Thomas Rigby’s is one of Liverpool’s oldest pubs, located on Dale Street. The historic venue serves cask beers and traditional pub grub, and bears the name of a wine and spirit dealer.
These unique and historic watering holes have fascinating back stories, particularly about how they got their names and the types or people who frequented them.
But they all have one thing in common: they have withstood the test of time. Most have been serving customers for over 200 years and show no signs of closing any time soon.
Below are Liverpool’s oldest pubs, filled with beautiful architecture, history and even visited by some local legends.
Ye Hole in Ye Wall is Liverpool’s oldest pub, serving pints to the city since 1726. It was built on the site of an old quaker graveyard and is said to be the last pub to allow women, in 1977. The hidden tavern is based on Hackins Hey Street and appears to have got its name for being located down the narrow alleyway. The 18th-century tavern has old photos on the walls, plus live music, real ales, pies and baguettes. (Photo: Google) Ye Cracke on Rice Street is a 19th-century pub, where John Lennon used to go when he was in art school nearby, even taking Cynthia, his first wife, there on their first date. Filled with Beatles memorabilia, it’s a pilgrimage for fans of the Fab Four as well as a watering hole popular with locals. It is said to have opened in 1825. (Photo: Google Street View) The Roscoe Head is one of the ‘Famous Five’ pubs that have featured in every edition of the Camra Good Beer Guide. It is named after historian William Roscoe and opened in the 1830s. It's a compact, traditional pub with a bar and snug, serving hand-pulled beers and simple bar food/snacks. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons) The Belvedere is on old-school watering hole, in the heart of Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter. It was built in the 1830s and the name comes from the views over the farmland that surrounded the city. After recently undergoing renovation, the historic pub is thriving, serving beers from local microbreweries, plus a long list of G&Ts. (Photo: Google Street View) Built in the mid 19th century and opened in 1840, The Lion Tavern was named CAMRA’s Pub of Excellence in 2022. It is Grade II-listed and has been identified by CAMRA as having a nationally important historic pub interior. Key features include a mosaic floor and Art Nouveau tiled dado, above which is a timber and etched glass screen. It is a traditional pub pouring ales and ciders in a cosy setting with an ornately detailed wood bar. (Photo: Rodhullandemu/Wikimedia) Peter Kavanagh’s is a Grade II listed pub named after its former landlord. Peter Kavanagh was the licensee from 1897 to 1950. Formerly the Grapes, it was renamed in 1978, in his honour. It was originally built in 1844, as the Liver Inn. (Photo: Google) Built in the 1850s, The Saddle Inn has notable elliptically arched windows, carved heads and rich friezes and cornices. Historic England awarded the building Grade II-listed status in 1985. A traditional pub serving cask ales, with a superb choice of Gins. (Photo: Rodhullandemu/Wikimedia) The Carnarvon Castle on Tarleton street is Liverpool’s most central pub, It has been open since 1859 and is great place to pop in for some liquid refreshment while around town. It is named after Lord Carnarvon. (Photo: Google) The Baltic Fleet is a Grade II-listed building near the Albert Dock. Built in 1860, it has a distinctive flatiron shape and the interior is decorated on a nautical theme. The existence of tunnels in the cellar has led to speculation that the pub’s history may involve smuggling. The popular independent pub now serves its own ales brewed in those same cellars. The CAMRA award-winning venue also has a lovely outdoor seating area. (Photo: Baltic Fleet) Ma Egerton’s Stage Door is a Victorian pub with a renowned theatrical heritage, in the heart of the city. It was built in 1869 and named after the pub’s longest serving landlady, Mary Egerton, who was also a theatrical agent. As well as serving fine ales, wines and spirits, delicious pizzas are also on offer. (Photo: Calflier001/Wikimedia) The Midland Hotel was built in the Art Nouveau style in the 1890s and was Grade II listed in 1982. It retains original features despite being opened out in the 1970s. The windows, which are embossed and curved are considered an impressive feat of glass-making. A traditional pub in the heart of Liverpool. (Photo: The Midland) Next door to The Midland, The Central is a traditional pub built in the 1870s. Deemed to have ‘a pub interior of special national historic interest’ by CAMRA, it has one of the finest displays of Victorian glasswork to be found in any pub in the country. A busy pub opposite Central station, it serves real ale and is LocAle and Cask Marque Accredited. (Photo: Rodhullandemu/wikimedia) Built around 1898 for brewer Robert Cain, ‘The Phil’ was promoted to Grade I-listed in 2020 and is considered the ‘cathedral of pubs’. Famous for it spectacular toilets, the pub interior is covered in elaborate carvings and has a mosaic-clad bar. It’s a must see and a favourite with many locals. CAMRA gives it three-out-of-three heritage stars, adding: “This is a truly spectacular pub.” (Photo: Rodhullandemu/Wikimedia) The town house building was constructed before 1805 and converted into a pub later in the 19th century. The birth place of W.H.Duncan, who became the first Medical Officer of Health in the country in 1848, it was once called Doctor Duncan’s. Now a traditional Irish pub with a wooden and bare-brick interior offering sourdough pizza, live entertainment and sports viewing. (Photo: Google Street View)