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Inside the newly-refurbished Crown Inn at Gayton

PUBLISHED: 14:50 23 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:12 23 February 2019

Neil and Lisa Staples, who have taken over at the Crown Inn, at Gayton  Picture: Chris Bishop

Neil and Lisa Staples, who have taken over at the Crown Inn, at Gayton Picture: Chris Bishop

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A newly-married couple have brought an 800-year-old village pub into the 21st Century.

The Crown Inn, at Gayton  Picture: Chris BishopThe Crown Inn, at Gayton Picture: Chris Bishop

Neil and Lisa Staples took on the tenancy at the Crown at Gayton, near King’s Lynn, last year.

The pub has just reopened after a five-week closure for a six-figure refurbishment of the bar, restaurant and guest rooms.

The couple married last October and described their first year at the pub as “a steep learning curve”.

“Although it’s been really fun we’ve not been running it as our business, but we feel this refurbishment marks the start of our tenure,” said Mrs Staples. “It’s a rural area and a historic building and hopefully people will see a lot of thought has gone into reflecting that in our design.”

A sign directing customers to the loos at the Crown Inn, at Gayton  Picture: Chris BishopA sign directing customers to the loos at the Crown Inn, at Gayton Picture: Chris Bishop

The Crown was built in the 13th Century. The Staples are hoping to establish it on the tourist trail given its closeness to Sandringham and the coast.

Mrs Staples also hopes to highlight the pub’s history and that of the King who famously lost his treasure a few miles up the road after leaving King’s Lynn.

“We’ve tried to include all the history of the pub as part of the refurbishment,” said Mrs Staples, who said one customer wept with emotion when she saw many of its historic features like horse yokes had bee upcycled and included in it.

While the Crown Inn is their first pub, the couple previously built websites and helped market pubs.

The restaurant at the Crown Inn, Gayton  Picture: Chris BishopThe restaurant at the Crown Inn, Gayton Picture: Chris Bishop

They also hope to highlight its place at the heart of the village community.

“We want to become a pub for the community and we want to engage with them,” said Mrs Staples. “We’re the only pub in the village and are looking forward to people coming in to see our new-look pub.

“We’re also introducing breakfasts in the morning and are open for teas and cakes so people will have plenty of reasons to visit.”

Wayne Shurvinton, managing director of Greene King Pub Partners, said: “We’re always looking to support our pubs and are thrilled to have invested significantly in The Crown, which is a real asset for the Gayton community.

The Crown Inn, at Gayton  Picture: Chris BishopThe Crown Inn, at Gayton Picture: Chris Bishop

“I’m delighted that Neil and Lisa are pleased with the refurbishment work and wish them both every success in the next step of their venture.”

Parts of the pub date back to the 13th Century and the reign of King John  Picture: Chris BishopParts of the pub date back to the 13th Century and the reign of King John Picture: Chris Bishop

The sign outside the Crown Inn, at Gayton  Picture: Chris BishopThe sign outside the Crown Inn, at Gayton Picture: Chris Bishop

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