A ROW over which pub is the oldest in south Bucks has now been fought out on the internet.

The argument is raging over whether the Royal Standard of England in Forty Green, or the Red Lion in Penn is the most ancient.

Both parties had backed up their claims by putting evidence on the Wikipedia website.

However, the row became so heated that the article eventually had to be removed by the website's administrators.

Paul Dorehill, manager and co-owner of the Royal Standard in Brindles Lane, is adamant his pub is the oldest freehouse in the county, with records dating back over 900 years.

However he said he knew nothing of the Wikipedia article, with the pub's corner being fought on the website by someone using the pseudonym Cavalierinns'.

Mr Dorehill said: "I would just like to tell them to keep up the good work, because it's the truth at the end of the day. We've been here far longer than the Red Lion.

"We had a guy do some quite extensive research, and he found there was a record in the Domesday Book that there was something here then."

He added that the pub had always been a freehouse throughout its existence, meaning it is independently owned rather than being attached to a brewery.

John Wilding, who now runs the Red Lion in Elm Road, Penn, after spending 15 months at the Royal Standard, said the confusion comes about because of the many different types of drinking establishments and the licences that went with them hundreds of years ago.

The Red Lion - along with the Crown, which is also in Penn - is believed to date from the 1570s, back in the days when licencing laws meant there was a difference between coaching inns and alehouses.

Mr Wilding said: "From what I understand the allegation is this pub is older than the Crown, the Red Lion in Knotty Green and the Royal Standard. But you would have to do more research into what type of buildings they are."

He also said he was unaware of the argument that had broken out on the internet, with a user with the monicker Buckshistory' claiming the Red Lion was the oldest pub in the area.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest pub in England is Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans, which is reportedly an 11th century building on an 8th century site.