7th October 2015

The Castle on the High Street in Skipton closes on October 5th for a £200k refurbishment by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and licensee Calvin Dow which will create five new jobs across the kitchen and bar areas.

The investment is expected to take five weeks with the Castle, which currently holds the White Rose Award for Best Pub in Yorkshire, scheduled to reopen in mid November.

The refurbishment is the pub’s second in less than five years and reflects Calvin’s success at establishing it as a popular landmark in Skipton. Work will include increasing the size of the pub to add seating for 30 more people, putting in a meeting room, creating a bespoke spirits and cocktail bar, installing new toilets behind the pub and upgrading the kitchen to enable the Castle to serve more food.

The interior of the historic pub will be carefully renovated, retaining and restoring its distinctive dark oak features whilst making the Castle more comfortable and attractive for customers.

Calvin is appealing for anyone with old photographs, pictures or documents relating to the Castle to bring them in for a new display charting the pub’s history. Dating back to the 1700’s the former coaching inn is believed to have tunnels running from its cellar to Skipton castle. “There are rumours of priests holes too and we’d really like to find out more about the role the pub played in Skipton’s history,” says Calvin.

The pub is also haunted by the ghost of an old lady who has been seen by Calvin and others over the years. “Our resident ghost wasn’t in favour of our last refurbishment in 2011. When we started discussing knocking down walls, a glass flew off the bar and smashed on the floor two metres away. There’s been no such drama this time round, so we’re hoping she’s given the plans her seal of approval,” says Calvin.

Whilst the Castle’s look will remain traditional, the revamped menu will introduce some unusual delicacies to Skipton including kangaroo, buffalo and crocodile. “I’ve tried them on our regulars and staff, and they’ve given them the thumbs up,” says Calvin. “They’ll still be plenty of pub grub favourites and all the ingredients, as well as our wines and spirits, will continue to be bought from local suppliers.”

Says Chris Jowsey, Star Pubs & Bars trading director, “Calvin has done an outstanding job of reviving the Castle’s fortunes since taking the helm five years ago at the age of just 23. The increase in staff from two, when he took over, to 25 today is a testimony to the scale of his achievement.

“Heineken is a passionate supporter of the great British pub and is committed to investing in pubs like the Castle to help them thrive at the heart of their communities for years to come.”