|The Lord Mayor of Norwich decalres the bathrooms project completed|
The Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Brenda Arthur visited the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, to mark the completion of £1.3 million of refurbishment projects at the historic hotel, carried out over the last 12 months.
- Forty bathrooms in the newest wing in the hotel have been fully renovated. Each bathroom or shower features a large-scale photograph of historic Norwich, supplied by local photographers, who entered a competition run last year in partnership with Eastern Daily Press, Evening News and iwitness24.co.uk.
- An environmentally friendly capillary heating system has been installed in the oldest part of the hotel, which dates from the 15th century. The capillary heating system, a first for a hotel in Norfolk, is driven by heat pumps located on the hotel roof. It will keep the bedrooms warm in the winter and cool in the summer and will reduce the heating bill by a third.
- The public lounges have had a complete contemporary makeover with new furniture and decoration.
- Guests have the latest iRiS guest services paper free app in their bedrooms. The iPad based system, another first for a hotel in Norfolk, gives guests the opportunity to reserve a table in the restaurant and order their meal, order drinks at the bar, book taxis, check airport departure boards, browse the internet, get the latest information on events and culture in Norwich and days out in Norfolk and much more. The app will also soon include the environmental control switch for bedrooms with the capillary heating system.
- The public toilets have all been fully refurbished, including the addition of a new accessible toilet near the restaurant and new gents near the Minstrel Suite (the main function room).
The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich claims to be the oldest hotel in Britain, based on the hotel’s site being used continuously for hospitality since the early 12th century.
Now privately owned by the Chaplin family, who also run The Gonville Hotel in Cambridge, the Maids Head has 84 bedrooms and caters for a wide range of corporate events and special functions in its historic meeting and reception rooms.
Private ownership has meant a return to a policy of local purchasing for food and drink. Visitors to the bar and restaurant can sample Maids Head Ale from Woodfordes and Winbirri wines from Surlingham.
Norwich historian Walter Rye, who also owned the Maids Head from 1889 to 1895 considered it to be: “the oldest Norman site in the city after the Castle”.
Eighteenth century historian Rev. Francis Blomfield explained that the hotel was built on the site of a house owned by the early Norman bishops. It was this house that became a guest house for visitors to the Cathedral. This eventually became the Murtel Fish or Molde Fish Tavern, the predecessor of The Maids Head. The tavern is first mentioned in Norwich records in 1287. John Paston recommended the Maids Head as good place to stable a horse in a letter dated 2nd November 1472, confirming the change of name.
For more information about the Maids Head Hotel see www.maidsheadhotel.co.uk, t. 01603 209955.