Did you know there’s a saying that Norwich used to have ‘a pub for every day of the year’?
Did you know there’s a saying that Norwich used to have ‘a pub for every day of the year’ – well that’s just not true! This Victorian Drinks Map of Norwich, dated 1878, shows it’s actually closer to twice that, making Norwich a very boozy city indeed. During this period many residents would brew their favourite tipples in the comfort of their own homes, with their living rooms having to be registered as Licensed Houses in order to enjoy their home-made concoctions with friends. This spirit of independent brewing is celebrated every year when CAMRA pack out St Andrew’s & Blackfriar’s Halls for the annual Norwich Beer Festival, a highlight of the year for the History Mystery team, taking place between the 23rd and 28th of October.
Many of the pubs on this map are still standing and operating today and have plenty of stories to tell. The pub with two names, The Gardener’s Arms, otherwise known as The Murderers, earned it’s nickname after the landlord’s daughter Milly was viciously attacked by ex-husband Frank. She died three days later from the injuries, prompting Frank to hand himself in, however his status as a well loved member of the community saved him from the gallows and saw him sentenced to life in prison instead.
The Great Fire in 1507 destroyed many buildings, including The Ribs of Beef on Fye Bridge, which dated back to the 14th Century and was quickly rebuilt. The oldest pub in the city, the Adam and Eve, still stands. The earliest reference to the pub dates back to around 1249, when the pub was owned by Benedictine monks and served workmen who were building the nearby Cathedral. It also serves as a stop on ghost tours of the city, where the pub is supposedly haunted by the ghost of Lord Sheffield after he was killed during Kett’s Rebellion in 1549.
We always enjoy a drink and a debrief when we play escape games and you can do the same over at the Sir Garnet, just opposite the Guildhall. The Plunkett Room in the pub celebrates the photographer George Plunkett (b.1931 – d.2006) and shows images from his comprehensive photographic survey of the city.
You’re never far from a historic pint in Norwich and you’ll be spoilt for choice for places to go for your de-brief after making an escape with us. Book your real-life escape game at the Guildhall, Norwich or Blickling Church here.