Anglia Square Shopping Centre, Norwich

Anglia Square Shopping Centre
Spiral Staircase on Soveriegn House in Anglia Sqaure Norwich.jpg
Spiral staircase on Sovereign House in Anglia Square
LocationNorwich, Norfolk, Strand Shopping Centre Website

Anglia Square is a shopping centre in the north of Norwich city centre, in Norfolk, England. Opened in 1970, it was part of a larger Norwich redevelopment during this period, which was also complemented by the establishment of the HMSO building Sovereign House nearby, which opened in 1969. The square took six years to build, but was never actually finished.

Pedestrian shop-lined walkways lead onto Anglia square which was originally open to the elements but now covered by a steel and glass structure – added in the late 20th century. The red brick and concrete buildings are finished in the brutalist style. Forming the western boundary of the centre is the former HMSO building Sovereign House. The building, now empty and due for demolition.[1][2]

In 2014, the centre was bought by investment manager Threadneedle Investments for £7.5 million.[3] In early 2018, Weston Homes and landowner Columbia Threadneedle submitted regeneration plans for the site, which includes a controversial 25-storey tower block.

History

Stump Cross and Botolph Street

The area where Anglia Square stands today was part of the Saxon settlement of Northwic, which was defended by Anglo-Scandinavian defensive ditches running along what is now Botolph Street and Anglia Square car park. Magdalen Street and St Augustine's, which are two of the oldest streets in Norwich, date back to those times. During the 19th century, a Crape Manufactory – a factory which produced a fabric often worn when mourning, was built where Anglia Square now stands. The area was badly bombed during the Baedeker raids in April 1942, during World War II and the area was deemed suitable for post-war development.

Redevelopment

The 1945 Norwich Plan, prepared for the city council by C.H. James, Rowland Pierce and Norwich City Engineer H.C. Rowlet, envisioned an urban dual carriageway encircling the city centre, creating ambitiously titled “gates” (aka roundabouts) at every major intersection. Although it was unrealised in its entirety, the western and part of the northern sides of this ring road became the Inner Link Road, constructed between 1968 and 1975.

Many historic buildings were cleared in the making of Anglia Square and the subsequent inner-ring road. One of the oldest was the Kings Arms public house on Botolph Street, which on its gable end in large iron characters were the letters "I" and "C" and the date "1646", now preserved in one of the Norwich museums. Also demolished was the Regency bank at the junction of Magdalen Street and Botoph Street. Some other Georgian and Victorian buildings along St George's Street that survived the war bombings as well as gabled and jettied Tudor buildings. The cleared areas near where The Shuttles pub was never built on, and is still an empty wasteland today.

The square

The centre was designed by Alan Cooke & Partners who handled the whole development.[4]

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