Norwich (city, England)

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Norwich (city, England)

Norwich (nôr´Ĭj, –Ĭch), city (1991 pop. 32,664) and district, county seat of Norfolk, E England, on the Wensum River just above its confluence with the Yare. Norwich is a principal city market for cattle and grain. It is also a center for shopping and entertainment, as well as administration. Since the 11th cent., Norwich has been a leading provincial city. It was sacked by the Danes in the 11th cent. and scourged by the Black Death in 1348. Norwich was the scene of events in Wat Tyler's rebellion of 1381 and in the uprising under Robert Kett in 1549. There are many medieval churches as well as a cathedral founded in 1096 by the first bishop of Norwich. Norwich Castle, part of which dates from Norman times, was made (1894) into a museum for collections of natural history and local antiquities. It also houses paintings of the 18th- and 19th-century Norwich school of artists. Other old buildings include St. Giles's Hospital (13th cent.), Suckling House (14th cent.), Strangers Hall (15th cent.; now a museum), the guildhall (15th cent.), and St. Andrew's Hall (15th cent.; formerly a Dominican church). The Maddermarket Theatre, a reconstruction of a Shakespearean theater, has a permanent amateur company. The Norwich grammar school dates from the 13th cent. The city is also the cultural center of the county; triennial music festivals have been held there since 1824. It is seat of the Univ. of East Anglia (1963). The writer Harriet Martineau was born in Norwich.

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