Admiral Benbow Has an Amazing Collection of Artifacts from Shipwrecks:
At the recommendation of our guest house owner, we came in search of the Admiral Benbow Inn in Penzance. Mike knew that we were on the look-out for interesting places and experiences and he described the Admiral Benbow as a unique and rather interesting pub with amazing interior decor. He has lived in St. Ives for decades and had only recently visited this Penzance pub himself.
Admiral Benbow’s Decorations
When we stepped into the Admiral Benbow, our eyes grew wide open with amazement. Admiral Benbow’s interior is richly decorated with anchors, mugs, lamps and all kinds of maritime artifacts and memorabilia.
Before our brains could absorb what our eyes were seeing, the barman barked “drink or meal”, as if to warn us that sightseers are not welcomed. His mannerism was a bit off-putting, but Tony orders a Guinness so that we could sit in the corner and quietly take in the place.
The couple at the next table were chatting to a lady who seemed to know a lot about the pub so Tony approached her and asked if she is the owner. And, this was how we came to meet Trish, one of the owners of Admiral Benbow.
Reminiscent of The Pirates of Penzance
We commented to Trish that the bar area looked like the set from the Pirates of the Caribbean and this was where she amazed us even further by telling us that all the decorations in the pub are genuine maritime artifacts that have been salvaged from various shipwrecked vessels along the Cornish coast over the past 400 years. The collection of treasures and fixtures and fittings in the Admiral Benbow are truly fascinating and they are cleverly built into the interior design of the building, such as the Captain’s Cabin restaurant with its fine woodwork from a Portuguese Man O’ War.
In the Lady Hamilton Lounge and Wreck Bar upstairs there is a magnificent cannon and some ship figureheads. From the upstairs bars one can enjoy extensive views over Penzance harbour towards St Michael’s Mount.
Trish was busy helping some friends celebrate a birthday and she wasn’t able to spend much time with us, but she kindly allowed us a free run of the place and to take whatever snaps we wanted.
One of the Oldest Penzance Pubs
Admiral Benbow is like a fascinating maritime museum and it would be nice to have some reference material on all the treasures in the place. Understandably, Trish and Alan are not keen on having the stress of having to manage a website on top of their busy pub business.
The Admiral Benbow is one of the oldest pubs in Penzance and it is believed to have been in existence since the 17th century. No doubt there are many interesting stories here about shipwrecks, pirates, smugglers, illegal booties and the people who drank at the pub. Before you enter the Admiral Benbow, take a look at its roof where you’ll see a smuggler who is believed to be shooting at the excise man.
The atmosphere of the pub is certainly set by its interior decoration. There’s a jukebox where you can select music from the golden oldies. Famous visitors to the pub have included Gregory Peck, the Rolling Stones and the lead singer from Madness.
The Admiral Benbow serves a wide variety of beers, wines and spirits including an large selection of real ales and fine wines. The restaurant has a full a la carte menu offering a huge variety of dishes including local seafood. They cater for vegetarians as well. We didn’t have time for lunch so do not have experience of its food.
If you like interesting pubs, it’s certainly worthwhile visiting Admiral Benbow, one of the most unique we’ve seen on our travels.
46 Chapel Street
Penzance TR18 4AF, England
Phone : +44(0) 1736 363448