Crown Hotel in Fakenham set to re-open

James Antcliff-Stone outside the Crown Hotel, in Fakenham.

James Antcliff-Stone outside the Crown Hotel, in Fakenham. - Credit: Archant

A landmark hotel which has been closed for more than seven years is set to re-open within weeks.

The Crown, on Fakenham's Market Place, closed suddenly with the loss of 15 jobs in March, 2009.

Now the 17th Century building has been bought by James Antcliff-Stone, who plans to run a traditional pub offering home-cooked food.

Mr Antcliff-Stone, 36, said: 'I've been in the industry for some time now and I've done my hotel management training, so I decided to get one of my own.

'We want to take it back to the old coaching inn - quite relaxed, quite friendly, with lots of home-cooked food. We want to keep it traditional.'

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Mr Antcliff-Stone, from Wroxham, added he was no stranger to Fakenham. His grandparents Derek and Janet Soames lived on Smiths Lane, with grandad working for Jack Richards, and gran at Cranmer House. He said he didn't think the town had changed much since he used to visit them as a child.

Having applied for his licence, Mr Antcliff-Stone hopes to have the Crown open around the middle of July after furnishing the interior and recruiting staff.

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'Because it's been shut for so long, I don't know how busy we're going to be,' he said. 'I reckon we'll be looking for four or five to begin with, but that might change quite quickly.'

Passers-by will see the exterior change, as the building returns to its 1920s cream-coloured exterior, with the theme continuing inside.

Then owners Wildmoor Properties blamed poor trading conditions when they called last orders for the Crown Hotel in 2009.

Town councillors and Fakenham's chamber of trade described it as a devastating blow to the town, coming days after it was announced that Woolworths store next door would also be closing.

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