Cathedral backs plea to save potential Anglia Square medieval church
- Credit: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith
Norwich Cathedral has backed calls for the possible remains of a medieval church to be spared demolition, if the multi-million pound revamp of Anglia Square goes ahead.
A new bid to get planning permission for the Norwich shopping centre redevelopment was lodged with the city council last month.
Developers Weston Homes and site owner Columbia Threadneedle propose up to 1,100 homes at the 11.5-acre site.
But campaigners are worried that a warehouse building, near Botolph Street, would be knocked down.
Experts believe unusual coursed flintwork on a warehouse there was once part of the retaining wall of the medieval parish church of St Olave's.
Dedicated to the 11th century Norwegian king St Olaf, the church and its churchyard are long gone, having disappeared in the 16th century.
But campaigners SAVE Britain's Heritage and Norwich Historic Churches Trust believe the flintwork is a significant survival, so the building should be saved.
Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, had called for the building to be listed.
And that has won support from those who look after the city's most significant medieval place of worship - Norwich Cathedral.
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The cathedral had opposed the previous Anglia Square plans, with its 20-storey tower.
The Reverend Dr Peter Doll, canon librarian and acting dean, said, in his submission to the city council on behalf of the cathedral, that new plans were on a "more human scale" than the last ones.
But he said: "We do wish to object to the proposed demolition of the remains of the historic church of St Olave, a significant witness to the flourishing Scandinavian community and culture that preceded the Norman conquest.
"It hardly seems credible that this fabric, which survived the Second World War and the Anglia Square development, should even now be threatened with destruction.
"The remains should be protected, preserved, and interpreted for the benefit of the community."
York-based charity the Council for British Archaeology has also written to the city council, which will decide on whether the plans go ahead at a future date, that the building should be protected.
Weston Homes has not commented on the call to list the building.