Tuesday 6th August 2013
The Sun was built on the site of a Medieval or Tudor Hall and it first appeared on a map in 1680 and it was recorded as being licensed premises.
The old building was known as Stoop Hall and this name was retained for the new structure, as shown on the map. The first license was transferred in 1684 so the pub couldn't have been built too long before that.
In 1721 it was renamed the Sun Inn on Stoop Hall. Its license changed during that year and that was the last time Stoop Hall was used in the title.
It would appear that the Earl of Sefton was the owner because in 1784 it was recorded that he sold the site to the Carter brothers. At this time the hostelry was halved in size as Sun Street was built. On the way to London the Jacobean Army billeted their Generals in the Sun. It wasn't too long until they were back! Presumably Bonny Price Charlie stayed at the Castle.
There were once a number of pubs in Church Street yet the Sun is the only survivor. It served the population of Lancaster well during the intervening years as many associations and societies met in the pub. It is interesting to know that it has only been known as the Sun Hotel for around the last fifty years.
Inside it is bare stone / brick walls along with wooden floors. I have read that this decor is symptomatic of the age of the pub. I find this a very strange thing to say as it looks to me as if the walls have been stripped back to reveal the original structure. I am sure there would have been plaster and, more than likely, wood panelling in the past. The pub has been extended in to the premises next door and this has resulted in there being more than one level inside.
The Sun is very much a hotel, along with it being a pub and a restaurant. I believe there are eight letting rooms and it is rated 4* by the English Tourist Board. I can attest to the quality of this hotel as I have stayed here in the past. The room was sumptuous and the breakfast was superb. However it is a pub also; it offers ten different cask ales!
I was with stalwart drinking compatriot Russell and we were spoilt for choice when it came to beers. The pub / hotel is part of the small C2 pub-owning company and they also have the Lancaster Brewery under their ownership so it is no surprise that the Sun is their brewery tap in Lancaster. Five of the hand pumps on one side of the L-shaped bar are dedicated to their own brews.
There were three beers from their regular range. These were Lancaster Black (4.6%), Blonde (4.1%) and Straw (3.5%). There were also two specials from their "Tales of the Brew House" selection with Strawberry Blonde (4.3%), and Lemon Grass (4.0%).
Around the corner, on the other side of the bar were the guest beers and these were: Wentworth (Wentworth, South Yorks) The Full Malty (5.1%) and Bumble Beer (4.3%); Three B's Brewery (Blackburn, Lancs) Blackburn Honey Bee (3.7%); Thwaites' Wainwright (4.1%) and Abbey Ales (Bath, Somerset) Bellringer Bitter (4.2%).
This is a really good selection and shows that this pub really has the beer drinker at heart even though it is also noted for its food. There is a terrace at the rear of the pub which is useful for the warmer months.
The Sun Hotel and Bar, 63-65 Church Street, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1ET
Tel: 01524 66006
The pub is less than ten minutes from Lancaster Castle railway station. There are trains to and from many places in the land and the services are provided by Virgin and Trans-Pennine for the long distances and Northern for the local destinations. It is less than five minutes walk to Lancaster Bus Station.