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When will Lord Nelson’s old pub finally reopen?

PUBLISHED: 13:17 26 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:50 28 July 2020

Richard Leigh, construction manager at Holkham Estate, which bought the Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe last year. The building is being fully renovated and extended ahead of its grand reopening. The pub was once the watering hole of Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson, who hailed from the north Norfolk village. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Richard Leigh, construction manager at Holkham Estate, which bought the Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe last year. The building is being fully renovated and extended ahead of its grand reopening. The pub was once the watering hole of Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson, who hailed from the north Norfolk village. Picture: Stuart Anderson

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The reopening of Lord Nelson’s former watering hole has been delayed until next year.

Work on the new secction of the Lord Nelson pub in Burnham Thorpe, as viewed from the back. Picture: Supplied by Holkham/Hunt CommunicationsWork on the new secction of the Lord Nelson pub in Burnham Thorpe, as viewed from the back. Picture: Supplied by Holkham/Hunt Communications

It had been hoped the 17th century Lord Nelson pub in Burnham Thorpe could have opened its doors this summer following a £1 million restoration.

But James Bracey, general manager of Holkham Land and Property, which bought the pub in July last year, said they were delaying the reopening until March 2021.

Mr Bracey said: “Our contractors are making good progress and we are on track to complete the main construction and renovation works during August and early September.

“However, as a result of the current uncertainty for all pubs and restaurants, and the difficulty attracting customers to indoor spaces, we have reached the conclusion it is no longer viable to launch the pub starting in the quieter autumn/winter months and so the opening has been postponed until the spring.

Work on the new secction of the Lord Nelson pub in Burnham Thorpe, as viewed from the back. Picture: Supplied by Holkham/Hunt CommunicationsWork on the new secction of the Lord Nelson pub in Burnham Thorpe, as viewed from the back. Picture: Supplied by Holkham/Hunt Communications

“This is disappointing news for all of us, as we have committed so much time and expense to see the Lord Nelson successfully reopen and become part of community life in Burnham Thorpe again.”

MORE: Restoration work on iconic country pub charges ahead

Brewery Greene King used to own the Lord Nelson, but they closed it in September 2016 after a row with former landlords Debbie and Peter De Groeve.

The pub was registered as an asset of community value later that year, and put on the market for £350,000 at the start of 2019.

Works on the site started in September, and a team from RobSon Construction have been restoring the original building and building an extension.

Work on the new secction of the Lord Nelson pub in Burnham Thorpe. Picture: Supplied by Holkham/Hunt CommunicationsWork on the new secction of the Lord Nelson pub in Burnham Thorpe. Picture: Supplied by Holkham/Hunt Communications

Once complete, the pub will have around 70 covers inside, and another 64 in the outdoor seating area.

And although Nelson memorabilia which once filled the pub may not return, Holkham’s managing director, Peter Mitchell, is speaking to parties who have items related to admiral that could be featured.

Mr Leigh said: “We’re building as much display space as we can into the design.”

There will also be a new retaining wall which will separate the garden from the outdoor dining area.

Richard Leigh, construction manager at Holkham Estate (second from right), with the team from RobSon Construction, who are restoring and extending the Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe. This was what the site looked like earlier this year. Picture: Stuart AndersonRichard Leigh, construction manager at Holkham Estate (second from right), with the team from RobSon Construction, who are restoring and extending the Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe. This was what the site looked like earlier this year. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Horatio Nelson was born in Burnham Thorpe in 1758 in a rectory, which was later pulled down and replaced with a parsonage in a nearby location. The parsonage is still a private residence. A stables and coach house on the site were later converted to cottages, and barn was converted into a holiday let. These former outbuildings are now collectively as Nelson’s Birthplace.

The Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe is being fully renovated and extended ahead of its grand reopening. The pub was once the watering hole of Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson, who hailed from the north Norfolk village. This photo is from earlier this year. Picture: Stuart AndersonThe Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe is being fully renovated and extended ahead of its grand reopening. The pub was once the watering hole of Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson, who hailed from the north Norfolk village. This photo is from earlier this year. Picture: Stuart Anderson

A painting of Admiral Lord Nelson from 1801 by William Beechey. 
Photo: Norfolk Museums ServiceA painting of Admiral Lord Nelson from 1801 by William Beechey. Photo: Norfolk Museums Service

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