The Norwich 12

Ever heard of the Norwich 12? No it’s not a famous court case it’s actually a group of iconic buildings in Norwich City  which represent urban and cultural development spanning 1000 years. The heritage in Norwich includes fine examples of Norman, medieval, Georgian and Victorian architecture. Many are free to enjoy but some are only open during special events or heritage days. If you’re visiting Norwich then be sure to see as many of these sites as you can.

  1. Norwich Castle is now a museum and art gallery and was originally built by the Normans as a Royal Palace. This is a fantastic example of a Norman keep and a visit here will also show you an impressive collection of fine art and archeology.
  2. Norwich Cathedral is a Romanesque building with spectacular architecture and a long history. It has the second tallest spire in England and features a large amount of medieval roof sculptures. Tours are free and will tell you all about how the Cathedral has witnessed riots, fire and plague and has stood the test of time. For a website that isn’t stuck in the dark ages, try a Norwich Web Design company. For more information visit
  3. The Great Hospital is situated in by the Cathedral and is an almshouse that was created in 1249 to help the residents of Norwich. It did this for over 750 years and includes a cloister, a church and a Victorian Hall. The incredible thing about the hospital is that it is the only surviving medieval hospital to have it’s entire collection of records in tact since 1249.
  4. For some Georgian luxury then stay at The Assembly House which is now a hotel. There are 11 splendid rooms, six of which have secret gardens. There are sumptuous suites and a bridal suite with it’s own garden!
  5. St John Baptist Cathedral and the Narthex is a Victorian Gothic Catholic Cathedral with stunning architecture and stained glass windows. The Narthex is an annexe to the Cathedral with a Garden Café serving hand-made produce.

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  1. St Andrew’s Hall and Blackfriars Hall are buildings that represent the most complete medieval friary complex in the country. They are available for hire for functions both public and private and have been civic buildings since 1538.
  2. City Hall is a municipal building built between the world wars. Previously the civic offices were housed in a medieval Guildhall but this impressive new build was a much more spacious option.
  3. The Forum is a modern addition to the Norwich 12 and is a glass-fronted building open to the public all year round offering art, family event, food markets, film and music concerts. The Millennium Library is here and a huge range of community groups meet here. It was built to celebrate the new millennium and has become an iconic landmark with great civic purpose.
  4. St James Mill is an example of architecture of the Industrial Revolution and was built between 1836 and 1839 to help the areas textile trade.
  5. Dragon Hall is a fantastic Grade I listed medieval merchant’s trading hall and is now home to the Writer’s Centre of Norwich in recognition of Norwich becoming a UNESCO City of Literature.
  6. Surrey House – Marble Hall is now a home to Aviva but visitors can usually pop in to see the Marble Hall. This is well worth a visit as the spectacular entrance hall is decked out in marble as it was originally destined for the Westminster Cathedral.
  7. The Guildhall is an historic building on Gaol Hill and dates back to 1407. As Norwich was once England’s second city, this was the seat of city government from the 1400’s until 1938 and is the largest medieval civic building intact outside of London.