The Red Lion Food and Rooms, Brook Street, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9HD - Telephone: 01263 514964

Red Lion History

First recorded in the history books in 1766 as an Inn by the landlord Sherman Cutler the Red Lion has a fascinating history at the heart of Cromer.

With connections to one of the most prolific architects in Norfolks history the Red Lion is a unique building standing as one of the many gems of the North Norfolk coastline. Edward Boardman the architect in question designed the building that is the Red Lion today for John pierSmith of London in 1887. Boardman was noted for designing various high profile buildings in the area including the original Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Caleys Chocolate factory at the centre of Norwich and was also key in the renovations of Norwich Castle into a museum.

The Red Lion itself, the Ye Red Lion as it was known at the time, was also linked to various smuggling operations in the late 1700’s. With smugglers using the cellar as lodgings and the tunnel beneath the property to access the rest of the town without raising suspicion. We are pleased to confirm these dealings have ceased, though the remnants of the tunnel used in these operations can still be seen in the cellar today.

Our history of relations with less than savoury souls does not stop there though; until midway through the 20th century the street upon which the Red Lion is found was nicknamed ‘Pick Lock Corner’ and was a popular meeting spot for residents to watch the comings and goings of the shipping and fishermen. However as the name would suggest local miscreants would also assemble there in the dark of the night to discuss and plan their latest misdeeds.

On a lighter note we also played our part in both the first and second World War. Due to our excellent coastal location we were utilised by allied forces and various rooms of the property temporarily converted into map rooms. Rumour has it that we were also paid a few visits by Sir Winston Churchill during these periods.

If you have any historical facts regarding The Red Lion or the surrounding area please do not hesitate to contact us!