Norwich Street Photographs

Previous street: St Andrew's St

St Augustine's St:
        From Botolph St / Pitt St / Gildencroft to Bakers Rd / Aylsham Rd / Magpie Rd
Sussex St, St Martin at Oak Wall Lane

      East side
St Augustine's St 5 to 7 Rose PH [2751] 1938-08-27
St Augustine's St 5 to 7 rear from yard [3209] 1939-08-07
St Augustine's St Rose Yard 4 to 8 [2132] 1938-03-07
Coronation St Augustine's St Rose Yard [1622] 1937-05-13
1937 coronation decorations.
St Augustine's St 13 to 19 [2763] 1938-08-30
St Augustine's St 23 to 25 [0889] 1936-04-12
St Augustine's St 31 to 33 [2752] 1938-08-27
St Augustine's St 35 to 39 Prince of Wales [2753] 1938-08-27
Prince of Wales PH.
St Augustine's St Stonemason's Court 2 [2764] 1938-08-30
Formerly 55 St Augustine's St [at which was living Arthur William Hall, stonemason, according to the 1925 Kelly's Norfolk Street Directory]
St Augustine's St Stonemason's Court 2 [7464] 1997-07-07
After renovation.
St Augustine's St Catherine Wheel Opening [1450] 1936-09-23
South side of Opening.
St Augustine's St Catherine Wheel Opening [0109] 1934-05-27
St Augustine's St Catherine Wheel Opening [6219] 1981-08-04
        West side
St Augustine's from SE [1921] 1937-08-24
From St Augustine's St.
St Augustine's tower from Gildencroft [1920] 1937-08-24
1680's red brick replacing former tower that collapsed 1677.
St Augustine's interior view east [1915] 1937-08-24
16c arcade.
St Augustine's 15c font [1916] 1937-08-24
St Augustine's Elisha de Hague tablet [1918] 1937-08-24
Elisha de Hague, Town Clerk of Norwich, died 11th July 1792 aged 74.
St Augustine's Matthew Brettingham tablet [1917] 1937-08-24
Matthew Brettingham, architect of Norwich, died 19th August 1769 aged 70.
St Augustine's Thomas Clabburn tablet [1919] 1937-08-24
Thomas Clabburn, master weaver, died 31st March 1858 aged 70.
St Augustine's St 22 [2754] 1938-08-27
St Augustine's St 22 to 30 Winecoopers Arms [2765] 1938-08-30
St Augustine's St 28 to 30 restored [6385] 1986-06-19
St Augustine's St 42 to 52 Sussex St 1 to 5 [6386] 1986-06-19
Sussex St on left.
St Augustine's St 62 to 64 [7727] 2000-02-02
62 after conservation. 64 the former Royal Oak PH.
St Augustine's St 62 to 64 rear [7728] 2000-02-05
Showing timber frame in upper floor of 64.
St Augustine's St 64 Royal Oak PH [1488] 1936-10-04

St Benedict's St:
        From Charing Cross / St Gregory's Alley to Grapes Hill / Dereham Rd / Barn Rd
Ten Bell Lane, St Swithin's Alley, Wellington Lane (formerly Duck Lane)

      North side
St Lawrence's St Benedict's St from SE [2260] 1938-04-07
St Lawrence's tower NW from Westwick St [0133] 1934-06-17
The rebuilding of St Lawrence was completed 1472. It is said to stand on the site of an ancient quay for landing fish. Now one of three redundant churches in St Benedict's St, it was the subject of an appeal for funds to complete its restoration. Much work has been done towards safeguarding the structure, in particular the strengthening of the exterior stonework of the clerestory; some of the retaining wall on the Westwick St side of the churchyard had to be virtually rebuilt.
St Lawrence's south porch [6658] 1990-10-12
St Lawrence's west doorway arch [2261] 1938-04-07
St Lawrence's west doorway arch [6649] 1990-09-28
Left and right carvings show martyrdom of St Lawrence and King Edward.
St Lawrence's interior view east [1847] 1937-08-07
St Lawrence's rood stair turret door [1887] 1937-08-16
Linenfold pattern in panels.
St Lawrence's 15c font [1888] 1937-08-17
St Benedict's St 21 to 25 [5432] 1975-07-01
St Benedict's St 23a [2750] 1938-08-27
St Benedict's St 33 [1088] 1936-07-07
St Margaret's S side from St Benedict's St [2259] 1938-04-07
St Margaret's always appeared well kept; although damaged by raiders during the war it was later repaired, the tower in 1948, the remainder by 1951. In 1965, while the church was still in use as a place of worship, it was decided to take down four of the bells, of which two had come earlier from St Swithin's, and to transfer them to St Andrew's Church, Holt, to make up their peal. Two years later a new stained-glass window, the work of Michael King, was fitted into the east end of the church. Its subject, the Ascension, was described at the time of its unveiling as "a modern representation without any clearly recognisable figures, the window is a blaze of colour, which shows up all the more in the clear white light of the remainder of the church, and gives a wonderful impression of Christ ascending".
By January 1977, the church had come under the threat of redundancy. The remaining bell was transferred to Morley St Botolph, and the building was subsequently stripped of its furnishings; by 1981 it was in use as a gymnasium.
St Margaret's south porch [6639] 1990-09-03
St Margaret's vestry wall stone crucifix [6020] 1979-07-17
Mediaeval stone crucifix set in modern north vestry wall.
St Margaret's interior view east [1848] 1937-08-07
St Margaret's openings to chapel and aisle [1882] 1937-08-14
Arched openings in the nave walls leading to the eastern chapel and aisle.
St Margaret's 14c font [1881] 1937-08-14
When I visited here in 1937 to record some of its treasures the font seemed the most prominent feature. Of its three elements, the bowl displayed a circle enclosing a shield on each of its eight sides; engaged columns supported the shaft, and a tall pedestal, the sides of which were enriched with quatrefoils enclosing Tudor roses, raised it some two feet or so above the ground.
St Margaret's 15c parish chest [1849] 1937-08-07
The late 14c chest was also noteworthy; it had traceried panels greatly resembling those on a chest of similar age at Litcham.
St Benedict's St 47 [2527] 1938-07-07
St Benedict's St Queen of Hungary Yd view N [1753] 1937-07-04
St Benedict's St Queen of Hungary Yd view S [1760] 1937-07-08
St Benedict's St 49 [1042] 1936-06-20
St Benedict's St 49 COLOUR [2967] 1939-04-16
St Benedict's St Reeve's Yard view north [1437] 1936-09-22
St Benedict's St Reeve's Yard view north [6253] 1982-09-28
St Benedict's St Reeve's Yard view south [6252] 1982-09-28
St Swithin's south side [2015] 1937-09-22
Declared redundant since the war, this church was once at the hub of a flourishing parish. When at the turn of the century, the Rev. John Sawbridge was appointed to the joint livings of St Swithin and St Margaret he found the latter a thriving church; St Swithin's, however, was in a deplorable state. Though the church had formerly possessed a square embattled tower, this had become so dangerous that in 1881 it had had to be demolished, to the benefit of the adjoining alley, which until then had been barely a yard wide at that point. The three bells were transferred to St Margaret's church.
Anxious to get things remedied, the new rector called a meeting to decide whether to turn the church into a parish hall or to keep it as a church and build a hall separately. The latter arrangement was eventually agreed upon, after an anonymous benefactor had come forward with a promise to finance the scheme. He was as good as his word, and by 1910 H.H.Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, who had written a memoir on the church, was able to comment on its judicious restoration, adding that "all Norfolk antiquarians owe this gentleman a deep debt of gratitude".
Mr Sawbridge remained here for some 15 years, seeing the buildings put to full use. He then left for London and later Mildenhall, returning eventually to Norfolk, where he died at Newton Flotman rectory in 1955, aged 78. A few years before his death he revisited St Swithin's and was saddened to see it once more neglected, but he realised that whereas 50 years previously the district between St Benedict's and Westwick St had had a population of some 1,100, it had since dwindled to fewer than a hundred. Were he alive today he would no doubt be much heartened to see it again in full use, this time as an arts centre.
St Swithin's interior view east [2211] 1938-03-30
North arcading fluted columns and pointed arches.
St Swithin's interior view west [2212] 1938-03-30
South arcading classical style with round arches.
St Swithin's roof view west [2215] 1938-03-30
Arch-braced collar-beam roof.
St Swithin's 15c font [2213] 1938-03-30
Carved with emblems of the Trinity and the Arms of East Anglia.
St Swithin's two misericord seats [2214] 1938-03-30
St Benedict's St 59 from St Swithin's Terr [1092] 1936-07-07
St Benedict's St 63 to 65 Stag PH [2748] 1938-08-27
St Benedict's St 67 former Beehive PH [1090] 1936-07-07
At No 67 stood a Tudor house of three storeys, if one included the attic lit by three modern-looking flat roofed dormers. The exterior walls had received a smooth coating of plaster, hiding from view the timber framework other than the joist-ends forming the first floor jetty. This was until the 1930s the Beehive public house, one of several in the city with that sign; after the licence was given up the adjoining yard continued to bear the name. According to Larwood and Hotten, insects very rarely occur on inn signboards. Bees were the exception, their habitation being made a favourite object, to imply a similar industry on the part of the landlord.
St Benedict's St 85 [2747] 1938-08-27
St Benedict's St 89 Fountain PH [1089] 1936-07-07
Among property destroyed in teh blitz was the Fountain public house at 89 St Benedict's St, on the corner of St Benedict's Back Lane. This was one of the city's old coaching inns and was in existence 200 or more years ago, as evidenced by an advertisement in the Norwich Gazette of 17th November 1741, quoted in full by Walter Wicks. The gist of it was that anybody indebted to the landlord was instructed that by spending sixpence in jorams of beer - ready money – the debtor would have a like amount deducted from his debt or debts, provided that the whole debt was cleared within six months, otherwise prosecution would follow. Mr Wicks thought that the landlord (William Gray, alias Major Gray) was the originator of this "new way to pay off old debts", but a rather similar notice relating to the Duke's Palace inn had appeared on 14th March 1724, signed by landlord John Burges.
St Benedict's Back Lane from inside city [0108] 1934-05-27
Mutilated portions of wall incorporated in houses on west side of St Benedict's Back Lane which ran north from 89 St Benedict's St. View north.
        South side
St Benedict's St 12 to 14 rear building [5924] 1978-07-25
With weavers' window.
St Benedict's St 18 to 20 [6357] 1986-04-04
St Benedict's St Hannent's Yard [1759] 1937-07-08
St Benedict's St 28 [1153] 1936-07-21
St Benedict's St Turner's Court view NE [1757] 1937-07-08
17c gabled timber framing plastered over.
St Benedict's St Turner's Court view SE [1758] 1937-07-08
Coronation St Benedict's St [1568] 1937-05-09
1937 coronation decorations.
St Benedict's St Green's Yard west side [1754] 1937-07-04
Three King Lane east side before demolition [0777] 1936-03-05
St Benedict's St 56 to 58 Plough PH [3218] 1939-08-07
St Benedict's St 58 W side from Plough Yard [1084] 1936-07-06
St Benedict's St 58 Plough PH east side [6455] 1987-04-27
St Benedict's St Plough Yard west side [1160] 1936-07-27
St Benedict's St St Swithin's Alms houses [4718] 1962-09-11
Plough Yard, St Benedict's St. Founded 1691 by bequest from Edward Temple. Rebuilt here in 1903.
St Benedict's St 86 from Adam and Eve Yard [2749] 1938-08-27
West side of 86.
St Benedict's St 86 Cardinal's Cap PH [1159] 1936-07-27
The sign was probably put up in honour of Cardinal Wolsey who visited Norwich in 1517 and again in 1520 when Queen Katherine and the Cardinal were entertained in the City.
St Benedict's St 86 east side view north [1543] 1937-04-24
East of St Benedict's church, the street's architecture has altered surprisingly little; the openings to many of the old yards remain, though little is left of the cottages they once contained. Many of their nameplates, such as those of Adam and Eve Yard and Cardinal's Cap Yard (the latter now gone), commemorated one-time taverns. The former, according to Walter Wicks, stood at the bottom of St Benedict's Church Alley and was once kept by a landlord rejoicing in the name of Cain Abel! The other, which closed down as a licensed house only within recent years, is believed to have been named in honour of Cardinal Wolsey's visits in 1517 and 1520; on the second occasion he and Queen Catherine were entertained by the city.
The front of the building, particularly on the ground floor, has been much altered, but the yard to the left continues to present a quite different picture. Here one sees a pleasing display of original black timberwork alternating with cream-coloured plaster. Casement windows, one containing diamond-shaped leaded lights and apparently ancient, help to present a scene which could well hold its own against that displayed by any other small courtyard of a similar period in the city. The small dormer in the roof, however, shown in my photograph, has since been removed.
St Benedict's St 86 east side view south [1542] 1937-04-24
St Benedict's south side from church alley [0140] 1934-06-28
St Benedict's church was another sad loss caused by that April raid, only its round Norman tower now surviving to mark the site. The church was not a large one. As well as the tower with its octagonal 14c belfry, it consisted of a clerestoried nave with north aisle, north and south porches and a chancel. All the external walls except for those of the tower and south porch had been faced with plaster. The roof was of slate.
Before the war the tower contained two bells, although when L'Estrange made his survey in 1874 there were three, inscribed:
(1) John Brend made me 1636.
(2) Elias Brend made me 1659 E.T. E.S.
St Benedict's interior view west [2196] 1938-03-23
The body of the church exhibited several styles, but that of the Perpendicular period predominated. The arcading between aisle and nave had been altered at some time during the 19c by the substitution of iron posts for two of its three pillars.
St Benedict's chancel and Tudor arch [2195] 1938-03-23
A single wide four-centred arch, bent towards the south, separated aisle from chancel.
St Benedict's interior view SE [2197] 1938-03-23
The supporting timbers of the nave roof were open to view, but the chancel had a ceiled semicircular vault; the arch dividing it from the nave was supported by angels.
St Benedict's 15c font [2198] 1938-03-23
The majority of the interior fittings were modern, but there was a fine (though mutilated) stone font of the 15c, which has standing figures around the stem and a seated one within each of the eight panels of the bowl.
St Benedict's air raid damage [3622] 1946-04-19
During the raids the south wall of the church collapsed, and with it the roof, leaving only the tower with its belfry (damaged but since repaired), the north aisle with its arcading to the nave, the north wall of the chancel, the north porch and the font; the latter was later removed for installation elsewhere.
Archaeological excavations were carried out here in 1972, when four mediaeval building periods were identified, along with traces of earlier religious uses of the site. The first church, possibly dating from late in the 11c, was a simple one of nave and small apsidal chancel only. This was followed about a century later by the building of a tower and enlargement of the chancel, which was then made square-ended. In the third building phase all but the tower was demolished, to be replaced, perhaps early in the 14c, by a slightly larger church having nave and chancel of equal width. Finally, during the 15c the church was again rebuilt, to take on the form that survived up to 1942.
That the north aisle had been built by 1484 is indicated by the historian Francis Blomefield, who stated that in that year "William King was buried in the Church, and made, and glazed a new Window in the North Isle". Certain modifications carried out during succeeding centuries, particularly during Victoria's reign, involved extensive restoration, when much of the east wall was rebuilt and the exterior completely refaced. Sillett's view of the north side of the church, made in 1828, shows that the nave and aisle roofs were then leaded and the chancel tiled; the slates were therefore put on after this time.
Detailed reports by Alan Carter and others on excavations which have taken place both here and elsewhere in the district will be found in the pages of Norfolk Archaeology and East Anglian Archaeology, from which the above notes have been drawn.
St Benedict's Alley 1 front [1158] 1936-07-27
The alley ran from 94 St Benedict's St to Pottergate past the church.
St Benedict's Alley 1 rear [2083] 1938-02-19
St Benedict's Alley Jermy's Buildings [2084] 1938-02-19
St Benedict's Alley Jermy's Buildings house [2082] 1938-02-18
St Benedict's Alley west side old house [2081] 1938-02-18
St Benedict's St 106 White Lion PH to 110 [1157] 1936-07-27
St Benedict's St White Lion Yard view north [1156] 1936-07-21
St Benedict's St White Lion Yard view north [2556] 1938-07-19
St Benedict's St 108 to 110 [1490] 1936-10-04
Adjacent to the city wall at the corner of Wellington Lane before the war were buildings of three storeys having cement-rendered walls, slightly overhung at first-floor level and lit by sash windows, except on the top floor of No 108 which retained an old thoroughlight. No 110 (pictured with 108) was for many years Pimm's the grocers, while a barber's shop was next door at No 108. Between the two a covered passageway spanned by a wooden arch led to houses in Little White Lion Yard, but these were demolished in 1938 along with other adjoining property in Duck Lane, as this end of Wellington Lane used to be called.
St Benedict's Gate abutment inside city [0107] 1934-05-27
A sketch of St Benedict's Gate made by the historian John Kirkpatrick in 1720 recorded that it had a square tower above the archway, which was of considerable width, with a two-light pointed window overlooking the inner side and the following inscription facing the west:
A watch turret adjoined to the south. All was demolished, except for the south abutment, with one of the hinge-pins, in 1793.
The brick-arched opening in the photograph is not to be confused with the gate, for this was pierced through the wall in 1930 when some decrepit property adjoining to the west was pulled down. Thus, not only was the wall shown off to much better advantage but it was also possible to widen the carriageway by setting back the footpath.
St Benedict's Gate site south side view E [0015] 1934-01-21
In the raid of April 1942, all the wall shown in the photograph was blown down, but the gatehouse abutment still stood, albeit considerably cracked and out of true, on the very edge of a large bomb crater. Because of its condition it was later entirely cleared away, and so the last remnant of the gates belonging to the city's fortifications was destroyed as a result of enemy action.
St Benedict's Gate iron hinge pin [B110] 1931-00-00
On south abutment of gate.

Next street: St Clement's Alley

Text and photographs copyright George Plunkett

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