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History part of fabric of Coachmakers

PUBLISHED: 10:11 01 February 2008 | UPDATED: 12:13 07 May 2010

The great distinguishing feature of this city centre pub is the elaborate relief, made from cement, on the exterior wall, depicting St Stephens Gate.

The unique artwork, which is based on an illustration by Henry Ninham that dates back to 1792, is the handiwork of long-neglected artist John Moray Smith.

The great distinguishing feature of this city centre pub is the elaborate relief, made from cement, on the exterior wall, depicting St Stephen's Gate.

The unique artwork, which is based on an illustration by Henry Ninham that dates back to 1792, is the handiwork of long-neglected artist John Moray Smith.

He was commissioned to produce exterior bas reliefs and interior art depicting Norfolk life for pubs owned by Morgan's Brewery.

His work has outlived him, though he got his moment in the spotlight last year, 50 years after his death, when the Norwich Society published a guide to his life and work.

His St Stephen's creation is such a piece of the landscape that many people may not have paid it much attention.

It's well worth a look the next time you're passing.

Hopefully the publicity will also have encouraged people to step inside The Coachmakers too.

A cock-stride from the St Stephen's roundabout, it is one of those pubs that frequently get overlooked.

That's a shame as, though not a world-beater by any means, it is one of a dwindling band of old-style city centre pubs.

The interior has a comfy, cosy feel, with low wood-beam ceilings, a large open fireplace at one end and plenty of nooks and crannies for a quiet pint.

Towards the back there's a dartboard and a couples of tables next to French doors that led out into a small garden.

The bar is low ceilinged and a bit cramped, but in a nice touch they've still found room for a brewery tap, with four real ales available pulled straight from the barrel, including a guest ale.

The pub has been listed in the 2004 and 2005 CAMRA Good Beer Guides.

Otherwise they have the usual selection of lagers, including San Miguel on tap, and an undistinguished wine list. They also serve food.

To the side there's a raised area with dining tables and a cosy booth, next to flint walls. The other attraction of note is a large covered courtyard, which, with seating, heaters and a colourful mural, has something of the feel of a German bier Keller, and is particularly popular in summer.

t The Coachmakers, 9 St Stephen's Road, Norwich; 01603 662080

t Real ales: Greene King IPA, Abbot Ale, Woodforde's Wherry, Wolf Jackal

t Garden: Yes

t Sky Sports: Yes

t Music: CD

t Food: Yes

t Wheelchair access: Limited

RATINGS

Beer 3/5

Wine 2/5

Atmosphere 3/5

Family 2/5



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