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'Ah! there is good blood in that old city, and in the whole circumjacent region of which it is the capital.'
George Borrow, Lavengro
Norwich Cathedral from the cloisters
Norwich is a medieval city and the capital of Norfolk and has always been the main commercial centre of the county. Originally its wealth was built on wool and weaving but today it has many modern businesses - particularly in the financial services sector. Up until the 19th Century Norwich was England's second city - however its influence declined with the advent of the Industrial Revolution.
Historically, Norwich has always looked towards Europe due to poor transport links with London. During the 16th Century Flemish refugees - known locally as the 'Strangers' - moved to Norwich to avoid religious persecution and helped to expand the wool and cloth trade. At one time 40% of the city's population was Dutch, Flemish or Walloon.
Norwich has a wealth of architectural heritage including: the Castle, the Cathedral, the Assembly House (a favourite of Pevsner), Dragon Hall (the oldest surviving merchant's house in Europe), the Great Hospital and the new Forum which was designed by Sir Michael Hopkins.
Norwich also boosts the first artistic group to form outside London - in the shape of the Norwich School Painters, the first provincial library (1608), the first provincial newspaper (1701), the first non-denominational cemetery (the Rosary in Thorpe Hamlet) and the busiest public library in the country.
Norwich has long possessed a reputation as a non-conformist, radical city where Norfolk's motto 'do different' has been enthusiastically embraced. Many talented writers have been born or lived in Norwich and today the city is regarded as a centre of excellence for writing. The University of East Anglia's MA course in Creative Writing - which was set up by Malcolm Bradbury and Angus Wilson in 1970 - was the first of its kind in the country and is still thriving today. The UEA also houses the British Centre for Literary Translation.
In 2012 Norwich became England's first UNESCO City of Literature.
Famous writers associated with the city include:
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