MYTHS already abound about the isolated former pub alongside the Yare known as “The Cockatrice”. All the old boys say that this building – miles from any other on the road from Norton Subcourse to Reedham Ferry – was the haunt of smugglers. Certainly its location lends itself to those sort of rumours. It’s been a house – rather than an inn - for more than 80 years now. But selling books at Loddon Farmers’ Market today, I heard a snippet of surely another great story …that this building was once the home of “One-Armed Carver”.
Who he was and how he lost his arm are both unknown to me so far – although I know there was once an abbatoir here. Is that a gruesome clue? But I’m told by The Cockatrice’s new owner Sarah that he lived there some time after the building stopped being a pub. And rather bizarrely he used to use the grazing marshes nearby to race his greyhounds. Curiouser and curiouser. I’d love to know more. Get in touch if you can help.
* A cockatrice was a serpent hatched from a cock's egg which had the power to kill at a glance. The building – see below – is slightly more conventional.