Our first photo shows Mr Robert Parnell, who owned the pub sometime between 1891 and 1925. We thank Mr Parnells Great Grandson, Robert Hagerdorn from British Columbia, for supplying this rare photo of the Parnell family from 1917.
Below we see another photo from the Parnell collection. The brick column on the side wall has since been removed to allow for an extension for the lounge and games area.
Being 200 Years Old, The Marshland Arms Has A Fair Bit Of History To It!
Here, we present a brief insight into the pubs beautiful past. With records going back for such a long period, we are always discovering new pieces of information, such as floor plans, usage and previous occupiers. We are particularly interested in correcting and completing the dates of ownership, so if anyone would like to participate and help in this, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Our next photo shows us a young Bessie Thorpe. Together with her husband Ken, they ran the pub from 1958 to the mid 80’s, during which time it was officially known as “Englands Hope”.
Below we see a typical night during the sixties at what affectionately became known simply as “The Hope”. On the far right stands Bessie, with her mother sitting at her side.
A young Ken Thorpe during the early sixties, below which we have a photo of Ken and Bessie during their final night at the pub, after having run it for approximately 25 years.
Lastly, a photo of “Englands Hope” taken circa 1995. You can see here that the front door had gone, and entrance was gained through either end of the pub. Since then, the front entrance has been added back complimenting the new layout inside.
William Whitman - circa 1851
Edward Bulman - circa 1854 to circa 1858
Robert Saunders - circa 1861 to 1871
William Perkins - 1881 to 1891
Edward Daynes - circa 1925
William Flood - circa 1929 to circa 1933
George Wright - by 1936
Jessie Johnson - from 3rd May 1937
Matthew Suckling - from 18th November 1940
John Betts - from 12th February 1951
Ken & Bessie Thorpe - from 17th December 1958 to 1983
Bill Nelson - 1983
Les & Pam Baldock - 1983 to 1985
Jeff & Vivian Chance - 1986 to 1994
Stephen Woolner - 1994 to 2006
John Wood - 2006 to today
The Marshland Arms is now a freehouse, but Freebridge Licence Register PS6/4/1 (1936-1960) shows it earlier as being a Watney Mann, a Steward Patteson and before those a Bagges Brewery pub.
The spirit licence of The Spread Eagle in Swaffham was removed and transferred to our pub in February 1959, indicating that perhaps Ken & Bettie Thorpe also had The Spread Eagle at some point, judging by the date. This transfer gave the pub a full licence. Before this time, it was a beerhouse only.
Renamed on the 1st May 2004, Englands Hope became The Marshland Arms, but even to this day many villagers still refer to “just popping down The Hope”. We are pleased and proud to be a part of this tradition, with the locals holding a love and affection for the pubs history.