Norwich Market bibliography
Norwich Market book
Kings Head

Sir Garnet Wolsey Norwich pub The King's Head started trading on the Market Place. It was a popular posting Inn particular favoured by the Parson Woodforde, the Recor of Weston Longville , who often stayed here and featured it in his "Diary of a Country Parson". It was also famed for offering outstanding entertainment including prize fights, plays and natural cusiosities. Thus it was here in 1729 that the Norwich Company of Comedians presented "Macbeth with all Kings Head pictured as Body Shopthe witches songs and dances." In 1797 the major attraction was the "greatest" man in the world, namely an Irish Giant with the stage name O'Brien (real name Patrick Cotter) who was eight foot four inches tall (his skeleton is preserved in the museum of the College of surgeons). Moving onto 1807, 200 spectators witnessed a prize fight between the two note pugilists of the day, Tom Cribb and John Gulley. It all goes to make today's pub entertainments a little tame.

In 1813 it relocated to 10, Davey Place (8 Castle Street) when the original premises was destroyed to make way for Davey Place. At the time Baptist radical, Alderman Davey, found it amusing to announce that he would "blow a hole in the king's head", resulting in his house being put under guard.  Moral:  don't crack political jokes when there's a revolution going on! It continued trading here before being permanently closed in 1981 and becoming the home of the Body Shop (pictured in 2010 right).

Above left we see the Kings Head in 1965, in a photograph reproduced by kind permission of the Norfolk Library and Information Service.