THE historic Guy Fawkes Inn opens its doors today with its owners commissioning a new portrait of the plotter to mark the occasion.

The inn, a Grade II-listed building in High Petergate - on the site where the plotter is said to have been born - was bought by David Hattersley's de Bretton group in November.

The property has since been turned into a traditional inn with dark timber floors, real fires and settles lit by specially-installed gas lighting.

The hotel - which will serve pub food and gravity-fed real ale - is opposite St Michael-le-Belfry Church, where Fawkes was baptised on April 16, 1570.

The hotel is one of three properties which were formerly three townhouses dating from 1700 with later additions and alterations.

Artist Phil Game, who painted the portrait a reproduction of which will hang in the revamped property, said: "I could only find three previous images of Fawkes.

"One was an old black and white cartoon of all the plotters and didn't give any real detail.

The second was a painting in the National Gallery showing Guy Fawkes being caught by the guards, more helpful towards a visual identity, and the third image was the well-known portrait owned by his old school, St Peter's."

In the St Peter's School picture, Fawkes is shown as a wealthy nobleman with laced collar over a fine, expensive jacket.

Phil concluded from his research that the plotter "was not a nobleman or of real standing - he was a hardened soldier, someone that had looked death in the face, and it reflects in his own."

Phil was advised by experts at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London on the appropriate dress for Fawkes.

"They told me Guy would have had somewhat common clothes as a mercenary soldier with plain cotton cloth shirt and collars and probably a leather tunic," he said.

"I have made Fawkes a little bit more likeable, more of a rogue or anti-hero." The pub sign above the inn - in which Phil has decorated alcoves with rural frescos and the ceiling with pictures of birds - is a reproduction of the painting.

Ollie Darling, general manager of the Guy Fawkes Inn, which has seen its 13 rooms restored, said: "It's dark and mysterious - a wonderfully evocative place, full of character and history.

"We like to think that Guy himself would have enjoyed a few pints of our 1605 ale in this, his very own inn."