FIRE crews were called after a chimney caught fire at Worcester’s oldest pub.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service went to the incident at the Cardinal’s Hat in Friar Street at 6.50pm on Thursday, after a passer-by saw smoke billowing from two of the pub’s four chimneys.

The fire started in a first floor fireplace in one of the building’s disused chimneys and spread to another chimney.

Police were called at about 7.30pm after it became clear that the road would need to be closed while the fire crew carried out an investigation with a thermal image camera.

No one was hurt in the incident and the there was no need to evacuate people but by about 8.30pm fire crews had to close the pub as they continued their investigation.

It was open for business as usual yesterday.

The fire was eventually put out at 10.21pm, but fire crews were called back at about midnight after smoke continued to emerge from the chimneys. They eventually left the scene at 4.30am.

Representatives of the company responsible for the lining in the chimneys is visiting the pub on Monday to see if they can shed light on the problem.

The first reference to the Cardinal’s Hat – which catered for pilgrim’s visiting nearby Worcester Cathedral – is in 1497, when it was designated as one of the depots for Worcester’s fire hooks. However, it existed long before that and in 1748, following the Catholic rebellion, it was renamed the Swan and Falcon. The pub’s original name was restored in the 1950s.