Norwich | architecture

Architecture

Norwich has a wealth of historical architecture. The medieval period is represented by the 11th-century Norwich Cathedral, 12th-century castle (now a museum) and a large number of parish churches. During the Middle Ages, 57 churches stood within the city wall; 31 still exist today, and seven are still used for worship.[139] This gave rise to the common regional saying that it had a church for every week of the year, and a pub for every day. Norwich is said to have more standing medieval churches than any city north of the Alps.[93] The Adam and Eve pub is believed to be the oldest pub in the city,[140] with the earliest known reference made in 1249.[141] Most of the medieval buildings are in the city centre. Notable examples of secular medieval architecture are Dragon Hall, built in about 1430, and The Guildhall, built 1407–1413, with later additions. From the 18th century, the pre-eminent local name is Thomas Ivory, who built the Assembly Rooms (1776), the Octagon Chapel (1756), St Helen's House (1752) in the grounds of the Great Hospital, and innovative speculative housing in Surrey Street (c. 1761). Ivory should not be confused with the Irish architect of the same name and similar period.

The 19th century saw an explosion in Norwich's size and much of its housing stock, as well as commercial building in the city centre, dates from this period. The local architect of the Victorian and Edwardian periods who has continued to command most critical respect was George Skipper (1856–1948). Examples of his work include the headquarters of Norwich Union on Surrey Street; the Art Nouveau Royal Arcade; and the Hotel de Paris in the nearby seaside town of Cromer. The neo-Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to St John the Baptist on Earlham Road, begun in 1882, is by George Gilbert Scott Junior and his brother, John Oldrid Scott.

The city continued to grow through the 20th century, and much housing, particularly in areas further out from the city centre, dates from that century. The first notable building post-Skipper was the City Hall by CH James and SR Pierce, opened in 1938; at the same time, they moved the City War Memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, to sit in a memorial garden between the city hall and the market place. Bombing during the Second World War, while resulting in relatively little loss of life, caused significant damage to the housing stock in the city centre. Much of the postwar replacement stock was designed by the local authority architect, David Percival. However, the major postwar development in Norwich from an architectural point of view was the opening of the University of East Anglia in 1964. Originally designed by Denys Lasdun (his design was never completely executed), it has been added to over subsequent decades by major names such as Norman Foster and Rick Mather.

Parks, gardens and open spaces

Riverside flats Norwich

See also List of parks, gardens and open spaces in Norwich

Chapelfield Gardens in central Norwich became the city's first public park in November 1880. From the start of the 20th century, Norwich Corporation, now Norwich City Council, began buying and leasing land to develop parks when funds became available. Sewell Park and James Stuart Gardens are examples of land donated by benefactors.

After World War I the corporation took advantage of government grants and made the decision to construct a series of formal parks as a means to alleviate unemployment. Under the guidance of Parks Superintendent Captain Sandys-Winsch[142] four parks were completed; Heigham Park (1924), Wensum Park (1925), Eaton Park (1928), Waterloo Park (1933). These parks retain many features from Sandys-Winsch's original plans and have been placed on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.[143]

As of 2015, the city has 23 parks, 95 open spaces and 59 natural areas managed by the local authority.[144] In addition, there are several privately owned gardens which are occasionally opened to the public in aid of charity[145] with the exception of the Plantation Garden[146] located close to the St John the Baptist Cathedral which opens daily.

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