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New book looks at history of Thetford pubs - have you visited any of these?

PUBLISHED: 11:20 07 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:18 08 April 2019

The Bell Hotel
 in Thetford isrumoured to be haunted. Photo:Sonya Duncan=

The Bell Hotel in Thetford isrumoured to be haunted. Photo:Sonya Duncan=

ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC © 2009

Thetford is a town is steeped in history.

David Osborne has published his fith book in a series about Thetford Beerhouses. Photo: David OsborneDavid Osborne has published his fith book in a series about Thetford Beerhouses. Photo: David Osborne

From being the capital of East Anglia in 1086 to having a Cluniac priory established there in the 12th century, it has a rich heritage and one Norfolk man has dedicated his life to preserving it.

David Osborne, 70, from Thetford, has written a number of books on the town’s history, the first of which was published in the 1980s.

The retired, self-employed painter and decorator has written a new series of books focusing on the old inns, pubs and beer houses in the town and the fifth in the series entitled ‘Beerhouses of Thetford’ covers them all.

Mr Osborne said: “I’ve been a local historian for about 40 years and I have always been interested in local industries and pubs, I’m a regular pub-goer so started doing a bit of research on individual pubs.

The Ark in Thetford's Norwich Road, is a Victorian pub from the late 1800s.The Ark in Thetford's Norwich Road, is a Victorian pub from the late 1800s.

“Over the years I’ve been in many local pubs that are closed now.

“I started drinking at 18 in the 1960s and you couldn’t wait to get to the pub with your friends on a Saturday night, the pub scene has changed a lot over the decades, young people have so many other alternatives now.”

Mr Osborne has written a new series of books focusing on the old inns, pubs and beer houses in Thetford and the fifth in the series entitled ‘Beerhouses of Thetford’ covers them all.

The book is stocked at Leaping Hare in Thetford priced £7.

David Osborne's favourite pub is his local - The Black HorseDavid Osborne's favourite pub is his local - The Black Horse

Pubs featured, include:

* The Black Horse - which has been a public house since the mid-18th century and is a Grade II-listed building.

* Bell Hotel on King’s Street - 15th century coaching inn, rumoured to be haunted.

* Red Lion - Grade II-listed Georgian pub originally owned by Robert Manby in 1791, now a Wetherspoons.

* The Ark - Victorian pub in the heart of Thetford.

* Thomas Paine hotel and pub - Uneven floors, wooden means and stained glass add the charm of this 18th century building.

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