Public Houses Past & Present

The Sawyers

Moving further afield, this time to Suton, there was a pub at the Sawyers.  This location had a pub in 18th century, although maybe earlier. Its name probably came from the turning industry which flourished 200 years ago in and around the area.  The first landlord was said to be a sawyer, labourers were said to live in the cottages close by (not authenticated).  In 1865 the pub was run by William Kett, and then in 1883 a James Breese, another farmer and victualler took over.  Fred Kirby is named as the last landlord and the pub is now a private house.

The Three Boars

There has been a pub in Spooner Row on more or less the same site for the last 250 years, although today’s Three Boars Pub may have been called the Blue Boar.  The original 3 Boars Public house was situated further along the road to Bunwell, the other side of the Smithy. In 1865, it was run by Robert Ringe who was described as a farmer and victualler, a common combination in those days.

In November 1932, there are reports in the minutes of the meeting of Wymondham Sanitary Committee of complaints received about the smell of pigs, kept too near to public dwellings, and a notice was served on the landlord to remedy the situation.  In 1924 a defective urinal was ordered to be mended, and there were more complaints about the pigs in 1925.  

In 1926, on Sunday 2nd of May, at 10am to be precise, a little girl noticed smoke coming from the roof of the pub which was at that time was partly thatched. Whilst the fire brigade was called from Wymondham local people tried to put the blaze out.  Furniture, poultry and pigs were saved (they were still there in spite of the complaints) but by the time the fire brigade arrived it was clear that nothing could be done to save the main building.  Efforts were then concentrated on the nearby smithy and the adjoining cottage which were by now also alight.  A plentiful supply of water was obtained from the river opposite and after 3 hours hard work the danger had passed, although anly the outer walls of the pub remainded and both the smithy and cottage next door were water damaged.

Rumour has it that the local lads, feeling sure that saving the pub was a lost cause, saved the most important items, namely the kegs of beer. These were taken to the first house in Queen’s Street for consumption, enabling the locals to be in a happy state of oblivion for quite some time.

After the fire the pub was rebuilt with help from Mrs. Routh Clarke at Wattlefield Hall.  The new building was located nearer to the road junction and a club room was provided at the back.

From 1946 George Messer was landlord.  His son-in-law William Gosling took over the tenancy from 1962 to Sep. 1980 when he retired.  The pub was then closed for a short time, to the disgust of the local drinkers but was reopened a short time later.  Since then there have been several landlords, including an Italian.  From 1996 to 201* the pub operated as a tenanted pub held by Pubmaster and the landlords were Ruth and Tony Yeoman.  Ruth and Tony later bought out the tenancy and subsequently sold the pub to local residents Russell and Claire Evans.  Ruth and Tony retired to Wymondham, although their son Ben still has links with the village.  The day to day operation of the pub changed names once more in 2019 when a tenancy was again created and the current occupiars, Simon and his wife, took control.

The King of Prussia

And yet further still, we have The King of Prussia.  In 1707 the road to Attleborough became the first turnpike road in the county.  The introduction of the Turnpike Act brought about a system where a ‘turnpike’ was a gate which blocked the road until a toll was paid.  A pub later came about along this road and was then was called The Old Turnpike.  It was situated opposite the road junction from Spooner Row onto the old A11 Wymondham Road, close to where the Abbey Road roundabout is today.  At the end of 18th century it was renamed the King of Prussia and later reference is made in 1883 to its being run by George Hart, farmer and victualler.  After the first world war it was renamed King George V.  With developmernt increasing in and around Wymondham the building became empty in the 1980’s and fell into disrepairs, later being demolished to make way for new houses.

Sources: Wymondham’s Old Inns

P. Yaxley (Wymondham Society Pamphlet no.2.)

Eastern Daily Press

Alison Peters

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