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A giant copper monk presides over the entrance to the Black Friar, & looks out disapprovingly at the building works over the road. Fortunately, this ancient hostelry is no stranger to disturbances – Henry VIII’s court apparently convened here to discuss the dissolution of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Inside, remarkable art-nouveau reliefs depict monks getting up to all sorts of mischief, while intricate mosaics & cavernous hidey-holes add to the intrigue. The pub also stocks an impressive collection of curiously titled ales to baffle passing tourists & attract CAMRA connoisseurs – Brain’s Milkwood & Sharp’s Doom Bar are among the names scrawled on the blackboard. As for food, pub favourites such as fish & chips, sausage & mash or gammon & eggs would tempt any fasting monk away from his regime.

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