Location of the Week – Elm Hill

The cobbled street of Elm Hill is one of Norwich’s most famous and historic streets, believed to be dating back to as early as 1200. Tightly packed with timber-framed buildings, Elm Hill is now home to a number of small cafes, art galleries, unique independent shops, and local residents.

Elm Hill in Norwich

The street takes its name from the elm trees that grew for many years at the western end of the street. Unfortunately, due to the presence of Dutch Elm Disease, only one tree remains standing. In 1507 a major fire ripped through Norwich, destroying over 700 houses. Elm Hill wasn’t immune from this disaster, with most of the buildings falling victim to the blaze and having to later be rebuilt. However, it is believed that the Britons Arms, dating back to 1347, survived the fire. Today, it’s a coffee house and restaurant.

Elm Hill in Norwich

During the Medieval period, this area of Norwich was home to some of the wealthiest merchants around, as the river Wensum nearby was an important commercial thoroughfare for those with business in Norwich. However, with the gradual decline of the weaving industry in Norwich, Elm Hill lost its significance and slowly degenerated into a slum area. Thankfully, in 1927, with persuasion from the Norwich Society,  Elm Hill got the renovation it needed. After plans for turning the area into a swimming pool were abandoned, the Norwich Corporation bought a number of properties in the area and demolished most of the slums.

Now, Elm Hill is one of the prettiest streets in the east of England. With its rich history and variety of businesses, Elm Hill is a must-see for anyone visiting our fine city.

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Stamp shop on the corner of Elm Hill in Norwich


Teddy bear shop on Elm Hill in Norwich


Elm Hill in Norwich