You might not have noticed it when you’ve been there, but a West Norfolk pub has been recognised for the quality of its floor.
The Dabbling Duck pub at Great Massingham has been revealed as having one of Britain’s top 20 historic floors in a survey published today by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB).
David Kilham, who is part of the pub’s management team, said the building’s heritage was important to them, but admitted that the recognition had come as a surprise.
He said: “We’ve kept the layout and we don’t want to do very much to change the feel of the building.
“We’re pleased to be in. We realise the building has heritage and we don’t want to damage that.”
Other buildings featured in the list include Westminster Abbey, Strata Florida Abbey near Aberystwyth and the birthplace of legendary Victorian explorer David Livingstone in East Kilbride.
The list has been published to coincide with the launch of SPAB’s History at Your Feet campaign, which aims to encourage greater awareness of the importance of old floors.
Formerly known as the Rose and Crown, the Dabbling Duck, which overlooks the village pond, re-opened 10 years ago following a successful campaign by a local action group, which was supported by councillors.
SPAB director Matthew Slocombe said: “The Dabbling Duck stands for the thousands of pubs that have been lost and for the thousands more facing an uncertain future.
“They are places where generations of customers’ feet have left a mark.
“SPAB has always been a champion of simple, vernacular buildings and materials and many of our other choices reflect that.
“We looked for the beautiful and useful, and often, as in the case of pubs like the Dabbling Duck, that beauty comes through the patina of wear and age.”