Don’t you just love it when you find out some wild and wacky facts about a city you’ve been to a couple of times but never really studied that much? Well, here’s our list of 10 surprising facts about Norwich. Prepare to be astounded:

Second largest city in Tudor England

From Medieval times right through to the Early Modern Age, Norwich was second only to the capital in terms of population. Immigrants came from all around to partake in the city’s wool trade and weaving industry.

Norwich is the only English city located in a national park

The Norfolk Broads is designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty – all 125 miles of navigable lock-free waterways, beautiful countryside and picturesque towns, villages and cities. It’s also mentioned in David Bowie’s hit song Life on Mars.

Norwich was first to be pedestrianised

The city had the first-ever pedestrianised street back in July 1967. At the time giving people priority over traffic was a bit of novelty – so ubiquitous and much-loved had the car become – but other cities caught on to the benefits of restricting traffic and well, the rest is history really…

A pub for every day of the year x 2

Back in the day (or rather the 17th century), Norwich had 600 pubs. But the 1904 Licensing Act, Second World War and slum clearances in the 1960s saw many forced to close. King Street was the worst hit, with the number of pubs there falling from 58 to one. And the name of that one pub? It’s the Last Pub Standing, of course…

The Garnet pub overlooking the Norwich market on a sunny day

The Garnet pub overlooking the Norwich market


Norwich City FC’s club song is oldest in UK

Today’s footie fans still sing the song ‘On the Ball City’ at Norwich FC’s Carrow Road Stadium today. It was written for another team in Norwich back in 1890 before the city’s football team claimed it in 1902. Incidentally, TV chef Delia Smith is a majority shareholder of Norwich FC.

Alan Partridge is from Norwich

Ok, the self-promoting Alan Partridge may be a fictional character, but his creator Steve Coogan is real enough. Partridge is a DJ on Radio Norwich in the series, spouting his ‘words of wisdom’ to the city’s general population.

Colman’s mustard is from the city

Jeremiah James Colman started producing mustard at his factory back in 1814 and it’s been going strong ever since. Some of today’s farmers who supply the mustard seeds for the condiment are fifth generation of the original family suppliers.

Norwich had the first-ever postcodes

Yep, today there are more than 1.8 million postcodes in the UK – every street has one. But, at one time, only streets in Norwich were recalled by a series of letters and numbers. That’s because the GP decided to trial it here back in 1959. Looks like it proved successful then.

Sale of the Century was from Norwich

One of the most popular programmes on TV from 1971 to 1983, Sale of the Century began every show with “And now, from Norwich, it’s the quiz of the week!” Quizmaster was Nicholas Parsons. It had the same kudos as today’s The Chase with Bradley Walsh.

Visiting Norwich? Why not consider staying at our serviced apartments at No 82 The Unthank. If your destination is further south, then try our serviced apartments at Number 10 The Abbey in Wymondham.