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Find out why heritage chiefs decided to protect a Norwich pub

PUBLISHED: 10:50 29 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:50 29 August 2015

The Gatehouse pub on Dereham Road has just become a listed building. Landlord John Gates raises a glass. Pic: Nick Butcher.

The Gatehouse pub on Dereham Road has just become a listed building. Landlord John Gates raises a glass. Pic: Nick Butcher.

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A Norwich pub built between the wars is to be safeguarded for future generations, after heritage watchdogs named it as one of 21 across the county to be given special protection.

The Gatehouse Pub, in Dereham Road, built by the Norwich-based Morgans Brewery in 1934, has been handpicked by Historic England and granted grade II listed status by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

It comes after Historic England looked to preserve inns with a design shaped by the “improved pub” movement that followed the First World War.

Between 1918 and 1939 breweries across the country rebuilt thousands of pubs. They needed to expand their appeal beyond their usual male clientele and leave behind the image of drunkenness associated with Victorian and Edwardian pubs.

Breweries created bigger, better pubs with restaurants, gardens and community meeting spaces - to attract more respectable customers and appeal to families and particularly women.

And The Gatehouse is considered to be one of the best surviving examples of that period of history with Historic England praising it as an “eclectic mixture of Arts and Crafts, neo-Tudor and local vernacular detailing”.

They said: “The bar feels like a small medieval hall and the stained glass panels in the windows are said to relate to the Bayeux Tapestry”.

Landlord John Gates, who has been at the pub for 18 years, said of the listing: “It was a bit of a shock, as it was only built in 1934 after the building which was here before burned down.

“It’s got an ‘olde worlde’ charm and it’s a very comfortable pub. Everyone says how nice it is inside and outside.”

Historic England says it has listed the pub because of:

• Architectural interest: the building is a well-preserved and carefully-detailed example of an ‘improved’ public house of the inter-war period, its design an unusual and distinctive fusion of Arts and Crafts and local vernacular building influences;

• Completeness: the Gatehouse has undergone little significant external alteration to its principal elevations and retains a high proportion of its original fixtures and fittings, including an original bar counter and back bar, wall panelling, decorative plasterwork and fireplaces in two of the three bar areas;

* Plan form: the original interior plan of the Gatehouse remains clearly legible, with minor alterations which have not obscured the evidence of its original spatial sub-divisions and the hierarchy of bar areas within the public house;

* Planning interest: the Gatehouse remains closely related to the Norwich outer ring road, the development of which would have influenced the brewery’s decision to rebuild the public house in its present form.

With listed buildings needing special permission to make changes, Mr Gates joked: “I’m glad I’ve done all my alterations before it was listed.”

The Norwich Evening News has, through its Love Your Local campaign, been urging people to make use of their local pubs, or risk losing them.

• Do you have a story about a local pub? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk



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