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Rambler: Norwich City Walls

PUBLISHED: 15:32 25 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:42 02 July 2010

Start: Norwich Bus Station.

Map: Explorer 237 G/R 230080 (but a Norwich A-Z may be more useful).

Distance: 4½ miles

Public Transport: Any bus route into central Norwich.

Start: Norwich Bus Station.

Map: Explorer 237 G/R 230080 (but a Norwich A-Z may be more useful).

Distance: 4½ miles

Public Transport: Any bus route into central Norwich.

Timetables: 0871 200 2233, www.travelineeastanglia.co.uk

The Norwich City walls date from 1294. There were twelve gateways into the city, including Bishopgate, which was built on Bishops Bridge, with towers dotted between them. There were sets of boom towers on the River Wensum, which protected the eastern side of the city and the section of the Wensum between Heigham and St. Martin's Gates. The walls were maintained until the late 18th Century when the gateways were demolished to allow for road widening. Now only fifteen sections of the wall survive above ground level, including Cow Tower, most of which can be seen on Roy Abigail's interesting walk. Note that the Riverside Walk closes at dusk.

t Leave the bus station at the top end (under the Travelodge) and turn right along Queen's Road. Pass St Stephens Tower and cross to Chapelfield using the underpass. Continue along Chapelfield with the wall on the left and the main road beyond. Cross the entrance to the Mall car park and go into Chapelfield Gardens where the wall (still on the left) is hidden from view. Walk straight ahead and follow the path as it curves rightwards at the end of the gardens. Leave the gardens and cross the road, turning right then quickly left into Hales Court. Go over the pedestrian crossing and turn right for a few steps, then go left into Upper St Giles Street. Turn right at the end to re-join the route of the wall. Start to climb the bridge but then, after a few paces, take the path that descends to the left and continue down the hill. The line of the wall is visible in the verge of Grapes Hill until a section of wall is reached prior to crossing St Benedicts Street.

t Continue ahead along Barn Road, initially beside another section of wall, and cross Westwick Street. (The wall terminated at the river with a boom tower: the remaining base brickwork of this tower can be seen from the other side of the river). Turn right at the roundabout and cross the river, then turn left over the pedestrian crossing and head away from the city centre up Oak Street. Turn left into a small alley, by the side of number 167 (Old Dun Cow), to reach the riverside, passing the remains of Oak Street Tower. Return back up to Oak Street (and notice how the remains of the wall have been incorporated into the house). Cross Oak Street following the line of the wall visible in the grass, pass the small car park and continue along a small lane (St Martins at Oak Wall Lane) with sections of the wall on the left.

t Carefully cross St Augustine's Street and go ahead then rightwards down Magpie Road. (A further example of the walls being incorporated into buildings can be seen at the fenced-off site at the top of the road). At the end of the road is a further section of wall along Wall Lane. Cross Magdalen Street and continue ahead along Bull Close Road continuing ahead where the main traffic flow turns right. At the end of this road are Bull Close Tower and another section of the wall. Turn right and cross Barrack Street at the crossing. (The wall continued ahead along River Lane to the river, but this is no longer currently accessible, although some sections of the wall remain here).

t Turn right past the Puppet Theatre then, at the roundabout, go left into Whitefriars. Cross the river and immediately turn left into the Riverside Walk with St James Mill on the opposite bank. Follow the path beside the river passing Cow Tower as the path bends right. Cross Bishopsgate with the bridge on the left and continue on with views of the Cathedral to the right and on past Pull's Ferry to reach Prince of Wales Road.

t Cross Prince of Wales Road and continue ahead on the path beside the river passing under the two white footbridges. Then keep right beside the swimming pool and pass under Carrow Bridge to reach the boom towers. Climb the steps on the left up to Carrow Road. Cross the road and turn left over the bridge. Continue over the end of King Street and turn left briefly, then turn right to climb uphill (with plenty of steps!) beside a long section of wall with two large towers (Black Tower and Duke of Buckingham's Tower).

t Pass through a wooden gate, then between brick gateposts and turn right into Carrow Hill then right again into Bracondale to reach the junction with Ber Street where the Ber Street Gate tower remains beside a pub of the same name. Cross Ber Street and continue along Queens Road. On reaching Finkelgate on the right, look for the line of the wall in the paved area at the front of the building on the corner. Cross Finkelgate and continue ahead along Queens Road to follow the route of the wall over All Saints Green and back to the bus station.

t Walk collated by Sue Walker for Norfolk Area Ramblers' Association. For more information about the Ramblers' Association call 01508 538654 or visit: www.ramblers.org.uk

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