stayed there and guest are able to use the same rooms that has been used by Royalty.


The Angel and Royal Hotel is located on the High Street in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Built as a hostel in the 13th century although its foundations and cellar date back to the 9th century. Having been in operation since 1203 it is one of the oldest hotels in the world. 

Built by the Knights Templar and run by them until it was seized by the Sheriff of Lincolnshire with a writ issued by Edward II on 5th December 1307, following the dissolution of the Knights Templar. From then, it started to develop as a coaching inn due to it being situated on the Ermine Way which was later to be renamed the Great North Road, which ran through Grantham. 

Originally the building was known as the Angel Inn, having got its name from stone carvings of angels on the front of the building. Today the gold-painted wooden demi-angels located at the front of the building holds the crown of Richard III.  

A number of Royals have stayed at the premises over the years. The first being King John who held court there on 23 February 1213. In the 14th century Edward III and Queen Philippa stayed there, and their heads, carved in stone, can be seen on the corbels on either side of the entrance on the front façade. Charles I is known to have stayed there on 17 May 1633, and in 1643 Oliver Cromwell quartered troops there during the English Civil War (1642-51) following his victory at the battle of Gonerby Manor near Grantham. 

During the 19th century, George IV stayed at the inn on a number of occasions and Edward VII stayed there in 1866 during his time as Prince of Wales. It was during this visit that the suffix “Royal” was added.  

Constructed of stone and brick the property consists of an internal courtyard open at both ends, and a number of buildings overlooking the courtyard with their stabling for the horses.




Access was provided to the coach and horses via an arched doorway at the front of the building leading off the High Street. This is the oldest part of the building and is constructed of locally obtained ashlar blocks.  The present façade of the building was constructed around 1415 and the building underwent extensions in the 14th and 15th century.

During Georgian and Victorian times, licensing hours were from 4 am to 10 pm seven days a week. Inns would close during divine service, Christmas Day and Good Friday; however, these times did not apply to the Angel Inn which could remain open for as long as it wished.

In the 1920’s the word Inn was dropped from its name, and it became a hotel. 

In 1947 during construction work, workmen discovered a medieval fireplace in the Angel bar which still had the spit holes for turning the spit.


The restaurant, known as the king's Room Restaurant contains a number of architectural features including an impressive ceiling.


The hotel makes the most of its historic past and displays photos and documents relating its heritage.

It is also possible to experience the ethos of the place by staying in a four-poster bed.


In 1956 it became a Grade 1 listed building of outstanding architectural and historic interest.  It underwent restoration work to conserve and preserve it in 2003 and in 2006 it officially became the Oldest Inn in England. Today it is owned by Trust House Forte.


              All  Photographs were taken by and are copyright of Ron Gatepain

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