Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|City of Norwich|
Shown within Norfolk
|Region:||East of England|
- Total (2002 est.)
3,117 / km²
Norwich City Council
|Leadership:||Leader & Cabinet|
|MPs:||Ian Gibson, Charles Clarke|
|Post Office and Telephone|
In effect the City expands a long way beyond its actual borough boundary, with large suburban areas on most sides. The Parlimentary seats cross over into adjacent local government districts.
Norwich, in the county of Norfolk, was largely unaffected by the Iceni and the Romans (who had their capital at venta icenorum (modern day Caistor St Edmund), but was a construct of the Anglo-Saxons, the Danes and the Normans. The word Norvic appears on coins minted during the reign of King Athelstan (early 10th century AD). The ancient city was already a thriving centre for trade and commerce in East Anglia when Swein Forkbeard the Viking destroyed it in 1004 AD.
At the time of the Norman Conquest the city was one of the largest in England, and it continued to be a major centre for trade, especially wool. The Wensum was a convenient exporting route to the sea.
By the middle of the 14th century the City Walls, about 2 1/2 miles long had been completed, these alongwith the river enclosed a large area, larger than that of the City of London.
The wealth generated by the wool trade throughout the Middle Ages resulted in the construction of many fine churches. Norwich still has one of the highest number of splendid medieval churches in western Europe.
The great immigration of 1567 brought a substantial Walloon community of weavers to Norwich. Norwich has been the home of various dissident minorities, notably the French Huguenot and the Belgian Walloon communities in the 16th and 17th centuries. Primarily through trading connections with mainland Europe, ideas of religious reform and radical politics were introduced to Norwich.
The Norwich Canary was first introduced into England by Flemish refugees fleeing from Spanish persecution in the 1500s. They brought with them not only advanced working skills in textiles but also their pet canaries, which they began to breed. The canary is the emblem of the city's football team, "The Canaries", Norwich City F.C.
Norwich remained a major provincial capital and rated closely after London alongside Bristol.
Norwich's geographical isolation was such that until 1834 when a railway connection was established, it was often quicker to travel to Amsterdam by boat than to London. The railway was brought to Norwich by Morton Peto who also built the line onto Great Yarmouth
- All life is brief, and frail all man's estate. City, farewell: I mourn thy cruel fate.
- Either a city in an orchard or an orchard in a city, so equally are houses and trees blended in it, so that the pleasure of the country and the populousness of the city meet here together. Yet in this mixture, the inhabitants participate nothing of the rusticalness of the one, but altogether the urbanity and civility of the other.
- a city walled full round of towers, except on the river side which serves as a wall; they seem the best in repair of any walled city I know.
She also records that held in the City three times a year were-
- great fairs...to which resort a vast concourseof people and wares a full trade.
Norwich being a rich, thriving indusrious place full of weaving, knitting and dyeing.
Daniel Defoe in his Tour of the whole Island of Great Britain (1724) wrote of the City-
- the inhabitants being all busy at their manufactures, dwell in their garrets at their looms, in their combng-shops, so they all them, twisting-mills, and other work-houses; almost all the works they are employed in being done within doors.
- I hear Norwich is a place very much addicted to the flowery part.
He visited the City as a courtier to King Charles II in 1671 and described it thus -
- The suburbs are large, the prospect sweet, and other amenities, not omitting the flower-garden, which all the Inhabitants excel in of this City, the fabric of stuffs, which affords the Merchants, and brings a vast trade to this populous Town.
George Borrow in his semi-autobiographical novel Lavengro (1851) wrote of Norwich as-
- A fine old city, perhaps the most curious specimen at present extant of the genuine old English Town. ..Thre it spreads from north to south, with its venerable hoouses, its numerous gardens, its thrice twelve churches, its mighty mound....There is an old grey castle on top of that mighty mound: and yonder rising three hundred feet above the soil, from amongst those noble forest trees, behold that old Norman master-work, that cloud-enriched cathedral spire ...Now who can wonder that the children of that fine old city are proud, and offer up prayers for her prosperity?
In 1812, Andrew Robertson wrote to the painter Constable-
- I arrived here a week ago and find it a place where the arts are very much cultivated....some branches of knowledge, chemistry, botany, etc. are carried to a great length. General literature seems to be persued with an adour which is astonishing when we consider that it does not contain a university, as is merely a manufacturing town.
Famous names associated with City
Throughout its history, Norwich has been associated with radical politics, nonconformist religion, political dissent and liberalism. Between 1790 and 1840, many of the famous names associated with the City flourished. These include:
- The Norwich school of painters, Harriet Martineau, Amelia Opie, George Borrow, William Taylor and Sir James Edward Smith.
- Julian of Norwich. Medieval Christian mystic and contemporary of Chaucer. Julian is the author of The revelations of Divine Love the first book written by a woman in the English language. Julian's writings are well-represented by the scholarly website www.umilta.net.
- The physician and philosopher Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), medical doctor, polymath scholar and encyclopedist with interests in Biblical scholarship and the esoteric. The stylistic purity and stupendous learning displayed in Browne's varied prose in the spheres of religion, science and art are minor classics of World literature. Major works available online at http://penelope.uchicago.edu/index.shtml
- William Crotch (1775-1847) Composer, artist and teacher. Norwich's Mozart. He gave daily public organ recitals aged two and a half. Crotch played God Save the King before the King aged three. He had performed at every major town in England and Scotland by the age of seven. Crotch became Organist of Christ Church Oxford and for 50 years he was Oxford's Professor of Music. Unlike Mozart however his precocious musical talents failed to mature.
- John Crome and Joseph Stannard along with John Sell Cotman established the first art movement outside of London. The Norwich school of painters were influenced by the achievements of Dutch landscape painting and the beauty of the rural hinterland surrounding Norwich.
- The writer and traveller George Borrow (1803-1881). In his youth Borrow was resident at Willow Lane. He attended the Norwich King Edward school. Borrow recollects his youth in the city and conversations with the philologist and translator of German Romantic literature, William Taylor in his semi-autobiographical novel Lavengro .
- The prison reformer Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) was born in Gurney Court in Magdalen Street, and was one of several philanthropists associated with the city (her portrait is currently upon the new Bank of England £5 note).
- Thomas Ivory , Neo-Classical architect, who built the Assembly Rooms (1776), the Octagon Chapel (1756), and St Helen's House (1752) in the grounds of the Great Hospital.
- Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) daughter of a Norwich manufacturer of Huguenot descent. She suffered from ill-health and deafness throughout her life. A devout Unitarian, her writings include Illustrations of political economy (1832-1834). Harriet Martineau supported the abolitionist campaign in the United States writing Society in America (1837). She translated writings by Auguste Comte. Her first novel was entitled Deerbrook (1839). A radical in religion she published the anti-theological Laws of Man's Social Nature (1851) and Biographical sketches (1869).
- Amelia Opie (1769-1853), Norwich author and Quaker. Opie wrote The dangers of Coquetry when aged 18 and married John Opie in 1798. Her novel Father and Daughter (1803) is about misled virtue and family reconciliation. Encouraged by Mary Wollstonecraft she wrote Adeline Mowbray (1804) an exploration of relationship between mother and daughter. Adeline Mowbray discusses in an un-self-conscious and frank manner and delivers the moral that the desires of women as much as men can override their families' wishes and thus jeopardise their future. Most of Amelia Opie's life was divided between London and Norwich. She was a friend of Sir Walter Scott, Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Madame de Stael. In 1825 she drastically changed her life as a socialite, party-goer, and attendant at literary soirees , to become a Quaker. Late in her life she received George Borrow as a guest. After a visit to Cromer, a seaside resort on the North Norfolk coast, she caught a chill, retired to her bedroom and died a year later.
- George Skipper (1856-1948), architect. Examples of George Skipper's Edwardian Art-Deco style architecture can be seen throughout the city. The splendid 'Royal Arcade', the Norwich Union Marble Banqueting Hall and the 'Hotel de Paris' at the seaside resort of Cromer are each fine examples of the so-called Gaudi of Norwich.
- Alan Partridge, fictional radio DJ played by comedian Steve Coogan. Despite being a fictional character, Partridge is arguably the most famous Norwich resident of recent years. Partridge has a huge chip on his shoulder about the pedestrianisation of the city centre.
- Delia Smith, majority shareholder of Norwich City Football Club (note: she was born in Surrey and lives in Suffolk). The infamous cook who taught us all how to boil eggs to perfection and make toast that isn't "sweaty" (i.e. place it in a toast rack - don't lie it down) has been a favourite of the city ever since she arrived; helping save the club from going into administration.
The University of East Anglia on the outskirts of Norwich was one of the redbrick universities founded in 1963. UEA adopted the city's motto of independence Do different. The university campus houses the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Norwich International Airport is a feeder to KLM's Schipol hub. Apart from that smaller national airlines fly to UK destinations and there is a strong holiday charter flight business. The airport was originally the RAF airfield at Horsham St Faith. This was once the home of Air UK, which grew out of Air Anglia and was then absorbed by the Dutch airline KLM.
Satirical comedian Steve Coogan located his fictional, unbearably vain, cheesy broadcaster 'Alan Partridge' in Norfolk, specifically hosting the pre-breakfast show on the fictional independent station 'Radio Norwich'. It exploited the county's reputation as being somewhat detached from modern trends, past its prime, and rather peripheral to national life.
Other comic entertainers who have drawn comedy from that stereotype include Allan Smethurst 'The Singing Postman' and The Kipper Family lately represented by 'son' Sid Kipper, though these are associated with Norfolk in general and not just the City.
Each year the Norfolk and Norwich Festival celebrates the arts (chiefly music).
The city's economy, orignally chiefly industrial, has changed throughout the eighties and nineties to a services based economy. Norwich Union, now Arriva, still dominates the services. Recent developments include the first of the controversial PFI hospitals, the new Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on the city's periphery at Colney, the 'Forum' which replaced the old Central Library building which burned down in 1995, and is now the home of the Millennium Library and the regional BBC broadcasting office. New developments on the former Bolton and Paul site include the Riverside entertainment complex with nightclubs and other venues featuring the usual national leisure brands. Nearby the football stadium is being upgraded with more property development alongside the river Wensum. A shopping mall is being built on the Chapelfield site where the 'Caleys' (later Rowntree Mackintosh) chocolate factory stood.
Archant is a publishing group that has grown out of the city's local newspaper the Norwich Evening News and the regional Eastern Daily Press (EDP). Independent radio stations are Broadland 102 and Classic Gold Amber . BBC Radio Norfolk and the University of East Anglia's Livewire 1350 all broadcast to the city.
The city centre shopping has been highly rated in national surveys.
Norwich is occasionally portrayed by the media as a city out-of-step with national trends (see Alan Partridge); This is primarily due to its geographic isolation which has contributed greatly to its 'unspoilt' and insular character. There has always been a general tolerance of "incomers" by the 'native' population of Norwich and Norfolk, though becoming a "local" is still reckoned to take decades. There are good rail links from Norwich railway station to Peterborough and London, with Cambridge services added from 2004. It is considered to have a wealth of historical architecture.
Recent attempts to shed the backwater image of Norwich and market it as a popular tourist destination, as well as a centre for science, commerce, culture and the arts, have included the refurbishment of the Castle Museum and the opening of the magnificent 'Forum' which, apart from housing the Norwich and Norfolk Central Library, provides an new venue for exhibitions, concerts and events although the city still lacks a proper concert venue. The proposed new slogan for Norwich, England's Other City, has been the subject of much discussion and controversy - and it remains to be seen whether it will be finally adopted.
- Norwich City Council
- Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
- The Forum
- University of East Anglia
- Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
- Norwich Castle Museum
- Norwich City F.C.
- The Anglican Diocese of Norwich
- Norwich Classified
- Norwich Cathedral and History of the See (King's Handbook, 1862)
- Norwich Search Engine and Directory
- Nosher - Norwich mosher - for Norwich bands and artists
- Eastern Daily Press
- Norwich Evening News
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