The Inn at Scole

One of Joshua Kirby’s earliest known works is a depiction of the White Hart Inn at Scole in Norfolk, just across the border from his native Suffolk.  The White Hart Inn was a coaching inn that was famous for its enormous sign that stretched across the road, was large enough for coaches to pass underneath, and contained a mass of carving, mostly life-sized.  The sign was supposedly built in 1655 for James Peck, owner of the building, at the astronomical price of £1057. John Fossey engraved Kirby’s depiction and the prints were issued in 1740.  The engraving measured 17.5″x22″ and included detailed representation of the sign with all its figures at a scale of half an inch to a foot. After Kirby’s death, the engraving was reprinted in Volume 2 of M.J. Armstrong’s 10-volume History and Antiquities of the County of Norfolk (1781).

Kirby's Scole Inn

Part of Kirby’s Scole Inn, showing the sign

The Inn was also known for having had a large round bed that could accommodate up to 40 people.

The building still exists, and is still an Inn, although sadly the sign is no more (nor is the bed).

Scole Inn now

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9 thoughts on “The Inn at Scole

  1. Pingback: The Ipswich Journal | Kirby and his world

  2. Pingback: A Brief Biography | Kirby and his world

  3. hawkeyethegnu

    A bed for forty reminds me of the old ‘how many people can fit in a phone box or a mini’ stunt, used during rag weeks and such events. I think it may have been more pleasant in the stables, the floor, a hay rick, in fact almost anywhere else.

    Reply

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