In which Lucy embarks on a Hidden History Tour in the heart of Norwich city centre
About six months ago, I clicked on a link in The EDP’s Twitter feed, suitably intrigued by what was being dubbed Norwich’s Diagon Alley.
The article explained that historical buildings had been unearthed beneath KindaKafe on Castle Meadow in Norwich. It even hinted at the presence of secret tunnels under the city streets. Who isn’t interested in that?
It even hinted at the presence of secret tunnels under the city streets. Who isn’t interested in that?
As someone who wants to open all the closed doors in museums, I was thrilled when KindaKafe announced it would offer Hidden History Tours. Turns out I’m not the only one. Tickets were in such high demand that I missed out on the first round!
Thankfully, they’ve proven so popular that KindaKafe is now regularly running tours and tickets are available online here.
Going Underground: Hidden History Tour
I eventually got tickets for late April. And although this is a review post, I don’t want to give too much away. There are several surprises on the tour and I don’t want to ruin them for you. If you’re even slightly interested in the history of Norwich though, I’d recommend getting a ticket.
Our guide, Sarah, was a font of knowledge. She led us through labyrinthine corridors, down steep staircases and through so many doors that most of us lost our bearings.
During the Hidden History Tour, Sarah explained how Norwich has changed over the past 1,000 years. As conquests and rulers came and went, so too did their cultures and architecture, changing Norwich in their wake. It was fascinating to learn that even ground level altered several times.
She shared stories of former inhabitants of the local buildings too, including Ponds shoe shop, along with her own theories on how these buildings evolved and changed over time.
Read more: Oxburgh Hall
She also pointed out key details that are easy to miss. I love historical graffiti. There’s something magical about someone leaving a mark that lasts for centuries. Imagine how pleased I was to discover some carved into the wall as we explored!
Each Hidden History Tour group is limited to just 12 people, so everyone has ample opportunity to ask Sarah questions and take a closer look at the details. So although the tour only lasted an hour, I learned so much about Norwich. I’m now hoping for something similar in Tombland!
Main Image courtesy of Geograph
- Fascinating insights into local history10
So much interesting information
Not long enough!