The Castle Inn
35 Earsham Street
Suffolk NR35 1AF

TEL  07789 455774


The Inn was formerly known as The White Lion, and also Castles before being named The Castle Inn in July 2007. Below is a brief timeline of the history of the inn.

  • 1566 - Payment made for beer provided at the Ale Games held in the Castle yard, it is likely that the beer was from The White Lion.
  • 1584 - Holy Trinity Parish records show Inn is under management of Rob Edwards, who provided the Archdeacon with a meal on his visit for 4s.
  • 1614 - License issued to Francis Sheene for sale of wine at premises, the license was £3, today the same license costs over 20 times that.
  • 1688 - nBuilding sustained damage during the Great Fire but was rebuilt.
  • 1750's - Beds are advertised for rent in the local paper, costing between £5 and 50 guineas, the advert claimed that the rooms had the latest designs in wallpaper!
  • 1777 - Matthias Kerrison named as the owner of the brewhouse attached to the Inn, he was known locally as the 'Bungay Millionaire' having made money through the development of the Staithe navigation.
  • 1828 - Following Matthias Kerrison's death in 1827 the Inn was sold to Harleston Brewery.
  • 1853 - The Ipswich Journal reported that the Castle Bowling Green had re-opened for the season on 2nd May. The Bowling Green was attached to The White Lion which was by then owned by Lacons Brewery, and was known as one of the finest in the region until it finally closed just after the war in 1919.
  • 1898 - Rated by the licensing trade at £23 per annum, in line with other pubs of a similar size in the town.
  • 1940 - One of Clay's warehouses near to the Inn was damaged by bombs, but the Inn survived with only a few broken windows.
  • 1999 - The White Lion was sold to Mike Wilkinson and Ian Hillyard and renovated and renamed Castles Hotel, Bar and Restaurant.
  • 2000 - Castles received a 4 diamonds rating from the East of England Tourist Board in recognition of its improved facilities.
  • 2007 - Castles was sold by Ian Hillyard to Mark Hougham and Tanya Martin in July and renamed as The Castle Inn. Refurbishment of the bar and restaurant followed in November.
  • 2008 - The Castle Inn reached the Finals of the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards in the Best Food Pub of the Year category. More renovation was carried out with three out of the four bedrooms being completed.
  • 2009 - The fourth and final bedroom is refurbished. The Castle Inn is listed for the first time in the Michelin Guide. Mark and Tanya get married in September!
  • 2013 - The Castle Inn is a regional finalist in the Observer Food Monthly Awards, in the Best Restaurant category.
  • 2020 - 18th March - The bar and restaurant are closed due to the coronavirus. Rooms reopen for guests on 4th July.
  • 2021 1st June The Three Cooks become the new custodians comprising of Chan, Olivia & Stuart.