A to Z of Leeds: The pub visited by highwayman Dick Turpin

We all know Leeds is a great city, right?
The Nag's Head on Town Street pictured in 1966.The Nag's Head on Town Street pictured in 1966.
The Nag's Head on Town Street pictured in 1966.

There are many reasons for this bold claim, from the people who've called this place home, to the history of the region, the developments underway and the talent and creativity we see on a daily basis. Here, we go through the alphabet to give you some reasons to be proud.


This pub on Town Street in Chapel Allerton was established in 1727 and is one of the oldest in the city.

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It is reported that highwayman Dick Turpin called there during his trip to York.

In December 1932, the hotel was being refurbished and one feature of the old coaching inn which was preserved were the old mounting steps, used by horsemen to climb onto their rides.

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36 unseen photos of Chapel Allerton through the years

A serving hatch used to serve people on horse was also preserved. Both features are still there and can be seen just outside the front door of the property, although the hatch is now a small square window.

In 1988, the Nag’s Head became the first pub in Leeds to install a no smoking room, following a refurbishment by owners Samuel Smiths. It was said by one patron to be ‘only big enough for four tables’.

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For years, in the 1980s and early 1990s, it was a favourite haunt for police officers, as the station was just next door, as was the old fire station.

In May 1982, trading standards inspectors visited the Nag’s Head and reported the landlords at the time for serving them bitter with a half inch head. The case went all the way to the High Court, where two judged ruled in the pub’s favour, saying “in the North customers demand a tight, creamy head.”


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Laura Collins