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Norwich Heart, Heritage Economic & Regeneration Trust


The Guildhall’s hidden heritage uncovered in new tours

Monday, 5th January 2015


One of Norwich’s most iconic buildings will reveal its hidden heritage every Friday as the public get the opportunity to descend into The Guildhall on new visitor tours.


Norwich’s Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART) will be running The Guildhall tours every Friday, starting this 9th January (excluding Bank Holidays) at 10am and 2pm. 


Visitors will discover the unique history of The Guildhall, England's largest and most elaborate provincial medieval city hall, in this hour-long tour from the Guildhall Guides, which opens up the building’s hidden heritage. Tour guides will reveal the often unseen 15th century building, including the elaborate Mayor’s Council Chamber with its decorative woodwork and stunning stained glass; the virtually intact late Victorian courtroom with its oak panelling, and the atmospheric undercroft which pre-dates The Guildhall and was used to accommodate dangerous criminals.


HEART, which recently took over management of The Guildhall from Norwich City Council, plans to increase public access to the building and raise its profile as an attraction, and has also developed a series of events throughout the building. The Guildhall is one of the Norwich 12 – the finest collection of individually outstanding heritage buildings from the Norman, medieval, Georgian, Victorian and modern eras.


HEART CEO, Michael Loveday, said: “The Guildhall is a massively overlooked building – most people think it is a church – and we at HEART want to showcase its history, stunning interiors and importance to the city’s history as it was central to civic and judicial life for more than 600 years. These tours are a brilliant way to discover a truly amazing part of Norwich’s heritage.”


Tickets are £5 per person per tour, and can be booked via or bought on the door.


Please note that The Guildhall is a Grade I listed building, and is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible, and that there are many steps to negotiate throughout the building. 


For more information visit


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Notes to editors


For more information please contact Janet Robertson, Communications Co-ordinator at Norwich HEART on 01603 599578 or email, or Florence Reynolds, Communications Assistant, on 01603 599577 or  


Images of the Guildhall are available at 

About Norwich HEART


Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART) is a private, charitable trust set up to act as an umbrella organisation for all of the heritage on offer in Norwich. We strategically plan, regenerate, manage and promote Norwich’s heritage and act as a best practice model internationally for developing heritage as a social and economic regeneration vehicle. HEART manages The Guildhall, the largest and most elaborate medieval, provincial city hall in the country; organises and promotes Heritage Open Days in Norwich and Norfolk and ran the EU award-winning SHAPING 24 project. 

HEART receives support from bodies including the University of East Anglia and Norwich City Council and has received project funding from a variety of sources including European Union, HM Treasury, the East of England Development Agency and Norfolk County Council.