THE owners of Kendal's oldest surviving inn have been busy carrying out restoration works and have revealed that the pub may be older than originally thought. 

Ye Olde Fleece in Highgate was believed to have been built in 1654 and was known as the Golden Fleece once upon a time.

It is one of only a few remaining historic timber-framed structures in the town and, as such, holds Grade II Listed status.

The building has mainly been a public house however briefly saw life as a butchers - which complimented the area to the rear which was Kendal’s Old Shambles.

The handful of letting rooms and former stables for travellers' horses suggests that the building has always been an important part of the community.

The pub has been closed this week while staff have been busy restoring the floor back to its well-known feature limestone.

The Westmorland Gazette: Work just beginning on the floor of Ye Olde FleeceOwner Josh Macaulay said: "We did have floorboards but unfortunately they had warped over time. 

"Limestone always been a feature of the pub so we have laid down reclaimed limestone flagstones. We finished today and it looks fantastic. 

"The rest of the work isn’t as disruptive so we don’t need to be closed for those and next we’re going to move on to the outside.

"The timber cantilever beam on the front of the building has rattled so the timber needs to be re-structured.

"Once we’re done with the structural part of things we’re going to move on to an internal re-vamp such as with a nice repaint.

"We anticipate the work will take around a month. We chose this time of year for the renovations as it’s a quiet time of year for hospitality."

The Westmorland Gazette: The limestone flags in the bar areaJosh also revealed that the inn may possibly be older than originally thought due to a new discovery in the last few months.

He said: "The pub is thought to date back to 1654 due to a plaster panel that was discovered next door in Westmoreland Homecare. 

"In the last few months we have discovered a new panel however which dates back to 1595. We're not too sure if this relates to the age of the building but it's very interesting."

 Josh and his team took over five years ago and the pub was revamped with a £5m investment.

The Westmorland Gazette: The reclaimed lime used for the flooring in Ye Olde FleeceThe publican says he plans to carry out extensive repairs every five years to keep the inn in top shape.

"Looking after these old buildings is so important," said Josh. "New owners can get into a place, give it a shiny new paint job and then not do much else for years and pubs can go into disrepair.

"We are the custodians of this historic pub however and during our time we want to make it is keep it to a good standard."