A secret alcove, hidden for hundreds of years, has been uncovered at an ancient Harrogate bar.
The old alcove, revealed during a renovation of the old mid-17th century Hales Bar, is believed to have once housed wines and spirits when it was a coaching inn.
Also discovered during extensive renovations were ancient beams, believed to have come from old ships, an original fireplace and old stone floors.
“The building needed a bit of work,” said owner Amanda Wilkinson, 47. “It’s so old that inevitably a bit of damp was creeping through.
“But in doing so we discovered all these original features that have been hidden for decades.”
Hales Bar, in the town centre, is believed to be one of Harrogate’s oldest bars. After six week’s of work, the bar is now fully refurbished and is to open officially on Saturday. But there are some changes: the old booth seating has been replaced with Georgian panelling, and there is a real wood burning stove.
“We had an artist’s impression of what the bar used to look like,” said Ms Wilkinson. “Advertiser columnist Malcolm Neesam brought it in and it shows how it all used to be, the different layout, with old beams.
“We’ve tried to get it back to being as close as we can to that artist’s impression.”
Turn to Page 37 for Malcolm Neesam’s report into the history of the Hales Bar.