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In , Whitefriars was founded. In 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 In the Cathedral received final consecration. In the city flooded. Austin Friary was founded in that year. 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 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 period 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 Statute of the Staple.

From to the city walls were built. 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 today. 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. The year saw an unprecedented rebellion in Norfolk.

Unlike popular challenges elsewhere in the Tudor period, it appears to have been Protestant in nature. For several weeks Kett's rebels camped outside Norwich on 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 Catholic s and eventually numbering as many as one third of the city's population.

Inhabitants of Ypres in particular chose Norwich above other destinations. Norwich has traditionally been the home of various minorities, notably French Huguenot and Belgian Walloon communities in the 16th and 17th centuries. The great "Stranger" immigration of brought a substantial Flemish and Walloon community of Protestant weavers to Norwich, where they are said to have been made welcome.

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.

The 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.

Printing was introduced to the city in by Anthony de Solempne, one of the "Strangers", but it did not take root and had died out by about 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. The latter's gunpowder was set off by accident in the city centre, causing mayhem.

According to Hopper , 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 Norwich where 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 and the ensuing century by a golden age of its cloth industry, comparable only to those in the West Country and Yorkshire.

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.

This made 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.

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. The pre-eminent citizen, Bishop William Lloyd, would not take the oaths of allegiance to the new monarchs. One report has it that in 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 , 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 supporters of the king were said to be "hiss'd at and curst as they go in the streets," and in "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.

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 , well after it had ceased to be a significant movement outside Scotland. 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 the mayoral election had ended in a riot, with both sides throwing "brick-ends and great paving stones" at each other.

Britain's first provincial newspaper, the Norwich Post , appeared in By there were rival Whig and Tory presses and even in mid-century, three-quarters of the males in some parishes were literate. Norwich alehouses had clubs and societies meeting in them in , and at least more were formed before The Theatre Royal opened in , alongside the city's stage productions in inns and puppet shows in rowdy alehouses.

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. 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, in , rising to over 3, by the mids.

With growth partly the result of political manipulation, their numbers did at one point reach one-third of the adult male population. 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 characteristic: 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: Notwithstanding Norwich's hitherto industrial prosperity, the wool trade was experiencing intense competition by the s, 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 The s 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 s from incipient decline exacerbated by a serious trade recession. As early in the war as , a major city manufacturer and government supporter, Robert Harvey, complained of low order books, languid trade and a doubling of the poor rate.

Hayes describes a meeting of people in a Norwich public house, at which "Citizen Stanhope" spoke. 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 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 s, and did not achieve a comparable prominence until the University of East of Anglia arrived in the late 20th century.

By 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 …" [44] In December the price of bread reached its highest yet, and in May , when William Windham was forced to seek re-election following his appointment as war secretary, he only just held his seat.

Though informed by issues of recent national importance, the two-sided political culture of Norwich in the s 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 record of Norwich as a "two-party city".

In the midth 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.

In Thomas Bignold , a 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 s, the manufacture of Norwich shawls became an important industry [46] 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 , 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 , when a railway connection was established, it was often quicker to travel to Amsterdam by boat than to London. From to , Norwich had a station in the shutter telegraph chain that connected the Admiralty in 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 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.

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 [49] in , and the Norwich factory in Salhouse Road eventually closed in Caley's was acquired by Mackintosh in the s, and merged with Rowntree's in to become Rowntree-Mackintosh. 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 London to Norwich in the s. It occupied the purpose-built Sovereign House building, near Anglia Square, which, in , stands empty, and is due for demolition if the long-postponed redevelopment of Anglia Square goes ahead.

Jarrolds , established in , was a nationally well-known printer and publisher. In , after nearly 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 training division. The city was home to a long-established tradition of brewing, [52] with several large breweries continuing in business into the second half of the century. Despite takeovers and consolidation in the s and s, by the s only the Norwich Brewery owned by Watney Mann and on the site of Morgans remained.

That too closed in and was subsequently demolished. Only microbreweries can be found today. This was in fact significantly under the actual amount, with the highest number of pubs in the city was in the year , with over beer-houses. A Licensing Act in , had several detrimental effects for landlords and customers, with the total number of pubs dropping to By , the number had dropped to pubs within the City Walls.

The title of a pub for every day of the year survived until , when the Chief Constable informed the Licensing Justices that only licences were still operative [ citation needed ] , with the number slowly shrinking, as over 25 have closed in the last decade. 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. Lord Haw-Haw made reference to the imminent destruction of Norwich's new City Hall completed in , although in the event it survived unscathed. Out of the 35, domestic dwellings in Norwich, 2, were destroyed, and another 27, suffered some damage.

As the war ended, the city council revealed what it had been working on before the war. It was published as a book - 'The City of Norwich Plan ' or commonly known as 'The '45 Plan' [55] - a grandiose scheme of massive redevelopment which never properly materialised. However, the ten years between and completely altered the city, and significantly large areas of Norwich were cleared to make way for modern redevelopment. In , the inner-city district of Richmond, locally known as 'the Village on the Hill' was condemned as slums, and many residents were forced to leave due to compulsory purchase orders on the old terraces and lanes.

The whole borough was demolished, which consisted of around 56 acres of existing streets, including dwellings considered unfit for human habitation , 42 shops, 4 offices, 22 public houses and 2 schools.

A new road, Rouen Road was developed in the area's place, which consists mainly of light industrial units and council flats. Ber Street , a once historical main road into the city had its whole eastern side demolished.

The final part of St Peters Street at the top of St Peter Mancroft church , along with large Georgian houses at the top of Bethel Street was demolished to make way for car park for the new City Library in Many more buildings were demolished during the construction of the inner-ring road, which saw an ancient road junction, Stump Cross with Tudor and Georgian buildings in Magdalen Street and around Botolph Street, cleared to make way for a fly-over and Brutalist concrete shopping centre, Anglia Square and office blocks such as HMSO building Sovereign House.

Other areas affected by the ring-road were Grapes Hill, a once narrow lane lined with Georgian and Victorian cottages, being cleared and widened to form a dual carriageway leading up in to a roundabout in Shortly before the construction of this roundabout, the city's old Drill Hall was demolished, along with parts of the original city wall and other larger townhouses along the start of Unthank Road.

The north westerly corner of Chapelfield Gardens was also cut off in order to accommodate the new roundabout. The majority of Chapelfield Road and Queens Road; which saw many houses that were built into the city walls, were cleared.

This included the surrounding area near Vauxhall Street, consisting of Georgian cottages which were condemned as slums. Post-war housing and maisonettes flats now stand where the Rookery slums once did.

Some aspects of The '45 Plan were put into action, which saw large three-story Edwardian houses in Grove Avenue and Grove Road, and other large properties on Southwell Road, demolished in to make way for flat-roofed single story style maisonettes, that still stand today. Further housing developments in the private and public sector took place after the Second World War, partly to accommodate the growing population of the city and also to replace condemned and bomb damaged areas, such as the Heigham Grove district between Barn Road and Old Palace Road, and West Pottergate off Dereham Road.

Other central streets such as St Stephens Street was widened, firstly by Norwich Union 's new office blocks and shortly after redeveloped with new buildings after it suffered extensive damage during the Baedeker raids.

On Surrey Street, many six-storey Georgian buildings were demolished to make way for Norwich Union's office. From to the City became a frequent focus of national media due to the squatting of Argyle Street , a Victorian street that was demolished in , despite being the last street left to survive the Richmond Hill redevelopment. Norwich has been governed by two tiers of local government since the implementation of the Local Government Act 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 member county council. The city is divided into single-member electoral divisions, and county councillors are elected every four years. 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. Following the local elections, the distribution of council seats is Labour 26, Green Party 10, Liberal Democrats 3.

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 [update] , the Lord Mayor is Cllr. The office of mayor of Norwich dates from and was raised to the dignity of lord mayor in 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".

Under the Municipal Corporations Act 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 meeting. In October , 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 , which was rejected in December , as it did not meet all the rigorous criteria for acceptance. In February , the Boundary Committee for England from 1 April incorporated in the Local Government Boundary Commission for England , was asked to consider alternative proposals for the whole or part of Norfolk, including whether Norwich should become a unitary authority, separate from Norfolk County Council.

In December , the Boundary Committee recommended a single unitary authority covering all of Norfolk, including Norwich. However, in February , it was announced that, contrary to the December recommendation of the Boundary Committee, Norwich would be given separate unitary status.

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.

The disputed award of unitary status had meanwhile been referred to the High Court , and in June the court ruled it unlawful, and revoked it; the city failed to attain unitary status. Since Norwich has returned two members of parliament to the House of Commons. Until 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 Norwich South. Norwich North, which includes some rural wards of Broadland District, was held by Labour from to when it was gained by the Conservatives. Labour regained the seat in , holding it until a by-election in John Garrett regained the seat for Labour in In the General Election , both the incumbent MPs held their seats.

The parliamentary seats cross over into adjacent local-government districts. The population of the Norwich Travel to Work Area i. In the racial composition of Norwich's population was The largest quinary group is 20 to year-olds The city has 56 primary schools including 16 academies and free schools and 13 secondary schools, 11 of which are academies.

The student population of the city is around 15,, [96] many of whom come from overseas. The University of East Anglia was founded in and is located on the outskirts of the city. The university campus is the home of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts , which houses a number of important art collections. Founded by artists and followers of the Norwich School art movement, it was established to provide designers for local industries.

Previously a specialist arts college as the Norwich School of Art and Design , it achieved university status in Norwich has three further education colleges: The latter was founded in and is one of the largest colleges in the country.

Historically 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 , and was the first city to implement the Public Libraries Act Norwich is one of the UK's top ten shopping destinations, with a mix of chain retailers and independent stores as well as Norwich Market , one of the largest outdoor markets in England.

It is ranked about the th biggest city in Europe. The Forum, designed by Michael Hopkins and Partners and opened in is a building designed to house the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, a replacement for the Norwich Central Library building which burned down in , and the regional headquarters and television centre for BBC East.

For the seventh consecutive year since it has been the most visited library in the UK, with 1. Much of the collection was lost in the 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 slogan for 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: The city promotes its architectural heritage through a collection of notable buildings in Norwich called the " Norwich 12 ".

The group consists of: 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 , presents exhibitions of its members to promote awareness of modern art.

Norwich was home to the first arts festival in Britain in Norwich Arts Centre is a notable live music venue, concert hall and theatre located in St Benedict's Street. Live music, mostly contemporary musical genres, is also to be heard at a number of other public house and club venues around the city.

Norwich is also the home of jazz and blues vocalist Albert Cooper born , who has performed on innumerable occasions in the city since The event was held on 23—24 May in Earlham Park. British artist Stella Vine lived in Norwich from the age of seven, [] including for a short while in 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 Norwich has theatres ranging in capacity from to 1, seats and offering a wide variety of programmes.

The Theatre Royal is the largest and has been on its present site for nearly years, through several rebuildings and many alterations. It has 1, seats and hosts a mix of national touring productions including musicals, dance, drama, family shows, stand-up comedians, opera and pop. The Maddermarket Theatre opened in 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 Norwich Puppet Theatre was founded in by Ray and Joan DaSilva as a permanent base for their touring company and was first opened as a public venue in , 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 seat raked auditorium, the 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 family-centred entertainment. The Norwich Playhouse , which opened in and has seating capacity of , 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 people in a range of layouts. It can also be used for standing events to accommodate up to 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 people.

On 20 April , 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 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 Shakespeare productions. Sewell Barn Theatre is the smallest theatre in Norwich and has a seating capacity of just The auditorium features raked seating on three sides of an open acting space.

This unusual staging helps to draw the audience closely into the performance. 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 Norwich Cathedral are used for open-air performances as part of an annual Shakespeare festival. Norwich has a number of important museums which reflect the rich history of the city and of Norfolk as well as wider interests.

The largest is 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 subjects. The Museum of Norwich until called The Bridewell Museum , in Bridewell Alley, was closed in for a major refurbishment of the building and overhaul of the displays, [] and re-opened in July These include "Life in Norwich: Our City —"; "Life in Norwich: Strangers' Hall , at Charing Cross, is one of the oldest buildings in Norwich: 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 national importance. The Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum was, until , 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 , and was relocated to the main Norwich Castle Museum, reopening fully in There is an extensive and representative display of medals awarded to soldiers of the regiment, including two of the six Victoria Crosses won. 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.

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 , it is unique in Western Europe. In 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, items, built up over a period of some 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. Prince of Wales Road in the city centre, running from the Riverside district near Norwich railway station to Norwich Castle, is home to many pubs, bars and clubs.

Independent radio stations based in Norwich include Heart , Smooth Radio , A community station, Future Radio , was launched on 6 August 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 — , which began each edition with John Benson 's enthusiastic announcement: Launched in , Anglia Television lost its independence in following a takeover by Meridian Broadcasting and subsequent mergers have seen it reduced from a significant producer of programmes to a regional news centre.

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. 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 Throughout , 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.

Alpha Papa is a Norwich broadcaster played by Steve Coogan. Because 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. The city was also the retirement residence of Arthur Dee died Norwich, the eldest son of the alchemist John Dee [] [].

Norwich was also the residence of the physician and hermetic philosopher Sir Thomas Browne , author of The Garden of Cyrus Many influential esoteric books-titles are listed as once in Browne's library. 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 Ouroboros along with Masonic 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 the congregation of the New Jerusalem Church of Swedenborgians , followers of the mystic Emanuel Swedenborg , worshipped at the church of St. Norwich has a wealth of historical architecture.

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