Small Island In Northern England Looking For Landlord To Run Its 300-Year-Old Pub—And Serve As ‘King’

A small island in Northern England is looking for a landlord to run its 300-year-old pub—and serve as the king. The town council of Barrow-in-Furness is now looking for the perfect candidate to take over the helm.

Small Island In Northern England Looking For Landlord To Run Its 300-Year-Old Pub—And Serve As ‘King’

Imagine yourselves as the king (or queen) of your very own island, equipped with a rustic vintage tavern and an ancient but attractive English castle. It may sound like something out of a dreamworld, but if you want to make this a reality, a community in northern England is seeking for you.

Piel Island, off the shore of England’s west coast, with its 1300s castle and over-300-year-old public house, The Ship Inn, is looking for somebody with the proper mentality and a predilection for residing in seclusion to take over her lease, run the bar, and look after the island.

In terms of the aforementioned kingship, it’s also included in the deal—and it’ll soon be official.

island pub looking for landlord 1
(Courtesy of Tom Quinn)

Edward Postlethwaite, the inn’s earliest documented landlord, operated from 1746 to 1766. According to local officials, the title “King of Piel” has been placed on people who have held the position since the 1800s. An initiation procedure was established, which included sitting in an antique chair, wielding a rusted sabre, and getting beer poured over one’s head whilst donning a helmet, and both the title and the ritual are still in use today.

Following the early termination of the previous “lord’s” lease, a provisional partnership organization was formed in 2021 to guarantee that the major historical landmark opened in July. The town council of Barrow-in-Furness is now looking for the perfect candidate to take over the helm and handle the bar.

“Piel Island is a unique place and any operator needs to appreciate the constraints offered by power, weather, access and its location within an area of Site of Special Scientific Interest,” a report to councilors reads.

island pub looking for landlord 2
(Courtesy of Darren Edwards)
island pub looking for landlord 3
(Courtesy of Tom Quinn)

The island, which charges a fraction of the cost of “honey trap” hotels, has attracted swarms of travelers on “staycations,” according to John Murphy, who leads guided hikes to and from the island. A boat service is available, and guided treks across the beach are available during low tide. Piel Island is only 20 minutes from the surrounding Lake District, and Walney Island has beaches.

Solitude on the isolated island, which is shut during the offseason, is undoubtedly a component. “You can’t just nip across to Tesco for a loaf of bread when you’re on Piel Island,” Murphy noted. “You’ll need to have dedication and a strong passion for isolation and peace and quiet. It takes a special personality.”

Any aspiring “King of Piel” also would have to manage the bar, preserve the island with their own money (save for emergencies or essential repairs, which will be handled by the town), and work with amenities like the ferry and guided hikes.

island pub looking for landlord 4
(Courtesy of Tom Quinn)

However, there are certain advantages to residing on the enchanting 50-acre archipelago, including viewing seals and enjoying breathtaking sunsets. Murphy remarked, “The views from Piel are pretty amazing.” “I must have slept on every blade of grass on that island, drunk or sober, and I just love it.”

The castle was intended to keep Scottish intruders at bay. In 1487, 8,000 mercenaries led by Lambert Simnel arrived here and advanced on London in an attempt to depose King Henry VII and steal the English throne. It was believed that Simmel was the genuine heir and true Earl of Warwick. The invaders were defeated at the Battle of Stoke Field, bringing the Wars of the Roses to a close.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I nominate Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com and the world’s richest man. Reasons: (1) He can afford to restore and keep up the island nicely; (2) His huge yacht would allow him to get around when his presence is not needed on the island; (3) He already THINKS he’s a king; might as well give him a title; (4) Being an internet-oriented entrepreneur, isolation wouldn’t be a detriment to his business prospects.

    Now, whether or not His Imperiousness would deign to grace the lovely isle with his presence, is up to Bezos himself to answer.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely! It is wonderful that The Ship Inn is being treasured and preserved by the people in that area. I hope they find an excellent candidate for the position of King and Innkeeper. Wishing them the best of luck!

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