Today marks the start of Norwich’s heritage open days, in which buildings across the city will fling open their doors to visitors. TOM BRISTOW looks at some of the city’s gems – famous and not-so-famous – which will be open to the public.

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1) Bishop’s Garden

The private, four-acre garden has been used by the bishops of Norwich for over 900 years.

It is opens for fundraising events for charities, but is normally closed to the public.

The garden will be open from 10am to 4pm on Thursday and Friday. No booking required.

Address: Bishop’s House, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1HN.

2) Cathedral of St John the Baptist

Visitors can take a tour of areas of the catholic cathedral normally closed to the public, including the cathedral house.

The tours will run on Thursday and Friday at midday, 2pm and 4pm, and on Saturday at 11am and 12.30pm. There will be one tour on Sunday at 3.30pm.

No booking is needed.

Address: Unthank Road, Norwich, NR2 2PA.

3) University of East Anglia

There will be guided tours of the UEA campus, focusing on its architecture and design.

The tours start on Thursday at 11am and Friday from midday.

Book at Norwich Tourist Information Centre, The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich.

4) Tours of Norwich Masonic Hall:

St Giles Rooms

Previously known as Norwich Masonic Hall, the house dates from the 17th century.

The hall was taken over by Norwich Freemasons in 1881, and remodelled in 1905 and 1928, although many older features remain.

Tours run from Thursday to Saturday at 8am, 10am, 11am and 2pm.

Book at Norwich Tourist Information Centre, The Forum.

Address: 47 St Giles Street, Norwich, NR2 1JR.

5) Friends Meeting House

The nineteenth century Quaker meeting house is still a centre for Quaker work in Norwich and home to many community groups. The building will be open for tours on Saturday from 9am to 5pm.

No booking is needed.

Address: Upper Goat Lane, Norwich, NR2 1EW.

6) The City Club

This private gentlemen’s club was founded in 1897 but the building dates from around 1560.

The club is on the first floor of the building and will be open from Thursday to Saturday, from midday to 4pm. Ring the bell for the steward. Tea and coffee will be provided.

No booking is needed.

Address: Bacon House, 33 Colegate, Norwich, NR3 1BN.

7) Norwich Playhouse

The 300-seat theatre is one of East Anglia’s most modern acting venues. Visitors can get a 30-minute behind-the-scenes tour on Thursday and Friday at 11.30am and 1.30pm.

Book at Norwich Tourist Information Centre, The Forum.

8) Surrey House

The home of Aviva’s UK general insurance business is part of the Norwich 12 – a collection of the city’s most-valued buildings.

It is one of the most opulent Edwardian office buildings in England, with the magnificent Marble Hall.

No booking needed. Turn up from 9am to 5pm on Thursday and Friday.

Address: 8 Surrey Street, Norwich, NR1 3AE.

9) St Peter Mancroft

The medieval parish church opposite The Forum has one of the most famous towers in the history of bell ringing. The first peal rung there in 1715 and visitors can watch a ringing demonstration and chime a bell for themselves.

Sessions run on Thursday and Friday at 11.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, and 7pm (6pm Friday). There will also be a session on Sunday at 11.30am.

Book at Norwich Tourist Information Centre, The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich

10) Norwich University College of the Arts – East Garth

The refurbished medieval building is now home to NUCA’s photography department.

The former medieval friary is considered one of the best surviving examples of its kind in the country.

Tours will start in the courtyard outside the entrance on Friday and Saturday at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

The building is best accessed through an archway leading off St George’s Street, opposite the Dog House pub (NR3 1HW).

No booking is needed.

11) Adam and Eve

One of Norwich’s oldest pubs will hold an exhibition on the history of the area. It is open from Thursday to Saturday from 11am to 11.30pm, and Sunday from midday to 10.30pm.

Address: 17 Bishopgate, Norwich, NR3 1RZ.

No booking is needed.

12) Wensum Lodge/Music House

There will be tours of the Music House, a former medieval merchant’s house built in the 12th century.

The lodge will be open from 10am to 4pm on Friday and on Saturday from 10am to 3pm.

Address: 169 King Street, Norwich, NR1 1QW.

No booking is needed.

13) The Salvation Army

The Victorian building, dating from 1892 will hold an exhibition on The Salvation Army in Norwich, from 10am to 5pm from Thursday to Saturday.

Address: 34 St Giles Street, Norwich, NR2 1LL.

No booking is needed.

14) Norwich Sea Cadets

The training ship Lord Nelson is one of only four floating Corp headquarters remaining in the UK. Meet cadets and staff and see scrapbooks and memorabilia.

The boat is moored next to Foundry Bridge near the train station.

It will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday.

No booking is needed.

15) Norwich Magistrates’ Courts – Tour of the Norman Ruins

This tour of Norwich Magistrates’ Court will include a chance to see the remains of a 12th century house, discovered by archaeologists during building work and now preserved beneath the building.

The tour runs at 7pm on Thursday and Friday.

Pre-book on 01603 679 571.




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