Norwich Arts Centre is a live music venue, theatre and art gallery
located in St. Benedict's Street in Norwich, Norfolk, England. It has
a capacity of 260 for standing music concerts and 120 for seated
events. In November 2014, it was named "Britain's Best Small Venue" by
2 St. Swithin's Church
3 See also
5 External links
Plan Nine playing at the
Norwich Arts Centre (May 2007)
The venue opened in 1977 in an old department store on St. Benedicts
Street. It moved to its current site, St Swithin's church, in 1980. It
was originally known as "Premises".
Although a small venue,
Norwich Arts Centre has hosted many well known
bands and comedians, including Nirvana, Oasis, Muse, The Stone Roses,
Manic Street Preachers, The Libertines, Coldplay, Enter Shikari, Biffy
Clyro, Foals Kasabian, Mumford & Sons, Bombay Bicycle Club, Jack
Dee, Mark Lamarr, Sue Perkins, Mark Thomas, Noel Fielding, David
Baddiel, Ross Noble,
Frank Skinner and Josie Long.
The venue is especially noted by rock music fans for being the site
Richey Edwards of the
Manic Street Preachers
Manic Street Preachers carved the words "4
Real" into his forearm with a razor blade to make a statement to
journalist Steve Lamacq, after a gig on May 15, 1991.
St. Swithin's Church
The church which houses the
Norwich Arts Centre is dedicated to Saint
Swithun and dates to the fifteenth century, although an earlier,
Anglo-Saxon church may have existed on the site. The area was
originally a wealthy one, with four medieval churches close to each
other. However it had become a slum by the nineteenth century. St.
Swithin's became redundant and was closed in 1881. In 1882, the
church's tower was demolished as it had become unsafe, this was
later replaced by a Bell-cot. The building was back in use as a church
between 1883 and 1891, after which time it fell into disrepair.
In 1905, a clergyman, John Sawbridge, raised funds for it to be
reopened as an Evangelical church, to cater for the poor and deprived
surrounding area. There was sufficient money for a large, adjoining
parish mission and school room to be constructed in 1908. However,
by 1951, the church was again redundant due to falling numbers of
It was used as a furniture warehouse until it was taken over by the
Arts Centre in 1980. The church itself became an auditorium, and the
schoolroom became an exhibition space and cafe.
Little of the interior of the church remains in place except for ten
monuments, the oldest being to Sibilla Skottowe (died 1657) and Anne
Skottowe (died 1662). Another monument is to William Abbott
(1754-1818), a veteran of the American War of Independence, who served
at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
The Waterfront, Norwich
Norwich Cinema City
^ Renshaw, David (18 November 2014). "The Maccabees to play free
Norwich Arts Centre gig in December". NME. Retrieved 9 June
^ Knights, Emma (20 November 2014). "As
Norwich Arts Centre wins
Britain's best small venue - what's the secret to its success?".
Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
^ "Thirty years at the NAC". BBC Norfolk. Retrieved 12 July
Richey Edwards Remembered". NME. January 23, 2009. Retrieved 25
^ Lamacq, Steve (29 September 2000). "The last time I saw Richey". The
Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
^ a b c d e "St Swithin Norwich".
Norwich Historic Churches Trust.
Retrieved 5 December 2011.
^ a b Simon Knott (November 2005). "St Swithin, Norwich". The Norfolk
Churches Site. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
^ a b "The Monuments of St. Swithin".
Norwich Historic Churches Trust.
Norwich Arts Centre
Coordinates: 52°37′54″N 1°17′16″E / 52.6316°N