December 11 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The rich history of an iconic Norfolk hotel and its association with two of the county’s naval legends are documented in a new book.
Written by former Archant Norfolk journalist and EDP Nelson correspondent Mark Nicholls, the book focuses on the lives of Lord Horatio Nelson and his protégé Sir William Hoste who were closely connected with Burnham Market and The Hoste.
Nelson visited The Hoste regularly to read his dispatches during his period of unemployment from 1788 to 1793 and the hotel was named in honour of Hoste after he won a notable victory at the Battle of Lissa in March 1811.
Originally the manor house of Burnham Westgate Hall, The Hoste was built in about 1551.
The first records of it being a hotel were in 1651 when it was owned by the Pitt family and known as the Pitt Arms.
A well-known coaching inn and the first stop from Wells on the way to London, it housed the livestock auction market and later the Assizes, where the famous “Burnham housewife murderers” had their preliminary trials before being sentenced to death at Norwich prison.
Now, as a result of extensive research, Mr Nicholls, who lives at Toftwood, near Dereham, has uncovered and described a clearer picture of the 18th century world which existed around the two famous sea captains and The Hoste.
He said: “This was an interesting book to work on because of the important role The Hoste has played in the community and the history of Norfolk over the years, and continues to do so to this day.
“It was fascinating to dig into the history of the building and the wider community in which it stands, as well as highlighting the strong maritime connections to the hotel.
“Nelson had such an influential and interesting life and there are so many aspects of it to analyse. He was a complete one-off and that’s why people are still fascinated by him.”
The book also includes 40 illustrated recipes compiled by The Hoste’s head chef, James O’Connor.
A History of the Hoste and its association with Admiral Lord Nelson and Captain Sir William Hoste is available from The Hoste reception and the website www.thehoste.com