Friday, 23 November 2018 00:00

Celebrating the Maids Head Hotel's 'Birthday' with the Pastons

Written by  Paul Dckson
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Celebrating the Maids Head Hotel's 'Birthday' with the Pastons

Guests enjoyed a a special dinner party at the Maids Head Hotel in Tombland, Norwich, hosted by 'John Paston' on Thursday, November 22, to mark the first mention of the the hotel's name in a Paston letter dated November 22, 1472.

Rob Knee of the Paston Footprints Project and Paston Heritage Society, who was master of ceremonies for the evening, as John Paston, presented a facsimile of the Paston letter mentioning the Maids Head to the hotel. In the letter John Paston II advised: “if he tery at Norwyche ther whyls, it were best to sette hys horse at the Maydes Hedde.” Rob Knee also cut a special cake marking the hotel's 'birthday'.

Christine Malcolm, General Manager, the Maids Head Hotel said: “We are very pleased to be working with the Paston Footprints Project and would like to thank Rob Knee and his colleagues for their kind gift of the facsimile of our 'birthday' letter, which we will put on permanent display in the hotel.”

The Maids Head Hotel's site has a long history; initially the location of the first palace of Bishop Herbert de Losinga in the late 11th century, it became home to an inn called the Murtel Fish or Molde Fish Tavern, whose origins are lost in the mists of time. The first mention of the inn in Norwich records was in 1287, when the landlord, John de Ingham accused Robert the fowler of stealing goods. The Murtel Fish was an important inn, hosting Edward the Black Prince in the mid 14th century, after he had taken part in a jousting competition in Norwich. 

The Paston letter of 1472 confirms that the name of the inn had changed to the Maids Head. The core of that 15th century inn stills exists. The hotel's restaurant is located in the inn's courtyard, and the Yard Bar and Best Beauty are in rooms which date from the period. Bedrooms above the old courtyard also date from the 15th century. 

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Paston Footprints is a collaborative project between numerous local partner organisations, including the Paston Heritage Society, the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk Record Office. The Heritage Lottery funded three-year project is highlighting the remarkable story of the Paston family and the times they lived through.www.paston600.co.uk

For further details of The Maids Head Hotel please visit www.maidsheadhotel.co.uk

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Sam Masters, Food Services Manager, Maids Head Hotel and Rob Knee (John Paston) with the 'birthday' cake

Last modified on Sunday, 13 January 2019 15:37

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