Plymouth’s oldest pub waves its white flag in surrender

Back in the 16th century regulars such as sea captain Sir Francis Drake would enjoy a pint at the Minerva Inn while searching for raw recruits to join the Queen’s Navy.


Many of them even served under Drake during his famous victory triumph over the Spanish Armada in 1588.

Before they sailed the volunteers would traditionally inscribe fond dedications on the low ceiling. For some, it was to be their last message to their loved ones.

The custom has continued through the centuries, until the ancient timber beams were covered with historical graffiti of hand written signatures.

But now, modern “health and safety police” have ruled that the ceiling may present a fire risk and ordered the old beams and their historic inscriptions to be concealed beneath several coats of flame retardant paint.

And the traditional inn, where Britain’s greatest sailor once supped his ale, has no option but to comply and consign 500 years of history… to history!

What do YOU think?

Should the Minerva Inn be allowed to keep its heritage? Just indicate YES or NO and we will publish your verdict on our website.


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