Historic York pub at the centre of High Court wrangle

Closed: the front bar of the York Arms. Photographs: YorkMix

A pub within yards of York Minster is at the centre of a high court case.

The York Arms on High Petergate has a notice on its door and window issued by PBD Enforcement Agents.


It states:

  • These premises have been taken in possession by the Landlord under the authority of a High Court Writ.

    Any person entering or attempting without the express written permission of the landlord may be liable to criminal and/or civil proceedings.

It goes on to say that any goods that remain in the pub “may be disposed of after 14 days”.

Shut suddenly

In the shadow of York Minster… the York Arms. Photograph: YorkMix
The York Arms closed suddenly in July and without explanation.

Owned by Samuel Smith’s it is only the latest of a series of its pubs to close without warning. The Brown Cow on Hope Street closed in August, the Brigadier Gerard on Monkgate was closed and had its car park blocked by rocks in March 2018 before reopening months later – the list goes on.

The eccentric – not to say downright strange – business practices of Sam Smith’s in Tadcaster are exacerbated by its refusal to comment publicly on the decisions that affect its customers and staff.

The notice on the pub door

The York Arms is housed in a Grade II listed building, parts of which date back to the early 18th century.

It was previously Carr’s Coffee House, The Eclipse and The Chapter Coffee House.

According to Hugh Murray’s book A Directory of York Pubs, it had settled on the name the York Arms by 1861.