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Norwich Guildhall

Take a guided tour of one of Norwich’s most distinctive buildings, a checkerboard masterpiece that was the local seat of government for centuries.

Norwich Guildhall is one of the city’s most striking buildings. Despite being over 600 years old, it remains fantastically well preserved today. Take a stroll around the outside of the building to admire its beautiful façade or join one of the guided tours that are held weekly for a chance to marvel at its opulent interior.

The Guildhall was built between 1407 and 1413 and today it still remains one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in Norwich. It functioned as the seat of local government for hundreds of years, right up until the mid 20th century. Its interior once housed courtrooms, a chapel and even a prison. Visit today, however, and you will find much of the ground floor space occupied by a café.

Before you enter the building, take the time to appreciate the level of detail in the design of the exterior. The flint work is typical of the style that Norwich is known for. Notice the wonderful checkerboard areas. 

See part of the building’s interior by visiting the café, or join one of the regular guided tours that will show you the more impressive rooms. Visit a perfectly preserved Victorian courtroom, step into the Assembly Chamber, where the city council met in medieval times, and wonder at the opulence of the Mayor’s Council Chamber. The woodwork and stained glass here are beautifully designed. 

As the Guildhall is located in the medieval heart of the city, a visit here offers a good chance to see some of the other historic attractions dotted around. Within walking distance you’ll find the spectacular Norwich Cathedral, said to be England’s most intact Norman church, as well as Dragon Hall. The latter is known for its grand design, inside and out.

Check when the free guided tours of Norwich Guildhall are held before you visit, as they are only once a week and times may vary. Also be aware that parts of the building are used as offices, so you won’t be able to see every room. The ones you will be able to see, though, are fascinating enough by themselves.


Guide to Exploring Norwich Guildhall


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