140 years of good service simply doesn’t come about everyday…
There has only ever been one pub in Lincoln, and it has stood in the same spot, plus or minus a few metres, for over 140 years.
The first licensee in Lincoln was Scotsman Andrew Arklie who was issued his licence on 25 January 1868. Arklie called his hotel The Perthshire Arms after the home he had left in Scotland; it was a popular place for dinner parties after sporting events, agricultural shows, ploughing contests and the like. Important public meetings were held at the hotel, such as the committee gathering in June 1872 for the proposed new railway past Lincoln to Southbridge.
In 1882 The Perthshire was sold to David Bartram who then constructed a brick and concrete replacement for the wooden Perthshire Arms, the new building was opened as The Lincoln Hotel in 1885. The new hotel was advertised as having ‘splendid accommodation, private suites plus a new billiard table’. The old Perthshire was used as the Town Hall before it was burnt down in 1889. The Lincoln Lawn Tennis Club was formed at the Lincoln Hotel, pigeon shooting was regularly hosted at the premise in the 1880’s and the local rugby team held its after match dinners at the pub.
The hotel was changed to its current name, The Famous Grouse Hotel, in 1996, interestingly after the whisky brewed in Perthshire, Scotland, linking the hotel back to its original owner Mr Arklie. For the right to the name the brewery insisted that the hotel only stock Famous Grouse scotch and no other, and to this day the arrangement remains. A complete range is available of the Grouse brand, 12 year old, 30 year old, Reserve, Golden Reserve, blended and single malt. To seal this deal the distillers printed and issued an exclusive label for all bottles served in the bar, with ‘The Famous Grouse Hotel’ label on every bottle.
In early 2010 Lincoln Club Inc took over the lease of the hotel and began renovations and repairs to the hotel, until the devastating earthquake of 4th September 2010. The chimney on the William Street side of the building collapsed outwards onto the back bar extension, cracks opened up throughout the old structure and the hotel was condemned. She came down ten days later aged 125 years in front of an emotional crowd of locals, some who had drunk there for over 70 years. Planning began quickly on a replacement hotel, whilst the back bar extension remained standing and operating on a smaller scale, until the new hotel became up and running.