Why not have a liquid lunch whilst afloat? ‘The Castle Barge’ floating pub, Newark
Tags: 'Ril Elsie', 1923, 1979, 20 trucks, 25 miles from the North Sea, animal feed, animal feed mills, B6326, barge, Castle Barge Society, Castles, eastern bank of the Trent, England, Fiskerton, floating pub, flour, Gainsborough, grain, grain barge, Great Britain, Great North Road, great pub food, hostelry, inland port, Kingston-upon-Hull, Lincolnshire, lively retirement, Mansfield Breweries Ltd, moored, Newark, Newark Castle, North Country Breweries, North Sea, Northern Foods Ltd, Nottinghamshire, Nottinghamshire-based, Notts, pub food, pub food available all day, River Hull, river port, River Trent, Spiller Wharf, Spillers Ltd, steel-hulled, The Castle Barge, The Wharf, Trent, unusual pubs in the UK, wharf
Situated a stone’s throw from Newark Castle on the River Trent, is one of the most unusual pubs in the UK. The Castle Barge (formerly known as ‘Ril Elsie’, registered in Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire), is moored at The Wharf on the east bank of the Trent, just north of where the Great North Road (at this point known as the B6326) crosses the river.
This steel barge was built in 1923, for the grain trade. ‘Ril Elsie’ worked between the port of Kingston-upon-Hull, an inland port on the River Hull some 25 miles from the North Sea, and the river port of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. The capacity of the barge was equivalent to 20 trucks. She was owned by Spillers Foods Ltd, and towards the end of her working life serviced the large flour and animal feed mills close to Spillers Wharf, Gainsborough.
At the end of her useful life, in 1979, ‘Ril Elsie’ was sold for scrap value – £2000 – to North Country Breweries of Hull (at that time owned by Northern Foods Ltd., later, in 1985, bought by the Nottinghamshire-based Mansfield Breweries). Work to convert ‘Ril Elsie’ to a floating hostelry began in 1980, with the majority of the project being undertaken at Fiskerton, Nottinghamshire.
Now moored close to the centre of town, called The Castle Barge, and advertising ‘great pub food available all day’ she is enjoying a VERY lively retirement. This floating pub is extremely popular with the younger crowd, and is a most colourful and unusual venue. There is even a supporters group called the Castle Barge Society (drop by their Facebook page).