Five things: Whitelock’s Ale House, Leeds

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Think you know Whitelocks? Think again.

Established in 1715, Whitelock’s is now over 300 years old. It was originally called the Turk’s Head, and its regulars were mainly merchants and traders on market days.

The new name came about when John Lupton Whitelock took over the licence in 1867. Decor from his 1886 refurbishment, such as the marble-topped bar and mirrors, are still to be seen.

Prince George, the Duke of Kent, hired a private room to entertain friends and at one time there was a strict dress code and waiter service. Women were not allowed in the bar area.

John Betjeman visited and called the pub ‘the heart of Leeds’, and it was Grade II-listed in 1963, having expanded into a row of Georgian cottages.The site was a medieval burgage plot.

The Whitelock name lives on, and John’s grand-daughter Sarah unveiled the pub’s Leeds Civic Trust heritage plaque in 2008 – the 100th plaque the Trust had commissioned.

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