The Castle Inn is the oldest public house in Newport, dating back to 1550 when it was first licensed.
With its historical hostelry comes a public house that has many secrets that created a secret passage way between the pub and Carisbrooke Castle for King Charles himself.
Rebuilt after a tragic fire in 1684, The Castle Inn's bricks were imported from France and is now standing proud hundreds of years later. The listed building is etched into the Isle of Wight's history and character, and is home to a ghostly whistler who is said to be an ostler (stable boy) who hung himself here in the 1600's.
The outer, end wall along Mill Street today, dates back to the 13th Century, when at the time was the only building outside of Carisbrooke Castle, acting as a den for thieves.
What you read here, runs true in 'The Castle Inn' today with the timbered framework and flagstones underfoot. The public house stays close to its roots and doesn't quaver under the changing times.
In 2018, The Castle added a further chapter to its history in welcoming two new owners, Liam and Simon, who have firmly set foot behind the bar. Both Liam and Simon aim to embrace the culture of 'The Castle Inn' absorbing all of its history and continuing it on its journey to becoming the oldest and most successful public house on the Isle of Wight to date.
THE CASTLE INN REBORN
A LONG-STANDING joke between two colleagues has resulted in a dream come true when they open The Castle Inn, Newport, next Tuesday.
Liam White, 28, and Simon Cant, 30, have grown up working in the pub trade since they were in their early teens.
They got together professionally when Liam was manager of The Yachtsman, Cowes, and Simon came on board as his assistant.
Liam explained: "We had a long running joke that, one day, we would own our own pub and eventually we decided, why not go for it?
"I'm excited but nervous at the same time." Simon added: "I had a five-year plan at 27 that I would have my own pub and it has happened two years early".
"This pub came on the market and we grabbed it with both hands."
Liam grew up in Newport and went to Carisbrooke High School.
He started work with the Character Inn chain at The Bugle, Yarmouth, aged 15 as a waiter and trainee chef. Over the years he has managed various of their pubs including the Yachtsman; Bugle, Brading; Crown Inn, Shorwell and Crab and Lobster, Bembridge as well as being assistant manager in Yarmouth and covering manager at The Sun Inn, Hulverstone.
For a year he was also head chef at The Waterside, Cowes. He is dating Kristine, the sister of Simon's wife, Louise.
Simon and Louise met while working in the pub trade and now have three sons Dean, five, Fletcher, two, and Elliott, one.
Simon, whose family moved from Manchester to the Isle of Wight when he was three, went to college Medina High and, aged 13, attended college to do a catering and hospitality course.
He originally wanted to be a chef and got the taste for the industry at Calverts Hotel, Newport, working at a variety of pubs including the Eight Bells, Carisbrooke; Crown Inn, Shorwell; Sun Inn, Hulverstone and Yachtsman.
Mal Butler, The County Press, 13.11.18