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Red Lion

Oldest hotel in Britain is for sale

The oldest purpose-built hotel in the country – and possibly the world – has been put on the market, with a guide price of just under £3 million.

The Red Lion Hotel in Salisbury, which dates from the 13th century, has 51 individually-designed rooms, restaurant, bar, five conference and banqueting rooms with capacities up to 120, and an illustrious history.

Originally known as the White Bear Inn, the building was constructed in the 13th century to house the draughtsmen working on the third – and present – cathedral.

Its name was changed in the 18th century — first to The Red Lion and Cross Keys and then to The Red Lion. 

During the 18th and 19th centuries, The Red Lion Hotel housed the Salisbury Post office and during that period was one of the principal stopping points for coaches to and from London.

For the last 100 years or so, the hotel has been owned by the Thomas and Maidment families. 

Ed Bellfield, of Christie + Co, said: “The Red Lion Hotel has been a pillar of the City of Salisbury for over 700 years. Today it offers all the comfort and facilities of a modern hotel within its Middle Ages’ structure.

“We’d anticipate that this combination of practical hotel and a little slice of history will prove attractive to prospective purchasers.”

For more information, contact Ed on 01962 844455 or email