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Norwich pub’s amazing underground discovery

Looking down the well discovered at the Trowel & Hammer pub in Norwich.  Photo: Bill Smith

Looking down the well discovered at the Trowel & Hammer pub in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2011

A 25-metre well has been found next to a Norwich pub, and city historians believe it could be an important find.

A plumber discovered the well by the outside wall at the Trowel and Hammer in St Stephen’s Road, which has been undergoing a makeover.

The pub has been run by brothers Ilir and Ben Duraj for about six years and is
believed to date back to at least 1700.

Ilir Duraj said: “The plumber was doing the mains outside and suddenly came rushing in to tell everyone he had found this well. It was quite a surprise. We have measured it as about 25m deep and 2m wide.”

The earliest known deeds at the pub go back to 1700, when it was known as the Spittle House, and it was also known as Lazar before becoming the Trowel and Hammer in 1811.

The news has been passed on to heritage watchdog the Norwich Society, whose administrator, Vicky Manthorpe, said it was an interesting find.

John Davies, chief curator at Norfolk Museums Service, said: “Potentially the find could add to the overall picture of Norwich during medieval times, when Norwich was the second city in England, after London.”

The find comes just months after it was revealed that the remains of 17 bodies found at the bottom of a medieval well in Norwich in 2004 could have been victims of persecution.

An investigation revealed the bodies discovered before the Chapelfield shopping centre was built were probably Jewish and were murdered in the 12th or 13th centuries at a time when Jews were facing persecution throughout Europe.

Have you discovered something medieval where you live? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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