Should St Peter Mancroft be in list of Norwich’s most iconic buildings?
- Credit: Evening News ©2005
It has stood proudly in the centre of Norwich for 600 years, but the exclusion of St Peter Mancroft from a list of the city's top landmarks has, rather belatedly, stirred controversy.
Back in 2006, Norwich HEART (Heritage, Economic and Regeneration Trust) launched its Norwich 12 initiative – a £1m project to showcase a dozen of the city's iconic buildings.
The list features Norwich Castle, Norwich Cathedral, The Great Hospital, The Halls – St Andrew's and Blackfriars', The Guildhall, Dragon Hall, The Assembly House, St James 'Mill, St John's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Surrey House, City Hall and The Forum.
But Roger Youngman, deputy churchwarden and church guide at St Peter Mancroft, this week questioned why the church he sees as 'possibly the largest and certainly one of the finest, medieval parish churches in Great Britain and Europe' was not on that list.
He said: 'If Norwich HEART is a bit wary of having a 'Norwich 13' for their title, they could consider omitting The Forum, albeit a fine modern building, which has been with us for all of 12 years.'
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Michael Loveday, chief executive of HEART, said the 12 buildings were selected on the basis that each represented an iconic example of its genre nationally or internationally.
He said: 'Clearly St Peter Mancroft is a hugely important building with marvellous assets, which is why it has figured prominently in HEART's churches initiative and will continue to be promoted by HEART in its role as champion of the city's heritage.
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'But the church isn't the best or finest or largest in Europe or England which is why it, and other very fine sites like the Bridewell or Strangers' Hall or Carrow Abbey, is not included in this particular project.'
However, he said the Norwich 12 partnership was not a fixed initiative, and a new 'Baker's Dozen' addition had recently been agreed.Sadly, for fans of St Peter Mancroft, it is the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts which has been added.
Do you think St Peter Mancroft should be on the list? Or another of the city's gems? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.
What people in Norwich had to say about the Norwich 12:
Lucinda Smith, right, a 74-year-old retired physiotherapist, of Connaught Road, Norwich, said: 'The Puppet Theatre should be considered. St Michael' Church is particularly beautiful; it has fine windows.'
Holly Macro, a 23-year-old full-time mother, of Dereham Road in Norwich, said: 'I don't think the Cathedral should be on there – churches are incredibly wealthy and shouldn't rely on the public purse for that.'
Toni-Jane Nobbs, right, a 29-year-old full-time mother, from Costessey said: 'It's a good list to me. I do see why they're on there. They're the sort of buildings you'd expect to be on there.'
Matthew Longhorne, a 40-year-old customer service advisor, from Acle, said: 'I think it is fine. I think the Cathedral should especially be on there.'
Ken Nightingale, right, a 78-year-old retired railway driver of Brundall Gardens, said: 'Those buildings look alright to me. Nothing to moan at.'