A YORK city centre pub which has been closed since last summer is at the centre of High Court legal action.

Notices posted in the windows and door of the York Arms in High Petergate, near York Minster, state: “Take Note: these premises/land have been taken in possession by the landlord under the authority of a High Court writ.”

The notice goes on to warn that anyone entering or attempting to enter without the written express permission of the landlord may be liable to criminal or civil proceedings.

It also says that any goods remaining in the building may be disposed of within 14 days of the notice, which was dated February 3.

The York Arms closed down suddenly last July - just one of several Samuel Smith’s Brewery pubs in the York area which shut in 2019 and have so far failed to reopen, causing consternation amongst customers and local community leaders.

The Press also reported today that another York village pub owned by the brewery remains closed, The Tankard at Rufforth.

Others which closed included the Agar Arms, a picturesque pub near the village green in Warthill, the Buckles Inn, a landmark pub on the A64 between Tadcaster and York, and the Brown Cow in Hope Street, off Walmgate, which is still lying boarded up.

However, another pub which was shut for several months, the Blacksmiths Arms at Skelton, re-opened in December after a major refurbishment.

In Warthill, parish council chairman Paul Spetch said the pub’s imminent closure had been raised at a meeting and members were very saddened to hear the news, as it was "an important little hub of a place", and they hoped it would re-open.

He said he believed changes introduced by the brewery, such as a ban on the use of mobile phones and tablets, had had an impact on lunchtime trade, for example with businesspeople who wanted to work from the pub while having lunch.

He said another problem had been the introduction of a rule saying customers should pay for things with cash and not credit cards, which could prove difficult, for example, with a party of diners having to pay perhaps £100 for a meal.

The brewery has consistently declined to explain why it has shut the pubs, including the York Arms, or state whether, or when, they will re-open.

A spokesman for the brewery has not responded since being approached last week to comment on the High Court legal action, and The Press has been unable to contact the former licensee at the premises for comment.

The row of buildings in High Petergate which includes the York Arms was designed by J. P. Pritchett in 1838 and incorporated an early 18th-century house at each end.