The Black Boys Hotel presides over the bustling Market Place of Aylsham and is a Grade 2 listed building in recognition of its rich history. Over the years many famous people are recorded as having enjoyed the hospitality of the Black Boys, including Daniel Defoe, Horatio Nelson and Princess Victoria.
While the building's use can be traced back as far as 1471, it wasn't until the early 1650s that it was developed as an inn by a man named Richard Andrews. He later died following a fight with one of Oliver Cromwell's men, who was billeted at the inn, and legend has it that he was buried in the grounds and his ghost has been seen on the premises.
Indeed, the hotel features prominently in local history. In 1786 The Aylsham Association was founded and met there, while in the 1800s it was used as a Magistrates Court and in 1814 a ball was held there to celebrate peace after the Napoleonic Wars.
We believe the pub was named after King Charles II, who was nicknamed The Black Boy on account of his black hair and swarthy complexion.
In 1815 John Crome, of the Norwich School of Painters, painted a sign for the pub based on a portrait of the King.
Explore the Area
Our location between the Broads and North Norfolk makes us an ideal place to stay if you are visiting the area on holiday. Enjoy exploring our lovely countryside and famous beaches or treat yourself to a shopping trip in the vibrant city of Norwich. For other attractions nearby see the links below.
Local Attractions & Walks
Places to visit and walks to enjoy in the local area.