About the Kings Arms

 

Real Norfolk. Real Blakeney. Real Hospitality.

 

Perhaps the most immediately-recognisable feature of the Kings Arms is the legend ‘FH + 1760’ tiled into the mellow-red Norfolk-pantiled roof of the building. Although the Kings Arms is a Free House, ‘FH’ does not refer to this (the term ‘Free House’ was unknown at that time). Rather, the letters are thought to be the initials of the contemporary owner.

 

The 1760 date refers to the year in which the roof was replaced, since the building itself is far older than that. It may also have been the year in which the Kings Arms became an Inn. However, the name might imply that the Kings Arms became a hostelry some time after 1660, when many inns were so named in sheer relief at the return of the monarchy after more than a decade of killjoy Puritan misery. Further evidence of this connection is provided by the superb royal crest which adorns the south wall of the building.

 

Blakeney would have been a very different place back in 1660 or, for that matter, in 1760. One building adjacent to the Kings Arms was a granary, and another nearby property was used for building fishing boats. One can readily picture the days in which the courtyard, very little changed today, was filled with horses and carriages. The nearest part of the famous Blakeney Quay is known as the ‘Mussel Quay’. Mussels are no longer landed here, but visitors can be assured that mussels, fish and other seafood served at the Kings Arms are sourced locally.

 

Fishing and agriculture were the staple activities of historic Blakeney, which was also home to monastic establishments. These do not survive, but the magnificent Church of St Nicholas stands proudly on high ground overlooking the village, its illuminated east tower still acting as a sea-mark. In its graveyard lies the famous racing driver Tim Birkin.

 

The current owners of the Kings Arms are Howard and Marjorie Davies, who came here in 1976 following successful show-business careers in which they toured the world and participated in many notable shows and musicals, including ‘My Fair Lady’. Memorabilia of their show business careers are displayed throughout the bar areas of the Kings Arms, and Marjorie is an enthusiastic member of the Blakeney Players amateur theatrical troupe. The very many clocks on display throughout the Kings Arms reflect Howard’s lifelong interest in horology. Son Nic Davies is the manager of the Kings Arms.

 

Time moves on, but the Kings Arms has resolutely resisted those processes of change which all too often replace Norfolk charm with Kensington kitsch. The Kings Arms at Blakeney is an authentic Norfolk inn, as popular with locals as it is with visitors.

 

Real Norfolk. Real Blakeney. Real Hospitality.