The Norwich 12, Norfolk, England

In Cities, Counties, Days Out, En-Route, Norfolk, Norwich, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

A city with a story

A view of Norwich Cathedral, Norfolk, England, Great Britain

Prior to us setting off on our Norfolk road trip we’d read about the Norwich 12, intrigued to find out more while we were in Norwich, we did a bit of digging (not literally).

The list is a collection of iconic buildings taking you through the ages of Norwich, from the Normans, onto Medieval, through to the Georgian & Victorian period and ending with the modern-day era.

Explore the Norwich 12 sign, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Our favourite travel reads

Norwich Castle

Built by the Normans for William the Conqueror as a royal palace, from 1067 to 1075.

Norwich Castle, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Originally taking the form of a motte and bailey, the castle is now home to a museum and art gallery, with fantastic views across the city.

Further reading

If you're intrigued by Norfolk, a UK county with an interesting past, then wy not check out  "The Little Book of Norfolk".  Full of facts and obscure information. It's a fun read on the region.

You can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old hardcover. (Depending on region)

Norwich Cathedral

Now over 900 years and arguably the most iconic building in Norwich is the amazing cathedral, built between 1096 to 1145 the impressive Norman Tower still remains today.

Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Not only is the Cathedral free to wander around take time stroll around the enchanting 44-acre surrounding Close.

The Great Hospital

This medieval hospital founded in 1249 still cares for people today & has been in continuous use for the citizens of Norwich for the last 750 years.

The Great Hospital, Norwich, Norfolk, England

The six-acre collection of buildings includes a church, cloister, medieval refectory, and a Victorian hall.

The Halls – St Andrew’s and Blackfriars’

Dating from the 14th century, these halls are the most complete medieval friary complex surviving in England. The buildings are made of flint, which is quite synonymous with this area of the UK.

The Halls – St Andrews and Blackfriars, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Today the halls can be hired for social functions.

The Guildhall

This medieval city hall was built between 1407 and 1411 and served as the seat of city government from the early 15th century until 1938 when it was used for city administration, courts and prisons.

The Guildhall, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Today the Guildhall can be toured every on Monday at 2pm, and you are able to visit the dungeon, the police cells, Victorian Court room.

Something to make your travels easier?

  • 6-Port Desktop USB Charging Station

  • Mini Dual USB Car Adapter

  • Portable Charger 2 USB Ports Power Bank

  • Bose SoundLink Revolve, Portable Bluetooth Speaker

  • USB rechargeable LED Flashlight

  • Collapsible Water Bottle

Dragon Hall (now home to Writers’ Centre Norwich)

Dragon Hall was a 15th-century medieval merchant’s trading hall, built between 1427 and 1430.

Dragon Hall, Norwich, Norfolk, England
An entrance to Dragon Hall, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Tours of Dragon Hall are possible once a month.

The Assembly House

This wonderful Georgian building was constructed between 1754 & 1755 and designed by the architect Thomas Ivory.

The Assembly House, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Once hosting celebrations for local gentry, the building is still used today for special events.

St James Mill

Built between 1836 & 1839 during the Industrial Revolution, this impressive building was used for producing textiles.

St James Mill, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Now owned by Jarrolds, whose name is frequently seen around the city, has since been converted into an office complex, with the Jarrold Printing Museum situated behind the mill.

St John the Baptist Catholic Cathedral

Slightly away from the city centre is the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, yes, Norwich is a city with two cathedrals.

St John the Baptist Cathedral, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Built between 1884 & 1910 in the style of Victorian Gothic Revival, it was a gift to the city by Henry Fitzalan Howard, the 15th Duke of Norfolk.

Surrey House – Marble Hall (home to Aviva)

The very impressive Surrey House was built in the Edwardian era during 1900 and 1912, designed by local architect George Skipper.

Surrey House – Marble Hall, Norwich, Norfolk, England

Surrey House was commissioned by The Norwich Union Life Insurance Society’s as their head office and includes an elegant Marble Hall.

City Hall

Built between 1936 & 1938 during the inter-war period in England, it was constructed to replace the functions of the old Guildhall nearby (no.5 on this list).

City Hall, Norwich, Norfolk, England

This building is home to Norwich City Council.

The Forum

Last but no means least is The Forum, designed by Sir Michael Hopkins and was built between 1999 & 2001 it was a landmark Millennium building for the city & its community.

The Forum, Norwich, Norfolk, England

It houses the Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library and 2nd Air Division Memorial Library, also the Norwich Tourist Information Centre & the BBC’s regional headquarters.

Our Suggested Route

Our suggested route starts and finishes at the Castle, but being circular you can start and finish where you want.

There are plenty of watering holes along the route, but look out for the Adam & Eve Pub between St James Mill (10) & The Great Hospital (11), or The St Andrews Brew House by the Halls (9).

  • The Castle

  • Dragon Hall

  • Surrey House

  • The Assembly House

  • The Forum

  • City Hall

  • The Guildhall

  • The Cathedral of St John the Baptist

  • The Halls

  • St James Mill

  • The Great Hospital

  • The Cathedral

Have You?

Seen the Norwich 12? We hope you enjoy strolling around this lovely city and taking in the 12 very historic, architectural must sees as much as we did.

Something for the Traveller

  • Children's World Globe 3D Jigsaw Puzzle

  • Travel-Size Laundry Bag

  • Metallic World Globe

  • RFID Blocking Cards

  • The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World

Inspired to visit Norwich?

Does the archtiecture & history tempt you? There’s so much to this wonderful city – it’s now a firm favourite of ours.

Why not check out the latest deals on Booking.Com?

If you liked this post why not have a look at The Heart of Norfolk: Norwich, England
Norwich 12 - Pinterest, Norwich, Norfolk, England

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About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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