Blind Jack's is a character pub in The Market Place which serves real ales.
John Metcalf was born into a poor family at Knaresborough in 1717 and at the age of six he lost his sight as a result of smallpox. Never daunted, young Jack lived life to the full, he could climb trees, run, box, wrestle, ride and swim with the best and he married the prettiest girl in the area. He became a fish merchant, learned to play the fiddle and he even fought at the Battle of Culloden. He also ran a horse drawn taxi service and a pack horse service before his big break came. Following the passing of an Act of Parliament which authorised the building of turnpike roads, Jack somehow managed to obtain the contract for such a road between Harrogate and Boroughbridge, which he completed successfully to be followed by several others and eventually he employed some 400 men. It seemed that Jack had a nack, determined by instinct for his task, despite the obstacles, and the fame of Blind Jack spread. He died a rich man with some 180 miles of northern roads behind him, at Spofforth when he was 93 years old and the epitaph on his gravestone in Spofforth churchyard tells his story.
There is a fine metal effigy of Blind Jack sitting on a seat outside the pub. (See separate photo)
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Photo taken in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, UK
Misplaced? Suggest new location