Historic Norwich pub to get its old name back

Clive Hitchens and his wife Michelle Gianadda

Clive Hitchens and his wife Michelle Gianadda

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

One of Norwich’s best known city centre pubs is reverting to its historic name – much to the delight of beer lovers and historians in the city – and has closed for a £200,000 refurbishment.

The newly-renamed The Lamb in Haymarket will reopen on October 17.

The landmark coaching inn was a Henry’s Café Bar before it closed for the redevelopment.

Prior to that there was an outcry when brewer Scottish and Newcastle changed its name to the Rat and Parrot 15 years ago.

Renaming it as The Lamb takes the pub back to its 13th century origins when it was known as the Holy Lamb.

As well as the new name, the pub will also have a food and menu change, and will be going back more to its traditional roots with pictures of the old Lamb on the wall.

Husband-and-wife licensees, Clive Hitchens and Michelle Gianadda, who are South African and who took over last year, said most people still referred to the pub by its old name.

Mr Hitchens said; “Customers, locals and even taxi drivers still refer to the pub as The Lamb, so when we started drawing up plans for the refurbishment, it made perfect sense to restore the name. We look forward to welcoming regulars and new customers with our friendly staff, great food, and a pint of fine cask ale or glass of wine. The Lamb has been providing hospitality to the people of Norwich for centuries, and we’re delighted to be continuing that tradition.”

The news has gone down well with community champions including Julian Foster, chairman of the Central Norwich Citizens’ Forum, who said: “I welcome the change back to its old name, which has an historical significance for the city. ”

And Warren Wordsworth, from the Norwich and Norfolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, also welcomed the news. He said: “We definitely approve of that. Camra has never been happy with all the name changes at historic inns.”

The Lamb is part of the TCG estate of 100 managed pubs and bars nationwide.

The Evening News has been urging customers to return to pubs in our Love your Local campaign. See

Are you trying to bring back part of Norwich’s history? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email

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