Last weekend found me in Liverpool for a conference, after which I thought I'd check one or two pubs I haven't been in for a while. I decided on Ye Hole In Ye Wall in Hackins Hey, off Dale Street, close to Moorfields station. Dating back to 1726, the Hole claims to be the oldest pub in Liverpool. It's not a very large pub, and looks as though it has been substantially unaltered for many years.
It's unusual in several respects. Before the Sex Discrimination Act, it had no ladies' toilets; women were allowed in, but would have to pop next door to the Saddle Inn, should they need to. As you'd expect, very few bothered. I do remember one CAMRA publication commenting wryly that the pub was coping 'manfully' with the Act. The cellar of this pub is above the bar, as the pub was apparently built on an old Quaker burial site, and no one wanted to disturb the bones. This has led to stories of ghosts, including one about an 18th century Spanish sailor knifed for refusing the King's shilling, but I've never seen any spirits - not the paranormal sort anyway.
The pub is extensively wood-panelled and has two discrete seated drinking areas, separated by wooden partitions embedded with stained glass, as well as standing room around the bar. There are pictures of old Liverpool scenes on the walls. It's definitely a locals bar in the commercial area of the city centre, but I didn't see any suits, a marked contrast to Rigby's just around the corner in Dale Street.
The pub is Locale accredited, and had two George Wright beers on: Saaz (4.5%) and Drunken Duck (3.9%). The other beers were Tetley Bitter, Landlord, Adnams Bitter, London Pride and Spitfire. Owing to the location of the cellar, this is probably the only pub in town where the beer is served by gravity dispense through handpumps. All in all, an interesting little pub.