STEEPED in history and said to have 21 resident ghosts - it is second oldest pub in England.

The Red Lion in Southampton High Street has seen many famous faces drink its ales in its 867 year history.

The building dates back to 1148 - back then ruling the roost of the country was King Stephen - also known as Stephen Of Blois.

But now ruling the manor are landlords Natasha, 38 and Tony Morris, 55, who have been at the helm since 2001.

The pair previously ran the Salisbury Arms back in 1995 for a year, and it was Tony who decided to take a punt on the Red Lion in 2001 and they have never looked back since.

The pub is a big hit with people wanting to find out about Southampton's haunted past. As a historic pub which was established as such in 1552, the building naturally boasts some stunning architecture.

Knight's armour looms over an authentic fireplace, overhead are original Tudor beams and the walls are lined with medieval weaponry.

Daily Echo:

The walls of The Red Lion certainly have many tales to tell. The most intriguing stories date back further than the building's beer drinking days.

The pub was a merchant house in the 12th century, but by far the most significant historical element is the main drinking area, which served as a court house during the reign of Henry V.

This room is famous for the trail of three noblemen who conspired against Henry V in 1415. The gentlemen were found guilty and taken to the Bargate to face a grisly execution.

The pub is somewhat friendlier than it was back then, and it serves four real ales which include Doombar, Atlantic, Pure Gold and Hampshire Red, all of which cost £3.50, while a pint of Fosters costs £3.30.

But whiskey lovers are well catered for too as the pub has more than 20 varieties of malt.

The Red Lion prides itself on its food and it serves up a variety of pub favourites and steaks, one of the popular choices with punters is the Steak and Ale pie which costs £9.95.

While each steak that it cooks is also prepped, sliced and done by chef Joseph McMahon.

Landlady Natasha Morris, said: "I love the history and telling the non regulars about the pub they always get surprised - especially the Americans.

"I have never seen any of the 21 ghosts here but people talk about a man in the cellar who is not too friendly. But the rest of them are nice enough I'm told.

She hopes that she and Tony can stay at the pub until they retire.

Natasha added: "It is the customers help keep me going. I could not work in an office from 9 to 5.

"I like how here you never know what is going to happen from day to day and I never know what each day will bring."

  • The Red Lion,
  • 55 High Street, Southampton, SO14 2NS
  • 023 8033 3595