The Walnut Tree Shades has been around since the sixteenth century, and licensed as a pub in 1841 by one William Haylett Roe. Since then The Walnut has gone on to be the home of 35 other landlords.
Way back, or not such a way for some of us, in 1982 The Walnut Tree made a cameo appearance along side Toyah Wilcox in Tales of the Unexpected episode “Blue Marigold”.
The Walnut Tree was used by Norwich Brewery as an outlet for their trial brews and it’s reported that this was the first ever pub to serve ‘Starlight’. It was also the first pub to have Budweiser on
draught in the city centre.
The Walnut Tree’ cellar was believed to be part of Norwich’ famous ‘Underground Tunnel Network’ although it is now, sadly, blocked off.
Henry Williamson, famous for books such as ‘Tarka the Otter’ and ‘Salar the Salmon’ references the pub in his book ‘Lucifer Before Sunrise’, where he writes, “Afterwards he treated himself to a pint of beer made from East Anglian coastal barley in a pub called The Shades, down a dark narrow street leading off the market”.
John Riddington Young speculates that although this (The Walnut Tree) would be a name frequently adopted by cabinet makers, there is no evidence that this was ever the case here.