After Horatio Nelson's death at the battle of Trafalgar, in 1805, his body was stored in a barrel of brandy to preserve it during the long journey home. Legend has it that while en route to Gibraltar the crew of the HMS Victory tapped the barrel and would draw brandy through macaroni straws, to toast the Admiral. This is the origin of the term 'tapping the Admiral'.

Tapping the Admiral rests on the site of the old Castle Tavern, where Nelson's maternal uncle, William Suckling, used to frequent regularly, and would often bring the young Horatio.

The Castle tavern was eventually pulled down in the 1850's, to make way for development in the area of castle road and Lewis street. This was when the current site was erected, originally named 'the Trafalgar'.