Joy as 'Lord Nelson's local' pub reopens after five years

The newly-restored Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe. 

The newly-restored Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe. - Credit: Supplied by Holkham Estate

One of Norfolk's most well-known country pubs has finally reopened.

The Lord Nelson at Burnham Thorpe - where the famous Lord Admiral himself used to drink - had a low key opening on June 3 after a five-year closure. 

It follows restoration and extension works costing more than £1 million carried out by Holkham Estate, which bought the Lord Nelson in July 2019

The newly-restored Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe. 

The newly-restored Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe. - Credit: Supplied by Holkham Estate

Woodforde's Brewery is running the pub and has advertised for staff to join the team. 

Mike Phillips, Woodforde’s head of retail development and operations, said he was delighted to have the pub open.

He said: “We’ve decided to wait until restrictions are lifted on June 21, touch wood, before we start offering food. It’s a way to say thank you and welcome back to the village and give them a chance to use it regularly before we go after the wider market.”

The interior has new features including a dining space in the extension, but includes many original features including the hatch-style bar in the tap room and a restored mural of the Battle of Trafalgar. 

Mr Philips said: “Every picture or print inside has some historical relevance, but we were at pains to avoid it becoming a Nelson theme park.” 

Among those at the reopening was Mima Garland, chairman of Burnham Thorpe Parish Council. 


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Ms Garland said she was impressed with how the pub had been renovated, and delighted that the village had got its historic focal point back. 

She said: "It was a lovely evening with lots of locals and visitors enjoying the sunshine and the hospitality. 

Picture captions:Mrs M A L Clifton officially opening the new North Walsham Library 50 years ago.

A portrait of Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson. - Credit: Public Domain

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"I've always loved the pub. It was just so nice to be able to sit in the sunshine there again - there were a lot of grins on people's faces."

Brewery Greene King used to own the Lord Nelson, but closed it in September 2016.

The pub was registered as an asset of community value later that year, and put on the market for £350,000 at the start of 2019.

The next extension at the Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe. 

The new extension at the Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe.  - Credit: Supplied by Holkham Estate

Mr Philips said they planned to open the pub Wednesday to Sunday until June 21, and afterwards seven days a week.

The Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe: A timeline

1637: The building is erected as an alehouse called The Plough. Horatio Nelson was born over a century later in the nearby rectory.

1784: For the following five years Nelson, then a young naval officer, spends many hours at the pub. He lived at the nearby rectory with 'Fanny' Nisbet, whom he married in 1787.

The Lord Nelson pub in Burnham Thorpe in the 1970s. Picture: Supplied by Holkham

The Lord Nelson pub in Burnham Thorpe in the 1970s. Picture: Supplied by Holkham - Credit: Archant

1793: When he's finally given command of a ship, the Agamemnon, he lays on a meal at the pub for the villagers.

1798: The pub is renamed the Lord Nelson, after his victory over the French at the Battle of the Nile.

2016: Suffolk-based brewer and former owners of the pub Greene King close it down after a row with the former landlords Debbie and Peter De Groeve. Later that year, the Friends of Burnham Thorpe group registers the pub as an asset of community value.

Richard Leigh, construction manager at Holkham Estate (second from right), with the team from RobSon

Richard Leigh, construction manager at Holkham Estate (second from right), with the team from RobSon Construction, who are restoring and extending the Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe. Picture: Stuart Anderson - Credit: Archant

2019: The nearby Holkham Estate buys the Lord Nelson, and draws up plans to restore the building to its former glory.

June 3, 2021: The planned grand re-opening of the pub.

Inside the Nelson bar at the Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe. The stairs lead up to afirst-floor f

Inside the Nelson bar at the Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe. The stairs lead up to afirst-floor flat. The pub was once the watering hole of Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson, who hailed from the north Norfolk village. Picture: Stuart Anderson - Credit: Archant

The newly-restored Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe. 

The newly-restored Lord Nelson pub at Burnham Thorpe. - Credit: Supplied by Holkham Estate


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