Norwich the Old City The Royal Arcade Page 2

Royal Arcade, Norwich

The 247 foot long avenue follows the shape of the yard of the old inn it replaced, and originally contained 24 shops with their bow fronted windows, plus a pub and a club room.
Strange to think that this was once the yard of an inn, with horse drawn coaches bringing guests to Norwich.
When built there was only natural light in the arcade itself. In the 1950's fluorescent strip lighting was added. Fortunately these were replaced in a restoration of the arcade in the late 1980's by the wrought-iron and glass lamps we see today, which blend in well with the feel of the arcade.

The bow shaped shop fronts with their rich timber contrast well with the tiling, but while you are looking around the shops take time to look above the shop fronts for a series of tiles designed by W.J. Neatby and made by Doulton with designs of peacocks and flowers & fruit.

Ornate tiles above the shops

In the middle of the Arcade, there is a branch to a side entrance from White Lion Street. But before we detour to that side entrance, look up at the raised centre section of the roof.

Tiles in centre section

Through the lamps you can see even more of the specially made tiles.

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Copyright © Ken Ward 2004
Photographs Copyright © Ken Ward 2004 (unless otherwise stated)
Last Updated: 08 November 2004


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Whenever you are walking around Norwich (or any town centre), remember to look above the modern shop fronts. You never know what fine old building might still be seen.