The History of the Ailsa in 1905

History or rumour has it that the Ailsa Tavern was named after a young woman of that name that was once the land lady of the pub. The story goes that she and a local dignitary would meet via an underground passage. This was rumoured to run from the tavern to his house some distance away. The couple could not meet in public because the differences in their social position would have scandalised public opinion at the time.The tale is probably based on fact as rumours about the tunnel persist to this day.

So reads the famous plaque in the garden of the Ailsa Tavern. Everybody loves a little local legend, a little naughtiness and a little ‘upstairs-downstairs’ romance, but this a true story? The beautiful barmaid on the pub sign and the little lady with the pewter jug, walking through the Wisteria will have to remain a mystery!

However, like most good rumours, there is an element of fact in the story and in this case it is the ‘underground passage’. There is no evidence that the tunnel ever came near to the pub, but it was built for an ultimately romantic purpose.

However, like most good rumours, there is an element of fact in the story and in this case it is the ‘underground passage‘. There is no evidence that the tunnel ever came near to the pub, but it was built for an ultimately romantic purpose.