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Bridge of sighs? How Magdalen Flyover carved through city

Magdalen Street flyover under construction 30 years ago. Original caption: The long-awaited, much-talked about Magdalen Street flyover in Norwich is now becoming a reality. The section spanning Magdalen Street itself was placed in position this week. This picture was taken from a crane working in the Anglia Square development area yesterday. 25th September 1971.

Magdalen Street flyover under construction 30 years ago. Original caption: The long-awaited, much-talked about Magdalen Street flyover in Norwich is now becoming a reality. The section spanning Magdalen Street itself was placed in position this week. This picture was taken from a crane working in the Anglia Square development area yesterday. 25th September 1971.

Archant

Formerly known as Fybriggate, the route of Magdalen Street forms part of a probable Roman road to settlements in North Norfolk.

Magdalen Street flyover under construction 30 years ago. Original caption: The inner link road is gradually snaking its way through the centre of Norwich. This picture, taken from the roof of the Stationery Office, shows the approach to the Magdalen Street fly-over. 20th March 1972 Magdalen Street flyover under construction 30 years ago. Original caption: The inner link road is gradually snaking its way through the centre of Norwich. This picture, taken from the roof of the Stationery Office, shows the approach to the Magdalen Street fly-over. 20th March 1972

The name survived until the 18th century when the name Magdalen Street began to be used, and remains in the ‘rump’ at Fye Bridge Street.

It takes the name from the chapel of St Mary Magdalen, the former leper house which survives on Sprowston Road. At its peak it had half a dozen churches on it, also hosting major merchant mansions.

In his book Norwich Knowledge, Michael Loveday says: “The southern section remains largely intact but the institutional vandalism of the Inner Ring Road and Anglia Square in the 1960s have ripped the heart out of the street, leaving the northern stump somewhat isolated and abandoned.”

The area is earmarked for significant future activity by Norwich City Council and plans are being drawn up by developers for new housing and commercial space around Anglia Square.

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