Escorted Rail Tours to Norwich
Medieval buildings in a busy modern town
Norwich first came to prominence in the early 10th century,
mainly because it had its own mint. Around this time, the city also
became a major centre for trade, as the River Wensum provided easy
access to Great Yarmouth, and from there to the rest of Europe.
Coins from Norwich's mint have been discovered as far away as
Scandinavia and the Rhineland, giving an impression of the extent
of the city's trade. As a result, by the 11th century Norwich was
England's largest city, after London. This was a position it held
until about the time of the Industrial Revolution.
Several reminders of this prosperous time remain in Norwich
today, and exploring the rich collection of twisting lanes and
narrow passageways on foot is easy. There are a number of
architectural gems scattered across the centre; Norwich Castle was
constructed in 1067, as William the Conqueror realised the
importance of protecting this wealthy city. Open as a museum today,
the castle gives a fascinating insight into the history of the
region, and has a range of displays on other subjects such as Queen
Boudica of the Iceni Tribe.
The imposing cathedral was built between 1096 and 1145,
and is arguably the most magnificent landmark in all of Norfolk.
Despite some minor alterations, it has remained surprisingly
unchanged since this time; so much of the beautiful structure is in
the Norman style. Its huge spire is the tallest in England after
The Cathedral Close is also a nice place to walk to, with its
handsome houses and auxiliary buildings, including the old chapel
and King Edward VI School - which is where the cathedral choir are
currently educated. Other highlights of this beautiful town include
its second cathedral. The Cathedral of St John the Baptist is the
second-largest Catholic Church in England, and is a delight to
discover. With its excellent access to the Broads and many nearby
beaches, Norwich is a fantastic place from which to explore