Graphic and special report: What happened to the pubs that once graced Norwich Market Place?

In its heyday the Great Market in Norwich supported dozens of inns and taverns – now there is just one, The Sir Garnet, which reopened last week.

When the 1884/5 Ordnance Survey map of Norwich was produced there were more than 30 hostelries in the area.

In the 1920s and 1930s many were closed as city centre licences were transferred to pubs in the newly built suburbs.

Others were destroyed in the war or demolished to make way for the new Market Place, City Hall or other developments.

Several former pubs are now part of retailers.


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The Fruiterers is part of W H Smiths, The Albion is now The Works, and the Baron of Beef is part of The Works.

The Star Inn, an ancient coaching inn which closed in 1894, is now Primark, the George & Dragon is now McDonalds, while Raven is now a pizza restaurant and Back's, Fatface.

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Meanwhile, the Suffolk Hotel is now a grassy area south of the Mancroft Steps and the Spread Eagle, later known as the Market Stores, is roughly where the Cornish Pasty shop is.

Michael Loveday, chief executive officer of Norwich Heart (Heritage, Economic, and Regeneration Trust), said nearly four dozen inns and ale houses were once dotted round the Market Place. He said: 'With the reputation of a church for every week of the year and a pub for every day – but actually considerably more than that by the late 19th century – the market place provided a showcase for both superlatives with one of England's most outstanding medieval parish churches and nearly four dozen inns and ale houses – what a shame that we now only have one pub left but good luck to it in keeping the city's ale heritage alive.' So what happened to some of those that fell by the wayside?

The Beehive stood on the east side of St Peters Street at the entrance to Pope's Head Yard. The licence was removed in about 1927 when it was transferred to the Manor House in Drayton.

The Black Prince in the Market Place stood next door to the Waterloo. Its licence can be traced back to 1760, but it was probably trading before this time. It ceased trading in September 1932.

The Beaconsfield Arms – site of the current motorbike park – stood to the north of St Peter Mancroft Church on Pudding Lane/St Peters Street. Named after Benjamin Disraeli (the Earl of Beaconsfield), it took over the site of The Church Stile in 1881, the year its namesake died. It only survived for nine years in contrast to its rather colourful predecessor.

The Royal Hotel in Gentlemans Walk was first licensed in about 1840. It was located on the site of the Angel which is known to date from the 15th century. Over the years this ancient hostelry was the scene of many events – some more bizarre than others.

The Fruiterer's Arms traded from about 1869 until 1989. Up to 1967 the address was in The Walk or Market Place, after which it was in White Lion Street.

The White Hart in St Peter's Street. An inn is believed to have stood at this location since 1529, and a White Hart was first named in 1568. It was first licensed in 1760 and traded until 1915.

The White Horse in Old Haymarket. It was first licensed in 1760 but was probably trading before this time. It appears to have been known as the Seed Mart in the first half of the 19th century.

As reported, The Sir Garnet, formerly Sir Garnet Wolseley, named after the general who relieved Khartoum in 1862, reopened last week.

Before it became a pub, it was a butcher's shop and the birthplace of eminent botanist Sir James Edward Smith. The pub is now being run by the team behind the successful Birdcage in Pottergate, Norwich. The new owner, Lauren Gregory, also owns the Birdcage and the pub is managed by Hollie West, who will also continue to work at the Birdcage.

The Evening News has been urging customers to return to pubs as part of our Love your Local campaign. To see stories from the campaign go to www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal

Have you got a pub story for our campaign? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

Additional information for this article was taken from 'A Market for Our Times - A History of Norwich Provision Market' by Norwich Heritage Projects.

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