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One of the oldest streets in Norwich, containing genuine Tudor houses


Bear Shop
Crome Gallery
Father Ignatius Monastery
Pettus House
View down the Hill
St Andrews & Blackfriars
Rising from Tombland is an impressive cobbled street called Elm Hill, one of the oldest streets in Norwich. It was largely rebuilt after the great fire of 1507 and still retains its Tudor character to the present day. The narrow cobbled streets are flanked either side by genuine Tudor timber framed houses, owned by wealthy merchants and weavers during the 16th to 18th centuries, but they eventually moved out beyond the city walls as the area became so run down.

Elm Hill has not changed for centuries
The houses of Elm Hill were sold and became factories and workers cottages. By 1920 this street had become so squalid, that the entire area was threatened with demolition. At a council meeting in 1924, Elm Hill was saved by the casting vote of the Lord Mayor! The houses have been gradually restored and you will find interesting shops and cafés. In fact, there are more Tudor houses in Elm Hill than in the whole of the City of London.

Crome Gallery on Elm Hill
Pettus House, mid-way along Elm Hill, is the surviving part of a 15th century merchant’s house and the home of several generations of the Pettus family. Sir John Pettus was knighted by Elizabeth 1 and was mayor of Norwich in 1608. The upper windows of the house itself still have some of the original leaded diamond glass and at street level there is a Georgian shop-front. The joists of the downstairs ceiling project out to carry the first floor, making the upstairs rooms a little larger – a common tactic in Tudor times to gain more space without having to buy more land.

Pettus House

Did You Know?

Elm Hill was burnt to the ground in 1507. The fire swept up the hill and no building was left untouched. As the fire reached the top of the hill a family were trapped in an upstairs room. The father managed to open a window and help out his wife and child. Unfortunately he was not so lucky and before he could escape he was overcome by smoke and flames. A new house was built on the site of the old one and it is said that you can often hear strange coughing and a smell of smoke from the upstairs bedroom.

The Bear Shop on Elm Hill

Towards the top of Elm Hill is a plaque marking the site of an old monastery. Some say the founder still haunts Elm Hill

The top of Elm Hill
St. Andrews and Blackfriars, situated at the top of Elm Hill, was the site for an order of Black Friars that came to Norwich around 1225. The layout of St Andrews and Blackfriars is typical of an English Friary church of this time; the main features include a large nave used for preaching to congregations and a smaller chancel, where the Friars held their own services. St Andrews was originally the nave and Blackfriars the chancel of the former friary church before the Reformation.

St Andrews Hall
After the Reformation, Augustine Steward (three times mayor of Norwich) requested the church be made into a large hall, for ‘the mayor and his bretherne’ to use for assemblies; for preaching; and for a school. Since this time, St Andrews and Blackfriars have had various uses including a granary, school, parish church and public library; as well as hosting numerous civic events and concerts.

Inside St Andrews Hall
Visitor Information
Norwich Tourist Information Centre, The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, NR2 1TF. Tel: 01603 213 999
Car-parking can be found St Andrew's (pay) or Elm Hill (pay).

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