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Visiting Norwich Railroad Station, Norwich, Norfolk, England: red brick and stucco design by John Wilson, 1886

Updated on June 13, 2012
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
Norwich Station
Norwich Station | Source
Great Eastern Railway heraldic device at Liverpool Street station, London. Comprised the shields of (clockwise from 1 o'clock): Maldon, Ipswich, Norwich, Cambridge, Hertford, Northampton, Huntingdon, and Middlesex; centre: City of London.
Great Eastern Railway heraldic device at Liverpool Street station, London. Comprised the shields of (clockwise from 1 o'clock): Maldon, Ipswich, Norwich, Cambridge, Hertford, Northampton, Huntingdon, and Middlesex; centre: City of London. | Source
Map location of Norwich, Norfolk
Map location of Norwich, Norfolk | Source

Recalling the Victorian heyday of rail

This building dates from 1886, and was known for many years as Norwich Thorpe Station, because in fact Norwich also had two other railroad station.

Some history and features

Today, while some local people might still refer to it as 'Norwich Thorpe', it is generally (and officially) called Norwich Station.

The engineer responsible for the building was John Wilson (1). The present building replaced an earlier Italianate structure dating from 1844.

Among its salient features are a large porte-cochère with arching, and an enormous, zinc covered dome, which rises to a height of 23.2 metres. The structure is mainly executed in red brick and stucco, with its concourse in ironwork and glass. The main frontage is dominated by a large clock, with a Classical-style setting.

This railroad station undoubtedly reflects the heyday of Victorian rail travel. However, it is significant that in the early 21st century the station was being used by over 3 million passengers per year. Today, some Norwich residents work in London, thus using the fast rail link from Norwich Station: an almost unthinkable development in Victorian times.

This building is one of the finest in the City of Norwich, which has a very distinct character in comparison with London and the south-east of the England: while barely 170 kilometres from London, Norwich has in some ways been as far-flung psychologically as localities in some of the more remote regions of the British Isles. It is fair to say also, however, that, particularly given the sheer numbers of people using Norwich Station to commute to Liverpool Street Station, London, the building and the purpose it serves has in recent decades proved to be one of the catalysts for the lessening of the distinct character of the City and its people.

June 13, 2012


(1) John Wilson was company engineer for the Great Eastern Railway Company; it is known that he used a design by architect W N Ashby for Norwich Thorpe Station.

Also worth seeing

In Norwich itself, among the numerous visitor attractions are: Norwich Castle; Norwich Cathedral; Norwich City Hall; the Guildhall; Bishop Bridge; Pull's Ferry; Cow Tower; Elm Hill; and many others.


How to get there: United Airlines flies to London Heathrow Airport, where car rental is available. Norwich is served by rail from London Liverpool Street Station. Norwich is 233 kilometers from Heathrow Airport. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


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    • MJFenn profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      sallybea: Yes, Norwich Thorpe Station dates from a more gracious era before functionalism seemed to some extent to do away with architectural elegance, as traditionally understood. Thank-you for your comment.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      4 years ago from Norfolk

      MJFenn - perhaps one of the most beautiful buildings in the fine City of Norwich, especially seen from the outside. It certainly reflects the age in which it was built - a little less hospitable inside because it can be a pretty cold place to find yourself in Winter. Definitely a must see for it's architectural beauty.


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