Norwich Street Photographs

Previous street: Kett's Hill

King St:
        From Agricultural Hall Plain / Upper King St / Prince of Wales Rd to Bracondale
Rose Lane, Cattlemarket St, Mountergate, Stepping Lane, Thorn Lane, St Julian's Alley, Rouen Rd, Carrow Rd, Carrow Hill

      East side
King St 27 to 29 Nag's Head PH [1266] 1936-08-13
King St 27 to 29 Nag's Head PH [2730] 1938-08-22
King St 37a to 41 [2729] 1938-08-22
King St 43 [1316] 1936-08-25
King St 43 classical shop front [6561] 1989-07-05
King St 45 [6480] 1987-08-21
King St 45 to 51 [2728] 1938-08-22
King St 47 to 51 [1264] 1936-08-13
Nos 47-51 King St formerly bounded Murrell's Yard. Of these Walter Rye wrote in 1916 that they were "noticeable for having portions of some of the original open shop fronts and a little late Gothic window upstairs…I should date the block about 1450". Some time before 1936 however, when the photograph was taken, some disaster had befallen No 51 resulting in the loss of its upper storey, and all three shops have since been swept away. No 45, a separate structure to the north, still stands, and is timber framed (as were its neighbours), with its plastered upper front jettied out slightly over the pavement. It probably dates from the 16c and later, although the present shop front is of course modern.
King St Murrell's Yard [1265] 1936-08-13
Murrell's Yard itself was formerly approached through an opening spanned by a wooden archway, sketched by John W.Howard c1890, and which he described as "ancient but rather ugly". Within the yard stood another doorway that he also sketched, the spandrels of which are understood to have been transferred to the Norwich Castle museum c1926. It had the arms of East Anglia in one spandrel, and in the other a bell in a letter "R" - the rebus of Robert Bell, who was admitted to the freedom of the city in the reign of King Henry VII. At the time of Edward VI the property belonged to Henry Humphrey, a draper. The houses seen here were of 17c origin, brick with lath and plaster dormers and having roofs made up of a patchwork of English plain tiles and more modern pantiles. All were demolished in May 1939, and for a while a brick air raid shelter occupied the site.
King St Lads' Club George V Memorial Hall [7453] 1997-06-01
Built 1937.
King St 79 [1299] 1936-08-22
King St 79 [6223] 1981-08-13
King St 79 Georgian doorway [0464] 1935-04-19
King St 81 to 83 rear Lanes Yard [6559] 1989-06-30
King St 83 to 87 [6328] 1985-06-02
King St 83 to 87 restoration [6523] 1988-08-26
King St 87 to 89 rear Lanes Yard [6560] 1989-06-30
King St 95 [6786] 1992-05-16
King St 97 Howard House from NW [6226] 1981-08-17
The site of the church, known as St Michael-in-Conesford, is shown by the historian Francis Blomefield in his plan of the city as being midway between St Anne's Lane and Mountergate. Records concerning it date back to 1183, when it was possessed by the Abbot of St Benet's-at-Holme, but from 1293 onwards the Austin Friars gradually acquired adjoining land and houses; by about 1360 they had taken over the whole of the parish on that side of the St. The demolition of the church soon followed, and it was replaced by "a noble Cloister and Conventional Church ... inclosed … with a high wall".
Seized by Henry VIII at the time of the Dissolution it subsequently passed through many hands. In the mid-17c the site was owned by Henry Howard who afterwards became Lord Howard of Castle Rising. He it was, who about 1660 built the existing house, whose chief feature is its remarkable staircase. Described as one of the most elaborate of its kind in England, this staircase has openwork panels in strapwork designs instead of balusters. On the south front of Howard House a sundial dated 1840 bears the initials C.S. - those of Dr Christopher Spencer, the owner - while immediately adjoining the house the remains of a substantial flint wall may well be a surviving fragment of the old precinct wall of the Friary. When the house was first built the adjoining grounds were laid out as "a place of walking and recreation", and a century later were still being referred to as "My Lord's Gardens".
King St 97 Howard House [0288] 1934-09-13
The garden wall is probably the original boundary wall of the Austin Friars friary precint.
King St 97 Howard House from south [3413] 1940-05-16
Austin Friars King St stone arch [3785] 1949-06-12
The first Charter of foundation for the Austin Friars in King St is dated 1293. In 1360, having obtained the parish church of St Michael-in-Conesford and most of the land between Mountergate and the river, the friars pulled down the church and built a noble convent, cloister and conventual church.
Austin Friars King St stone arch [6224] 1981-08-13
Built into a wall on the east side of the street in what was Morgan's brewery are some fragments of stone with these inscriptions: "Historic Interest of this Site. Late 13c church of St Michael. Early 14c to mid 16c Monastery of the Austin Friars incorporating the above Church". "This Stone Arch was found in masonry thought to be an old Tomb, during excavations on this Site in 1946. It was erected here in 1948 and re-erected in 1970."
King St 113 to 119 [3245] 1939-08-13
King St 113 to 123 [B090] 1931-00-00
An inn here in the 18c was known as the "Three Merry Wherrymen".
King St 113 to 123 The Old Barge Inn [0590] 1935-05-26
On this site in the 14c was Meddyz Inn, home of Roger Midday, Bailiff of Norwich.
King St 113 to 123 15c roof spandrel [6209] 1981-07-18
King St 113 to 123 15c roof crown post [6210] 1981-07-18
The 15c crown-post roof. The Great Hall was built c1450 by Robert Toppes, a leading textile trader and four times Mayor of Norwich, above an earlier masonry ground floor. The whole building was later divided into six tenements with an additional floor inserted.
King St 113 to 123 15c roof view north [6212] 1981-07-18
King St 113 to 123 15c roof dragon spandrel [6213] 1981-07-18
King St 113 to 123 Dragon Hall rear from SE [7531] 1998-03-01
King St 113 to 123 Dragon Hall excavations [7532] 1998-03-01
1998 excavations.
King St 123 rear from Old Barge Yard [0591] 1935-05-26
King St 123 Old Barge Inn rear [1783] 1937-07-13
King St 123 14c doorway 15c decoration [0421] 1935-03-24
King St 123 14c doorway 15c decoration [5926] 1978-07-25
King St 123 carved bracket [2163] 1938-03-14
Bracket at south end of first floor jetty.
King St 123 carved bracket restored [6260] 1983-06-06
King St Old Barge Yard east end view NE [1780] 1937-07-13
King St Old Barge Yard east end view NW [1779] 1937-07-13
King St Old Barge Yard west end [1781] 1937-07-13
King St River Wensum old grain warehouse [6348] 1985-10-19
Timber frame and corrugated iron.
King St 125 to 129 [1289] 1936-08-16
Adjacent, and to the south of the renowned Dragon Hall, is another building of note, that comprising Nos 125-129. When photographed in 1936 its half-timbered upper storey had for long been hidden under plaster, but some ten years later the plaster was removed to reveal its sturdy construction of timber and brick. After a few more years its owners chose to rip out the entire ground floor, replacing the modest 19c shop fronts with a continuous range of plate glass and leaving the medieval first floor suspended as it were mid-air.
King St 125 to 129 plaster removed [3625] 1946-04-21
King St 129 house at rear [5905] 1978-05-25
King St 131 former Green Man PH [1288] 1936-08-16
In his book If Stones Could Speak Ralph Mottram remarked upon the scarcity of flint-faced houses in Norwich, by which he no doubt meant knapped flints as opposed to flint rubble. On the east side of King St at No 131 stood one such, to which added interest was given by a small dormer with its hood-like eaves. Here was formerly an inn with the sign of the Green Man, commemorating the green men or woodwoses of ancient days who, garbed in leaves, played a prominent part in the pageants staged by the various trade guilds. Occasionally, however, Robin Hood was depicted. The building was converted into a dwelling house in the early 1920s, but shortly before the war it fell into decay and was demolished some years later.
King St 167 Music House [B089] 1931-00-00
King St 167 Music House view south [0138] 1934-06-28
Isaac's Hall or the Music House King St.
"... At Bury St Edmunds is still to be found the strong Jew's House known as Moyse's Hall, and correspondingly the Jew's House in Norwich is still to be found although greatly disguised by reason of subsequent additions. It is in the parish of St Etheldred, and has been known both as "Paston House" and "The Music House". ... a conjectural drawing of the original Jew's House ... exhibits the usual method of entrance to a Norman building which was by a covered staircase leading to a door on the first floor. ... the Norman groined cellaring (has) the only remaining portion of one side of the entrance door of the Isaac's Hall, all the rest of the door, porch and staircase having been destroyed when the Jacobean portion of the Music House was erected on the south side. The bases (of this entrance door) have vertical "nicks" about 1.5 inches apart inside the concave moulding ... similar to the three transitional pillars of the old Infirmary of the Norwich Priory ... the date of these is believed to be between 1175 and 1190.
"It appears then that the house was built by Isaac the Jew temp. Henry II. On his death it was escheated by King John and alienated in favour of Sir William de Valoines by Henry III. After passing through many hands it was in 1474 the city house of William Yelverton esq who sold it to Sir John Paston Knt. In 1613 it was purchased by Sir Edward Coke, Recorder of Norwich and Lord Chief Justice. He it was who probably built the 17th century addition to the south, calling it Paston House in memory of his first wife. Finding the old porch in the way, he destroyed all except the fragment shown. The "Music House" was first mentioned in the Norwich Gazette of 19th January 1723, the City Waits being accustomed to meet and practice there." (Ernest A.Kent in Norfolk Archaeology Vol.28, 1945).
Coronation King St 167 Music House [1562] 1937-05-09
1937 coronation decorations.
King St 167 Music House view north [1297] 1936-08-22
King St 167 Music House 17c south part [5936] 1978-08-01
Added in 17c probably by Sir Edward Coke who purchased the property from the Pastons.
King St 167 Music House north part [5927] 1978-07-25
Of Norman origin with groined undercroft of that date. Built by Isaac the Jew.
King St 167 Music House rear [6558] 1989-06-24
King St 191 Ferry Boat Inn [1286] 1936-08-16
The Ferry Boat Inn, formerly the Ferry Inn, and in earlier times the Steam Packet.
King St 191 Ferry Boat Inn from SE [6432] 1987-02-12
King St 195 to 197 [1287] 1936-08-16
Opposite to where Rouen Rd now merges with King St and just south of the Ferry inn, known until about 1930 as the Steam Packet, stood these buildings. Nos 195-197 King St were of no particular architectural merit, although the latter was notable in having two ranges of weavers' or "thorough-light" windows to illuminate the attic floor. The exterior was plaster-cast and the roof covered with pantiles. Modern shop fronts had replaced the original casement windows on the ground floor.
King St 237 Read's flour mills across river [6597] 1990-03-18
Near Carrow Road and overlooking the river, stands a tall building, erected as the Albion spinning mill in 1837 for making worsted silk and mohair. It was afterwards converted for making confectionery until 1934, and for many years served as the Read Woodrow flourmill. It will hopefully enjoy a new lease of life, converted into flats.
King St 237 Read's flour mills Albion mill [5192] 1968-04-18
King St 249 to 251 Kingsway PH [2525] 1938-07-07
King St 255 Jolly Maltsters PH [6281] 1983-09-19
King St Carrow Abbey 16c doorway [3422] 1940-05-16
This doorway was removed from a house in Bedford St opposite Swan Lane towards the end of the 19c. It bears the date 1596 and initials F.T.C. In 1978 it was moved once more this time to Bacon House 31 Colegate where it may now be seen at the east end of the south front. See Colegate.
King St Carrow Abbey 16c doorway head [3423] 1940-05-16
Carrow Priory Prioress' parlour [3416] 1940-05-16
West side of parlour and guest chamber, early 16c. This Benedictine Nunnery was founded by two sisters, Seyan and Leftelina, in 1146. After the Dissolution, it was granted in 1538 to Sir John Shelton, Knt. In 1821 Mr Philip Meadows Martineau was the owner. In 1878 the property was purchased by the Colman family.
Carrow Priory Prioress' parlour doorway [3424] 1940-05-16
Early 16c. In the spandrels are a "Y" and a Gun, the rebus of Isabella Wygun, the last but one Prioress here.
Carrow Priory cloister east wall [3417] 1940-05-16
Carrow Priory cloister NE angle piscina [3421] 1940-05-16
Carrow Priory east end column bases [3419] 1940-05-16
Marks on the bases of the columns seem to identify the mason as the same who was responsible for the building of the Infirmary at Norwich Cathedral Priory, and the Jew's House (Isaac's Hall or the Music House) in King St.
Carrow Priory east end from south transept [3418] 1940-05-16
Carrow Priory south transept wall base [3420] 1940-05-16
        West side
King St 32 former Cock Inn [6236] 1982-07-05
King St 34 [1171] 1936-07-27
King St 42 to 44 [6227] 1981-08-17
King St 56 to 58 rear from Three Tuns Yard [6352] 1985-10-30
King St 56 to 60 Three Tuns PH [1164] 1936-07-27
Beneath are some ancient vaults, part of the mansion of the Erpingham family.
King St 56 to 60 rear from Three Tuns Yard [6327] 1985-06-02
King St 68 to 74 [6228] 1981-08-17
King St Swan Yard north side [7631] 1999-05-18
King St 70 to 74 [6230] 1981-08-22
The gable brickwork shows the second floor to be a later addition.
King St 70 shop front with metal lettering [6486] 1987-08-28
Cast metal lettering on fascia board.
King St 70 rear and Swan Yard [5211] 1968-06-13
From St Peter Parmentergate churchyard.
St Peter Parmentergate from SE [B130] 1931-00-00
St Peter Parmentergate from SE [2134] 1938-03-07
Probably wholly rebuilt late 15c.
St Peter Parmentergate from building site [4648] 1961-09-10
From site of Norman's Buildings.
St Peter Parmentergate from north [7852] 2001-09-13
St Peter Parmentergate south porch [2289] 1938-04-10
Parvise of which is converted to a chapel dedicated to St Anthony.
St Peter Parmentergate west doorway [2290] 1938-04-10
With carved shields and spandrels.
St Peter Parmentergate interior view east [1851] 1937-08-07
The carved oak reredos was erected by Rev W.Hudson vicar 1873-93 in memory of his wife.
St Peter Parmentergate 15c font [2226] 1938-03-30
East Anglian type.
St Peter Parmentergate R Berney altar tomb [1880] 1937-08-14
R.Berney esq and his wife 1623.
King St 80 [6849] 1992-06-21
King St 84 [6848] 1992-06-20
King St 86 to 90 [0625] 1935-08-06
In the 14c here was Berney's Inn, John Berney of Witchingham being entered on the roll of burgesses at that time. Since then the family maintained its connection with the city, Richard being Recorder and M.P. for Norwich in Anne's reign. In the 16c this was the city house of Heydons of Baconsthorpe. William supported the Mayor during Kett's Rebellion 1549.
King St 86 to 90 [4653] 1961-10-08
King St 86 to 90 [6222] 1981-08-13
King St 130 to 134 [1258] 1936-08-08
King St 130 to 134 [2913] 1939-04-08
Another notable row of houses Nos 132-140 formerly stood to the north of the entry into Horns Lane. While those on the corner were being demolished in 1950 workmen discovered a 17c Bellarmine jar containing human hair, fingernails and a number of iron nails, believed to have been used in the rituals of witchcraft. Adjoining to the north were three other houses of the 17c and later. Built of flint and brick and faced with plaster, they were of two storeys, one house having a double dormer above while the other two had each a single dormer.
King St 130 to 134 rear [2881] 1939-02-26
King St 144 to 150 [1257] 1936-08-08
Music House Lane was constructed out of the lower reaches of Horns Lane when in the 1960s the whole area between King St and Ber St was redeveloped. Writing about the year 1720, the historian John Kirkpatrick stated that Horns Lane (formerly Skeygate) derived its name "from the sign of a pair of Buck's Horns in Conesford St, near the lower end of it".
On the south corner, at 142 King St, stood the Waterman public house, partly rebuilt between the two World Wars and once famous for displaying the following couplet:
Roam not from Pole to Pole but step in here
Where nought exceeds the shaving but the beer.
The landlord, it should be explained, at one time carried out the dual occupation of barber and publican.
Nos 144-148 which adjoined the Waterman were of much earlier date. The first two dwellings occupied a Tudor building of two storeys only, the upper floor projecting slightly above the pavement and having its plaster facade outlined in imitation of stonework. No 148 was of brick with casement windows and a commodious brick dormer or large dormer which extended through to the back. In latter years the front room was in use as a general shop - in the 1930s the whole of King St was described as a street of small shopkeepers, before the advent of supermarkets and its depopulation through slum clearance.
King St 150 rear [4763] 1964-05-09
King St 158 to 162 [2912] 1939-04-08
Nos 158-162 were of three storeys, built of brick in the 18c and partly rough-cast.
In May 1939, these houses were the subject of a Ministry inquiry under the 1936 Housing Act. Witnesses called to oppose their demolition described the area as one of the most historic and architecturally attractive corners left in Norwich, and an expert from London was quoted as saying that here were some of the best local examples of Dutch influence. Nos 164 and 166 were described as Elizabethan gabled houses of considerable interest and it was felt that Nos 160 and 162 should also be retained to round off the complete group. In spite of such evidence the Minister agreed with the City Council and they all came down.
King St 164 to 166 [1256] 1936-08-08
Nos 164-166, which were of flint rubble construction with brick dressings, appeared to be contemporary with Ship Row adjacent to the south, but an unusual additional feature was a row of five conjoined dormers unusually constructed of brick rather than lath and plaster. Unfortunately, because of their condition, these houses were demolished.
King St 168 Ship Inn [3216] 1939-08-07
The picturesque 17c houses (Nos 168-178) are known as Ship Row from an inn of that name formerly occupying No 168. The yard to its south has at some time been partly built over, so that while formerly wide enough for the passage of carts it will now accommodate only pedestrians. The finely carved lintel above bears a design of foliage together with the rather contradictory inscription "Princes In"; it is believed that this was brought here at some time from the famous inn of that name, first mentioned in 1391, which once stood in St George Tombland parish on the north side of Princes St.
Previously owned by Youngs, Crawshay and Youngs, who maintained the buildings in good condition, they were acquired by the City Council in 1959. Five years later No 182, a tall Victorian house, and Nos 170-180 (dated 1632) were converted into three flats and five cottages, and at the same time what was described as "an accretion of old rubbish" at the back (sculleries, sheds and outhouses) was removed and some extra land added to the gardens. In 1970 the public house itself was similarly acquired and converted into two dwellings.
King St 168 Ship Inn carved lintel [2133] 1938-03-07
King St Ship Yard [2073] 1938-01-19
King St 170 to 174 [3028] 1939-05-29
King St 170 to 178 [1255] 1936-08-08
Said to be 17c.
King St 174 to 178 rear [4769] 1964-05-23
During 1964 renovation.
King St 176 to 178 [3027] 1939-05-29
King St 184 Malt house [0592] 1935-05-26
Here is where Mariner's Lane (ancient Holgate) originally descended from Ber St, entering King St to the north of St Etheldreda's churchyard. Until the area was redeveloped, stood a malthouse belonging to the brewery of Youngs, Crawshay and Youngs. This had been converted from a dwelling and was constructed (possibly in the 16c and later) of flint and brick, and with its first floor partly timber framed with a slight jetty. Upon a corbel projecting just below eaves level there appeared to be a coat of arms, or at least some traces of one.
The historian Francis Blomefield referred to the site as that of the house of Sir Robert de Salle, killed by the Norfolk Levellers in 1381. At his death it came to his daughter, Alice de Salle, and was later known as Baist's Place from some owner of that name.
King St 184 Malt house [2911] 1939-04-08
King St 186 to 188 [1254] 1936-08-08
St Etheldreda's SE corner from King St [B128] 1931-00-00
St Etheldreda's from Mariners Lane [2192] 1938-03-21
View from north-west.
St Etheldreda's tower south side King St [0161] 1934-07-08
Norman round tower with octagonal top.
St Etheldreda's south side from King St [4764] 1964-05-09
St Etheldreda's nave Norman stringcourse [6259] 1983-04-28
Norman stringcourse on north side of nave. Possibly the blocked arch of the original north doorway.
St Etheldreda's Norman south doorway [1923] 1937-08-25
St Etheldreda's interior view east [1852] 1937-08-07
Comparison with Sillett's view drawn in 1828 shows the present 14c style east window to be a modern replacement..
St Etheldreda's 15c font [2228] 1938-03-30
With panelled bowl.
St Etheldreda's William Johnson monument [2227] 1938-03-30
William Johnson, Alderman of Norwich, died 1611.
King St 196 and Rayners Yard [1253] 1936-08-08
The main thoroughfare extending from the city's south (alias Conesford) gate northwards was known for centuries as Conesford St: not until late in the 18c was it called by its present name of King St. It was always a comparatively narrow and sometimes congested thoroughfare, and the opportunity was taken in the early 1960s to construct Rouen Road as a bypass by demolishing what had become a somewhat derelict and run-down area.
At a point in King St just beyond the churchyard of St Peter Southgate, the kerb was realigned to persuade traffic to take the new road to the west, emerging at the upper end of Cattlemarket St. This also involved the demolition of a number of old King St properties between St Peter's and St Etheldreda's churchyards, including the parish room, a 19c red-brick building. Immediately to the north was Rayner's Yard, with an old-established bakery on the corner; beyond that, and adjoining St Etheldreda's churchyard, was other old property including a small shop and the entrance to Rainbow Yard.
Quite near here, and probably now covered by this end of Rouen Rd, was the site of Hildebrond's hospital or Ivy Hall, a religious establishment founded in the 13c by Hildebrond, a mercer, and Maud his wife as a kind of almshouse "in which poor People wanting House-Room were to be lodged, and have firing allowed them by the Master". The site is shown on Francis Blomefield's map [the 18c Norfolk historian] as being a little to the south of St Etheldreda's church, and in reply to a query of mine in 1935 Claude Messent stated that "the remains now consist of re-used materials incorporated in later buildings on the site; however, large portions of old flintwork appear in boundary walls to Rayner's Yard, but as there are later materials in these walls it is difficult to be certain that they are the original walls of the medieval hospital in situ." This seems to correct a statement he had made a year earlier in his book The Monastic Remains of Norfolk and Suffolk, where he had placed the site some distance further north by Horn's Lane School.
King St east side flint house by Rouen Rd [6557] 1989-06-24
St Peter at Southgate ruined tower [B127] 1931-00-00
St Peter at Southgate ruins view east [2191] 1938-03-21
Overlooking what was Read's flour mill in King St from the west is the former churchyard of St Peter Southgate, now a playground. The lower part of the tower with a brick Tudor arch is all that remains of the church itself, which was demolished in 1887 (not as erroneously stated on an adjoining plaque). A sketch of the building was made by James Sillett in 1828 and a photograph taken shortly before its abandonment is in the Local Collection of the Norwich Central Library.
St Peter at Southgate ruins view NW [5371] 1974-05-27
This church was used for services until a few years before its demolition in 1887. It consisted of a nave, chancel, north chapel, south porch and a square west tower in which were three bells. Anciently known as St Peter de Bither, it was founded before 1217 but appears to have been rebuilt during the late Perpendicular period. All that now remains is the lower part of the tower with a brick Tudor arch.
King St Gate east side from inside city [6298] 1984-04-28
View south.
King St Gate east side arrow loop [7922] 2003-03-15
From inside wall.
King St west side Cinder Ovens Row [4360] 1955-08-20
King St Gate west side Cinder Ovens Row [5191] 1968-04-18
View north-west.
King St at Bracondale [0039] 1934-02-22

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Text and photographs copyright George Plunkett

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