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King's Head Public House




The King's Head dates back to the beginning of the 17th Century when it was a manorial cottage. It was built in three stages and has carried its present name from about 1650.

The original building is pictured to the left and consisted of a cellar, two storeys and an attic.

The section in the centre dates from about 1700. It consists of two bays, one story and an attic.

The final part (to the right) dates a little later and is single storey. Modern times have seen the building extend at the rear and left. 

Legend has it that the King's Head was an ale house in 1650 and it is likely that the landlord was one Thomas Chickering. The earliest recorded copyhold ownership of the "Publick House called the King's Head in Hethersett" was in 1689 when Thomas Weeting and judith his wife sold to Ambrose Money.

The property passed in turn to Roger Gallard and in 1704 to Thomas Randall, a rich Wymondham brewer. In 1739, one of his grandsons, the Rev Randall Burroughes, became the copyholder with the pub occupied by Sayer Ninn.

In 1780 John Stephenson Cann, who had established a brewery at Wymondham became the owner. A piece of paper dated 1796 to 1803 lists sales of beef, mutton, veal, suet and capons to Mr Hewitt, late of the King's Head, Hethersett from Matthew Coggle, a Wymondham butcher. The Wymondham brewery continued as owners.

In 1824 the owner William Robert Cann looked for partners and in 1845 Thomas Scrivenor is named as "Victualler King's Head." A victualler supplied provisions and a licensed victualler was an inkeeper who was allowed to sell spirits and wines.

It is likely that the King's Head was the social centre of the village in the 1840s. Local benefit societies held their monthly meetings and annual dinners there. Under the landlordship of William Ford, a benefit society and a Lodge of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows met at the King's Head in 1854.

A decade later Cann's Brewery had becme Cann and Clarke with landlord Thomas Grounds in charge at the King's Head. Thirty years later Morgans of Norwich were the owners with William Charles Willimott recorded as the landlord in 1896.

Waggoners, sometimes their passengers, people on horseback, pedlars and pedestrians would all use the pub on their way between local villages and towns. There is no evidence, however, that the pub was a coaching inn although horses may have been fed there and a wooden trough would have been provided outside the pub.

In 1961 the King's Head was acquired by Bullard and Sons and in 1985 it belonged to Watney Mann.

Today it is owned by the Unique Pub Company and the present incumbents are Trevor and Cath Seaman.

The information on the King's Head is taken from the Hethersett Society Publication Hethersett Heritage and is reproduced with their kind permission.

See also the Then and Now section by clicking here.