Streets of Norwich – King Street (191-197 King Street)

Part of my Streets of Norwich project, although I’ve had to break King Street up since it’s so long….

The site of what was once 193 to 197 King Street, sadly demolished in the mid-twentieth century. The building which stands is the former Ferry Boat Inn, at 191 King Street.

There was once a yard at 193 King Street, known as Wickham’s Yard, which went down to the river, but this went when the properties at 193 to 197 were demolished. Five properties along this yard, which was pretty much all of it, came up for sale en masse in 1908 with the purchase including the yard itself and river access.

There was an archaeological dig here a few years ago when a building project was planned, but there hasn’t been much progress recently. But the armchair remains….

The Ferry Boat Inn, which closed in 2006 and unfortunately is unlikely to ever reopen now. This is particularly sad as it’s one of the few pubs which was left along the King Street from the many which once stood along here. The building has been used as a pub since at least the beginning of the nineteenth century, and was likely a private residence before then dating back to the seventeenth century.

The pub was formerly known as the Steam Barge and the Steam Packet, taking its current name as this was the location for the boatmen who carried people and goods across the River Wensum. The pub is Grade II listed, so it should remain standing as a residential property even when the rest of the site is converted into housing. For a short while in 1987 the pub’s landlord was Steve Wright, later convicted as a serial killer who killed five women in Ipswich.