Famous York pub to close for three weeks (but the ghosts are as busy as ever)

Soon to be shut, temporarily – the Golden Fleece on Pavement, York. Photographs: Richard McDougall

One of York’s best known pubs is to close for more than three weeks for essential structural work.

The Golden Fleece on Pavement will shut on September 17 and re-open on October 11. On Sunday, September 16, there will be a pound off all beers.

The building is in need of serious structural repairs. General manager Grace Thompson joked that “it’s currently held up by the window”, saying: “We want to make it safe for customers and staff.”

The Grade II listed building will be covered in scaffolding while the work is carried out.


While the exterior work is taking place, new toilets will be fitted. The beer garden will be spruced up as well, and benefit from some new furniture.

But the traditional interior of the pub will stay as it is.

“We’re sad we have to close but we’re excited at the same time to invite everybody back when the work is done.”

Ghostly goings on

Inside the Golden Fleece. Photograph: Facebook
There has been a pub here for centuries – and the Golden Fleece is famously haunted.

Card image cap

Revealed for the first time: Photo of ‘ghost’ in one of York’s most haunted pubs

And Grace is convinced she shares the pub with spirits.

“I have seen quite a few things since I came here in November,” she said. “I wasn’t a believer. Now I do believe in ghosts and hauntings.”

What sort of things? “I live on site. I have felt and heard people coming upstairs to my flat – when there’s nobody in the building.”


Then there was the strange incident in the function room.

  • We heard this massive bang. We go upstairs to the function room. We have these big round tables which are quite heavy.

    And the table was completely flipped over. That shouldn’t happen because it would take two people to move it.

    The weirdest thing was that all the condiments and sauces were all sitting on the table leg. That was quite creepy.

    I didn’t sleep very well that night…

But Grace hasn’t considered fleeing the pub. “They don’t seem to bother us much,” she told YorkMix.