Norwich is a Fine City
At our first meeting of 2016, on the 5th January, 2016, we followed, what has become a tradition, and invited our wives and the wives of former Rotarians to join us for lunch at the Burlington Palm Hotel. Our speaker was Rotarian Rod Stopes who is a member of the Norwich Blackfriars Club. He is also a Town Guide at Norwich and, with the aid of a power point, he took us through nine centuries of buildings in Norwich, naming his presentation “Norwich is a Fine City”. Following the Norman Conquest in 1066 the Normans came to Norwich and during the Eleventh and twelfth Centuries built the Castle from stone brought from Northern France and which was, incidentally, refaced with Bath Stone in the middle of the Eighteenth Century. The Castle gave the Normans ‘physical power’ They got ‘commercial power’ from the construction of the covered market, which, with thirty fixed stalls, was the oldest in the country and spiritual power by the construction of the Cathedral, again with stone from Northern France. Rod knows his subject very well and he then``` took us through the centuries with the Great Hospital in the 13th Century. There were, at that time, nineteen hospitals in Norwich and leprosy was kept outside the city boundary. In the 14thCentury the Great Plaque/Great Death reduced the population from 20,000 to 9,000. The Dragon Hall was built in 1430 and The Guildhall (the former City Hall) in the 1440s, Strangers Hall in the 16thCentury, and The Assembly House, home of the Lord Chief Justice, in the 18thCentury. The 19th Century saw the construction by the Norwich Yarn Company of a venue for the arts and a base for silk cloths. There were many more constructions over the next 150 years bringing us up to date with the Forum which replaced the Old Library which had been destroyed by fire. Rotarian President Elect Diana Loveland thanked Rod for his excellent and informative talk and she hoped that at some time in the future we might see him again.