Norwich (/ˈnɒrɪdʒ/,[a] also /ˈnɒrɪtʃ/ ( listen)) is
a city on the
River Wensum in
East Anglia and lies approximately 100
miles (161 km) north-east of London. It is the county town of
Norfolk. From the
Middle Ages until the Industrial Revolution, Norwich
was the largest city in
England after London, and one of the most
The urban area of
Norwich had a population of 213,166 according to the
2011 Census. This area extends beyond the city boundary, with
extensive suburban areas on the western, northern and eastern sides,
including Costessey, Taverham, Hellesdon, Bowthorpe, Old Catton,
Sprowston and Thorpe St Andrew. The parliamentary seats cross over
into adjacent local-government districts. A total of 132,512 (2011
census) people live in the City of
Norwich and the population of
Travel to Work Area
Travel to Work Area (i.e., the self-contained labour
market area in and around
Norwich in which most people live and
commute to work) is 282,000 (mid-2009 estimate).
Norwich is the
fourth most densely populated local-government district in the East of
England, with 3,480 people per square kilometre (8,993 per square
In May 2012,
Norwich was designated England's first
UNESCO City of
1.2 Early English and Norman conquest
1.3 Middle Ages
1.4 Early modern period (1485–1640)
1.5 Civil Wars to Victorian era
1.6 20th century
2.1 City and county councils
2.2 Lord mayoralty and shrievalty
2.3 Unitary status proposal
4.1 Primary and secondary
4.2 Universities and colleges
5 Culture and attractions
5.2 Art and music
5.6 Media and film
6.1 Parks, gardens and open spaces
9 Economy and infrastructure
10.3 Bus and coach
10.7 Proposed developments
12 Travellers' comments
13 Notable people
14 Twin cities
15 See also
19 External links
See also: Timeline of Norwich
The capital of the
Iceni tribe was a settlement located near to the
Caistor St. Edmund
Caistor St. Edmund on the
River Tas approximately 8
kilometres (5 mi) to the south of modern-day Norwich.
Following an uprising led by
Boudica around AD 60 the Caistor
area became the Roman capital of
East Anglia named Venta Icenorum,
literally "the marketplace of the Iceni". The Roman settlement fell
into disuse around 450 and the
Anglo-Saxons settled on the site of the
modern city between the 5th and 7th centuries, founding the towns
of Northwic (from which
Norwich gets its name), Westwic (at
Norwich-over-the-Water) and the secondary settlement at Thorpe.
According to a local rhyme, the demise of
Venta Icenorum led to the
development of Norwich: "Caistor was a city when
Norwich was none,
Norwich was built of Caistor stone."
Early English and Norman conquest
Norwich Cathedral is one of the great Norman buildings of England.
There are two suggested models of development for Norwich. It is
possible that three separate early Anglo-Saxon settlements, one on the
north of the river and two either side on the south, joined together
as they grew or that one Anglo-Saxon settlement, on the north of the
river, emerged in the mid-7th century after the abandonment of the
previous three. The ancient city was a thriving centre for trade and
East Anglia in 1004 when it was raided and burnt by Swein
Viking king of Denmark. Mercian coins and shards of
pottery from the
Rhineland dating from the 8th century suggest that
long-distance trade was happening long before this. Between 924 and
Norwich became fully established as a town, with its own mint.
The word Norvic appears on coins across Europe minted during this
period, in the reign of King Athelstan. The Vikings were a strong
cultural influence in
Norwich for 40 to 50 years at the end of the 9th
century, setting up an Anglo-Scandinavian district near the north end
of present day King Street. At the time of the
Norman Conquest the
city was one of the largest in England. The
Domesday Book states that
it had approximately 25 churches and a population of between 5,000 and
10,000. It also records the site of an Anglo-Saxon church in Tombland,
the site of the Saxon market place and the later Norman cathedral.
Norwich continued to be a major centre for trade, the River Wensum
being a convenient export route to the
River Yare and Great Yarmouth,
which served as the port for Norwich. Quern stones and other artefacts
Scandinavia and the
Rhineland have been found during excavations
Norwich city centre. These date from the 11th century onwards.
Norwich Castle's 12th-century keep
Norwich Castle was founded soon after the Norman Conquest. The
Domesday Book records that 98 Saxon homes were demolished to make way
for the castle. The
Normans established a new focus of settlement
Castle and the area to the west of it: this became known as
the "New" or "French" borough, centred on the Normans' own market
place which survives to the present day as
Norwich Market. In 1096,
Herbert de Losinga, Bishop of Thetford, began construction of Norwich
Cathedral. The chief building material for the Cathedral was
limestone, imported from Caen in Normandy. To transport the building
stone to the site, a canal was cut from the river (from the site of
present-day Pulls Ferry), all the way up to the east wall. Herbert de
Losinga then moved his See there to what became the cathedral church
for the Diocese of Norwich. The Bishop of
Norwich still signs himself
Norwich received a royal charter from Henry II in 1158, and
another one from Richard the Lionheart in 1194. Following a riot in
the city in 1274,
Norwich has the distinction of being the only
complete English city to be excommunicated by the Pope.
The first recorded presence of
Norwich is 1134. In 1144,
Norwich were accused of ritual murder after a boy (William
of Norwich) was found dead with stab wounds. William acquired the
status of martyr and was subsequently canonised. Pilgrims made
offerings to a shrine at the Cathedral (largely finished by 1140) up
to the 16th century, but the records suggest there were few of
them. In 1174,
Norwich was sacked by the Flemings. In February
1190, all the
Norwich were massacred except for a few who
found refuge in the castle. At the site of a medieval well, the bones
of 17 individuals, including 11 children, were found in 2004 by
workers preparing the ground for construction of a
centre. The remains were determined by forensic scientists to be most
probably the remains of such murdered Jews, and a DNA expert
determined that the victims were all related, so that they most
probably came from one Ashkenazi Jewish family. The study of these
remains was featured in an episode of the
BBC television documentary
series History Cold Case.
St Ethelbert's Gate at Tombland was built as penance for riots which
occurred in the 1270s.
In 1216, the castle fell to Louis, Dauphin of
France and Hildebrand's
Hospital was founded, followed ten years later by the Franciscan
Friary and Dominican Friary. The
Great Hospital dates from 1249 and
the College of St Mary in the Field from 1250. In 1256, Whitefriars
was founded. In 1266 the city was sacked by the "Disinherited". It has
the distinction of being the only English city ever to be
excommunicated, following a riot between citizens and monks in
1274. As a penance, St Ethelbert's Gate, one of the entrances to
the cathedral priory, was constructed by
Norwich citizens. In 1278 the
Cathedral received final consecration. In 1290 the city flooded.
Austin Friary was founded in that year.
The engine of trade was wool from Norfolk's sheepwalks.
England rich, and the staple port of
Norwich "in her state doth stand
With towns of high'st regard the fourth of all the land", as Michael
Drayton noted in
Poly-Olbion (1612). The wealth generated by the wool
trade throughout the
Middle Ages financed the construction of many
fine churches, so that
Norwich still has more medieval churches than
any other city in Western Europe north of the Alps. Throughout this
Norwich established wide-ranging trading links with other parts
of Europe, its markets stretching from
Scandinavia to Spain and the
city housing a Hanseatic warehouse. To organise and control its
exports to the Low Countries, Great Yarmouth, as the port for Norwich,
was designated one of the staple ports under the terms of the 1353
Statute of the Staple.
From 1280 to 1340 the city walls were built. At around 4 km (2.5
miles), these walls, along with the river, enclosed a larger area than
that of the City of London. However, when the city walls were
constructed it was made illegal to build outside them, inhibiting
expansion of the city. Around this time, the city was made a county
corporate and became the seat of one of the most densely populated and
prosperous counties of England. Part of these walls remain standing
Early modern period (1485–1640)
Hand-in-hand with the wool industry, this key religious centre
experienced a Reformation significantly different to other parts of
England. The magistracy in Tudor
Norwich unusually found ways of
managing religious discord whilst maintaining civic harmony.
Norwich by Norfolk-based artist John Crome
The year 1549 saw an unprecedented rebellion in Norfolk. Unlike
popular challenges elsewhere in the Tudor period, it appears to have
Protestant in nature. For several weeks Kett's rebels camped
Mousehold Heath and took control of the city, with
the support of many of its poorer inhabitants. Unusually in England,
it divided the city and appears to have linked Protestantism with the
plight of the urban poor. In the case of
Norwich this process was
underscored later by the arrival of Dutch and Flemish "Strangers"
fleeing persecution from the Catholics and eventually numbering as
many as one third of the city's population. Large numbers of such
exiles came to the city, especially Flemish Protestants from the
Westkwartier ("Western Quarter"), the region in the Southern
Netherlands where the first
Calvinist fires of the
Dutch Revolt had
spread. Inhabitants of
Ypres in particular chose
Norwich above other
destinations. Perhaps in response to Kett,
Norwich became the
first provincial city to initiate compulsory payments for a civic
scheme of poor relief, which it has been claimed led to its wider
introduction, forming the basis of the later Elizabethan Poor Law of
Norwich has traditionally been the home of various minorities, notably
Huguenot and Belgian Walloon communities in the 16th and 17th
centuries. The great "Stranger" immigration of 1567 brought a
substantial Flemish and Walloon community of
Protestant weavers to
Norwich, where they are said to have been made welcome. The
merchant's house which was their earliest base in the city — now a
museum — is still known as Strangers' Hall. It seems that the
Strangers were integrated into the local community without much
animosity, at least among the business fraternity, who had the most to
gain from their skills. Their arrival in
Norwich boosted trade with
mainland Europe and fostered a movement toward religious reform and
radical politics in the city.
Norwich Canary was first introduced into
England by Flemings
fleeing from Spanish persecution in the 16th century. They brought
with them not only advanced techniques in textile working but also pet
canaries, which they began to breed locally, the little yellow bird
eventually becoming, in the 20th century, a mascot of the city and the
emblem of its football club,
Norwich City F.C., who are nicknamed The
Printing was introduced to the city in 1567 by Anthony de Solempne,
one of the "Strangers", but it did not take root and had died out by
Civil Wars to Victorian era
Across the Eastern Counties Oliver Cromwell's powerful Eastern
Association was eventually dominant. However, to begin with, there had
been a large element of Royalist sympathy within Norwich, which seems
to have experienced a continuity of its two-sided political tradition
throughout the period. Bishop
Matthew Wren was a forceful supporter of
Charles I. Nonetheless, Parliamentary recruitment took hold. The
strong Royalist party was stifled by a lack of commitment from the
aldermen and isolation from Royalist-held regions. Serious
inter-factional disturbances culminated in "The Great Blow" of 1648,
when Parliamentary forces tried to quell a Royalist riot. The latter's
gunpowder was set off by accident in the city centre, causing mayhem.
(According to Hopper 2004, the explosion "ranks among the largest of
the century".) Stoutly defended though
East Anglia was by the
Parliamentary army, there are said to have been pubs in
the king's health was still drunk and the name of the Protector sung
to ribald verse.
At the cost of some discomfort to the Mayor, the moderate Joseph Hall
was targeted because of his position as Bishop of Norwich.
Norwich was marked in the period after the Restoration of 1660 and the
ensuing century by a golden age of its cloth industry, comparable only
to those in the
West Country and Yorkshire. But unlike other
Norwich weaving brought greater
urbanisation, substantially concentrated in the surrounds of the city
itself, creating an urban society, with features such as leisure time,
alehouses, and other public forums of debate and argument.
Founded in 1771, the
Norwich Hospital cared for the city's
poor and sick. It closed in 2003 after services were moved to the
Norwich University Hospital.
Writing of the early 18th century, Pound describes the city's rich
cultural life, the winter theatre season, the festivities accompanying
the summer assizes, and other popular entertainments.
Norwich was the
wealthiest town in England, with a sophisticated system of poor
relief, and a large influx of foreign refugees. Despite severe
outbreaks of plague, the city had a population of almost 30,000. This
Norwich unique in England, although there were some 50 cities of
similar size in Europe. In some, like Lyon or Dresden, this was, as in
the case of Norwich, linked to an important proto-industry, such as
textiles or china pottery, in some, such as Vienna, Madrid or Dublin,
to the city's status as an administrative capital, and in others such
as Antwerp, Marseilles or Cologne to a position on an important
maritime or river trade route.[b]
Norwich in the late 17th century was riven politically. Churchman
Humphrey Prideaux described "two factions, Whig and
Tory … and both
contend for their way with the utmost violence." Nor did the city
accept the outcome of the 1688
Glorious Revolution with a unified
voice. The pre-eminent citizen, Bishop William Lloyd, would not take
the oaths of allegiance to the new monarchs. One report has it that in
1704 the landlord of Fowler's alehouse "with a glass of beer in hand,
went down on his knees and drank a health to James the third, wishing
the Crowne [sic] well and settled on his head."
In 1716, at a play at the New Inn, the Pretender was cheered and the
audience booed and hissed every time King George's name was mentioned.
In 1722 supporters of the king were said to be "hiss'd at and curst as
they go in the streets," and in 1731 "a
Tory mobb, in a great body,
went through several parts of this city, in a riotous manner, cursing
and abusing such as they knew to be friends of the government."[c] But
the Whigs gradually gained control and by the 1720s they had
successfully petitioned Parliament to allow all adult males working in
the textile industry to take up the freedom, on the correct assumption
that they would vote Whig. But it had the effect of boosting the
city's popular Jacobitism, says Knights, and contests of the kind
described continued in
Norwich well into a period in which political
stability had been discerned at a national level. The city's
Jacobitism perhaps only ended with 1745, well after it had ceased to
be a significant movement outside Scotland. Despite the
Norwich citizens mustering themselves
into an association to protect the city, some Tories refused to join
in and the vestry of
St Peter Mancroft
St Peter Mancroft resolved that it would not ring
its bells to summon the defence. Still, it was the end of the road for
Norwich Jacobites, and the Whigs organised a notable celebration after
the Battle of Culloden.
What the events of this period illustrate is that
Norwich had had a
strong tradition of popular protest favouring Church and Stuarts and
attached to the street and alehouse. Knights tells how in 1716 the
mayoral election had ended in a riot, with both sides throwing
"brick-ends and great paving stones" at each other. A renowned
Jacobite watering-hole, the Blue Bell Inn (nowadays The Bell Hotel),
owned in the early 18th century by the high-church Helwys family,
became the central rendezvous of the
Norwich Revolution Society in the
Britain's first provincial newspaper, the
Norwich Post, appeared in
1701. By 1726 there were rival Whig and
Tory presses and even in
mid-century, three-quarters of the males in some parishes were
Norwich municipal library claims an excellent
collection of these newspapers, also a folio collection of scrapbooks
Norwich politics, which Knights says are "valuable and
Norwich alehouses had 281 clubs and societies meeting in
them in 1701, and at least 138 more were formed before 1758. The
Theatre Royal opened in 1758, alongside the city's stage productions
in inns and puppet shows in rowdy alehouses. In 1750 Norwich
could boast nine booksellers and after 1780 a "growing number of
circulating and subscription libraries". Knights 2004 says: "[All
this] made for a lively political culture, in which independence from
governmental lines was particularly strong, evident in campaigns
against the war with America and for reform... in which trade and the
impact of war with
Revolutionary France were key ingredients. The open
and contestable structure of local government, the press, the clubs
and societies, and dissent all ensured that politics overlapped with
communities bound by economics, religion, ideology and print in a
world in which public opinion could not be ignored."
The Octagon Chapel
Amid this metropolitan culture the city burghers had built a
sophisticated political structure. Freemen, who had the right to trade
and to vote at elections, numbered about 2,000 in 1690, rising to over
3,300 by the mid-1730s. With growth partly the result of political
manipulation, their numbers did at one point reach one-third of the
adult male population. This was notoriously the age of "rotten"
and "pocket" boroughs, and
Norwich was unusual in having such a high
proportion of its citizens able to vote. "Of the political centres
where the Jacobin propaganda had penetrated most deeply only Norwich
Nottingham had a franchise deep enough to allow radicals to make
use of the electoral process." "Apart from London,
probably still the largest of those boroughs which were democratically
governed," says Jewson 1975, describing other towns under the control
of a single fiefdom. In Norwich, he says, a powerful Anglican
establishment, symbolised by the Cathedral and the great church of St
Peter Mancroft was matched by scarcely less powerful congeries of
Dissenters headed by the wealthy literate body [of Unitarians]
worshipping at the Octagon Chapel.
In the middle of political disorders of the late 18th century, Norwich
intellectual life flourished. It contained one, so far unmentioned
Harriet Martineau wrote of the city's literati of the
period, which included such people as William Taylor, one of the first
German scholars in England. The city "boasted of her intellectual
supper-parties, where, amidst a pedantry which would now make laughter
hold both his sides, there was much that was pleasant and salutary:
and finally she called herself The Athens of England."
St Peter Mancroft
Notwithstanding Norwich's hitherto industrial prosperity, the wool
trade was experiencing intense competition by the 1790s, from
Yorkshire woollens and increasingly from Lancashire cottons. The
effects were aggravated by the loss of continental markets after
Britain went to war with
France in 1793.[e] The early 19th century saw
de-industrialisation accompanied by bitter squabbles. The 1820s were
marked by wage cuts and personal recrimination against owners. So amid
the rich commercial and cultural heritage of its recent past, Norwich
suffered in the 1790s from incipient decline exacerbated by a serious
As early in the war as 1793, a major city manufacturer and government
supporter, Robert Harvey, complained of low order books, languid trade
and a doubling of the poor rate.[f] As with many generations of their
Norwich forebears, the hungry poor took their complaints on to the
streets. Hayes describes a meeting of 200 people in a
house, at which "Citizen Stanhope" spoke.[g] The gathering "[roared
its] applause at Stanhope's declaration that the Ministers, unless
they changed their policy, deserved to have their heads brought to the
block; – and if there was a people still in England, the event might
turn out to be so." Hayes says that "the outbreak of war, in bringing
the worsted manufacture almost to a standstill and so plunging the
mass of the
Norwich weavers into sudden distress made it almost
inevitable that a crude appeal to working-class resentment should take
the place of a temperate process of education which the earliest
reformers had intended."
At this period opposition to Pitt's government and their war came—in
their case almost unanimously—from a circle of radical Dissenter
intellectuals who are of interest in their own right They included the
Rigby, Taylor, Aitkin, Barbold, and Alderson families—all
Unitarians, and some of the Quaker Gurneys (one of their girls,
Elizabeth, was, under her married name Fry, to be famous campaigner
for prison reform). Their activities included visits to revolutionary
France (prior to the execution of Louis XVI), the earliest British
research into German literature, studies on medical science,
petitioning for parliamentary reform, and publishing a highbrow
literary magazine called "The Cabinet" (in 1795). Their mixing of
politics, religion and social campaigning was suspicious to Pitt and
Windham—and caused Pitt to denounce
Norwich as "the Jacobin city".
Edmund Burke attacked John Gurney in print for his sponsoring anti-war
protests. Politics aside, it is safe to say that
Norwich was the most
active intellectual hotbed outside
London in the 1790s, and did not
achieve a comparable prominence until the University of East of Anglia
arrived in the late 20th century. Sources—C B Jewson "Jacobin City";
I Scott "Reactions to Radicalism in
Norwich 1989-1802; J P Foynes
East Anglia against the Tricolor 1789-1815";
By 1795 it was not just the
Norwich rabble who were causing the
government concern. In April that year the
Norwich Patriotic Society
was established, its manifesto declaring "that the great end of civil
society was general happiness; that every individual … had a right
to share in the government …" In December the price of bread
reached its highest yet, and in May 1796, when William Windham was
forced to seek re-election following his appointment as war secretary,
he only just held his seat.[h] Amid the same disorder and violence as
was often the case with
Norwich elections, it was only by the
narrowest of margins that the radical Bartlett Gurney, campaigning on
the platform of "Peace and Gurney – No More War – No more Barley
Bread" failed to unseat him.
Though informed by issues of recent national importance, the two-sided
political culture of
Norwich in the 1790s cannot be totally
disconnected from local tradition. Two features stand out from a
political continuum of three centuries. The first is the dichotomous
power balance. From at least the time of the Reformation, there is a
Norwich as a "two-party city". In the mid-16th century the
weaving parishes actually fell under the control of opposition forces,
as Kett's rebels held the north of the river, in support of poor cloth
workers. Secondly, there seems to be a case for saying that with this
tradition of two-sided disputation, the city had over a long period of
time developed an infrastructure, evident in her many cultural and
institutional networks of politics, religion, society, news media and
the arts, whereby argument could be managed short of outright
confrontation. Indeed at a time of hunger and tension on the Norwich
streets, with the alehouse crowds ready to have "a Minister's head
brought to the block", the Anglican and Dissenting clergy were doing
their best to conduct a collegiate dialogue, seeking common ground,
and reinforcing the same well-mannered civic tradition of consensus as
that illustrated by historians of earlier periods.
Surrey House, historic headquarters of the
Norwich Union insurance
In 1797 Thomas Bignold, a 36-year-old wine merchant and banker,
founded the first
Norwich Union Society. Some years earlier, when he
moved from Kent to Norwich, Bignold had been unable to find anyone
willing to insure him against the threat from highwaymen. With the
entrepreneurial thought that nothing was impossible, and aware that in
a city built largely of wood the threat of fire was uppermost in
people's minds, Bignold formed the "
Norwich Union Society for the
Insurance of Houses, Stock and Merchandise from Fire". The new
business, which became known as the
Norwich Union Fire Insurance
Office, was a "mutual" enterprise.
Norwich Union was later to become
the country's largest insurance giant.
From earliest times,
Norwich was a textile centre. In the 1780s, the
Norwich shawls became an important industry and
remained so for nearly a hundred years. The shawls were a high-quality
fashion product and rivalled those made in other towns such as Paisley
(which entered shawl manufacture in about 1805, some 20 or more years
after Norwich). With changes in women's fashion in the later Victorian
period, the popularity of shawls declined and eventually manufacture
ceased. Examples of
Norwich shawls are now highly sought after by
collectors of textiles.
Norwich's geographical isolation was such that until 1845, when a
railway connection was established, it was often quicker to travel to
Amsterdam by boat than to London. The railway was introduced to
Norwich by Morton Peto, who also built the line to Great Yarmouth.
From 1808 to 1814,
Norwich had a station in the shutter telegraph
chain that connected the
London to its naval ships in the
port of Great Yarmouth. A permanent military presence was established
in the city with the completion of
Britannia Barracks in 1897. The
Bethel Street and Cattle Market Street drill halls were built around
the same time.
UEA's Brutalist ziggurats. The university opened in 1963.
In the early part of the 20th century
Norwich still had several major
manufacturing industries. Among them were the manufacture of shoes
(for example the
Start-rite and Van Dal brands), clothing, joinery
(including the cabinet makers and furniture retailer Arthur Brett and
Sons, which continues in business in the 21st century), and structural
engineering, as well as aircraft design and manufacture. Important
employers included Boulton & Paul, Barnards (ironfounders, and
inventors of machine produced wire netting), and electrical engineers
Laurence Scott and Electromotors.
Norwich also has a long association with chocolate manufacture,
primarily through the local firm of Caley's, which began as a
manufacturer and bottler of mineral water and later diversified into
making chocolate and Christmas crackers. The Caley's
cracker-manufacturing business was taken over by Tom Smith in
1953, and the
Norwich factory in Salhouse Road eventually closed in
1998. Caley's was acquired by Mackintosh in the 1930s, and merged with
Rowntree's in 1969 to become Rowntree-Mackintosh. Finally, it was
Nestlé and closed in 1996, with all operations moving to
York after an association of 120 years with Norwich. The demolished
factory stood on the site of what is now the Chapelfield development.
Caley's chocolate has since made a reappearance as a brand in the
city, although it is no longer made in Norwich.
HMSO, once the official publishing and stationery arm of the British
government and one of the largest print buyers, printers and suppliers
of office equipment in the UK, moved most of its operations from
Norwich in the 1970s. It occupied the purpose-built 1968
Sovereign House building, near Anglia Square, which, in 2017, stands
empty, and is due for demolition if the long-postponed redevelopment
of Anglia Square goes ahead.
Jarrolds department store has been based in
Norwich since 1823.
Jarrolds, established in 1810, was a nationally well-known printer and
publisher. In 2004, after nearly 200 years, the printing and
publishing businesses were sold. Today, the company remains privately
owned and the Jarrold name is now best known and recognised as being
that of Norwich's only independent department store. The company is
also active in property development in
Norwich and has a business
The city was home to a long-established tradition of brewing, with
several large breweries continuing in business into the second half of
the century. The main ones were Morgans, Steward and Patteson, Youngs
Crawshay and Youngs, Bullard and Son, and the
Norwich Brewery. Despite
takeovers and consolidation in the 1950s and 1960s, by the 1970s only
Brewery (owned by Watney Mann and on the site of Morgans)
remained. That too closed in 1985 and was subsequently demolished.
Only microbreweries can be found today.
Norwich suffered extensive bomb damage during World War II, affecting
large parts of the old city centre and Victorian terrace housing
around the centre. Industry and the rail infrastructure also suffered.
The heaviest raids occurred on the nights of 27/28 and 29/30 April
1942; as part of the
Baedeker raids (so called because Baedeker's
series of tourist guides to the
British Isles were used to select
propaganda-rich targets of cultural and historic significance rather
than strategic importance).
Lord Haw-Haw made reference to the
imminent destruction of Norwich's new City Hall (completed in 1938),
although in the event it survived unscathed. Significant targets hit
included the Morgan's
Brewery building, Coleman's
City Station, the Mackintosh chocolate factory, and shopping areas
including St Stephen's St and St Benedict's St, the site of Bond's
department store (now John Lewis) and Curl's department store. 229
citizens were killed in the two Baedecker raids, and 340 by bombing
throughout the war—giving
Norwich the highest air raid casualties in
Eastern England. In 1945 the city was also the intended target of a
brief V2 rocket campaign, though all these missed the city. (Sources:
4 Civil Defence Region bombing reports at National Archive; M J F
Bowyer "Air Raid")
In 1976 the city's pioneering spirit was on show when Motum Road in
Norwich, allegedly the scene of "a number of accidents over the
years", became the third road in Britain to be equipped with sleeping
policemen, intended to encourage adherence to the road's 30 mph
(48 km/h) speed limit. The bumps, installed at intervals of
50 and 150 yards, stretched 12 feet across the width of the road and
their curved profile was, at its highest point, 4 inches
(10 cm) high. The responsible quango gave an assurance that
the experimental devices would be removed not more than one year after
From 1980 to 1985 the City became a frequent focus of national media
due to the squatting of Argyle Street.
Norfolk County Council and
Norwich City Council
Norwich local elections
Norwich City Hall, the meeting place of the city council
City and county councils
Norwich has been governed by two tiers of local government since the
implementation of the Local Government Act 1972. The upper tier is
Norfolk County Council, which manages strategic services such as
schools, social services and libraries across the county of Norfolk.
The lower tier is
Norwich City Council, which manages local services
such as housing, planning, leisure and tourism.
Norwich elects 13 county councillors to the 84-member county council.
The city is divided into single-member electoral divisions, and county
councillors are elected every four years. Following the 2013
county council elections, the distribution of council seats is Labour
Party 8, Green Party 4, Liberal Democrats 1. The county council is
currently under no overall control.
Norwich City Council
Norwich City Council consists of 39 councillors elected to represent
13 wards — three councillors per ward. Elections are held by thirds,
where one councillor in each ward is elected annually for a four-year
term, except in the year of county council elections. It is
currently controlled by the Labour Party. Following the 2016 local
elections, the distribution of council seats is Labour 26, Green Party
10, Liberal Democrats 3.
Lord mayoralty and shrievalty
Norwich Guildhall, the seat of local government from the early 15th
century until 1938
See also: List of Lord Mayors of Norwich
The ceremonial head of the city is the Lord Mayor; though now simply a
ceremonial position, in the past the office carried considerable
authority, with executive powers over the finances and affairs of the
city council. As of 2017[update], the Lord Mayor is Cllr. David
Fullman and the Deputy Lord Mayor is Cllr. Martin Schmierer. The
office of mayor of
Norwich dates from 1403 and was raised to the
dignity of lord mayor in 1910 by Edward VII "in view of the position
occupied by that city as the chief city of
East Anglia and of its
close association with His Majesty". The title was regranted
on local government reorganisation in 1974. From 1404 the citizens
of Norwich, as a county corporate, had the privilege of electing two
sheriffs. Under the
Municipal Corporations Act 1835
Municipal Corporations Act 1835 this number of
sheriffs was reduced to one, and it became an entirely ceremonial
post. Both Lord Mayor and sheriff are elected at the council's annual
Unitary status proposal
In October 2006, the Department for Communities and Local Government
produced a Local Government White Paper inviting councils to submit
proposals for unitary restructuring.
Norwich submitted its proposal in
January 2007, which was rejected in December 2007, as it did not meet
all the rigorous criteria for acceptance. In February 2008, the
Boundary Committee for
England (from 1 April 2010 incorporated in the
Local Government Boundary Commission for England), was asked to
consider alternative proposals for the whole or part of Norfolk,
Norwich should become a unitary authority, separate
Norfolk County Council. In December 2009, the Boundary Committee
recommended a single unitary authority covering all of Norfolk,
However, in February 2010, it was announced that, contrary to the
December 2009 recommendation of the Boundary Committee,
be given separate unitary status. The proposed change was strongly
resisted, principally by
Norfolk County Council and the Conservative
opposition in Parliament. Reacting to the announcement, Norfolk
County Council said it would look to challenge the decision in the
courts. A letter was leaked to the local media, in which the
Permanent Secretary for the Department for Communities and Local
Government noted that the decision did not meet all the criteria and
that the risk of it "being successfully challenged in judicial review
proceedings is very high." The Shadow Local Government and
Planning Minister, Bob Neill, stated that should the Conservative
Party win the 2010 general election, they would reverse the
Following the 2010 general election, Eric Pickles was appointed
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in a
Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government. According to
press reports, he instructed his department to take urgent steps to
reverse the decision and maintain the status quo in line with the
Conservative Party manifesto. However, the unitary plans were
supported by the Liberal Democrat group on the city council, and by
Simon Wright, LibDem MP for
Norwich South, who intended to lobby the
party leadership to allow the changes to go ahead.
Local Government Act 2010
Local Government Act 2010 to reverse the unitary decision for
Exeter and Suffolk) received Royal Assent in December
2010. The disputed award of unitary status had meanwhile been referred
to the High Court, and in June 2010 the court ruled it unlawful, and
revoked it; the city failed to attain unitary status.
Norwich North (UK Parliament constituency)
Norwich North (UK Parliament constituency) and
(UK Parliament constituency)
Norwich has returned two members of parliament to the House
of Commons. Until 1950 the city was an undivided constituency,
returning two MPs. Since that date the area has been divided between
two single-member constituencies:
Norwich North and
Both constituencies have proved to be marginal seats in recent
elections; until 2010 switching between the Labour and Conservative
Norwich North, which includes some rural wards of
was held by Labour from 1966 to 1983 when it was gained by the
Conservatives. Labour regained the seat in 1997, holding it until a
by-election in 2009. The current MP is the Conservative, Chloe Smith,
who held the seat in the 2015 General Election.
which includes part of South
Norfolk District, was held by Labour from
1966 to 1983 when it was gained by the Conservatives. John Garrett
regained the seat for Labour in 1987.
Charles Clarke became Labour MP
Norwich South in 1997. In the 2010 General Election, Labour
lost the seat to the Liberal Democrats, with Simon Wright becoming
MP. At the 2015 General Election, Clive Lewis regained the seat
In the 2017 General Election, both the incumbent 2015 MPs held their
United Kingdom Census 2011 reported a resident population for the
Norwich of 132,512, a 9% increase over the 2001 census.
The urban or built-up area of
Norwich had a population of 213,166
according to the 2011 census. This area extends beyond the city
boundary, with extensive suburban areas on the western, northern and
eastern sides, including Costessey, Taverham, Hellesdon, Bowthorpe,
Sprowston and Thorpe St Andrew. The parliamentary seats
cross over into adjacent local-government districts. The population of
Travel to Work Area
Travel to Work Area (i. e. the self-contained
labour-market area in and around
Norwich in which most people live and
commute to work) is 282,000 (mid-2009 estimate).
Norwich is the
fourth most densely populated local-government district in the East of
England, with 3,480 people per square kilometre (8,993 per square
In 2011 the racial composition of Norwich's population was 90.9% White
(84.7% White British, 0.7% White Irish, 0.1% Gypsy or Irish Traveller,
5.4% Other White), 4.5% Asian (1.3% Indian, 0.2% Pakistani, 0.4%
Bangladeshi, 1.3% Chinese, 1.3% Other Asian), 2.3% of mixed race (0.5%
White and Black Caribbean, 0.5% White and Black African, 0.7% White
and Asian, 0.6% Other Mixed), 1.6% Black (1.3% African, 0.2%
Caribbean, 0.1% Other Black), 0.5% Arab and 0.4% of other ethnic
heritage. In terms of religion, 44.9% of the population are
Christian, 2% are Muslim, 0.8% are Hindu, 0.7% are Buddhist, 0.2% are
Jewish, 0.1% are Sikh, 0.7% belong to another religion, 42.5% have no
religion and 8.2% did not state their religion. In both the 2001
and 2011 censuses
Norwich was found to be the least religious city in
England, with the largest proportion of respondents with no reported
religion, compared to 25.1% across
England and Wales.
The largest quinary group is 20 to 24-year-olds (14.6%) because of the
large university student population.
Primary and secondary
The city has 56 primary schools (including 16 academies and free
schools) and 13 secondary schools, 11 of which are academies. The
city's eight independent schools include
Norwich School and the
Norwich High School for Girls. There are also five special
Universities and colleges
Norwich University of the Arts
Norwich has two universities, the University of
East Anglia and
Norwich University of the Arts. The student population of the city is
around 15,000, many of whom come from overseas. The University of
East Anglia was founded in 1963 and is located on the outskirts of the
city. It is well known for its creative-writing programme, established
Malcolm Bradbury and Angus Wilson, whose graduates include Kazuo
Ishiguro and Ian McEwan. The university campus is the home of the
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, which houses a number of important
art collections. The
Norwich University of the Arts
Norwich University of the Arts dates back to 1845
Norwich School of Design. Founded by artists and followers of
Norwich School art movement, it was established to provide
designers for local industries. Previously a specialist arts college
Norwich School of Art and Design), it achieved university
status in 2013.
Norwich has three further education colleges: Access to Music, is
located on Magdalen Street at Epic Studios. Easton & Otley
College, located 11 km (7 miles) west of the city, and City
College Norwich, situated on
Ipswich Road. The latter was founded in
1891 and is one of the largest colleges in the country.
Culture and attractions
Norwich has been associated with art, literature and
publishing, which continues to the present day.
Norwich was the site
of the first provincial library in England, which opened in 1608, and
was the first city to implement the Public Libraries Act 1850. The
Norwich Post was the first provincial newspaper outside London, first
published in 1701. The
Norwich School of artists was the first
provincial art movement, with nationally acclaimed artists such as
John Crome associated with the movement. Other literary firsts
associated with the city include Julian of Norwich's Revelations of
Divine Love, published in 1395, which was the first book written in
the English language by a woman, and the first poem written in blank
verse, composed by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, in the 16th
Today the city is a regional centre for publishing, with 5% of the
UK's independent publishing sector based in the city in 2012. In
Norwich became the UK's first City of Refuge, part of the
International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) which promotes free
Norwich made the shortlist for the first city to be
designated UK City of Culture, but in July 2010 it was announced that
Derry had been selected. In May 2012
Norwich was designated as
UNESCO City of Literature.
Pulls Ferry, once a 15th-century watergate
Norwich is a popular destination for a city break; attractions include
Norwich Cathedral, the cobbled streets and museums of old Norwich,
Norwich Castle, Cow Tower,
Colman's Mustard Shop and Museum, Dragon
Hall and The Forum.
Norwich is one of the UK's top ten shopping
destinations, with a mix of chain retailers and independent stores as
Norwich Market, one of the largest outdoor markets in England.
It is ranked about the 150th biggest city in Europe.
The Forum, designed by Michael Hopkins and Partners and opened in 2002
is a building designed to house the
Library, a replacement for the
Norwich Central Library building which
burned down in 1994, and the regional headquarters and television
BBC East. For the seventh consecutive year since 2006 it
has been the most visited library in the UK, with 1.3 million visits
in 2013. The collections contains the
2nd Air Division
2nd Air Division Memorial
Library, a collection of material about American culture and the
American relationship with East Anglia, especially the role of the
United States Air Force
United States Air Force on UK airbases throughout the Second World War
and Cold War. Much of the collection was lost in the 1994 fire, but
the collection has been restored by contributions from many veterans
of the war, both European and American. The building also provides a
venue for art exhibitions, concerts and events, although the city
still lacks a dedicated concert venue.
Recent attempts to shed the backwater image of
Norwich and market it
as a popular tourist destination, as well as a centre for science,
commerce, culture and the arts, have included the refurbishment of the
Norwich Castle Museum and the opening of the Forum. The proposed new
Norwich as England's Other City has been the subject of
much discussion and controversy. It remains to be seen whether it will
be finally adopted. A number of signs at the approaches to the city
still display the traditional phrase: "
Norwich — a fine city."
The Forum, housing, among other things, the
Norfolk and Norwich
Millennium Library and the BBC's East of
England headquarters and
The city promotes its architectural heritage through a collection of
notable buildings in
Norwich called the "
Norwich 12". The group
Norwich Cathedral, The Great Hospital, St
Andrew's Hall and Blackfriars' Hall, The Guildhall, Dragon Hall, The
Assembly House, St James Mill,
St John the Baptist
St John the Baptist RC Cathedral,
Surrey House, City Hall and The Forum.
Art and music
Each year the
Norwich Festival celebrates the arts,
drawing many visitors into the city from all over eastern England. The
Norwich Twenty Group, founded in 1944, presents exhibitions of its
members to promote awareness of modern art.
Norwich was home to the
first arts festival in Britain in 1772.
Norwich Arts Centre
Norwich Arts Centre is a notable live music venue, concert hall and
theatre located in St Benedict's Street. OPEN in Bank Plain is a
large, popular music and conference venue and the King of Hearts in
Fye Bridge Street is another centre for art and music.
Norwich has a
thriving music scene based around local venues such as the University
East Anglia LCR,
Norwich Arts Centre, The Waterfront, The Owl
Sanctuary, Epic Studios and The Blueberry. Live music, mostly
contemporary musical genres, is also to be heard at a number of other
public house and club venues around the city. The city is host to many
artists that have achieved national and international recognition such
as Cord, The Kabeedies, Serious Drinking, Tim Bowness, Sennen, Magoo
Norwich is also the home of jazz and blues vocalist Albert
Cooper (born 1931), who has performed on innumerable occasions in the
city since 1954.
Norwich was selected to host the 2015
BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend. The
event was held on 23–24 May in Earlham Park.
Established record labels in
Norwich include; All Sorted Records,
NR ONE, Hungry Audio and Burning Shed.
Stella Vine lived in
Norwich from the age of seven,
including for a short while in
Argyle Street, Norwich
Argyle Street, Norwich and again later
in life with her son Jamie. Vine depicted the city in a large
painting, Welcome to
Norwich a fine city (2006).
Norwich Arts Centre, opened in 1977, on St. Benedict's Street
The Theatre Royal, Norwich's largest theatre
Norwich Playhouse, located on St. George's Street
Norwich has theatres ranging in capacity from 100 to 1,300 seats and
offering a wide variety of programmes. The Theatre Royal is the
largest and has been on its present site for nearly 250 years, through
several rebuildings and many alterations. It has 1,300 seats and hosts
a mix of national touring productions including musicals, dance,
drama, family shows, stand-up comedians, opera and pop.
Maddermarket Theatre opened in 1921 and was the first permanent
recreation of an Elizabethan theatre. The founder was
Nugent Monck who
had worked with William Poel. The theatre is a Shakespearean-style
playhouse and has a seating capacity of 310.
Norwich Puppet Theatre
was founded in 1979 by Ray and Joan DaSilva as a permanent base for
their touring company and was first opened as a public venue in 1980,
following the conversion of the medieval church of St. James in the
heart of Norwich. Under subsequent artistic directors — Barry Smith
and Luis Z. Boy — the theatre established its current pattern of
operation. It is a nationally unique venue dedicated to puppetry, and
currently houses a 185-seat raked auditorium, the 50-seat Octagon
Studio, workshops, an exhibition gallery, shop and licensed bar. It is
the only theatre in the Eastern region with a year-round programme of
Norwich Arts Centre
Norwich Arts Centre theatre opened in
1977 in St Benedict's Street, and has a capacity of 290. The Norwich
Playhouse, which opened in 1995 and has seating capacity of 300, is a
venue in the heart of the city and one of the most modern performance
spaces of its size in East Anglia.
The Garage studio theatre can seat up to 110 people in a range of
layouts. It can also be used for standing events to accommodate up to
180 people. Platform Theatre is in the grounds of the City College
Norwich. Productions are staged mainly during the autumn and summer
months. The theatre is raked and seats about 250 people. On 20 April
2012, the theatre held a large relaunch event with an evening
performance, show-casing it at its best with previews of upcoming
performances and scenes from some of its past performances.
The Whiffler Theatre was built 1981 and was given to the people of
Norwich by the local newspaper group Eastern Daily Press. It is an
open-air facility in
Norwich Castle Gardens, with fixed-raked seating
for up to 80 people and standing for another 30 on the balcony. The
stage is brick-built and has its dressing-rooms set in a small
building to stage left. The Whiffler mainly plays host to small
Sewell Barn Theatre
Sewell Barn Theatre is the smallest theatre
Norwich and has a seating capacity of just 100. The auditorium
features raked seating on three sides of an open acting space. This
unusual staging helps to draw the audience closely into the
Public performance spaces include the Forum in the city centre, which
has a large open-air amphitheatre, hosting performances of many types
throughout the year. Additionally, the cloisters of
are used for open-air performances as part of an annual Shakespeare
Norwich has a number of important museums which reflect the rich
history of the city and of
Norfolk as well as wider interests. The
Norwich Castle Museum. This has extensive collections of
archaeological finds from the county of Norfolk, of art (including a
fine collection of paintings by the
Norwich School of painters), of
ceramics (including the largest collection of British teapots), of
silver, and of natural history. Of particular interest are dioramas of
Norfolk scenery, showing wildlife and landscape. It has been
extensively remodelled to enhance the display of the many collections,
and hosts frequent temporary exhibitions of art and other
The Museum of
Norwich (until 2014 called The Bridewell Museum), in
Bridewell Alley, was closed in 2010 for a major refurbishment of the
building and overhaul of the displays, and re-opened in July
2012. There are several galleries and groups of displays.
These include "Life in Norwich: Our City 1900–1945"; "Life in
Norwich: Our City 1945 Onwards"; and "England's Second City" depicting
Norwich in the 18th century. "Made in Norwich", "Industrious City" and
"Shoemakers" have exhibits connected with the historic industries of
Norwich, including weaving, shoe and boot making, iron foundries and
the manufacture of metal goods, engineering, milling, brewing,
chocolate-making and other food manufacturing. "Shopping and Trading"
contains exhibits from the early 19th century to the 1960s.
Strangers' Hall, at Charing Cross, is one of the oldest buildings in
Norwich: a merchant's house dating from the early 14th century. The
many rooms are furnished and equipped in the styles of different eras,
from the Early Tudor to the Late Victorian. Exhibits include costumes
and textiles, domestic objects, children's toys and games, and
children's books. The last two collections are considered to be of
Norfolk Regimental Museum was, until 2011, housed in part of
the former Shirehall, close to the castle. Although archives and the
reserve collections are still held in the Shirehall, the principal
museum display there closed in September 2011, and was relocated to
Norwich Castle Museum, reopening fully in 2013. Its
exhibits illustrate the history of the regiment from its 17th-century
origins to its incorporation into the
Royal Anglian Regiment
Royal Anglian Regiment in 1964,
along with many aspects of military life in the regiment. There is an
extensive and representative display of medals awarded to soldiers of
the regiment, including two of the six Victoria Crosses won.
City of Norwich Aviation Museum
City of Norwich Aviation Museum is located at Horsham St. Faith,
on the northern edge of the city and close to
Norwich Airport. There
are static displays of both military and civil aircraft, together with
various collections of exhibits, including one concerned with the
United States 8th Army Air Force. The John Jarrold Printing
Museum, at Whitefriars, is dedicated to the history of printing and
contains many examples of printing machinery, presses, books, and
related equipment. Exhibits range in date from the early 19th century
to the present day. Many were donated by Jarrold Printing.
Dragon Hall, in King Street, is a fine example of a medieval
merchants' trading hall. Mostly dating from about 1430, it is unique
in Western Europe. In 2006 the building underwent a thorough
restoration. Its magnificent architecture is complemented by displays
showing the history of the building and its role in the life of
Norwich through the ages. The
Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service
Costume and Textiles Study Centre, at the Shirehall in Market Avenue,
contains an extensive collection of more than 20,000 items, built up
over a period of some 130 years, and previously kept in other Norwich
museums. Although not a publicly open museum in the usual sense, the
collection is accessible to the general public, students, researchers
and others by prior appointment.
Norwich has three cinema complexes. Odeon
Norwich is located in the
Riverside Leisure Centre, Vue in the
Castle Mall and Hollywood Cinema
at Anglia Square, north of the city centre. Cinema City is an
art-house cinema showing non-mainstream productions operated by
Picturehouse on St Andrews Street opposite St Andrew's Hall, whose
patron was actor John Hurt. Owing to its agricultural history,
Norwich has a large number of pubs throughout the city. Prince of
Wales Road in the city centre, running from the Riverside district
Norwich railway station
Norwich railway station to
Norwich Castle, is home to many pubs,
bars and clubs.
Media and film
Anglia House, the headquarters of Anglia Television, today ITV Anglia
Norwich is the headquarters of
BBC East, its presence in the east of
BBC Radio Norfolk,
BBC Look East, Inside Out and The
Politics Show are all broadcast from
BBC studios in The Forum.
Independent radio stations based in
Norwich include Heart, Smooth
Radio, 99.9 Radio Norwich, and the University of East Anglia's
Livewire 1350, an online station. A community station, Future Radio,
was launched on 6 August 2007.
ITV Anglia, formerly Anglia Television, is based in Norwich. Although
one of the smaller ITV companies, it supplied the network with some of
its most popular shows such as Tales of the Unexpected, Survival and
Sale of the Century (1971–1983), which began each edition with John
Benson's enthusiastic announcement: "And now from Norwich, it's the
quiz of the week!" The company also had a subsidiary called Anglia
Multimedia, which produced educational content on CD and DVD mainly
for schools, and was one of the three companies, along with Granada TV
BBC vying for the right to produce a digital television
station for English schools and colleges.
Launched in 1959,
Anglia Television lost its independence in 1994
following a takeover by
Meridian Broadcasting and subsequent mergers
have seen it reduced from a significant producer of programmes to a
regional news centre. The company is still based in Anglia House, the
Norwich Agricultural Hall, on Agricultural Hall
Plain near Prince of Wales Road. However, despite the contraction of
Anglia, television production in
Norwich has by no means ended.
Anglia's former network production centre at Magdalen Street has been
taken over by
Norfolk County Council and extensively re-vamped. After
total investment of £4m from the East of
England Development Agency
(EEDA) it has re-opened as Epic Studios (East of
Innovation Centre). Degree courses in film and video are also run at
the centre by
Norwich University of the Arts. Epic has commercial,
broadcast quality post-production facilities, a real-time virtual
studio and a smaller HD discussion studio. The main studio opened as
an HD facility in November 2008. Throughout 2008, the centre has
concentrated on the development of new TV formats and has worked on
pilot shows with Les Dennis, Gaby Roslin and Christopher Biggins.
Archant publishes two daily newspapers in Norwich, the
News, and the regional
Eastern Daily Press (EDP), and had its own
television operation, Mustard TV, which has now closed.
The character of
Alan Partridge in the sitcom I'm Alan Partridge
(1997–2002) and the comedy film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013) is
Norwich broadcaster played by Steve Coogan.
Norwich was England's second city during the
Middle Ages and
Renaissance, it has, though little acknowledged, a number of
significant associations with esoteric spirituality. It was the home
of William Cuningham, a physician who published An Invective Epistle
in Defense of Astrologers in 1560. The Elizabethan dramatist
Robert Greene, author of Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, was born in
Norwich in 1558.The city was also the retirement residence of Arthur
Dee (died Norwich, 1651) the eldest son of the alchemist John
The Layer Monument, marble polychrome c. 1600
Norwich was also the residence of the physician and hermetic
philosopher Sir Thomas Browne, author of
The Garden of Cyrus
The Garden of Cyrus (1658).
Many influential esoteric books-titles are listed as once in Browne's
library. His coffin-plate, on display at the church of St Peter
Mancroft, alludes to
Paracelsian medicine and alchemy. Translated from
Latin it reads, Great Virtues, … sleeping here the dust of his
spagyric body converts the lead to gold. Browne is also a significant
figure in the history of physiognomy.
The Church of St John Maddermarket's graveyard includes the Crabtree
headstone, which has the pre-Christian symbol of the
Square and Compasses
Square and Compasses carved upon it. Housed within the
church there is the Layer Monument, a rare example of an alchemical
mandala in European funerary art.
From 1787 the congregation of the
New Jerusalem Church
New Jerusalem Church of
Swedenborgians, followers of the mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, worshipped
at the church of St. Mary the Less; in 1852 they moved to Park Lane,
Norwich to establish the Swedenborgian Chapel.
Grade I listed buildings in Norwich
Grade I listed buildings in Norwich and Grade II* listed
buildings in Norwich
Norwich has a wealth of historical architecture. The medieval period
is represented by the 11th-century
Norwich Cathedral, 12th-century
castle (now a museum) and a large number of parish churches. During
the Middle Ages, 57 churches stood within the city wall; 31 still
exist today, and seven are still used for worship. This gave rise
to the common regional saying that it had a church for every week of
the year, and a pub for every day.
Norwich is said to have more
standing medieval churches than any city north of the Alps. The
Adam and Eve pub is believed to be the oldest pub in the city,
with the earliest known reference made in 1249. Most of the
medieval buildings are in the city centre. Notable examples of secular
medieval architecture are Dragon Hall, built in about 1430, and The
Guildhall, built 1407–1413, with later additions. From the 18th
century the pre-eminent local name is Thomas Ivory, who built the
Assembly Rooms (1776), the Octagon Chapel (1756), St Helen's House
(1752) in the grounds of the Great Hospital, and innovative
speculative housing in Surrey Street (c. 1761). Ivory should not be
confused with the Irish architect of the same name and similar period.
The 19th century saw an explosion in Norwich's size and much of its
housing stock, as well as commercial building in the city centre,
dates from this period. The local architect of the Victorian and
Edwardian periods who has continued to command most critical respect
George Skipper (1856–1948). Examples of his work include the
Norwich Union on Surrey Street; the
Art Nouveau Royal
Arcade; and the Hotel de Paris in the nearby seaside town of Cromer.
The neo-Gothic Roman
Catholic cathedral dedicated to St John the
Baptist on Earlham Road, begun in 1882, is by George Gilbert Scott
Junior and his brother, John Oldrid Scott.
The city continued to grow through the 20th century, and much housing,
particularly in areas further out from the city centre, dates from
that century. The first notable building post-Skipper was the City
Hall by CH James and SR Pierce, opened in 1938; at the same time, they
moved the City War Memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, to sit in
a memorial garden between the city hall and the market place. Bombing
during the Second World War, while resulting in relatively little loss
of life, caused significant damage to housing stock in the city
centre. Much of the replacement postwar stock was designed by the
local authority architect, David Percival. However, the major postwar
Norwich from an architectural point of view was the
opening of the University of
East Anglia in 1964. Originally designed
Denys Lasdun (his design was never completely executed), it has
been added to over subsequent decades by major names such as Norman
Foster and Rick Mather.
Norwich Cathedral lies close to Tombland in the city centre.
Elm Hill is an intact medieval street.
Cow Tower stands on the banks of the River Wensum.
The varying styles of architecture along Gentleman's Walk
Parks, gardens and open spaces
Riverside flats Norwich
See also List of parks, gardens and open spaces in Norwich
Chapelfield Gardens in central
Norwich became the city's first public
park in November 1880. From the start of the 20th century, Norwich
Norwich City Council, began buying and leasing land
to develop parks when funds became available. Sewell Park and James
Stuart Gardens are examples of land donated by benefactors.
After World War I the corporation took advantage of government grants
and made the decision to construct a series of formal parks as a means
to alleviate unemployment. Under the guidance of Parks Superintendent
Captain Sandys-Winsch four parks were completed; Heigham Park
(1924), Wensum Park (1925), Eaton Park (1928), Waterloo Park (1933).
These parks retain many features from Sandys-Winsch's original plans
and have been placed on the English Heritage Register of Parks and
Special Historic Interest.
As of 2015, the city has 23 parks, 95 open spaces and 59 natural areas
managed by the local authority. In addition there are several
privately owned gardens which are occasionally opened to the public in
aid of charity with the exception of the Plantation Garden
located close to the
St John the Baptist
St John the Baptist Cathedral which opens daily.
Carrow Road – the home of
Norwich City F.C.
The principal local football club is
Norwich City, also known as the
Canaries, who play in the second tier of English football, the
Championship, after being relegated from the
Premier League at the end
of the 2015–16 season. Majority-owned by celebrity chef Delia Smith
and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones, their ground is at Carrow Road.
They have a strong East Anglian rivalry with
Ipswich Town. The club
has enjoyed considerable success in the past, having played in the top
division regularly since 1972, their longest spell being a nine-year
run from 1986 to 1995. They have also won two Football League Cups,
and finished third in the inaugural
Premier League in 1993. They were
relegated two years later and did not reclaim their top flight place
for nine years, going down again after just one season, only to return
in 2011 after two successive promotions.
Norwich City's most famous result to date came later in 1993
when they eliminated German giants
Bayern Munich from the UEFA Cup, in
what is to date their only season in European competitions; they had
qualified for the
UEFA Cup three times between 1985 and 1989 but were
unable to compete as there was a ban on English clubs in European
competitions at the time. Before emerging as a top division club, they
Manchester United from the FA Cup in 1959, and
went on to reach the semi-finals of the competition, a run they
achieved again in 1989 and most recently in 1992. In the 1980s and
early 1990s, the club produced some of the most highly rated talent of
that era, including striker Chris Sutton, winger Ruel Fox, defender
Andy Linighan, midfielder Mike Phelan, midfielder
Tim Sherwood and
striker Justin Fashanu. The club's most successful managers have
included Ken Brown, Ron Saunders, Dave Stringer, Mike Walker, Nigel
Worthington and Paul Lambert.
The city's second club,
Norwich United (who are based in
8 kilometres (5.0 mi) east of the city) play in the Isthmian
League league, whilst
Norwich CBS play in the Eastern Counties League.
The now-defunct Gothic were also based in Norwich. Local football
clubs are served by the
Norwich and District Saturday Football League.
Norwich also has an athletics club, City of
Norwich AC (CoNAC), a
rugby club, the
Norwich Lions, and a handball Club,
Norwich also has five field hockey clubs. In the 2012/13 season the
club playing the highest level on the men's side will be
Hockey Club in the East Hockey Premier B, which is two levels
below National League. The second highest level is
Norwich Dragons in
Division Two North, then the students only University of East Anglia
Men's Hockey Club in Division Three North East, then
Men's Hockey Club in Division Six North East. On the Ladies' side of
the game both
Norwich City Hockey Club and
Norwich Dragons Hockey club
play in East Hockey's Division One North, two levels below National
League. Following them the students from the University of East Anglia
Women's Hockey Club play in the
Norfolk Premier Division. Also in
Norwich there is the veterans only side
Outside the city boundary, the dry ski and snowboarding slopes of
Norfolk Ski Club is located at
Whitlingham Lane in Trowse. Located
close by in the parish of
Whitlingham is the
Park home to the Outdoor Education Centre. The centre is
based on the south bank of the Great Broad which is also used by scuba
divers from one of the city's three diving schools and other water and
Norwich has two main rowing clubs in the Yare Boat Club, which is the
older but smaller of the two, based on an island on the River Yare
accessed from beside the Rivergarden pub on Thorpe Road in Norwich;
Norwich Rowing Club which is larger and, in partnership with
Norwich Canoe Club, UEA Boat Club,
Norwich School Boat Club and
Norwich High School Rowing Club, has recently built a new boat house
Whitlingham Little Broad and the River Yare.
Club specialise in sprint and marathon racing. They hold the
highest British Canoe Union Top Club Gold accreditation and are
one of the more successful clubs in the UK. Ian Wynne, 2004 Olympics
K1 500m bronze medallist, is an honorary member of the club.
Speedway racing was staged in
Norwich both before and after World War
II at The Firs Stadium on the Holt Road, Hellesdon. The
raced in the Northern League of 1946 and the National League Division
Two between 1947 and 1951, winning it in 1951. They were subsequently
elevated to the National League and raced at the top flight until the
stadium was closed at the end of the 1964 season. One meeting was
staged at a venue at
Hevingham but the event, staged without an
official permit, did not lead to a revival of the sport in the Norwich
In the world of boxing,
Norwich can boast former European and British
lightweight champion Jon Thaxton, reigning English light
heavyweight champion Danny McIntosh and heavyweight Sam Sexton, a
former winner of the Prizefighter tournament. Based in
Herbie Hide has been
Heavyweight World Champion twice. He
won the championship in 1994–95 and for a second time in 1997.
Norwich also have a UK
Baseball team the
Iceni who compete at
the Single A level of the BBF. The team were founded in 2015 with
players from the UEA Blue Sox who wished to carry on playing after
university. The team officially joined the league in 2017 and were
crowned BBF Single A champions in their first season going undefeated
with 17 wins.
Norwich was the second city of
England (after London) for several
centuries before industrialisation, which came late to
Norwich due to
its isolation and lack of raw materials.
In November 2006 the city was voted the greenest in the UK. There
is currently an initiative taking place to make it a transition town.
Norwich has recently been the scene of open discussions in public
spaces, known as "meet in the street", that cover social and political
A large proportion of the population of
Norwich are users of the
Internet. A recent article has suggested that, compared with other UK
cities, it is top of the league for the percentage of population who
use the popular Internet auction site eBay. The city has also
unveiled the biggest free
Wi-Fi network in the UK, which opened in
In August 2007
Norwich was shortlisted as one of nine finalists in its
population group for the International Awards for Liveable
Communities. LivCom Awards The city eventually won a silver award in
the small city category."
Economy and infrastructure
The Royal Arcade, designed by George Skipper, opened in 1899.
Norwich's economy was historically manufacturing based, with a large
shoemaking industry, but transitioned throughout the 1980s and 1990s
to a service-based economy.
Norwich economy (which includes Norwich,
Norfolk government districts) as measured by GVA was estimated
at £7.4 billion in 2011 (2011 GVA at 2006 prices). The city's
largest employment sectors are business and financial services (31%),
public services (26%), retail (12%), manufacturing (8%) and tourism
(7%). Unemployment in urban
Norwich and the
Norwich City Council
area was 2.7% and 3.7% respectively in January 2014, compared to 3%
across Great Britain.
New developments on the former
Boulton and Paul
Boulton and Paul site include the
Riverside entertainment complex with nightclubs and other venues
featuring the usual national leisure brands. Nearby, the football
stadium is being upgraded with more residential property development
alongside the river Wensum.
Archant, formerly known as Eastern Counties Newspapers (ECN), is a
national publishing group that has grown out of the city's local
newspapers and is headquartered in Norwich.
Norwich has long been associated with the manufacture of mustard. The
Colman's brand, with its yellow packaging, was founded in
1814 and operates from its factory at Carrow, although that site is
due to close by the end of 2019.
Colman's is now exported
worldwide by its parent company
Unilever UK Export), putting
Norwich on the map of British heritage brands. The
Shop, which sells
Colman's products and related gifts, was, until
2017, located in the Royal Arcade in the centre of Norwich.
To the south-west of the city is the
Norwich Research Park, which as
of 2012[update] is set to undergo a period of investment and
expansion. The NRP comprises a community of research organisations
with world-leading science credentials, including the Institute of
Food Research and the John Innes Centre, as well as over 30 science
and technology-based businesses, the University of
East Anglia and the
Norwich University Hospital.
Norwich's night-time economy of bars and night clubs is mainly located
in Tombland, Prince of Wales Road and the Riverside area adjacent to
Norwich railway station.
Gentleman's Walk, showing the stalls of
Norwich Market, City Hall and
the Guildhall (right)
Norwich was the eighth most prosperous shopping destination in the UK
Norwich has an ancient market place, established by the
Normans between 1071 and 1074, which is today the largest
six-days-a-week open-air market in England. In 2006, the market was
downsized and redeveloped, and the new market stalls have proved
controversial: with 20% less floorspace than the original stalls,
higher rental and other charges, and inadequate rainwater handling,
which has been unpopular with many stallholders and customers alike.
In 2007 the local
Norwich Evening News characterised
Norwich Market as
an ongoing conflict between the market traders and
Council, which operates the market.
Castle Mall, a shopping centre designed by the local practice
Lambert, Scott & Innes and opened in 1993, presents an ingenious
solution to the problem of accommodating new retail space in a
historic city-centre environment — the building is largely concealed
underground and built into the side of a hill, with a public park
created on its roof in the area south of the castle.
A second shopping mall,
Intu Chapelfield (formally known as
Chapelfield) was opened in 2005 on the site of a closed Caley's (later
Rowntree Mackintosh and Nestlé) chocolate factory. Chapelfield opened
in September 2005, featuring as its flagship department store House of
Fraser. Detractors have criticised Chapelfield as unnecessary and
damaging to local businesses; its presence has prompted smaller
retailers to band together to promote the virtues of independent
shops. Despite this, in August 2006 it was reported by the Javelin
Norwich was one of the top five retail destinations in the
UK, and in October 2006 the city centre was voted the best in the
UK, in a shopping satisfaction survey run by Goldfish Credit
A section of central Norwich, in an area approximately bounded by
Bethel Street/Upper St Giles Street, Grapes Hill, St Benedict's and St
Castle Meadow, forms a quarter now known,
and promoted, as
Norwich Lanes. A series of mostly-pedestrianised
small lanes, alleyways and streets, it is noted for its independent
retailers, and eating and drinking establishments. The area also
contains a number of the city's cultural attractions, including
museums, theatres and other venues. As part of a nationwide drive to
recognise the importance, and to maintain the character and
individuality of Britain's high streets,
Norwich Lanes was the Great
British High Street Awards 2014 national winner in the "City"
To the north of the city centre is the Anglia Square shopping centre.
The centre and the surrounding area is to be redeveloped; demolition
work was due to commence in 2010 after an archaeological dig
(conducted in 2009 and due to the centre being located around the site
of a Saxon fortified settlement). The new development is planned to be
a mixture of shops and housing, unlike the original which consisted of
offices, shops and a cinema. In February 2009, it was announced
that, due to the economic climate, plans for the area have been
delayed and the developers are unable to say for certain when work
Norwich stands north of the A47 (bypassed to the south of the city),
which connects it with
Great Yarmouth to the east, and
Kings Lynn and
Peterborough to the west. There are plans to upgrade the A47,
especially sections that are still single-carriageway, prompted partly
by the ongoing construction of
Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour. Norwich
is linked to
Cambridge via the A11, which leads to the M11 motorway
London and the M25. It is linked to
Ipswich to the south by the
A140 and to
Lowestoft to the south-east by the A146.
Norwich has the
UK's first not-for-profit city-wide car club.
Norwich railway station
Norwich railway station
Norwich railway station
Norwich railway station lies east of
Norwich city centre, and is
managed by Abellio Greater Anglia. It forms the northern terminus of
Great Eastern Main Line
Great Eastern Main Line with half-hourly services to London
Liverpool Street hauled by
British Rail Class 90 locomotives, and is
also linked to the Midlands with hourly services to
Street, operated by
East Midlands Trains
East Midlands Trains Class 158 DMUs via
Additional hourly regional services to Cambridge, and out of Norwich
as far as Ely, are run along the
Breckland Line also by Abellio
Greater Anglia which additionally runs hourly local services to Great
Yarmouth and Lowestoft, using the Wherry Lines, and to Sheringham,
using the Bittern Line. These all use either Class 156 or Class 170
Norwich is the site of
Norwich Crown Point
Norwich Crown Point Traction Maintenance
Depot (TMD).
Bus and coach
Norwich bus station
The bus companies serving
Norwich include Anglian Bus, First Norfolk
& Suffolk, Konectbus, Sanders and Stagecoach Norfolk. Destinations
Norfolk and beyond are served, as are
Lowestoft. National Express run ten coaches a day to the three main
London airports (Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick), five a day to
London, and one a day to Birmingham. Megabus also operate a daily
service to London. Most bus and coach services run from
station or from
Norwich has six park and ride sites run by
Norfolk County Council
using colour-coded buses, one of the larger UK operations. Almost
5,000 parking spaces are provided, and in 2006 3.4 million
passengers used the service.
Norwich International Airport
Norwich International Airport
Norwich International Airport is a feeder to KLM's Schiphol hub.
Eastern Airways all serve Norwich. Through Bristow Helicopters
Norwich airport serves the offshore oil and gas industry. There is a
strong holiday charter flight business. The airport was originally the
airfield of RAF Horsham St Faith. One of the old RAF hangars was once
the home of Air UK, which grew out of
Air Anglia and was then absorbed
by the Dutch airline KLM.
National Cycle Route
National Cycle Route 1 passes through Norwich, linking
Fakenham (and eventually
Dover and the Shetland Islands).
River Yare is navigable from the sea at
Great Yarmouth up to
Trowse, south of the city. From there the
River Wensum is navigable
Norwich up to New Mills, and is crossed by the Novi Sad
Friendship Bridge. Scheduled trips through the city and out to the
The Broads are run by City Boats from outside
and also Elm Hill. In June 2012,
Norwich City Council
Norwich City Council gave permission
for punting on the River Wensum.
In 2017 the first part of a new 11-kilometre (6.8 mi) road, the
Norwich Northern Distributor Road, linking from the A1067 to the north
west of the city to the
A47 road to the east of
Norwich was opened
with the remainder of the road to due to open in 2018. There is also
discussion of building the
Norwich Western Link
Norwich Western Link section from the A1067
to the A47 southern bypass to the west, as originally proposed.
Sustrans plans to build a bridge between the Riverside area and
Whitlingham Country Park as part of the
Connect2 project, using funds
from the National Lottery. The country park is currently cut off from
the main residential areas by the
River Yare and River Wensum.
Other proposals in the
Norwich Transport Strategy include limiting
traffic on some roads, introducing five rapid bus links into the city,
and creating a train/tram link to the Rackheath eco-town.
Sea fog clinging to the East Anglian coast, February 2008;
denoted by the yellow dot.
Norwich, like the rest of the British Isles, has a temperate maritime
climate. It does not suffer extreme temperatures, and benefits from
rainfall fairly evenly spread throughout the year. Coltishall, about
18 kilometres (11 mi) to the northeast, was the nearest official
met-office weather station for which records are available, although
it ceased reporting in early 2006 – now
Norwich airport provides
readings. Norwich's position in East Anglia, jutting out into the
North Sea can produce weather conditions that have less effect on
other parts of the country, such as snow or sleet showers during the
winter months on a northerly or easterly wind, or sea fog/haar during
the summer half of the year. An example of
Norwich being afflicted by
sea fog is shown in the adjacent image.
The highest temperature recorded at
Coltishall was 33.1 °C
(91.6 °F) during June 1976. However, go back further to
1932, and Norwich's absolute record high stands at 35.6 °C
(96.1 °F). Typically the warmest day of the year should
reach 28.8 °C (83.8 °F) and 9.9 days should
register a temperature of 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or higher.
The lowest temperature recorded at
Coltishall was −15.3 °C
(4.5 °F) during January 1979. In a typical year however,
the coldest night should only fall to −7.5 °C
(18.5 °F). On average 39.4 air frosts will be recorded
during the course of the year. More recently, the temperature at
Norwich airport fell to −14.4 °C (6.1 °F) on 18
December 2010 with unofficial weather stations reporting localised
readings of −17 and −18 °C (1 and 0 °F).
The nearest sunshine monitoring weather station for which records are
available is Morley agricultural research centre, about 11 miles
(18 km) southwest of
Norwich city centre. For the 1961–90
period, it averaged 1558 hours of sunshine a year, a relatively
high total for an inland part of the
British Isles outside of southern
England. In reality, given Norwich's position nearer to the coast and
as such suffering from less convective cloud development during
summer, true totals may even be slightly higher than this.
Rainfall, at around 650 millimetres (25 inches), is low, although as
much as 100 millimetres (4 inches) higher than other, more sheltered
parts of East Anglia, as
Norwich is more prone to showers originating
from the North Sea.
In 1507 the poet
John Skelton (1460–1529) wrote of two destructive
fires in his Lament for the City of Norwich.
All life is brief, and frail all man's estate. City, farewell: I mourn
thy cruel fate.
Thomas Fuller in his The Worthies of
England described the City in
Either a city in an orchard or an orchard in a city, so equally are
houses and trees blended in it, so that the pleasure of the country
and the populousness of the city meet here together. Yet in this
mixture, the inhabitants participate nothing of the rusticalness of
the one, but altogether the urbanity and civility of the other.
Celia Fiennes (1662–1741) visited
Norwich in 1698 and described it
a city walled full round of towers, except on the river side which
serves as a wall; they seem the best in repair of any walled city I
She also records that three times a year the city held:
great fairs. … to which resort a vast concourse of people and wares
a full trade,
Norwich being a rich, thriving industrious place full of
weaving, knitting and dyeing.
Daniel Defoe in his Tour of the whole Island of Great Britain (1724)
the inhabitants being all busy at their manufactures, dwell in their
garrets at their looms, in their combing-shops, so they call them,
twisting-mills, and other work-houses; almost all the works they are
employed in being done within doors.
John Evelyn (1620–1706), royalist, traveller and diarist, wrote to
Sir Thomas Browne:
Norwich is a place very much addicted to the flowery part.
He visited the City as a courtier to King Charles II in 1671 and
described it thus:
The suburbs are large, the prospect sweet, and other amenities, not
omitting the flower-garden, which all the Inhabitants excel in of this
City, the fabric of stuffs, which affords the Merchants, and brings a
vast trade to this populous Town.
George Borrow in his semi-autobiographical novel
Lavengro (1851) wrote
A fine old city, perhaps the most curious specimen at present extant
of the genuine old English Town ….There it spreads from north to
south, with its venerable houses, its numerous gardens, its thrice
twelve churches, its mighty mound ….There is an old grey castle on
top of that mighty mound: and yonder rising three hundred feet above
the soil, from amongst those noble forest trees, behold that old
Norman master-work, that cloud-enriched cathedral spire ….Now who
can wonder that the children of that fine old city are proud, and
offer up prayers for her prosperity?
Borrow wrote far less favourably of the City in his translation of
They found the people of the place modelled after so unsightly a
pattern, with such ugly figures and flat features that the devil owned
he had never seen them equalled, except by the inhabitants of an
English town, called Norwich, when dressed in their Sunday's best.
In 1812, Andrew Robertson wrote to the painter Constable:
I arrived here a week ago and find it a place where the arts are very
much cultivated … some branches of knowledge, chemistry, botany,
etc. are carried to a great length. General literature seems to be
pursued with an ardour which is astonishing when we consider that it
does not contain a university, as is merely a manufacturing town.
In 1962, Sir
Nikolaus Pevsner stated in his North-West
Norwich volume of The Buildings of
Norwich is distinguished by a prouder sense of civic responsibility
than any other town of about the same size in Britain.
Statue of Sir
Thomas Browne on Hay Hill, near to where he lived.
Browne is buried in
St Peter Mancroft
St Peter Mancroft church
Norwich has long been associated with radical politics, political
dissent, liberalism, nonconformism and the arts. Past names associated
with the city include:
Rev. John Abbs
Rev. John Abbs (1810–1888), missionary and author of Twenty-Two
Missionary Experience in Travancore
Louisa Sewell Abbs (née Skipper) (1811–1872), founder of girls'
boarding schools in Travancore, India, who established the lace-making
and embroidery industries there
Michael Andrews (1928–1995), painter
Sarah Austin (1793–1867), translator from German and editor, born in
Carol Barnes (1944–2008), journalist and broadcaster, born in
Elizabeth Bentley (1767–1839), author of "Tales for Children in
Verse", lived at 45 St Stephen's Square.
Billy Bluelight (1859/1863?–1949), pseudonym of William Cullum,
known for his races against steam pleasure boats
George Borrow (1803–1881), writer and traveller, resident in his
youth at Willow Lane, who attended the
Norwich King Edward VI's
Grammar School. He recalls the city and conversations with the
philologist William Taylor in his semi-autobiographical novel
Thomas Browne (1605–1682), medical doctor, scientist, Christian
mystic, polymath, author of acclaimed works in English literature
Edith Cavell (1865–1915), born in Swardeston, 4 miles (6.4 km)
south of Norwich, a World War I nurse executed by firing squad by the
Germans for helping Allied prisoners escape, and buried on Life's
Green on the east side of
William Calthorpe, purchased Erpingham manor in St.Martin's at the
Norwich in 1447
Castle (1887–1918), ballroom dancer and promoter of modern
John Crome (1768–1821),
Joseph Stannard (1797–1830) and John Sell
Cotman (1782–1842), who established the
Norwich school of painters,
the first outside London
John Berney Crome
John Berney Crome (1794–1842), son of John Crome, known as "Young
William Crotch (1775–1847), musical infant prodigy, composer,
artist, and teacher
William Cuningham, Elizabethan physician, cartographer and astrologer
Sir Thomas Erpingham
Sir Thomas Erpingham (1357–1428), officer in the Battle of Agincourt
and Knight of the Garter
Pablo Fanque (1796–1871), the first black circus proprietor in
Britain, born in Norwich
Elizabeth Fry (1780–1845), prison reformer, philanthropist and
Quaker, born at Gurney Court in Magdalen Street, portrayed on the
Series E (2005) £5 banknote.
Robert Greene (1558–1592), author of Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay
Joseph John Gurney
Joseph John Gurney (1788–1847), banker and philanthropist who worked
with his sister
Elizabeth Fry (see above) on prison reform, and also
active on abolition of the slave trade and in the temperance movement
Richard Lewis Hearne (Mr Pastry), (1908–1979), born in Norwich,
actor, comedian, producer and writer
Louisa Gurney Hoare, (1784–1836), diarist and writer on education
Vyvyan Holt (1896–1960), diplomat, orientalist and British
minister, captured during the Korean War
William Jackson Hooker
William Jackson Hooker (1785–1865), botanist and Fellow of the Royal
Robert William Bilton Hornby
Robert William Bilton Hornby (1821–1884), antiquarian, priest and
lord of the manor, from the City of York, ordained deacon in Norwich
Julian of Norwich, medieval Christian mystic and contemporary of
Chaucer, author of The Revelations of Divine Love, the first known
book in English written by a woman
Robert Kett, Norwich's Robin Hood, a landowner from
Wymondham who led
Kett's Rebellion in 1549 against corrupt
Norfolk landowners. He was
hanged for treason at
Norwich Castle on 7 December 1549.
Alfred Lungley (1905–1989), awarded the
George Cross after the 1935
Louis Marchesi (1898–1968), founder of the Round Table, a fellowship
and community charitable organisation for young businessmen
Harriet Martineau (1802–1876), daughter of a
Norwich manufacturer of
Huguenot descent and devout Unitarian, whose writings include
Illustrations of Political Economy (1832–34). She supported the
James Martineau (1805–1900), philosopher and brother to Harriet
Bernard Meadows (1915–2005), modernist sculptor
Sir John Mills
Sir John Mills (1908–2005), actor born in
North Elmham in Norfolk
and educated at
Norwich High School for Boys
Thomas Morley (1558–1602), composer taught by
William Byrd and
organist at St Paul's
George Henry Morse (1857–1931), mountaineer and lord mayor of
R. H. Mottram (1883–1971), novelist and lord mayor of Norwich
Ross Nichols (1902–1975), poet and founder of Order of Bards, Ovates
Amelia Opie (1769–1853),
Norwich author and Quaker convert
Matthew Parker (1504–1575), archbishop of Canterbury
Thomas Rawlins (1727–1789) Monument Mason with works in several
Ayrton Senna (1960-1994), racing driver; he lived in
Norwich in the
W. G. Sebald, (1944–2001), writer, professor of German literature at
the University of East Anglia
Edmund Sheffield, 1st Baron Sheffield (1521–1549), murdered near the
Adam and Eve pub off the Cathedral Close during Kett's Rebellion
Tony Sheridan (1940–2013), rock musician, born in Norwich
John Palgrave Simpson
John Palgrave Simpson (1807–1887), born in Norwich, a prolific and
George Skipper (1856–1948), architect of many buildings in the city
Sir James Edward Smith
Sir James Edward Smith (1759–1828), botanist, natural historian and
one-time owner of the Linnean collection of Carl Linnaeus
William Smith (1756–1835), Whig politician, dissenter and
abolitionist, MP for
Norwich from 1807
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Stuart Ashen (born 1976), reviewer, comedian, animator, actor and
Ed Balls, former Labour Party MP, born 1967 in Norwich
Saraya-Jade Bevis, professional wrestler born 1992 and raised in
Norwich, signed to WWE, performing as "Paige"
Martin Burgess (born 1931), builder of Gurney Clock in the
Tanya Burr (born 1989), make-up artist on YouTube
Diana Burrell, composer, born 1948 in Norwich
Dominic Byrne (born 1972 in Norwich), newsreader and presenter on The
Chris Moyles Show (
BBC Radio 1 – 2004–2012) (Radio X – 2015)
Samantha Chapman (born 1977), make-up artist who has worked with the
likes of Paul McCartney
Sam Claflin, actor famous for Finnick in The Hunger Games, born 1986
Norwich and attended
Costessey High School (now Ormiston Victory
Charles Clarke (born 1950), former Labour MP for
Norwich South and
Home Secretary, now visiting professor at University of East Anglia
Olivia Colman, actress, born 1974 in Norwich
Cathy Dennis, singer-songwriter, born 1969 in Norwich
Hannah Diamond, PC Music singer-songwriter, born 1991 in Norwich.
Andrew Digby, astronomer and ecologist, born 1975 in Norwich
Will Evans (born 1997), rugby union player for
Formula One driver, born 1975 in
Norwich and living in
Attleborough. Races in
A1 Grand Prix
A1 Grand Prix series for Ireland
Jess French, zoologist, naturalist and presenter of "Minibeast
Adventure with Jess" on the
Cbeebies channel, grew up around Norwich
Stephen Fry (born 1957), comedian, author, actor and film maker,
studied at City College Norwich, a
Norwich City F.C.
Norwich City F.C. director.
Mike Gascoyne (born 1963), automotive engineer, technical director of
Formula One team
Trisha Goddard (born 1957), chat show host, lives just outside the
Jake Humphrey (born 1978), TV presenter for C
BBC coverage of
Formula One, moved to
Norwich aged nine and attended the Hewett
Myleene Klass (born 1978), singer, model, designer and classical music
DJ, formerly of pop band Hear'Say, went to school in Norwich.
Marek Larwood, actor and comedian, born 1976 in Norwich
Jane Manning, opera soprano, was born 1938 and raised in Norwich, and
Norwich High School.
Professor Sir Paul Nurse, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology
or Medicine, president of the
Royal Society from 2010, was born 1949
Norwich and educated at University of East Anglia.
Beth Orton, award-winning singer-songwriter, born 1970 in Dereham,
spent much of her childhood in Norwich, and attended The Hewett
Steve Osborne (born 1963), musician and record producer, grew up in
Norwich, left in 1986.
Ronan Parke (born 1998), singer, came second in Britain's Got Talent
David Perry (born 1942), street entertainer known as the Norwich
Emma Pooley (born 1982), Olympic cycling silver medallist and winner
of 2009 Women's Tour de France, attended The
Philip Pullman, children's writer, born in
Norwich on 19 October 1946,
author of the
His Dark Materials
His Dark Materials trilogy
Colin Self (born 1941), contemporary artist, was brought up in
Sprowston and attended
Norwich School of Art.
Delia Smith (born 1941), celebrity chef and joint majority owner of
Norwich City F.C.
Chris Sutton (born 1973), football player (striker), joint top scorer
Premier League in 1997/8, attended
Hellesdon High School, where
father, Mike Sutton, taught.
Jon Tickle (born 1974), contestant on Big Brother and presenter on
Brainiac: Science Abuse
D.J. Taylor (born 1960, Norwich) Biographer, critic, novelist
Stella Vine (born 1969), painter, lived in
Norwich from aged seven,
and played at
Norwich Theatre Royal. Later she moved back to Norwich
and painted the large sign Welcome to
Norwich a fine city (2006).
Tim Westwood (born 1957),
BBC Radio 1 Rap DJ and presenter of the MTV
show "Pimp My Ride (UK)", grew up in
East Anglia and attended Norwich
School and the Hewett School.
Tom Youngs (born 1987), rugby union player, hooker for Leicester
Tigers and England
Alan Partridge (born 1955), fictional radio and television
Norwich has town twinning agreements with four towns and cities:
Rouen, France, since 1951
Koblenz, Germany, since 1978
Novi Sad, Serbia, since 1985
El Viejo, Nicaragua, since 1996
Argyle Street, Norwich
Church of Saint John the Baptist, Maddermarket, Norwich
St Augustine's Church, Norwich
St Laurence's Church, Norwich
Broadland Housing Association
^ Rhyming with porridge
^ For table of city sizes see Corfield (2004, p. 143)
^ Reports quoted by Knights 2004, pp. 168–174
^ Quoted by Knights 2004, pp. 181–182
^ Hayes 1958 Quote: "a major city manufacturer, and government
supporter, Robert Harvey Jr as writing on 12 March 1793: 'The
consequences of this just and inevitable war visit this poor city
severely and suspend the operations of the Dutch, German and Italian
trade and the only lingering employment in the manufactory is the
completion of a few Russian orders, and the last China cambletts which
I hope will find encouragement in the new East
India Charter. This
languid trade has doubled our poor rate and a voluntary subscription
of above £2,000 is found inadequate to the exigencies of the poor."
^ Quotations and facts from Wilson (2004b)
^ Lord Stanhope was a radical peer, seen by many at the time as a
dangerous menace. He is said to have given his rabble-rousing speech
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