Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, an English pub that claims to be the oldest in Britain, has determined that 2022 will be its final year.
The pub is located just 17 minutes north of London in St. Albans, and has been open since the year 793, outliving dozens of kings and queens. The heartbreaking news was published on Feb. 4 on the pub’s Facebook page, stating that the decision came “after a sustained period of extremely challenging trading conditions,” according to landlord Christo Tofalli.
“Along with my team, I have tried everything to keep the pub going,” Tofalli wrote. “However, the past two years have been unprecedented for the hospitality industry, and have defeated all of us who have been trying our hardest to ensure this multi-award-winning pub could continue trading into the future.”
According to the Fighting Cocks website, the main structure was constructed in the 11th century as a pigeon house. The pub became popular for cock fighting rings in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which inspired the name.
The Fighting Cocks was once recognized as the oldest pub in England by the Guinness World Records, but as a spokeswoman told CNN, that record is now defunct because “it was not possible to verify it in full.”
While the Fighting Cocks may be closing its doors for now, Mitchells & Butlers — the brewery and operator that owns the premises— said it will be working hard to reopen the historic pub soon.
“We can confirm that sadly our tenants at Ye Old Fighting Cocks have [settled their closure] but can reassure locals that this is not the end for the pub,” the brewery told CNN in a statement. “We are currently exploring all opportunities for the site’s future and hope to reopen the pub under new management as soon as possible.”