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Norwich ( or ) is a city in Norfolk, East Angliamarker which is in Eastern England. It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. During the 11th century Norwich was the second largest city in England, after Londonmarker, and one of the most important places in the kingdom.

The suburban area expands far beyond its boundary, with extensive suburban areas outside the city on the western, northern and eastern sides, including Costesseymarker, Hellesdonmarker, Old Cattonmarker, Sprowstonmarker and Thorpe St Andrewmarker. The Parliamentary seats cross over into adjacent local government districts. 135,800 (2008 est) people live in the Norwich City Council area and the population of the Norwich Travel to Work Area (i.e. the area of Norwich in which most people both live and work) is 367,035 (the 1991 figure was 351,340). Norwich is the fourth most densely populated local government district within the East of England with 3,480 people per square kilometre (8,993 per square mile).

The Department for Communities and Local Governmentmarker recently considered whether Norwich should become a unitary authority, separate from Norfolk County Council. It was not selected as one of the new creations in July 2007 as its proposals did not meet the strict criteria.



The Romans had their regional capital at Venta Icenorummarker on the River Tasmarker to the south which is near modern-day Caistor St Edmundmarker, about 5 miles to the south of Norwich. This fell into disuse around 450 AD, before the Anglo-Saxons settled on the site of the modern city, founding the towns of Northwic (from which Norwich gets its name), Westwic (at Norwich-over-the-Water) and the secondary settlement at Thorpe.

Early English/Norman Conquest

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 commerce in East Angliamarker in 1004 AD when it was raided and burnt by Swein Forkbeard the Viking. Mercianmarker coins and shards of pottery from the Rhineland dating to the 8th century suggest that long distance trade was happening long before this. Between 924-939 AD Norwich became fully established as a town due to the fact that it had 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 40–50 years at the end of the 9th century, setting up an Anglo-Scandinavian district towards 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 twenty five churches and a population of between five and ten thousand. 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 Wensummarker being a convenient export route to the River Yaremarker and Great Yarmouthmarker, which served as the port for Norwich. Quern stones, and other artefacts from Scandinavia and the Rhineland have been found during excavations in Norwich city centre which date from the 11th century onwards.

The main area of Saxon settlement south of the Wensum was destroyed by the construction of the Norman castle (see Norwich Castlemarker) during the 1070s. The Normans established a new focus of settlement around the Castle and the area to the west of it: this became known as the "New" or "French" borough, centred on the Norman's own Market Place which survives to the present day as the City's Provision Market.

In 1096, Herbert de Losinga, the 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 cathedral 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 Norwichmarker. The bishop of Norwich still signs himself Norvic.

Norwich received a royal charter from Henry II in 1158, and another one from Richard the Lionheart in 1194.

Middle Ages

The engine of trade was wool from Norfolk's sheepwalks. Wool made 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; consequently, Norwich still has more medieval churches than any other city in Western Europe north of the Alps. Throughout this period Norwich established wide-ranging trading links with other parts of Europe, its markets stretching from Scandinavia to Spainmarker. To organise and control its export to the Low Countries, Great Yarmouthmarker, as the port for Norwich, was designated one of the staple ports under terms of the 1353 Statute of the Staple.

By the middle of the 14th century the city walls, about two and a half miles (4 km) long, had been completed. These, along with the river, enclosed a larger area than that of the City of Londonmarker. 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 capital of one of the most densely populated and prosperous counties of England.

In 1144, the Jews of Norwich were accused of ritual murder after a boy (William of Norwich) was found dead with stab wounds. This was the first incidence of blood libel against Jews in England. The story was turned into a cult, William acquiring the status of martyr and subsequently being canonized. The cult of St. William attracted large numbers of pilgrims, bringing wealth to the local church. On 6 February, 1190, all the Jews of Norwich were massacred except for a few who found refuge in the castle.

Early Modern Period (1485-1640)

The great immigration of 1567 brought a substantial Flemish and Walloon community of Protestant weavers to Norwich, where they were known locally as 'Strangers', but made welcome. Norwich has been the home of various dissident minorities, notably the French Huguenot and the Belgian Walloon communities in the 16th and 17th centuries. The merchant's house - now a museum - which was their earliest base in the city is still known as 'Strangers' Hall'. It seems that the Strangers were integrated into the local community without a great deal of animosity, at least among the business fraternity who had the most to gain from their skills. The arrival of the Strangers in Norwich bolstered trade with mainland Europe, fostering a movement toward religious reform and radical politics in the city.

Printing was introduced to the city by Anthony de Solempne, one of the 'Strangers' in 1567 but did not become established and had died out by about 1572. During this time Norwich became the fourth largest city in the country, according to Michael Drayton's Poly-Olbion.

English Civil Wars to Victorian Era

The eastern counties were profoundly Parliamentarian in nature and Norwich followed suit, at the cost of some discomfort to the Lord Mayor, a Royalist, and the bishop, Joseph Hall, a moderate who was targeted because of his position as bishop.

The Norwich Canary was first introduced into England by Flemish refugees fleeing from Spanish persecution in the 1500s. They brought with them not only advanced techniques in textile working but also their pet canaries, which they began to breed locally. The canary is the emblem of the city's football club, Norwich City F.C., nicknamed "The Canaries".

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 centre of textile manufacture. Towards the end of the 18th century, in the 1780s, the manufacture of Norwich shawls became an important industry and remained so for nearly one hundred years. The shawls were a high-quality fashion product and rivalled those made in other towns such as Paisleymarker (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.

Until the Industrial Revolution, as the capital of England's most populous and prosperous county, Norwich vied with Bristolmarker as England's second city.

Norwich's geographical isolation was such that until 1845 when a railway connection was established, it was often quicker to travel to Amsterdammarker by boat than to London. The railway was introduced to Norwich by Morton Peto, who also built the line to Great Yarmouthmarker.

From 1808 to 1814 Norwich hosted a station in the shutter telegraph chain which connected the Admiralty in London to its naval ships in the port of Great Yarmouthmarker.

20th century

In the early part of the 20th century Norwich still had several major manufacturing industries. Among these were the manufacture of shoes (for example the Start-rite brand), clothing, joinery, and structural engineering as well as aircraft design and manufacture. Important employers included Boulton & Paul, Barnards (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. Caley's was acquired by Mackintosh in the 1930s. It merged with Rowntree's in 1969 to become Rowntree-Mackintosh; it finally was bought by Nestlé and closed down in 1996 with all operations moved to Yorkmarker, ending a 120-year association with Norwich. The factory existed on the site of what is now the Chapelfield development. Caley's chocolate has since made a reappearance as a brand, and is still produced 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 London to Norwich in the 1970s.

Jarroldsmarker, established in 1810, was a nationally well-known printer and publisher. In 2004, after nearly 200 years, it passed out of family ownership. Today, the Jarrold name is now best-known and recognised as being that of Norwich's only independent department store.

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 brewers 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 in attempts to remain viable, by the 1970s only the Norwich Brewery (owned by Watney Mann and on the site of Morgans) remained. In 1985 the Norwich Brewery closed, and was subsequently demolished. Small-scale brewing continues in Norwich in "microbreweries".

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 27/28th and 29/30 April 1942; as part of the Baedeker raids (so called because Baedeker's series of tourist guides to the British Islesmarker 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 Hallmarker (completed in 1938), although in the event it survived unscathed. Significant targets hit included the Morgan's Brewery building, Coleman's Wincarnis works, City Stationmarker, the Mackintosh chocolate factory, and shopping areas including St. Stephen's Street, St. Benedict's Street, the site of Bond's department store and Curl's department store (now Debenhams).



Norwich's night-time economy of bars and nightclubs is mainly located in Tombland, Prince of Wales Road and the Riverside area adjacent to Norwich railway station.


Norwich Market (before renovation)
Norwich Market (after renovation)
Norwich was the eighth most prosperous shopping destination in the UK in 2006. 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. The market has recently been downsized and undergone redevelopment, 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, they have been unpopular with many stallholders and customers alike. Indeed, the local Norwich Evening News characterises Norwich Market as an ongoing conflict between the market traders and Norwich City Council, which operates the market.

The Mall Norwich (Castle Mall until 2007), a shopping mall designed by local practice Lambert, Scott & Innes and opened in 1993, presents an ingenious solution to the problem of sensitively 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.

The new Chapelfieldmarker shopping mall has been built on the site where the Caleys (later Rowntree Mackintosh and Nestlé) chocolate factory once stood. 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 Group that 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 Card.

To the north of the city centre is the Anglia Squaremarker shopping centre. The centre and the surrounding area is to be redeveloped; demolition work will commence in 2010 after an archaeological dig is conducted in 2009. The new development will be a mixture of shops and housing, unlike the original which consisted of offices, shops and a cinema. In February, 2009, it was announced due to the economic climate that plans for the area have been delayed and developers are unable to say when work will commence.


Norwich City Hall
The city's economy, originally chiefly industrial with shoemaking a large sector, has changed throughout the eighties and nineties to a service-based economy. Aviva (formerly known as Norwich Union) still dominates these, but has been joined by other insurance and financial services companies.

New developments on the former 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 newspaper, the Norwich Evening News and the regional Eastern Daily Press (EDP).

Norwich has long been associated with the manufacture of mustard. The world famous Colman's brand, with its yellow packaging, was founded in 1814 and continues to operate from its factory at Carrow. Colman's is now being exported world wide by its parent company Unilever (Unilever UK Export) putting Norwich on the map of British heritage brands. The Colman's Mustard Shop, which sells Colman's products and related gifts, is located in the Royal Arcade in the centre of Norwich.


The University of East Angliamarker on the outskirts of Norwich was one of the so-called plate glass universities founded in 1963, following the Robbins Report. UEA adopted the city's motto of independence Do different and is especially well-known for its creative writing programme; established by Malcolm Bradbury and Angus Wilson, its graduates including Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan. The university campus is the home of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Artsmarker which houses a number of important art collections in many media. It is also well known for staging exhibitions of work on a wide range of diverse themes. The city also has a long-established (since 1845) art college, the Norwich University College of the Arts (formerly Norwich School of Art and Design), which is situated in the city centre. Additionally, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitalmarker on the city's periphery at Colneymarker was opened in 2001.
Norwich city skyline
Norwich Theatre Royal has been on its present site for nearly 250 years, the Act of Parliament in the tenth year of the reign of George II having been rescinded in 1761. The 1300-seat theatre hosts a mix of national touring productions including musicals, dance, drama, family shows, stand-up comedians, opera and pop.

The Forum, designed by Michael Hopkins and Partners and opened in 2002 is a building designed to house the Millennium Library, a replacement for the Norwich Central Library building which burned down in 1994, and the regional headquarters and television centre for BBC East. The building provides a venue for exhibitions, concerts and events, although the city still lacks a dedicated concert venue.

The Forum, housing (among other things) the Millennium Library and the BBC's Eastern England News Rooms

The Millennium Library contains the 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 on UK air bases 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.

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 Museummarker and the opening of the Forum. The proposed new slogan for Norwich, England's Other City, has been the subject of much discussion and controversy - and 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".

As part of ambitious aims to promote Norwich's heritage internationally, Norwich 12 has been launched - a collection of listed buildings in Norwich. The group consists of: Norwich Castlemarker, Norwich Cathedral, The Great Hospitalmarker, The Halls - St Andrew's and Blackfriars'marker, The Guildhall, Dragon Hallmarker, The Assembly House, St James Mill, St John the Baptist RC Cathedralmarker, Surrey House, City Hallmarker and The Forum.

Art and music

Each year the Norfolk and 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 Arts Centremarker is a notable live music venue, concert hall and theatre located in St. Benedict's Street.

British artist Stella Vine lived in Norwich during her childhood, from the age of 7, and again later in her life with her son Jamie. Vine included the city in her large painting Welcome to Norwich a fine city (2006).


Norwich has a number of important museums which reflect both the rich history of the City and of Norfolk, as well as wider interests.

The largest is Norwich Castle Museummarker. This contains extensive collections of archaeological finds from the county of Norfolk, art (including a fine collection of paintings by the Norwich School of painters), ceramics (including the largest collection of British teapots), silver, and Natural History. Of particular interest are dioramas of Norfolk scenery, showing wildlife and landscape. The Museum has been extensively remodelled to enhance the display of the many collections.

The Bridewellmarker Museum, in Bridewell Alley, is currently (2009) closed for a major redevelopment, and is not expected to re-open until Summer 2011. Previously, it was mainly devoted to displaying exhibits connected with the historic industries of Norwich. These include weaving, shoe and boot making, iron foundries and the manufacture of metal goods, engineering, milling, brewing, chocolate making and other food manufacturing.

Strangers’ Hall, at Charing Cross, is one of the oldest buildings in Norwich, and is a merchant's house dating to the early Fourteenth 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 of all sorts, and collections of children's toys and games, and of children's books. The latter two collections are considered to be of national importance.

The Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum is housed in a part of what was the Shirehall, close to the Castle. Its exhibits illustrate the history of the Regiment from its formation to its incorporation into the Royal Anglian Regiment. There is an extensive and representative display of medals awarded to soldiers of the Regiment, including two of the six Victoria Crosses won.

The City of Norwich Aviation Museummarker is located at Horsham St. Faithmarker, on the northern edge of the City and close to Norwich Airportmarker. 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 Nineteenth Century to the present day. Many were donated by Jarrold Printing.

Dragon Hallmarker, in King Street, is a fine example of a medieval merchants trading hall. Mostly dating from about 1430, it is unique in Western Europe. The building has recently undergone an extensive restoration, re-opening in 2006. Its magnificent architecture is complemented by displays showing the history of the building and its role in the life of Norwich.


Norwich has a wealth of historical architecture. The medieval period is represented by the 11th century Norwich Cathedralmarker, 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. 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. Most of the medieval buildings are in the city centre. Notable examples of secular medieval architecture are Dragon Hallmarker, 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 Hospitalmarker, 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 was George Skipper (1856–1948). Examples of his work include the headquarters of Norwich Union on Surrey Street; the Art Nouveau Royal Arcade; and the Hotel de Paris in the nearby seaside town of Cromermarker. The neo-Gothic Roman Catholic cathedralmarker 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 hallmarker by CH James and SR Pierce, opened in 1938. 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 development in Norwich from an architectural point of view was the opening of the University of East Angliamarker in 1964. Originally designed by 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 Towermarker stands on the banks of the River Wensum
The varying styles of architecture along Gentleman's Walk


Satirical comedian Steve Coogan decided to base his unbearably vain, cheesy broadcaster character 'Alan Partridge' in Norfolk, specifically hosting the pre-breakfast show on the fictitious independent station 'Radio Norwich'. It exploited the county's reputation as being somewhat detached from modern trends, past its prime, and rather peripheral to national life. Since then Radio Norwich has ceased to be a fictitious station - it began broadcasting in 2006 - although, unsurprisingly, "Up With The Partridge" does not feature in its schedule.

Other comic entertainers who have drawn comedy from that stereotype include Allan Smethurst 'The Singing Postman' and The Kipper Family lately represented by 'son' Sid Kipper, though these are associated with Norfolk in general and not just the City. These have been joined by The Nimmo Twins.

Independent radio stations include Heart FM, Classic Gold Amber, and 99.9 Radio Norwich. BBC Radio Norfolk and the University of East Anglia's Livewire 1350 also broadcast to the city. 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 (1971-83), 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 and the 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 MAI and subsequent mergers have seen it reduced from a significant producer of programmes to a regional news centre. The company is still based in the former Norfolk and Norwich Agricultural Hall, on Agricultural Hall Plain, near Prince of Wales Road. However, despite the contraction of Anglia, television production in Norwich is 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 EEDA - the regional development agency - it has re-opened as EPIC - the East of England Production Innovation Centre. It is now a creative industries enterprise hub, providing office space for local production companies and giving them access to state of the art production facilities, including one of the best equipped High Definition TV Studios in Europe. Degree courses in film and video are also run at the centre by NUCA (Norwich University College of the Arts, formerly Norwich School of Art and Design.) 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 pilots shows with, among others, Les Dennis, Gaby Roslin and Christopher Biggins.

Norwich has a thriving music scene based around local venues such as the University of East Angliamarker, Norwich Arts Centremarker, The Waterfront, The Queen Charlotte and the Marquee. The city is host to many artists that have achieved national and international recognition such as Goober Patrol, Cord, Tim Bowness, Sennen, Magoo, KaitO, Mantoid, Teknikov and The Sadtowns.Established record labels in Norwich include; Hungry Audio, Burning Shed, MQ Projects, Wilde Club Records and Mummy Where's The Milkman.


Norwich North Stars (2008)
The principal local football club is Norwich City, also known as the Canaries, who play in the Football League One. Majority-owned by celebrity chef Delia Smith and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones, their ground is at Carrow Roadmarker. 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 for a collective total of 19 seasons since 1972, their longest spell being a nine-year spell from 1986 to 1995. They have also won two Football League Cups, and finished third in the inaugural Premier League in 1993. Perhaps their most famous result to date came later in 1993 when they eliminated Germanmarker giants Bayern Munich from the UEFA Cup. Before emerging as a top division club, they famously eliminated 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, Dave Stringer, Mike Walker and Nigel Worthington.

The city's second club, Norwich Unitedmarker (who are based in Blofieldmarker some 5 miles east of the city) play in the Eastern Counties league, whilst AFC Norwichmarker play in the Anglian Combination. The now-defunct Gothic F.C. were also based in Norwich.

Norwich also has an athletics club, City of Norwich AC (CoNAC), a rugby club, the Norwich Lions, an ice hockey team, the Norwich North Stars, and five field hockey clubs, University of East Anglia Hockey Club, Norwich City Hockey Club, Norwich Dragons Hockey Club, Norfolk Nomads Hockey Club and the Veterans only side Norwich Exiles.

Outside the city boundary, the dry ski and snowboarding slopes of Norfolk Ski Club is located at Whitlingham Lane in Trowsemarker. Located close by in the parish of Whitlinghammarker is the Whitlingham Country 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 3 diving schools and other water and land sports.

Speedway racing was staged in Norwich both before and after WWII at The Firs Stadium on the Holt Road, Hellesdonmarker. The Norwich Stars 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 Speedway 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 Hevinghammarker but the event, staged without an official permit, did not lead to a revival of the sport in the Norwich area.

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.


Norwich is sometimes portrayed in the UK media as a place which is remote, unsophisticated, gauche, and out-of-step with national trends (see Alan Partridge, who once described Norwich as "the Provence of Great Britain"). This is perhaps primarily due to its geographical isolation, and an identification of Norwich as the epitome of Norfolk, a largely rural county.


Norwich was the second city of England (after London) for several centuries before industrialisation, which came late to Norwich due to its isolation.

Norwich also has a long history of political radicalism and is by no means a conservative city. With 13 seats, Green Party councillors make up the official opposition on Norwich City Council. The largest number of seats, however, is held by the Labour Party with 15; the Liberal Democrats are in third place with 6. The Conservative Party is currently in fourth place with 5 councillors.

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 issues.

According to the 2001 census, 27.8% of respondents in Norwich stated that they were of "no religion", the highest percentage in England.

There are rail links from Norwich railway stationmarker to Peterboroughmarker and London, and direct services to Cambridgemarker were added in 2004. It is a commuter city, with services running on the train route between Norwich and London. Travelling by train to London from Norwich, travellers arrive at Liverpool Street Stationmarker, in the heart of the 'City of London', the central financial district.

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 July 2006. Open Link will be undergoing essential work during August.

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."



Norwich sits above the A47 (bypassed to the south of the city) which connects it with Great Yarmouthmarker to the east and with Kings Lynnmarker to the west, which ultimately connects to Peterboroughmarker.At present the A47 is in the planning stages of upgrades, largely to sections which are still single-carriageway and with much focus on improving the road network in conjunction with the in-construction Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour. Norwich is linked to Cambridgemarker via the A11, which leads to the M11 motorway for London and the M25marker.It is linked to Ipswichmarker (to the south) by the A140 and to Lowestoftmarker (to the south-east) by the A146.Norwich is currently the largest population centre in the UK not to be connected to any other centre by an unbroken dual carriageway.

Norwich Northern Distributor Road

A controversial proposed new 7 mile road to the north of Norwich linking to Norwich International Airportmarker, the A47 and the A1067 road.


Norwich railway station is situated to the east of Norwich city centre and is managed by National Express East Anglia. It forms the northern terminus of the Great Eastern Main Line with half hourly services to London Liverpool Streetmarker provided by British Rail Class 90 locomotives.It is also linked to the Midlandsmarker with hourly services to Liverpool Lime Streetmarker and are operated by East Midlands Trains Class 158 DMU via Peterboroughmarker, Nottinghammarker and Manchestermarker.These additional hourly regional services to Cambridgemarker, and out of Norwich as far as Elymarker, are run by National Express using the Breckland Line which can be considered a line of major economic importance but not a mainline.National Express also runs hourly local services to Great Yarmouthmarker and Lowestoftmarker, using the Wherry Lines, and to Sheringhammarker, using the Bittern Line.These all use either Class 156or Class 170DMUs. Norwich is also the site of Norwich Crown Pointmarker Traction Maintenance Depot (TMD).

Bus and coach

Norwich is served by many bus operators including Anglian, First, Konectbus, Norfolk Greenand Sanders. The biggest bus operator is Firstwith their Overground network normally served by low floor buses and other routes served with a mixture of low floor and standard floor vehicles. Destinations throughout Norfolk are served and some beyond including Peterboroughmarker, and Lowestoftmarker.National Express also run ten coaches a day to Stansted Airportmarker, five a day to London, and one a day to Birminghammarker.Most bus and coach services, run from Norwich bus stationmarker in Surrey Street or from Castle Meadow.

Park and Ride

As of 2005, Norwich had the biggest Park and Rideoperation in the UK. Run by Norfolk County Council it runs from six purpose-built sites into Norwich bus station using colour-coded buses: Altogether nearly 5000 parking spaces are provided and in 2006 3.4 million passengers used the service. Services begin running into the city at 06:40 Monday to Friday, with the last buses returning from 19:25 (20:30 on Thursday).


Norwich International Airportmarker is a feeder to KLM's Schipholmarker hub.FlyBe, Eastern Airways, and Bristow Helicoptersall serve Norwich, in addition to a strong holiday charter flight business. The airport was originally the airfield part of the former RAF Horsham St Faithmarker.One of the former RAF hangars was once the home of Air UK, which grew out of Air Angliaand was then absorbed by the Dutch airline KLM.


National Cycle Route 1 passes through Norwich, linking Becclesmarker and Fakenhammarker (and eventually Dovermarker and the Shetland Islandsmarker).

Sustransalso has plans to build a bridge between the Riverside area and Whitlingham County Park, which is currently cut off by the rivers Yare and Wensum.


The River Yaremarker is navigable from the sea at Great Yarmouthmarker all the way to Trowse, south of the city.From there the River Wensummarker is navigable into Norwich, and is crossed by the Novi Sad Friendship Bridgemarker.Scheduled trips through the city and out to the nearby The Broadsare run by City Boats [15267]from outside Norwich Station and also Elm Hill.



Norwich is a popular destination for a city break; attractions include Norwich Cathedralmarker, the cobbled streets and museums of old Norwich,The Castlemarker, Cow Towermarker, Colman's Mustard Shop, Dragon Hallmarker and The Forum.Norwich is also one of the UK's top ten shopping destinations, with a mix of chain retailers and independent stores as well as one of the largest outdoor markets in England. It is currently ranked the 147th biggest city in Europe.

Travellers' comments

In 1507the 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 Fullerin his The Worthies of Englanddescribed the City in 1662as -
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 as
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 know.

She also records that held in the City three times a year were-
great 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 Defoein his Tour of the whole Island of Great Britain (1724) wrote of the City-
the inhabitants being all busy at their manufactures, dwell in their garrets at their looms, in their combing-shops, so they all 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-
I hear Norwich is a place very much addicted to the flowery part.

He visited the City as a courtier to King Charles IIin 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 Borrowin his semi-autobiographical novel Lavengro(1851) wrote of Norwich as-

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 Faust-

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 Pevsnerstated in his North-West Norfolk and Norwich volume of The Buildings of Englandthat

Norwich is distinguished by a prouder sense of civic responsibility than any other town of about the same size in Britain.

Notable people

Throughout its history, Norwich has been associated with radicalpolitics, nonconformistreligion, political dissentand liberalism. It has also produced notable people in many other walks of life, particularly the Arts. Famous past names associated with the City include:

Contemporary names associated with Norwich include:

Twinned cities




  1. Nearly rhyming with porridge in the local pronunciation
  2. Norfolk County Council web site - Local Government White Paper, Strong and Prosperous Communities, retrieved 10 Sept 2009
  3. Norwich City Council web site - The business case for unitary Norwich
  4. Communities and Local Government - Proposals for future unitary structures: Stakeholder consultation
  5. Ministers Statement Accessed 26 July 2007
  6. R.W. Ketton-Cremer, "The Coming of the Strangers", in Norfolk Assembly1957:-30.
  7. .
  8. Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service website - "Norwich Shawls"
  9. Norwich Textile website - "The Norwich Shawl Story"
  10. Jarrold's store Retrieved 16 November, 2009
  11. Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service website - "Brewing in Norwich"
  12. CACI web site - CACI Retail Footprint, 2006
  13. Norwich Evening News web site - Market is hit by new cash blow
  14. Calvert Square Retrieved 01 December 2008
  15. Norwich Evening News item Retrieved February 6, 2009
  16. Barber, Lynne. "Vine Times", July 8 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
  17. Stella Vine at Modern Art Oxford, Modern Art Oxford 2007. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
  18. Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service website – Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery
  19. Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service website – The Bridewell
  20. Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service website – Strangers’ Hall
  21. Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum website – Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum
  22. City of Norwich Aviation Museum website – Aviation Museum
  23. John Jarrold Printing Museum website – John Jarrold Printing Museum
  24. Whitlingham Country Park Retrieved 23 November, 2009
  25. Whitlingham Outdoor Centre Retrieved 23 November, 2009
  26. DiveNorwich - scuba diving
  27. Norwich Speedway Retrieved 17 January 2008
  28. | Thaxton rolls back the years
  29. Boxing News | Interview with English champion Danny McIntosh
  30. BBC Sport | Sexton joins the big guns
  31. MEET IN THE STREET - Positive Change through Public Discussion
  32. A map of cycle routes in and around Norwich is available here
  33. Searches Into the History of the Gillman or Gilman Family, Alexander Gillman, London, 18995
  34. Norwich: Mayors, Lord Mayors and Sheriffs, 1835-1990, GENUKI
  35. Stella Vine 'Saver or Spender', The Independent, 12 June 2004. Retrieved 9 January 2009.

External links




Tourism and pictures

Norwich Bus Station

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