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Norwich Cathedral covers extensive grounds
at the heart of Norwich City centre between Queen Street and Palace
Street. Its construction was begun in 1096 by the Norman bishop of
Thetford, Herbert de Losinga. A monastery was attached, with its
first monks coming from Canterbury. So ambitious were the plans
that the nave had only just been begun when the bishop died in
1119. It was left to his successor to finish the nave, and to his
successor to add the fine tower.
St Andrew's Hall and Blackfriar's Hall
fill the north-eastern corner of the St George's Street and Princes
Street junction. They were originally constructed for the Friars
Penitential Friary in the 1200s, but were largely rebuilt by the
Dominicans in the 1300s and 1400s. The friary church was converted
into municipal halls around 1540, and the buildings restored and
altered in 1861 and 1863. St Andrew's Hall was originally the friary
nave, completed in 1449.
St Andrew's Church is at the south-west
corner of St Andrew's Street and St Andrew's Hill. It was built
thanks to the city's late medieval wealth, with the work being
undertaken almost entirely in one continuous strand between the
1470s-1510s. Unusually, perhaps, the tower was built first, while
nave and chancel form a single unit, with no chancel arch. Gradually
hemmed in by secular buildings, it was only re-exposed on this side
when the road was widened for trams.
The Church of St Peter Mancroft lies
between Millennium Plain and Haymarket at the centre of the city.
Like the market place in which it stands, it was a Norman
foundation, built in 1075 by Ralph de Guader, earl of Norfolk. The
origin of the dedication is uncertain, originally being St Peter
& St Paul Church. The second name was eventually dropped
(probably for convenience), while 'mancroft' may derive from the Old
English for 'common field' or the Latin for 'great field'.
St Peter's Wesleyan Methodist Chapel stood
on the western side of Lady Lane, now under the southern central
side of The Forum as shown here. It was opened in 1824, gaining its
name from the parish (see above). Its members branched out to Park
Lane in 1894 (below), but Lady Lane was gradually prepared for urban
rebuilding, with the chapel's school being compulsorily purchased.
The chapel was eventually cleared in the 1950s to allow for the
ill-fated central library build.
St Stephen's Church stands on the southern
side of Rampant Horses Street, opposite the William Booth Street
turning. Its first documented mention is a royal charter of the
1100s when Norwich Cathedral provided a priest to serve the parish.
In the early 1500s major rebuilding work was needed. The chancel was
re-built around 1522 and the nave in 1547. Much of the stained glass
was lost during the English Civil War when a nearby powder magazine
Park Lane Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was
built at the north-west corner of Park Lane and Avenue Road, to the
west of Norwich city centre (this postcard shows it circa
1900). The Wesleyans had built their first chapel on Lady Lane in
the city centre (above) but, by the end of the century, resources
and confidence existed to open up a second chapel here. The Park
Lane chapel opened in 1894 and soon found a thriving congregation
to fill its own Late Victorian building.
By the 1930s the city was gearing up for a
massive rebuilding programme. The Lady Lane site quickly became
less favourable as the inner city population moved out. The
now-united Methodists decided to build St Peter's Park Lane
Methodist Church on the corner, next to Park Lane chapel
(above). It opened in 1939, built to the designs of Cecil Yelf.
The old chapel became a church hall - largely rebuilt in the 1960s.
Sadly that new building will be offered as private apartments in
Three photos on this page kindly contributed by
Jo Lewis, two by Neil Webber, and one each by Elliot Brown and Mira66,
all via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr
group, plus one from the History Files Collection. Additional
information by Mira66.