Ye Olde Starre Inne claims to be York's oldest licensed inn, dating back to 1644. As you would expect from an inn at the centre of a city like York, it is steeped in history. There are records of the inn being used by the roundheads as a hospital and a morgue during the civil war. In 1662 it was purchased by Thomas Wyeville for £250. An indication of the very modest rise in property prices during earlier times is that when it changed hands again some 150 years later the price had only increased to £850! Today, this Grade II listed building is likely to be worth a little more than that.
You enter the inn via a narrow passage which leads from Stonegate in the shadow of the mighty York Minster. A sign which spans Stonegate will help you locate the modest entry to the passage. The passage opens up to a small courtyard and then the old inn itself. Inside it has survived quite well. Plenty of wood and plenty of narrow passageways. I think there are four small rooms, but it is difficult to be sure. I entered one only to find a man sat working energetically on a mobile computer surrounded by papers. I am still not sure whether I had discovered an enterprising customer multi-tasking office work and beer drinking or I had wandered into a neighbouring accountants' office.
Despite the name it is not too "olde-worlde" nor is it a tourist destination rather than a working pub. Undoubtedly there are eager tourists here, but beer and food are still well to the forefront and there is obviously a thriving local customer base.
I tried a pint of Crop Circle which is brewed by the Hop Back brewery down in Wiltshire. A clean, hoppy bitter which has a pleasing taste, albeit a little fruity. Worth a visit, worth a pint.