One of Norwich's oldest buildings re-opens as a wedding venue
PUBLISHED: 15:56 09 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:54 10 May 2019
One of the city's most historic buildings, dating to medieval times, has re-opened after a £2m restoration for people who want to say "I do".
People interested in getting married at the stunning, medieval Dragon Hall can get a sneak preview at a special event being held this Sunday, May 12.
The 15th-century timbered former trading hall, also home to the National Centre for Writing, complete with its own private courtyard on King Street, was extended and restored in a major project which finished last year.
It is now available as a 'picture perfect' venue for couples wanting something special for their wedding day.
Inside is the oak beamed Great Hall, the contemporary Foyle Gallery, with a glass feature and outside is a picturesque garden.
Mr and Mrs Ducker hosted their wedding reception at Dragon Hall before the closure. They said: "Dragon Hall was quite simply perfect for us. It's a very special place and we felt a lot of history and stories surrounding us as we took our first steps on our lifelong journey together."
Dragon Hall is fully licensed for wedding and civil partnerships, as well as being available for reception and evening parties organised with Softley Events, run by Sarah Softley.
The building work, included the creation of a new south wing to house an education space for writing and storytelling events for schools and young people as well as offices. Improvements were also made to the Great Hall to enable it to be used as a multipurpose venue and an on site cottage was also refurbished to host visiting writers-in-residence.
Dragon Hall was a medieval trading hall and is Grade I listed. The historic building as we know it today - with its medieval first floor hall - was the creation of 15th century merchant Robert Toppes. After his death the building was divided up and the true nature of the hall was hidden until the 1970s, with partition walls and an extra floor concealing the dragon carving which gives the building its name.
Norwich City Council bought the building in 1979 and, in 1987, the Norfolk and Norwich Heritage Trust was formed to help restore it. The trust looked after the building for 25 years before it became home to the writer's centre.