Nigel and I visited City Hall this week on a guided tour organised as part of the Heritage Open Days scheme. This scheme is a national one and it offers opportunities to see inside buildings or parts of buildings that are not normally open to the public. Obviously, as a public building, a lot of City Hall is in fact normally open to the public but today we got to see inside the Council Chamber, a committee room and the Lord Mayor’s Parlour, which I don’t think normally are. We also had a guide telling us some interesting facts and some history about the building.
During our tour we happened to meet the current Lord Mayor who is Councillor Brenda Arthur and Nigel was allowed to hold and wear the mayor’s chains for a few minutes. Nigel also got to sit in the hot seat of the Council Chamber!
The following slideshow starts with a number of views of the exterior and then follows with some of the interiors. Clicking on any of the photos will open up a full screen slideshow.
City Hall is an Art Deco building completed in 1938, designed by architects Charles Holloway James and Stephen Rowland Pierce. It has a 185 foot clock tower with a bell that weighs around 3 tonnes. The building retains many of its original features and fittings.
It’s easy for me, as a Norwich resident, to walk past this and take it for granted. I’m therefore glad that I did the tour, as it made me stop and think about it. I have to say that the more time I spent looking at the building and it’s features, the more I appreciated it’s beauty and style. Do go and see it for yourself.
City Hall is right in the city centre at the top end of the market square. It’s about 15 minutes walk from Wedgewood House. You can see all of the things that I saw any working day except for the Chamber, committee room and parlour. To see those, you’ll need to book yourself on to the next Heritage Open Day next Septmber. Get yourself on their mailing list to get news about that on the Heritage City website and book early. Some of the tours are extremely popular!