Streets of Norwich – White Lion Street

Part of my Streets of Norwich project….

White Lion Street runs from Gentlemans’ Walk and bends into Orford Hill and Red Lion Street, all very much unchanged over the last 150 years. The street takes its name from the former White Lion pub, but was originally called Sadelere Rowe in the thirteenth century due to the saddle-making industry here, and later Lorimers Rowe due to the harness strap makers that were located along the street.

Although it’s relatively short, there used to be a few pubs down this street, with the Adelphi (13 White Lion Street), the Fruiterers Arms (2-4 White Lion Street) and the White Lion / Haymarket Stores (10 White Lion Street).

The end of the street, which is all now pedestrianised, which joins Gentlemans’ Walk.

Looking along the road to the Castle Quarter shopping centre. WH Smiths is on the left, this is the former Fruiterers Arms and is a real loss to the city centre as this would be a rather lovely setting for a pub. The building dates to the seventeenth century and was a pub from the mid-nineteenth century until 1989.

Looking back towards to the market place area. The building to the left of Ladbrokes was Costa, but they closed in early 2020, so it’s up for rental, with this being the former Haymarket Stores pub. The Haymarket Stores, which was once known as the White Lion, closed in 1974.

Back in 1912, the businesses along the street were:


1 – Pearks, grocers

1A – Albert Turner, confectioner

3 – Cozen Randall, hairdresser

5 – Sam Ellis, fruit merchant

7 – W. Fletcher, butchers

9 – Eastern Counties Rubber Company

11 – London & Norwich Cycle & Rubber Company

13 – Back’s, wine and spirits merchants

15 – Back’s, tobacconists

17 – Henry Moore William, wine and spirits store

19-21 – Grix William, dining rooms


2-4 – Fruiterers Arms, pub

6 – Edward Richard Pooley, shoe warehouse

10 – White Lion, pub

12 – E. Reeve & Son, grindery


The 1939 register had the following residents living on the street:

1A – Rosetta Clarke, Douglas Clarke, Frances Webster, Olive Johnson

6 – Norah Sage

10 – Edward Thaxton, Emmeline Thaxton, Leonard Thaxton

13 – William G Gerry, Lily Gerry, William J Gerry