From as early as the 12th Century, weaving was a major industry in the area, with the production of hempen cloth. As far back as Richard II, Weaving Guilds were set up to regulate all aspects of their trade.

So prosperous were these Guilds that they had their own chapels in the Parish church. During the reign of Henry VI (1422-1461) the Guild of St. Nicholas, disapproving of the affairs of the church, constructed their own chapel on this site. The Chapel of St. Nicholas was later dissolved by Edward VI (1547-1553), when many of the powerful Guilds were suppressed.


The building was left to decay and in 1584 was given by Queen Elizabeth I to one William Croft. Around this time the building was renovated and extended using many timbers from the old Guildhouse School, which had been demolished in St. Mary's Churchyard.


In 1595 it was recorded as being sold to a butcher as a retail shop and over the following 300 years changed many times to include a collar maker, grocer and silversmith.

W. J Garnham bought the property in 1900 and sold it to Herbert Siddall in 1946. Aldiss and Hastings (gents outfitters) acquired the property in 1952 and 22 years later applied for permission for a change of use to a restraurant in 1974 (Hunters)


Weavers Today


Upon completion of his hospitality training at Norwich City College, William Bavin has spent over 30 years working in the catering industry all over the country. In 1987 William returned to his Norfolk roots, completely refurbishing the restaurant, exposing and treating all the timbers and opened as Weavers Wine Bar & Eating House on Wednesday 1st April 1987.


Within a few years of opening the restaurant, the upstairs was also converted, allowing 60 covers to be served. Today you will still find William behind the stove and he is assisted out front by his wife Katrina, for whom Diss is also a return home after periods working in London hotels.

Housed between the restaurants beams you'll find alcoved banquette seating, which looks out onto the narrow streets of the pretty market town of Diss. The walls are lined with an interesting selection of original artwork and the large windows looking out onto the street are perfect for watching the world go by. In the evening small oil lamps on the tables give the restaurant a cosy warmth.

William's cooking is based on traditional methods with a modern style, old favourites such as home baked Steak, Kidney and Mushroom Pie, will be found alongside original dishes with a more complex mix of ingredients. The wine list is simple and modern with over 120 bins, covering most of the world's major wine producing areas. There are a number of entry point wines offered by the bottle starting at £16.80 as well as 10, regularly changing wines offered by the glass.

We also have a small kitchen garden allowing us to use the freshest, home grown, seasonal ingredients on our menus.

Weavers Opening Hours:


Wednesday and Thursday 

Door open 12pm, last orders 1.30pm



Tuesday- Saturday 

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Door opens at 7pm,  

Friday and Saturday Door open 6.30pm



Pre booked Takeaways available Friday and Saturday evenings from 6pm, telephone for more information



We are so looking forward to being able to reopen the restaurant to sit in guests from 18th May, its been a different 12 months but your support has been unwavering and we know we have been very privileged to have so much support from you all. 


Unfortunately this message comes with a bit of sad news too.  As of the 1st October 2021 William and I will no longer own Weavers.  It has been a very difficult decision to make and has involved a lot of tears and late night discussions.  It has absolutely nothing to do with Covid, in fact it’s made it harder to leave knowing how well we’ve been supported by you all, but rather that at the age of 68 years old Will has realised that after 34 years of 60+ hour weeks at the intensity required to run a restaurant he can’t go on forever. Will was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and although it is well controlled and he feels well it has also contributed to our decision.  As much as we’d love to stay forever we realise that it can’t be so and there’ll never be a good time.

Weavers has always been so, so much more than just a job to William and I, it’s our entire life and love, so to say goodbye to it is a huge wrench and I can’t lie, the tears roll down my face as I type this.  There have been hard times and long hours but the good outweigh the bad in bucket loads and we love running Weavers and will miss it so much.

You’re all so much more than customers, I hope you don’t mind us counting you as dear friends and we would ideally preferred to tell you of our intentions in a more personal way but realise that it just wouldn’t be possible to speak to you all individually as much as would like to.

Over the last 34 years we have hired hundreds of fabulous people, some of those are still here working alongside us ever loyal, many that worked for us whilst at college or school, who have grown up and become customers!

We would love to make our last 6 months here fabulous, so can’t wait to see you all soon, thank you all for everything.

Katrina and Will





Weavers Wine Bar & Eating House, Market Hill
Diss, Norfolk, IP22 4JZ  |  01379 642411

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