Where we are
Tel: 01943 462288
Opening Times: Open 11am to 11pm every day. Except close Midnight Friday and Saturday
Mon – Fri = Midday – 2.45pm
Sat & Sun = Midday – 3.45pm
What we offer
Yes, kitchen hours as above
Yes, covered seating area to the rear.
Yes, usually 4 available
Yes, until 9pm
Public car parks and on-street parking throughout the town
TV screens throughout the pub showing live sport. Plus Karaoke/DJs at weekends
The Black Bull History
The Black Bull is believed to date back to the 16th century and to be the oldest in Otley. Of the many proprietors over the years, A. Metcalfe was prominent circa 1925
Many discoveries have been made in this Inn over the last 40 years. During renovation work in August 1971, workmen uncovered a 16th century stone fireplace that was probably part of the original structure. The licensee and his patrons began a battle to save the fireplace that had been destined to be pulled out in the scheduled alterations. A petition was sent to the owners, Tetley’s Breweries, in the hope that they would recognise the value of such a find. The fireplace was in the room known as ‘the snug’ and for years had been hidden by plaster and a modern-tiled fireplace. Its stones were still smoke-blackened from years gone by.
Also uncovered during the same alteration works was an ancient wooden door that had been hidden from both the inside and the outside of the premises. It was dated as old as the fireplace and might have been the original door leading from the Market Place into the building before it became a public house. It was decided it was possible to keep this door as a feature.
Another discovery, made during renovation and petitioning off work in 1988, was of what was thought to be a seventeenth century stone fireplace, together with original wooden panelling. The Landlord had decided to look behind some hardboard sheets when the discovery was made.
There was yet another discovery in 2003 when an 18th century pump and well were revealed during a £17,000 redevelopment. Christine Dean from Otley Museum thought it to be Otley’s last surviving pump. The pump and well were discovered in the back yard by workmen. The pump
appeared to be still capable of working and the well had been covered by two pieces of Yorkshire Stone which had then been covered in concrete.
It is believed that it is the oldest pub in Otley and the pub was allegedly drunk dry by Cromwell’s troops on the eve of Marston Moor.
In May 2015 the pub starred in a BBC TV series on Historic Pubs. Presented by The Hairy Bikers entitled ‘The Pubs That Built Britain’. The series will visit villages, towns and cities across Britain to reveal the fascinating and surprising stories linked to our pubs.
The Black Bull in Otley’s Market square, which is one of the oldest in Otley dating back to the 1600s, was the location of filming last month for an episode which focuses on the English Civil War period.
The pub was reputedly drunk dry by Oliver Cromwell’s troops on the eve of the battle of Marston Moor near York in July 1644. In the series presenters of The Hairy Bikers, Si King and Dave Myers, meet local experts and the passionate landlords and loyal customers keeping our pubs alive. A BBC spokesperson said: “Since the earliest times pubs, inns and taverns have been at the heart of our communities. They’ve witnessed some historically explosive moments and played an extraordinary role in the lives of our national heroes and anti-heroes. “Today pubs need all the support they can get or we are in danger of losing these important epicentres of local history. With this series we are hoping to relight people’s passion and interest in pubs and garner more support for them across the country.”
The TV programme contacted Otley Pub Club and the club’s vice-chairman Barry Tomlinson and president Greg Mulholland were both interviewed about the club’s success in promoting the town’s pubs and protecting several from potential closure. As well as the historic appeal of Otley pubs such as the Black Bull, Si and Dave were interested in Otley Pub Club’s campaign to get more protection for pubs by getting all Otley’s pub registered as Assets of Community Value.
Barry Tomlinson commented: “We are delighted that the BBC is highlighting not only the historic value of local pubs but also their importance in the life of the community and that they wanted to feature Otley as a good example of both.
“It was great to meet Si and Dave and have a pint when them and chat about Otley Pub Club and our Historic Otley Ale Trail showing all the towns former and lost pubs and explaining some of the history. They have said they would love to come back and do some of the Trail, so hopefully we will have them back in Otley before long!”.
Greg Mulholland, President, Otley Pub Club added: “It is fantastic that the Hairy Bikers have chosen the Black Bull in Otley as one of the pubs to start their exciting new series, The Pubs that Built Britain, with the well known tale of Cromwell’s troops drinking it dry.”
Photo shows members of Otley Pub Club with the Hairy Bikers in the Black Bull. Left to right: Rosie Greaves, Bryony James, Greg Mulholland, Dave Myers, Barry Tomlinson, Si King and Bob McLaughlin.
The Black Bull is a Grade II listed building. Described as:
C17 house, much modernised, of two storeys in stone, rough cast , with
blue slates replacing stone ones. Its moulded stone doorway has had the
carved spandrels cut away to gain headroom; its windows now have wood
sash frames, but the house still retains a general C17 character externally.
Two windows of two lights and one of three lights on each storey. Two
stone stacks. One blocked window and door. Outbuildings to Newmarket
of C18. Two storeys in stone. Stone architraves to doors and windows.
Modern garage openings.
Full listing here: https://britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/101135251-black-bull-public-house-otley