The community portal site for Downham Market since 2007

Whalebone – The White Hart’s New Name

Some people have wondered about the new name for The White Hart pub; The Whalebone.

While the word, meaning the bristly filter used to catch tiny sea creatures in a whale’s mouth, might be a strange name for an old coaching inn – it may be more fitting than you would expect…

According to NorfolkPubs, between 1748 and 1791 The White Hart was originally called The Whalebone! Possibly named after whaling ships that would have regularly frequented the River Ouse in a time when parts of a whale were widely used, including the whalebone for chair backs, brush handles and in corsets until the industry declined in the 1800s.

So as the building gets a renovation under its new owners, we get an historic return to a classic pub name.



Unlike the other ‘local’ papers which are owned by big businesses, downhamweb has always been owned and run by local people in Downham Market. Our reporting will always be free without paywalls, independent from advertisers and run for the benefit of the community. 

Please consider supporting downhamweb to help us to keep providing this service to the community. If you can, please donate or set up a monthly contribution.