A visitors guide to the City of Norwich in Norfolk.
From a high vantage point the magnificent cathedral city
of Norwich looks very much like a medieval painting of a
city, with its Norman Cathedral, Castle, twisting narrow
streets and the towers of more than thirty ancient
churches. A unique collection of 1930s parks, riverside
walk and 150 acres of heath are all within the built up
area of Norwich.
Norwich is a mixture of both old and new and has the
most complete medieval street pattern in England, with
over 1500 historic buildings all contained within its
walled centre. When you explore Norwich you will
find a wealth of historic sights. Its cobbled
streets boast a variety of speciality shops, restaurants
and inns. There are museums, galleries, visitor
attractions, theatres and cinemas.
A lively open air market has been a
feature of Norwich life since Norman times, and these
brightly coloured stalls are very much a part of Norwich
life today. There are stalls selling brassware, herbal
remedies, hardware, books, leather goods and local
vegetables. You can also enjoy your lunch from one
of the many food vendors who are located in the centre
of the market and who serve hot and cold food all day.
Or try one of the many varied eating places scattered
throughout the city.
There is plenty of live entertainment to be enjoyed in
Norwich, which also boasts an outstanding regional
theatre as well as a league football. Norwich cathedral
was started between 1094-96 by Herbert de Losinga, the
first Bishop of Norwich. Norfolk flints formed the core
of the building, but the beautiful white stone of the
exterior came all the from Caen in Normandy, reaching
Norwich by way of Great Yarmouth and the River Wensum.
Nestling in the shadow of the castle is the four acre
castle park which has water features and promenades. The
park is, located on top of the discretely designed
castle mall shopping centre. This extensive indoor
shopping centre is naturally lit by an elegant glass and
iron roof and has many levels all of which links
directly into the city’s extensive outdoor shopping
centre. Or visit the Chapelfield shopping centre
located within the historic city's traditional centre,
with over 90 shops, cafes and restaurants. All the well
known high street retailers are represented in Norwich
along with the historic Jarrolds department store.
A wonderful place for the ‘walker’, with its atmospheric
medieval streets and miles of riverside walks. You can
chose to explore the River Wensum either on foot or why
not board a boat tour and cruise the river that
name of Norwich appears on
coins minted during the reign of King Athelstan at the
beginning of the 10th century AD At the time of the
Norman Conquest the city was one of the largest in
England with a population of 5500.
In the 19th century there were railway
excursions from outlying areas into Norwich for day
trippers to witness the spectacle of public executions
the death masks of some of these staring participants
can be seen in the dungeons of Norwich castle museum.
The Norwich city wall was started in 1294 and
completed in 1343 the walls were about two and a half
miles long in all and stood 20 foot high and contained
37,000 tonnes of masonry.
dates back to Saxon times, by
1066 Norwich was one of the largest towns in England and
in 1096 work started on the cathedral.
castle museum there is a gibbet
which still has bits of skull sticking to it.
In Magdalen Street is
Gurney Court, birthplace of Elizabeth Fry 1780, the
Quaker and prison reformer.
Street in Norwich was
known for many years as Blood and Guts Street from the
high number of butchers shops and slaughter houses near
the old cattle market.
Museum has the severed hand
of Norfolk squire Sir John Hayden who lost it in a duel
near Norwich in 1600 (careless!)
In 1349 the Black Death claimed roughly
one third of the entire population of Norwich.
If you leave
the Cathedral by the south
door you will see the simple grave of Nurse Edith Cavell
who was executed by the Germans in 1915 for helping
allied prisoners to escape from occupied Brussels.
I visited Norwich for a
five day stay in 1578 she was entertained and feasted at
the Guildhall Bishops Palace and by various city guilds
it is not know if she visited Blickling Hall the birth
place of her mother Anne Boleyn.
The occasional bus has disappeared in Norwich in the
past. Under the west side of Norwich streets there are
old chalk workings of Saxon origin which occasionally
open up and swallow double deckers!
Cathedral is floodlit
by night and makes quite a picture with its beautiful
There was a bloody
riot in 1272 when the citizens
fought with the cathedral monks who tried to impose
tolls on the annual fair held at Tombland an earlier