HistoryofNorfolk.com

Cat and Fiddle Pub, Norwich (George Plunkett, 1997)
Cat and Fiddle, Norwich (Photo taken by George Plunkett in 1997)

History of the Cat & Fiddle

(Magdalen Street, Norwich)

The Cat & Fiddle was a classic “old-fashioned” pub, meaning it only served beer and basic bar snacks, but of cause over time the Cat and Fiddle developed a reputation with locals of being a pub where “undesirable” people would go to get themselves’ drunk, drinking Stella, who then would often go on to become an annoyance for the whole community. Signs of a lack of investment in the pub by its’ owners was present by the early 2000’s, with the pub switching owner at least once since the mid 2000’s and then finally closing in 2011.

Timeline of the Cat and Fiddle:

The 1600’s:

The building where The Cat and Fiddle was based is believed to have been a house that was constructed at some point in the seventeenth century. The evidence for knowing when the building was built is based around the design of the roof or more specifically, the dormers  that the roof of the pub features.

The 1700’s:

Available information would suggest that the Cat and Fiddle was opened some point in 1760, with Harry Gaul being the first licensee, the pub was also one of at least forty pubs that took part in the 1784 elections. The Cat and Fiddle was taken over by John Patteson in 1794.

The 1800’s:

The 1800s were not the most eventful time for the Cat and Fiddle but as the role of the landlord (1806), was that of an innkeeper, which suggested that the pub was a “rather important house”. The mid to late 1800s would see the pub change hands a few times, with it being auctioned off in 1853 to William Wilson, as just being one example. Tho there were signs that the pub was struggling in the later parts of the 1800s with James Alfred, in 1899 being given one year to turn things around.

The 1900’s:

The 1900s saw a variety of changes happen at the Cat and Fiddle, including; a boxing club in the building(s) located in the back yard (1920s-????) and an internal redevelopment in 1983 that turned the four rooms “for customers” into one large L-shaped room.

The 2000’s:

By the early 2000s, it was becoming obvious that the Cat and Fiddle was not really receiving the maintenance or the investment needed, as the carpets where super-dirty and the roof on the side walkway/expansion would leak whenever it rained and instead of fixing the roof they would just place buckets down to collect the water. The reviews of the Cat and Fiddle did not put the pub in a very good light at all, with one calling it the “most tattyist pub in britian”. Tho, the bigger problem at the time was probably the pubs’ customers who were the “undesirable” ones that would be anti-social at a minimum. The pub was sold in August 2010 to an “Eastern European family”, but that must have not worked out as the pub was sold again in July 2011 for £165k, with the pub permanently closing it’s door’s just days before the sale on the 23 rd  June 2011.
The Cat & Fiddle was a classic “old-fashioned” pub, meaning it only served beer and basic bar snacks, but of cause over time the Cat and Fiddle developed a reputation with locals of being a pub where “undesirable” people would go to get themselves’ drunk, drinking Stella, who then would often go on to become an annoyance for the whole community. Signs of a lack of investment in the pub by its’ owners was present by the early 2000’s, with the pub switching owner at least once since the mid 2000’s and then finally closing in 2011.

History of the Cat &

Fiddle (Magdalen Street,

Norwich)

Cat and Fiddle, Norwich (Photo taken by George Plunkett in 1997)
Cat and Fiddle Pub, Norwich (George Plunkett, 1997)

Timeline of the Cat and Fiddle:

The 1600’s:

The building where The Cat and Fiddle was based is believed to have been a house that was constructed at some point in the seventeenth century. The evidence for knowing when the building was built is based around the design of the roof or more specifically, the dormers that the roof of the pub features.

The 1700’s:

Available information would suggest that the Cat and Fiddle was opened some point in 1760, with Harry Gaul being the first licensee, the pub was also one of at least forty pubs that took part in the 1784 elections. The Cat and Fiddle was taken over by John Patteson in 1794.

The 1800’s:

The 1800s were not the most eventful time for the Cat and Fiddle but as the role of the landlord (1806), was that of an innkeeper, which suggested that the pub was a “rather important house”. The mid to late 1800s would see the pub change hands a few times, with it being auctioned off in 1853 to William Wilson, as just being one example.Tho there were signs that the pub was struggling in the later parts of the 1800s with James Alfred, in 1899 being given one year to turn things around.

The 1900’s:

The 2000’s:

The 1900s saw a variety of changes happen at the Cat and Fiddle, including; a boxing club in the building(s) located in the back yard (1920s-????) and an internal redevelopment in 1983 that turned the four rooms “for customers” into one large L-shaped room.
By the early 2000s, it was becoming obvious that the Cat and Fiddle was not really receiving the maintenance or the investment needed, as the carpets where super-dirty and the roof on the side walkway/expansion would leak whenever it rained and instead of fixing the roof they would just place buckets down to collect the water. The reviews of the Cat and Fiddle did not put the pub in a very good light at all, with one calling it the “most tattyist pub in britian”. Tho, the bigger problem at the time was probably the pubs’ customers who were the “undesirable” ones that would be anti- social at a minimum. The pub was sold in August 2010 to an “Eastern European family”, but that must have not worked out as the pub was sold again in July 2011 for £165k, with the pub permanently closing it’s door’s just days before the sale on the 23 rd   June 2011.