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Fred Baker presents the Pub of the Season Summer 2017 plaque to the staff at the Boat House, Skipton, July 2017

Fred Baker presents the Pub of the Season Summer 2017 plaque to the staff at the Boat House, Skipton, July 2017

The Devonshire, Skipton.

A fully deserved accolade is in order for this historic Skipton hostelry as winner of the Keighley & Craven CAMRA Autumn 2008 Pub of the Season award.

View of the Devonshire, SkiptonThis Grade II listed building, with its impressive Georgian frontage, stands on Newmarket Street. It was originally built as a house for a member of the Earl of Burlington’s family. The Earl, Richard Boyle, had a daughter who married the then Duke of Devonshire. In 1790 the house was converted into a pub, the New Inn, but 20 years later it had changed its name to the Devonshire, marketing itself as a coaching inn to compete in a lucrative market in those times.

In 2003 the pub was closed and sold to the JD Wetherspoon chain. Following protracted planning proposals it reopened in May 2004. The interior, of course, has been substantially changed from its former layout and now features several large open-plan drinking areas with soft lighting which maintain the period ambience of the building.

View of the Devonshire, SkiptonThe popularity of the pub is undiminished under its new ownership and, whatever is thought about JD Wetherspoon outlets, they offer something for everyone with a large range of food and drink products to be enjoyed in a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. As part of a pub company that believes in the future of cask beer and its promotion, the Devonshire naturally sports no less than ten hand pumps dispensing the nectar, with a good range on offer from local breweries. Beers from Naylors, Goose Eye, Old Bear, Elland, Ossett, and Saltaire feature regularly. For the real cider enthusiast there are also two ciders from Westons on tap. All this is looked after by the enthusiastic management who maintain the beer quality at a consistently high standard, and this has been achieved despite a number of managerial staff changes during the past few months.

Two events during the year not to miss are the beer festivals, which are held at JD Wetherspoon outlets across the nation during spring and again during autumn. Up to 50 different cask beers can be sampled at these events at very competitive prices and they are a great advert for the real ale cause. Wetherspoons have also recently supported CAMRA on a number of initiatives, including the recent special offer to join the organisation with money-off vouchers in the Wetherspoons house magazine.

The pub opens at 9:00 A.M. through to Midnight Sunday to Thursday and from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 A.M. on Friday and Saturday. The Pub of the Season presentation will be at about 8.30 p.m. on Tuesday 16th September.


Graham Cundall

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