ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the Medieval city walls of Norwich, Norfolk, England: enduring monumentality

Updated on January 19, 2012
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
Old and New towers, Norwich
Old and New towers, Norwich | Source
Map location of Norwich, Norfolk
Map location of Norwich, Norfolk | Source

Reliable, 15th century solidity

In the Middle Ages, the City of Norwich was very prosperous and its city walls were larger than those which enclosed the City of London.

Some history and features

By the 14th century, when the walls were complete, they extended a total of 4 kilometres around the city.

Locations where substantial portions of the walls have survived intact include near the junction of Chapelfield with St. Stephen's Road, a central location in the city. Here (pictures), a surviving portion includes a massive, stone tower.

Other parts of the city with notable portions of the walls include those at Carrow Hill and at Ber Street Gate.

Local, Medieval bylaws made it difficult for people to build beyond the walls (1). This had the effect of concentrating residences and businesses within the walls, making the City of Norwich one of the most densely populated cities in England.

Thus, with its rich, agricultural hinterland, and its concentration of traders, Norwich's prosperity outshone that of many other cities. I suppose that, beyond their originally defensive purpose, Norwich's city walls would thus also have taken on the role of psychological barrier between citizens and non-citizens, and as a sign that its inhabitants wished to conserve their wealth.

Up to the 20th century, there were portions of the Medieval walls which were still inhabited: some houses within the circumference of the walls were built right onto the walls, with some residential rooms being located within the stone structure. Although it had been centuries since the walls had played any defensive role, I imagine that having one's bedroom within such a monumental structure must have given such residents the feeling of being able to sleep securely!

Dubbed 'a fine city'

Visitors to Norwich, in the County of Norfolk, are greeted by signs at the principal roads entering the city which say: 'Welcome to Norwich, a fine city'. Thus, in addition to the various other historic structures in the city (see below), its city walls without doubt contribute substantially to its fine architectural and historical heritage.

Note

(1) This, in fact, would seem to have worked in quite the opposite direction from modern urban bylaws, which, among others, would sometimes have as their professed aim the prevention of insanitary conditions provoked by overcrowding. So has the intervention of the state always been a benevolent force for good? I leave the question open; history has a way of throwing up examples of contradictory and self-defeating thinking.

Also worth seeing

In Norwich itself, other Medieval buildings include Norwich Castle, Norwich Cathedral and the Guildhall. The striking Norwich City Hall was opened in 1938. Pull's Ferry attracts many visitors.

...

How to get there: Continental 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. Please note that 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 also be of interest

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)