Amazing Medieval discovery at the Ribs of Beef in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 16:34 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:06 22 April 2017

General Manager Jon Power in front of the Medieval wall. Picture: Marc Betts

General Manager Jon Power in front of the Medieval wall. Picture: Marc Betts


Customers enjoy going into the Ribs of Beef in Norwich for booze, food and a chinwag.

The Ribs of Beef, Norwich. Photo: Steve AdamsThe Ribs of Beef, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Soon, though, they will get something extra for their money - a gentle history lesson.

For builders at the pub, which was built in the 1500s after the Great Fire of Norwich and licensed in the 1700s, have uncovered a medieval wall.

The hidden wall was found at the Wensum Street hostelry while work was being carried out to fix damp issues that were affecting the walls by the stairs.

General manager Jon Power, 47, said: “A few years ago we had the roof totally replaced but the guttering that was put on wasn’t right, meaning that water was somehow able to get into the walls.

The Ribs of Beef
. Picture: Sonya Duncan.The Ribs of Beef . Picture: Sonya Duncan.

“The walls are really thick so it was going to take a year to fully dry out. We have had to take back all of the plaster to let it fully dry out before we could apply new plaster. That’s when we discovered the wall.”

The building was rebuilt after the Great Fire of Norwich destroyed parts of the city, completely burning down Elm Hill, which was later rebuilt.

The pub now has plans to display the wall to help educate customers on the history of the city.

“Rather than re-plaster it all we want to leave a little bit of it out so it gives more of a historical angle to the building,” Mr Power added.

“Being a historic pub this is part of our heritage.

“We are undecided on how we will display the wall but we definitely want to keep it exposed.

“It’s at just the right height so we might not have to cover it up at all.”

The first mention of the name Ribs of Beef dates back to 1743 when tenants Thomas Holland and his wife Mary made the premises an ale house.

In 1928 the pub was renamed the Fye Bridge Tavern in anticipation of the planned rebuilding of the Fye Bridge but in 1958 the pub was de-licensed after the company that ran it went into liquidation.

The pub was then brought back to its former glory by current landlords Roger and Anthea Cawdron, who were able to relicense the building and reopen in 1985.

The opening hours of the pub, which serves food from 11am, are unaffected as work continues on the wall.

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