Two Norwich pubs closed including Sir Garnet Wolseley in the market place

Another blow has been dealt to Norwich's proud pub tradition with the closure of two of the city's watering holes - but both could soon reopen.

The Sir Garnet Wolseley is the last of the 13 pubs that were once dotted around Norwich market place, and was put up for sale earlier this year.

It is currently closed for business, but Graham Jones, from Roche Retail surveyors, said yesterday that the pub has now been sold, although he did not wish to reveal the new owner or the exact price they had paid for it.

He said: 'The pub was for sale for �300,000 and sold in excess of �200,000. I'm not 100pc sure what the new owner plans to do with the pub.

'But because the pub already has A4 planning permission, it could be used as a shop or a cafe without the need to get further permission. However, it is a Grade II listed building, which makes it more complicated.'

The Sir Garnet Wolseley started trading as a pub in about 1861 and was originally called the Baron of Beef, possibly because the premises was once a butcher's shop.

In 1874 it adopted the name Sir Garnet Wolseley, named after Field Marshal Garnet Joseph Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley, who had received accolades in the same year for his African campaign.

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Meanwhile, the Regal pub in Dereham Road is also closed, however the Evening News understands that a new leaseholder could be taking it over in the next few months.

A spokesman for commercial property agents, Christie and Co in Ipswich, said that it could reopen within the next six to eight weeks. The Evening News revealed last year that plans to extend the pub's licensing hours were withdrawn after it was hit with two noise abatement notices because of neighbours' complaints.

The pub was also branded a hotbed of crime and violence by Norfolk police, who objected to the licence extension and claimed that anti-social behaviour had surged there with drug use and alcohol-fuelled violence.

The pub was previously known as City Gates and was once owned by Wetherspoon's. In a previous incarnation it was the Regal cinema, built in 1938.

The Evening News has been urging customers to return to pubs as part of our Love your Local campaign.

To see stories from the campaign go to loveyourlocal.

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