Heritage Open Days allow people the chance to explore events in the City

Heritage Open Days around Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Heritage Open Days around Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

Time: 9am

Heritage Open Days around Norwich. Angels guard the city's arms at the Guildhall. Photo: Bill Smith

Heritage Open Days around Norwich. Angels guard the city's arms at the Guildhall. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

Location: St Julian's Church, St Julian's Alley, NR1 1QD

This wonderful hidden church is home to the shrine of the 14th-century author Lady Julian of Norwich, who wrote 'Revelations of Divine Love' which is believed to be the earliest-surviving book written in the English language by a woman.

Time: 9.30am


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Location: Surrey House, 8 Surrey Street, NR2 3NG

The head office for Aviva's UK insurance business, the grand building, which was built in 1900 on the sit of the house of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517-1547), has a surprising interior.

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Designed by local architect George Skipper, the inside is made from marble and was influenced by Greek style with columns found both inside and outside the building.

The entrance hall is open for the public to have a look at throughout the year, but the board rooms and the upstairs of Surrey House are open for the Heritage Open day.

Time: 10am

Location: The Britons Arms, 9 Elm Hill, NR3 1HN

The building dates back to either 1420 or 1347 and is one of the few remaining timber framed thatched buildings to survive in the city. Proprietors Sue Skipper and Gilly Mixer run the coffee house and restaurant and it is believed the building may have once housed a religious community of women.

Mrs Skipper said: 'It's a very important building and people are always interested in it, and we're aware of its heritage which is why we do these open days. The city has a real buzz about it over the four heritage days and it makes people aware of the city.'

Time: 10.20am

Location: The Bear Shop Open Garden. 18 Elm Hill, NR3 1HN

Past the teddy bears and outside the back of shop, which was a 16th-century merchant house, you'll find a wonderful secret garden. Situated on the historical cobbled street, the tranquil haven is based on the design of Edwardian garden designer Gertrude Jekyll. Everything is made to look natural.

Robert Stone, who runs The Bear Shop and looks after the garden, said: 'It's important to get people into Elm Hill and to ensure it's kept for the people. I think the open days are excellent, people make an effort and go and see things, like the garden, they might not get to see.'

Time: 10.50am

Location: The Guildhall, Gaol Hill, NR2 1JS

The medieval building was the centre of city government from the early 15th century until it was replaced by City Hall in 1938. It has a fascinating history, on the tour you get to see the historical court room and the prison cells in the building's undercroft.

Annette Knowles, from Mile Cross, who enjoyed the behind the scenes tour of the Guildhall, said: 'Last year I did the open days, I am doing three days this year and I can't wait until next year. I was never interested in history at school, now I love to find out the history of old buildings. These events open your eyes to things, it's amazing.'

Time: 11.45am

Location: The Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Earlham Road, NR2 2PA

This beautiful Catholic cathedral, the second largest in the UK behind Westminster Abbey, was built during Victorian and Edwardian times and was designed in the Early English style of the 13th century.

In addition to the wonderful architecture to be seen outside and inside, as part of the heritage open days, a hidden places tour and tower tour are offered. People are able to see places such as the lower depths of the cathedral, that aren't usually seen by the public, and I would fully recommend the tower tour which offers fantastic views of Norwich.

The Rev Patrick Limacher believes the open days are valuable for the cathedral and the city, and said: 'The heritage days open the building up; a lot of people don't realise they can come into the church. Over the years I have seen the heritage days grow and I've been astonished with the number of people who have turned up.'

School tells story of staff and pupils during First World War as part of Open Days – Page 23

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