“Remember, remember the fifth of November,” urges the old nursery rhyme. The betrayal of explosives expert Guy Fawkes, caught red-handed in 1605’s frustrated attempt to blow up King James I and his Protestant Parliament, is burned into our national psyche.
Internationally, the now iconic Guy Fawkes mask, popularized for its use in the 2005 film TimeWarner V for Vendetta – has since been adopted by protest groups fighting tyranny.
While his anti-establishment face is now recognized worldwide, Fawkes was not the leader of the gunpowder plot. However, it is his effigy, the Guy, that has burned on bonfire night every year since the passage of the Enforcement Act of November 5, 1606. And it is his continued fame that attracts guests today. to the Guy Fawkes Inn in York, supposedly where our most famous hotel is located. The would-be revolutionary was born in 1570.
The Guy Fawkes Inn is an early Georgian-era terrace, built hundreds of years after Fawkes’s execution in Westminster’s Old Palace Yard, but the oldest cottage behind it claims to be the place where the celebrated conspirator breathed first time. This photo was taken by Kevin Bailey and posted on Flickr. Posted courtesy of Creative Commons licenses
Carlton’s room had a four-poster bed, with sash windows filled with spectacular views, and featured shabby chic furniture on slanted dark wood floors.
The Guy Fawkes Inn is said to be haunted, but Carlton’s stay was ghost-free. The blue plaque indicating the fame of the pub is shown in the photo to the right.
The inn itself is an early Georgian-era terrace, built hundreds of years after Fawkes’s execution in Westminster’s Old Palace Yard, but the oldest hut behind it claims to be where our notorious conspirator took your first breath.
This cabin is now part of the inn and, through the Stay in a Pub group of pubs with rooms, is available for overnight stays. However, we opted for a front-facing room with spectacular close-up views of York Minster and the adjacent St. Michael le Belfry Church, where Fawkes was baptized.
Fawkes grew up Protestant, the grandson of a church attorney. Edward, Fawkes’ father, became an attorney for the Archbishop’s Town Hall. He died when Fawkes was nine years old, and his mother later remarried into a family of “recusantes” (Catholics who recognized the authority of the Pope rather than the English kings).
Guests of the Guy Fawkes Inn enjoy spectacular close-up views of York Minster (pictured) and the adjacent St. Michael le Belfry Church, where Fawkes was baptized.
Young Fawkes attended St. Peter’s School at the York Horse Fair; this school was later rebuilt on land that Fawkes had inherited from his father and sold to get out of York and fight the religious wars on the continent.
In deference to its most infamous son, St. Peter’s School does not burn a boy on bonfire night.
Two of Fawkes’ fellow conspirators, brothers John and Christopher Wright, also attended this school.
Instead of numbers, the 13 rooms at the Guy Fawkes Inn use the names of the conspirators.
Berry, guide dog apprentice, walking down the creaky stairs at Guy Fawkes Inn
Sit by the fire, where you can conspire: the conspiracy-themed lounge at Guy Fawkes Inn
Barrels of gunpowder and other fake Fawkes items can be found scattered around the Guy Fawkes Inn. The photo on the right shows another double room with a lot of character.
Rooms at the rear of the inn overlook Guy Fawkes Cottage, opposite which is a narrow beer garden adorned with a bold mural of tracers. The front rooms have views of the Cathedral, less than 100 feet away, and almost a contact distance from the beautiful church where Fawkes was baptized.
Our room had a four poster bed, with sash windows filled with those wonderful views, and featured shabby chic furniture on slanted dark wood floors.
We brought our apprentice Guide dog puppy and had no trouble climbing the old creaky stairs.
The medieval Shambles, believed to be the oldest shopping street in Europe (mentioned as such in the Domesday Book of 1086) and said to have inspired the look of Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter films.
King’s Manor, named for Henry VIII who stayed here and used it to house his Northern Council. James VI of Scotland visited King’s Manor in 1603 on his way to London to be crowned James I of England.
Kathe Wohlfahrt’s year-round Christmas shop is located in Mulberry Hall, built in 1434, and near the Guy Fawkes Inn on High Petergate.
Ruff sleeping: Berry the hound ‘did not growl at any apparitions during the night’
Despite all the stories that the Guy Fawkes Inn is haunted (the International Ghost Research Foundation claims York is the most haunted city in Europe), he did not grunt at any apparitions overnight.
Nor, the next morning, was he freaked out by the Guy Fawkes masks in the gas-lit restaurant.
Breakfast is taken in one of several cozy rooms, all adorned with fake Fawkes materials like powder kegs and those now iconic masks. (TimeWarner gets a cut for every mask sold.)
After breakfast we explore York, following the Guy Fawkes self-guided trail.
This begins at King’s Manor, named for Henry VIII who stayed here and who used it to house his Council of the North. James VI of Scotland visited Kings Manor in 1603 on his way to London to be crowned James I of England.
Also on the Guy Fawkes Trail is the medieval Shambles, believed to be the oldest shopping street in Europe (mentioned as such in the Domesday Book of 1086) and said to have inspired the look of Diagon Alley in the movies. from Harry Potter. .
There are five Harry Potter-themed shops across the street, including The Shop That Shouldn’t Be Named.
The Shambles is a short walk from High Petergate and the Minster pedestrian precinct. The views of York Minster are splendid from every angle, of course, but it’s special to stay at the Guy Fawkes Inn and take in the framed views from its beautiful rooms.