Printing was introduced to the city by Anthony de Solempne (nl), one of the "Strangers", in 1567 but did not take root and had died out by about 1572.[24]

Norwich City Council consists of 39 councillors elected to represent 13 wards—three councillors per ward. Elections are held by thirds, where one councillor in each ward is elected annually for a four-year term, except in the year of county council elections.[63] It is currently controlled by the Labour Party. Following the 2012 local elections, the distribution of council seats is Labour 21, Green Party 15, Liberal Democrats 3.[64]

The River Yare is navigable from the sea at Great Yarmouth up to Trowse, south of the city. From there the River Wensum is navigable into Norwich up to New Mills, and is crossed by the Novi Sad Friendship Bridge. Scheduled trips through the city and out to the nearby The Broads are run by City Boats from outside Norwich station and also Elm Hill. In June 2012, Norwich City Council gave permission for punting on the River Wensum.[168]

A large proportion of the population of Norwich are users of the Internet. A recent article has suggested that, compared with other UK cities, it is top of the league for the percentage of population who use the popular Internet auction site eBay.[162] The city has also unveiled the biggest free Wi-Fi network in the UK, which opened in July 2006.[163]

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Norwich could once boast a pub for every day of the year and a church for every week. Now there are still over 30 medieval churches within the old city walls alone and, as for pubs, well, let's just say you won't go thirsty!

Norwich has six park and ride sites run by Norfolk County Council using colour-coded buses, one of the larger UK operations.[165] Almost 5000 parking spaces are provided and in 2006 3.4 million passengers used the service.[166]

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The city is also a shopper's paradise, with two shopping centres and four department stores, many independent stores and boutiques in the quaint Lanes and Timber Hill. Rated in the Top 10 UK shopping destinations, you'll soon realise why.


Norwich is also home to Colman's Mustard. The mills and silos you'll see at Carrow, close to Norwich City Football Club's stadium, are the result of two centuries of growing and refining mustard. Nearby Trowse was built to include pleasant social housing for the workers, much like Cadbury’s Bournville.

Norwich has town twinning agreements with four towns and cities:

He visited the City as a courtier to King Charles II in 1671 and described it thus:

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Daniel Defoe in his Tour of the whole Island of Great Britain (1724) wrote:

Final preparations are underway as the city gets set to mark Battle of Britain next week, with a parade on Monday 12 September and a service on Sunday 18 September.

Norwich's night-time economy of bars and nightclubs is mainly located in Tombland, Prince of Wales Road and the Riverside area adjacent to Norwich railway station.

Archant, formerly known as Eastern Counties Newspapers (ECN), is a national publishing group that has grown out of the city's local newspapers and is headquartered in Norwich.

In May 2012, Norwich was designated England's first UNESCO City of Literature.[8]

Accessible (RADAR key) toilet available during opening hours of the station shown above

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From 1787 the congregation of the New Jerusalem Church of Swedenborgians, followers of the mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, worshipped at the church of St. Mary the Less; in 1852 they moved to Park Lane, Norwich to establish the Swedenborgian Chapel.[138][139]

The city's second club, Norwich United (who are based in Blofield some 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) east of the city) play in the Eastern Counties league, whilst Spixworth FC (previously known as AFC Norwich) play in the Anglian Combination. The now-defunct Gothic F.C. were also based in Norwich. Local football clubs are served by the Norwich and District Business Houses League.

The character of Alan Partridge in the sitcom I'm Alan Partridge (1997–2002) and the comedy film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013) is a Norwich broadcaster played by Steve Coogan.


Norwich elects 13 county councillors to the 84-member county council. The city is divided into single-member electoral divisions, and county councillors are elected every four years.[61] Following the 2013 county council elections, the distribution of council seats is Labour Party 8, Green Party 4, Liberal Democrats 1. The county council is currently under no overall control.[62]

HMSO, once the official publishing and stationery arm of the British government and one of the largest print buyers, printers and suppliers of office equipment in the UK, moved most of its operations from London to Norwich in the 1970s.

National Cycle Route 1 passes through Norwich, linking Beccles and Fakenham (and eventually Dover and the Shetland Islands).[167]

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Norwich's economy was historically manufacturing based, with a large shoemaking industry, but transitioned throughout the 1980s and 1990s to a service-based economy.[citation needed] Aviva (formerly known as Norwich Union) still dominates these, but has been joined by other insurance and financial services companies.[citation needed]

Borrow wrote far less favourably of the City in his translation of Faust:

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Norwich is a popular destination for a city break; attractions include Norwich Cathedral, the cobbled streets and museums of old Norwich, Norwich Castle, Cow Tower, Colman's Mustard Shop and Museum, Dragon Hall and The Forum. Norwich is one of the UK's top ten shopping destinations, with a mix of chain retailers and independent stores as well as Norwich Market, one of the largest outdoor markets in England. It is ranked about the 150th biggest city in Europe.

As of, 2015, the city has 23 parks, 95 open spaces and 59 natural areas managed by the local authority.[146] In addition there are several privately owned gardens which are occasionally opened to the public in aid of charity[147] with the exception of the Plantation Garden[148] located close to the St John the Baptist Cathedral which opens daily.

She also records that three times a year the city held:

Norwich stands alone. Its geographical separation from the spreading sameness of other English cities has infused it with a rich character all of its own, an invigorating mix of the past and present, of openness and offbeat charm.

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George Borrow in his semi-autobiographical novel Lavengro (1851) wrote of Norwich as:

Norwich was marked in the period after the Restoration of 1660 and the ensuing century by a golden age of its cloth industry, comparable only to those in the West Country and Yorkshire.[26] But unlike other cloth-manufacturing regions, Norwich weaving brought greater urbanisation, substantially concentrated in the surrounds of the city itself, creating an urban society, with features such as leisure time, alehouses, and other public forums of debate and argument.[27]

To properly appreciate the juxtaposition of contemporary and past, stand on Millennium Plain between the strikingly-modern, glass-fronted Forum (home to the city's library and TIC) and the 15th century St Peter Mancroft, the largest church in Norwich which provoked John Wesley, founder of the Methodists, to say, 'I scarcely ever remember to have seen a more beautiful parish church'.