Sunday, 11 March 2012

The King's Arms

The King's Arms Public House is situated on King’s Staithe which was a major quayside until the 19th century. This is an early 17th century building which may originally have been used as a custom house or warehouse. It was first recorded as a pub around 1783.
The monarch on the pub sign is King Richard III, last king of the House of York. He grew up at Middleham Castle, and as Duke of Gloucester visited York frequently from his castle at Sheriff Hutton. He was very popular locally, and invested his son Prince of Wales in York Minster.  After the battle of Bosworth it is recorded in the Council Minutes, "that King Richard, late lawfully reigning over us, was through great treason piteously slain and murdered, to the great heaviness of this City".
This building is used as something of a flood barometer for York folk. if the pub is still open then nothing to worry about. If the water has reached the bottom windows then don't go out without waterproof boots. If it has reached the upper storey windows expect to swap the bike for a boat if you need to cross town.


  1. A great- looking pub! Does it ever flood that much there? Love the history you give us.

  2. Yes most years see some flooding as York is built on a flood plain. The last major flood was in 2000 but defences built since then have pushed some of the worst flooding downstream of York.

  3. I wonder how many people know only Shakespeare's version of Richard III.


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