A look at Norwich market through the decades
- Credit: Archant Library
Norwich market has a long and varied history and has been at the heart of the city for over 900 years.
Its roots can be traced back to the 11th century, after it was established by Normans following the 1066 conquest.
The market continued to grow and by the Middle Ages it stretched from the Guildhall all the way to St Stephens, and was one of the most important market areas in the country.
While Norwich's stature has declined since its Medieval heights, the city's market continues to shine nationally through regularly winning national awards.
These fascinating pictures show how Norwich market has changed over the decades.
In the 1930s, Norwich market was made up of traders selling their wares under temporary structures. They were tightly packed under canvas in the area between St Peter Mancroft and the Guildhall.
By the end of the decade, the market was due a major revamp, after becoming ramshackle over the years.
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Norwich City Council also needed more room for their ever-growing departments.
The construction of the new city hall required several buildings to be destroyed in the area, and the market was also to be redesigned as part of the £348,000 scheme.
The market was moved to the back of town hall whilst the original site was being relaid. The new city hall building was officially opened on October 29, 1938. It was at this time that the market's colourful tent roofs became a fixture.
After being rebuilt, the market returned to normal action and trading resumed.
Stalls selling flowers and plants continue to be popular at the market. Today there are several selling everything from cacti, tropical plants to locally-grown flowers.
The market has always had a wide range of products available and every year there seems to be more and more variety available. There are two fruit and vegetable stalls operating in the market today, CJ's and Mike, Debs and Sons, which have been passed down through several family generations.
Norwich castle and Norwich market have both stood the test of time and continue to attract thousands of people each year to the city.
The last major shake up of Norwich market was in 1976 when hot and cold water and electricity cables were installed. This allowed for the market to be lit up at night so trading could continue into the evening.
The herbs and spices stall in the market remains to this day, where you can purchase a huge array of different cooking essentials, as well as more unusual flavours and ingredients.
And of course, a British market would not be complete without someone selling sausages.
In 2005, Norwich market had its next big overhaul. The temporary structures were replaced with permanent stalls and metal roofs, although the colourful striped designs remained. While controversial at the time,the overhaul has ultimately been a success, as the market frequently wins national awards.
The market most recently won 'Best Large Outdoor Market in Britain' in 2019 at the Great British Market Awards. It has become a destination for foodies, with a wide range of street food vendors operating. Cuisines on offer include Chilean, Malaysian, Spanish and Moroccan, and there are often new additions to enjoy.
Traditional British classics such as chips and mushy peas, pies and bacon butties are of course also available to enjoy.
Other than food,visitors can browse through vintage clothing stores, natural wines, craft beer and second hand books. Pretty much everything you can think of can be found in the market, which is one of the largest outdoor markets in the country.
Despite the trials and tribulations of the past 18-months caused by the pandemic, Norwich market has continued to prosper. A one-way system was installed to help keep people safe and it remains busy with visitors and locals alike.
What have been your favourite stalls and market traders over the years? Tell us in the comments.