VIDEO: Aftermath of blaze at town centre pub

RESIDENTS and onlookers have spoken of their horror at seeing an historic Dunstable pub destroyed by fire in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Flames took hold of the Grade II listed Norman King pub on the corner of Church Street and Kingsway, which dates back to around 1109, shortly after midnight and spread quickly due to the pub’s thatched roof.

Fire crews from Dunstable, Luton, Toddington, Leighton Buzzard and Bedford were called to fight the fire and closed off Church Street and Kingsway.

Dunstable residents took to social networking site Twitter to express their shock at the devastation to the pub, which is said to have been which was originally built as a palace where Henry I regularly stayed, known as Kingsbury.

King Stephen entertained his nephew the future Henry II at Kingsbury in 1153 when he made him his heir.

Stone from a Norman castle was used to build the present inn along with panelling from a medieval inn at Cambridgeshire, hence the name Norman King.

Police say they are not linking the blaze to the riots and disorder that have broken out in other towns and cities around the country. Anyone with information about how the fire started should call Dunstable CID on 01582 473326.