Trails

GUIDE-LED TRAILS: BOOK NOW

We have five guide-led trails which can be booked now or during Flintspiration from St Peter Mancroft:

SELF-GUIDED TRAILS

A series of walking trails have been created for Flintspiration which you can follow during the weekend, or in your own time. The trails can be downloaded below, and also picked up from our hub churches St Peter Mancroft and St Stephen’s during the Flintspiration weekend.

The trails are meant as an introduction to these churches and it is hoped that you will want to return and spend more time enjoying them and the other medieval churches which grace our city.

The Flintspiration trails cover King Street, North of the River, St Peter Hungate parish, Conesford (Anchoresses) and Merchants and Monuments.

Below are also four family trails, each of which will take around 1.5-2 hours, aimed at 7-14 year olds and their families. We are a Children’s University Learning Destination, so the trails and family activities at St Stephen’s Church will qualify for CU passport stamps.

KING STREET TRAIL

This tour will take you past the four surviving churches of King Street (St Mary the Less, St Peter Parmentergate, St Julian and St Etheldreda), as well as the street’s eight lost churches. King Street is an ancient roadway running south to north through the city. It was very busy with merchants in the Middle Ages, but gradually became a poor area as they moved elsewhere.

The tour takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete.

NORTH OF THE RIVER

This tour includes six medieval churches north of the river Wensum including two in Magdalen Street – St Saviour and St Clement – and others in Oak Street. It also includes St George Colegate which is the sole church north of the river still used for religious worship. The trail highlights not only the splendid buildings but some of the modern cultural uses for which they have become well-loved.

Traditionally Norwich north of the river had its own identity – it was a bustling, densely populated urban area that was home to the city’s traditional industries such as weaving and shoe making. It was served by many churches, some of which – including St Margaret in Combusto at the north end of Magdalen Street where hanged criminals were buried – no longer exist.

This tour takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

ST PETER HUNGATE PARISH

This trail encompasses two of the most picturesque historic streets of old Norwich, as well as sections of gardens and riverbank. The trail is different from others in this series; its theme is a single parish – one historic and contemporary community, focused around just one of Norwich’s 31 medieval parish churches.

St Peter Hungate itself is a very special church. It was the first in the whole Church of England to be reused for a secular purpose, opening as The Museum of Ecclesiastical Art in 1932. Reuse was a revolutionary approach to preserving these buildings, and for that reason Hungate is a ‘parent’ of the 18 other churches let out by Norwich Historic Churches Trust today.

This tour takes about 30 minutes to an hour or so, depending on how much time you spend at each stopping point, and whether or not you go inside any of the buildings.

CONESFORD TRAIL (ANCHORESSES IN MEDIEVAL NORWICH)

This trail will lead you through Conesford and its environs. In the Middle Ages this area was comprised of staithes and quays, industrial plant (lime works/quarry), an area for the slaughter of livestock in nearby Ber Street, aspirational merchants’ houses, as well as an Augustinian friary, Carrow Priory (Norwich’s only convent outside the city wall) and a hospital (Hildebrond’s or Ivy Hall), in St Edward’s churchyard, King Street.

The trail takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

MERCHANTS AND MONUMENTS

This trail includes six of the medieval churches in the centre of Norwich including St John Timberhill and St John Maddermarket. It also takes in St Peter Mancroft, one of the finest parish churches in the country, and nearby St Stephen’s. Three of these churches are used for religious worship, the other three are repurposed churches.

The trail highlights the contribution made to the city’s history by its wealthy merchants and how they are commemorated by the often ornate monuments that mark their passing.

The trail takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour and a brief access guide is available.

 

 

FAMILY TRAIL: ANGELS AND DRAGONS

This trail begins at St Stephen’s, and heads in a clockwise direction past the sites of the nine medieval churches which lie to the west of the city centre. Three are still used for worship, whilst five now have other uses, and only the tower remains for one. Allow 1.5-2 hours to complete.

FAMILY TRAIL: KING STREET

This trail begins at All Saints, in Westlegate, heads up Ber Street, then drops down the hill to King Street. It passes the sites of nine medieval churches which lie in the south part of the city. Three are now in ruins or have disappeared, and just two are still used for worship. Allow 1.5-2 hours to complete.

FAMILY TRAIL: OVER THE WATER

This trail begins at St George’s, Colegate, and heads in a clockwise direction past nine medieval churches, and the site of a tenth. All are located to the north of the river, in the oldest part of the city, known as Norwich Over the Water. Allow 1.5-2 hours to complete.

FAMILY TRAIL: CATHEDRAL QUARTER

This trail begins at St Andrew’s Church, and passes the sites of ten medieval churches. As well as St Andrew’s, two have now disappeared, five are clustered together near the west side of Tombland close to the Cathedral and another two are to the north of the Cathedral Close. Allow 1.5-2 hours to complete.