Friday, 20 November 2015

Maddermarket Area of Norwich, Norfolk

This area of Norwich, which covers the streets that run off to the right of the famous 'Undercover Market' is known as Maddermarket due to it being the main area in Norwich for the sale of dyes and associated items to the weaving industry during the 15th and 16th Century.  Today the area still has many of its original buildings which now house boutique type shops and cafes.

The main thing that strikes me every time I visit this area is how narrow the streets are and how the building seem to lean on each other, jostling for their little piece of space.  Here we are looking through the processional way that runs through the base of the tower of St Johns The Baptist Church.

It is recorded that most of the church dates back to the 15th Century, with some areas of architecture dating earlier than this.  The building to the left of the picture is The Belgian Monk Public House.

This looks to be an old building but I have found no records of this being a public house until the opening of The Belgian Monk in 2000.

This little shop first opened in 1971 a genuine 'Hippy' shop selling strobe lights and brightly coloured head gear, accessories and goods from developing countries.

One thing you notice in general as you discover more of Norwich is how many churches there are. During the Middle Ages 57 churches are recorded to have been within the city walls. Today 31 still stand, but only 7 of them are currently used for worship.  This one St Gregory's, is one of the many that now house commercial businesses.  This church is said to date back to the 14th Century.  Again you can see the very narrow street, almost pushing its way between the church and the shops next door.

The are many small, unusual shops dotted about, this one caught my eye with its military themed window.

We have now left Maddermarket and are standing at the base of the tower of the Guildhall which proudly stands on Goal Hill.  It is recorded the building was constructed between 1407 and 1413 and served as the seat of city government until 1938.  Today the Guildhall is the largest surviving medieval civic building in the country outside of London.

One of the things that Norwich is famous for is Coleman's Mustard which was established 200 years ago.  This display is in the window of their Coleman's Mustard Shop and Museum.

With Christmas just a couple of months away, a lot of the shops are already decorated up and stocked with Christmas gifts.  I particularly liked this sweet shop with its old fashion look.

And yes we had to stop for coffee and a slice of flapjack.

The lovely little cafe we came across was called The Little Red Roaster.  The owner of the shop was explaining to some of the customers that originally this was the snug of the pub next door, where the poor people would go to drink, with the doorway in the wall behind where he was standing.  He said the wooden beam that is over the counter is over 400 years old and there are tunnels underneath the building that go off in various directions around this area of the city.

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