Seven of the oldest Norwich businesses

Jarrold and Archers Butchers oldest businesses in Norwich

Archers Butchers and Jarrold are among the oldest businesses in Norwich - Credit: Archant

In a city steeped in history, there has been a number of different industries and businesses that have been established in the area.

While some have disappeared following their heyday, a number are still thriving and help make Norwich a vibrant place to live and work. 

From printers to department stores, here are some of the oldest businesses that are still operating today.

Maids Head Hotel.

Maids Head Hotel. - Credit: Archant

1. Maids Head Hotel

Where:  20 Tombland, Norwich, NR3 1LB

The Maids Head Hotel claims to be one of the oldest hotels in the UK and the site has been used in the hospitality business since the middle of the 1090s.

It is located in one of the oldest parts of the city and is right next to the Norwich Cathedral, which was constructed during the Norman era.

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The hotel is still thriving today, having been taken over by the Chaplin family in 2012, who embarked on a number of renovations to bring the business into the 21st century.

Norwich Fashion Week window displays. Winsor Bishop.
Photo: Bill Smith

Norwich Fashion Week window displays. Winsor Bishop. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

2. Winsor Bishop

Where: 39-43 London Street, Norwich, NR2 1HU

This jewellery store in the heart of the city is one of the UK's oldest jewellers still trading. 

It has a 187-year history and continues to sell a wide range of high-end products.

It is currently holding a sale of more than £2m worth of reduced items in order to help fund a refurbishment project.

Jarrold the store, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Jarrold the store, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

3. Jarrold

Where: 1 - 11 London Street, Norwich, NR2 1JF

The Jarrold business began in Woodbridge, Suffolk in 1770 by John Jarrold but moved to Norwich the following century in 1823.

It is likely the largest and longest standing privately owned business and the involvement of the founding family continues to this day.

While other department stores such as Debenhams and House of Frazer have been forced to close in recent years, Jarrold remains popular with locals and visitors alike.

Colman Group printing history. The old shop in St Andrews Hill, Norwich.Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Colman Group printing history. The old shop in St Andrews Hill, Norwich.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

4. Colman Group 

Where: Avian Way, Norwich NR7 9AJ

The family business has been trading for over 160 years and is based in Norwich across three locations.

The printing company has developed significantly over this time, moving from letter-printing to lithographic-printing and now has moved into digital printing in order to keep up with modern demands. 

The company has three departments, ranging from stationery to wholesale printing supplies to greetings cards.

Thorns DIY in Norwich

Thorns DIY in Norwich - Credit: Archant

5. Thorns DIY store

Where: 22 Exchange Street, Norwich, NR2 1AT

 Thorns was established in 1835 by a London merchant named Robert Elliot Thorn. 

Mr Thorn, who owned many properties in the city, saw there was a gap in the market for an ironmongers and decided to set up the business.

It was later passed to the Paston family and has remained in their ownership ever since, continuing to provide the people of Norwich with a vast array of DIY supplies to this day.

Jamie Archer from Archer's Butchers celebrating their success in the national Q Guild sausage compet

Jamie Archer from Archer's Butchers celebrating their success in the national Q Guild sausage competition. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

6. Archers Butchers

Where: 177-179 Plumstead Rd, Norwich NR1 4AB  

Established for over 90 years, Archers is a third-generation family-owned butchers.

It started off life in Norwich Market but soon spread its wings to have several shops in the city.

The business champions high-quality and locally-reared meat and say they consider butchery to be "an art form" and have passed down techniques from generation to generation. 

Barratt and Cooke Norwich oldest businesses

Barratt and Cooke is a family-run stockbrokers that has been in business since 1880 - Credit: Google

7. Barratt and Cooke

Where: 5 Opie Street, Norwich NR1 3DW

 Founded in 1880 by Leigh Barratt, the stockbrokers is one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the trade in the country. 

Barratt and Cooke are located in the heart of the city and manage approximately £1.5bn of funds. 

The fourth generation of the Barratt family continue to work at the firm.