Elm Hill, Norwich
Elm Hill in 2018, looking east
|Maintained by||Norwich City Council|
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Elm Hill, Norwich is a historic cobbled lane in
Elm Hill acquired its name from the elm trees that have successively stood in the square since the first quarter of the 16th century when the Churchwardens of
There is no record of the date when Elm Hill first came into being, but there is some evidence for its existence around 1200. Very few buildings now standing in Elm Hill are of an earlier date than 1507, when a disastrous fire destroyed over 700 houses in Norwich. The Britons Arms was the only building to survive, so is much older.
Elm Hill used to continue in a straight line past Britons Arms and intersect with St Georges Street but was re-aligned in the 15th century to permit the construction of St Andrew's & Blackfriars Halls which were originally the home of the
Although it may not be immediately apparent today, the North side of Elm Hill runs parallel to the
Many wealthy merchants had their houses facing Elm Hill with their factories and workshops at the rear. Between them and the river were the homes of their workpeople. Elm Hill has provided sixteen recorded citizens to serve Norwich as Mayor or Sheriff.
With the gradual decline of Norwich as a centre of the weaving industry in the 19th century, Elm Hill lost its importance and slowly degenerated into a slum area. By 1926 where once stood the fine houses of the merchants there was only neglect and decay. The areas leading down to the river, whilst still inhabited, were scenes of poverty and squalor. The Norwich Corporation wanted to demolish and build a swimming pool on the north side of the street but at the last moment was persuaded to adopt the ideas from the Norwich Society.
In 1927 the