The Black Boys Hotel is an imposing Grade II listed building in the centre of the historic market town of Aylsham. It has a popular bar and restaurant and offers superb accommodation in four ensuite bedrooms.
The bar is open all day Monday - Saturday from 11am. For food service times please see our Restaurant page. On Sundays the bar opens at 12 noon and food is served from 12 right through until 9pm.
The Black Boys Hotel restaurant Awards:
The Black Boys was a finalist in the 2008 Local Food Heroes awards. Accolades included "staff have great enthusiasm for the food .. welcoming atmosphere .. a comfortable 'feel'.." Restaurant & Bar The Black Boys Hotel is owned by the Colchester family who also own the Recruiting Sergeant, Horstead near Coltishall, The Ship South Walsham and the Red Lion, Eaton near Norwich. All four establishments display the same quality, friendliness and attention to detail that have made them so successful.
The restaurant and bar areas of the Black Boys have been completely refurbished but stylised to keep that 17th Century feel with a modern ambience. The menus cater for both traditional and more imaginative tastes using local produce wherever possible.
To reserve a table please Tel: 01263 732122
We have four newly decorated en-suite double bedrooms all attractively furnished in traditional style with modern comforts.
Character features have been preserved where possible to give each room an individual feel. History The Black Boys history can be traced back as far as 1471 when it was described as a messuage and cottage called the stonenhus. In the early 1650s it is claimed that a Richard Andrews developed the premises as an inn. He died following a fight with one of Oliver Cromwell's men who was billeted there. Legend has it that he was buried in the grounds and his ghost has been seen on the premises.
Many famous people are recorded as having enjoyed the hospitality of the Black Boys over the years including Daniel Defoe, Horatio Nelson and Princess Victoria. The hotel features prominently in local history. In 1786 The Aylsham Association was founded and met there. In the 1800s it was used as a Magistrates Court and in 1814 a ball was held there to celebrate peace after the Napleonic Wars. Stabling at the rear of the Hotel was used for changing the horses when travel was predominately by mail coaches.
A major redevelopment of the premises took place in 1844 when it was bought by a James Spanton who sold off the entire contents at the local auction rooms. In addition to furniture and sundries - a post chaise, post chariot, a gig and six horses were included in the sale.
There are a couple of theories as to how the hotel acquired its name. Firstly it is suggested that it was named after King Charles II who was nicknamed The Black Boy because he had black hair and a swarthy complexion. Secondly, it may have a connection with the black boy slaves who were used as servants in local wealthy households in the 17th century. In 1815 John Crome of the Norwich School of Painters was commissioned to paint a sign for the inn which he based on a portrait of the King.
The Black Boys Hotel is now a Grade 2 listed building in recognition of its rich history and still presides over the bustling Market Place of Aylsham.
Hours of work
Open all day from 11am - 11pm (12noon Sundays)
Monday - Thursday 12.00 - 2.00pm & 6.30 - 9pm
Friday - Saturday 12.00 - 2.00pm & 6.30 - 9.30pm
Sunday 12.00 - 9.00pm
Breakfast for guests
7.30 - 11.00am
Directions by road
Aylsham is on the main A140 road from Norwich to Cromer. The Hotel is in the town centre.
Directions by rail
At certain times of year it is possible to reach Aylsham by rail. The National Rail service from Norwich to Cromer calls at "Hoveton & Wroxham" where the local Bure Valley Railway may be caught to Aylsham.
See Links page for further details.