Norwich Market is an outdoor market in central Norwich, England. Founded in the latter part of the 11th century to supply Norman merchants and settlers moving to the area following the Norman conquest of England. By the 14th century, Norwich was one of the largest and most prosperous cities in England, and Norwich Market was a major trading hub.
About Norwich Market in brief
Norwich Market is an outdoor market in central Norwich, England. Founded in the latter part of the 11th century to supply Norman merchants and settlers moving to the area following the Norman conquest of England. By the 14th century, Norwich was one of the largest and most prosperous cities in England, and Norwich Market was a major trading hub. Control of, and income from, the market was ceded by the monarchy to the city of Norwich in 1341, from which time it provided a significant source of income for the local council. In the Georgian era, Norwich became an increasingly popular destination with travellers and developed into a fashionable shopping town. It was radically redesigned in the 1930s: stalls were arranged into parallel rows and a new City Hall was built along the entire western side of the marketplace. In 2003, proposals were made for another radical rebuilding of the area. These proposals were extremely controversial and were abandoned in 2004 in favour of a scheme which replaced the old stalls with steel units of four stalls each. The rebuilt market was completed in early 2006 and is one of Britain’s largest markets. It is now home to around 200 stalls and has been in operation on the present site for over 900 years. The exact date of the foundation of the market at Mancroft is not recorded, but it is known to have been operational by the time the Domesday Book was compiled in 1086. The market operated under a licence from the King’s Clerk over all fairs and markets of the period, and conducted rents and tolls on behalf of the King.
Almost no records survive of the Norman market in the 10th to 13th centuries, but shortly after its establishment, a tollhouse was built nearby, which served as a collection for taxes on trade. At some point, the fair was supplanted by an annual horse fair at the point of its charter, although it was also the centre for the civil administration of the city soon after its construction. At the time of its construction, it was immediately immediately north of the site of the Guildhall, which is now occupied by the market. The Guildhall is the largest surviving mediaeval civic building in Britain outside London, and remained the seat of local government until 1938 and in use as a law court until 1985. The current Guildhall was built next to the market to serve as a centre for local government and law enforcement in the early 15th century, and it is now the seat for Norwich City Council. The area around the market had become very congested by the 19th-century, but the council was unable to raise funds for improvement and few alterations were made. Norwich is a city on the River Wensum in the East of England, but by the reign of King Æthelstan the city was a big trading centre. The Anglo-Saxon settlement was centred around Tombland, a large open space at the points where the roads into Norwich converged. The plain of Tombland was the siteof Norwich’s market. Norwich Cathedral was built immediately to the east of tombland and much of the old town to the southwest of Tomblands was cleared for the motte of Norwich Castle.