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9 Things in Norwich that just make sense

Norwich is one of the most unique cities in the UK. From our strange street names to our vibrant market and quirky independents: some things in Norwich just make sense. Below, we have put together a list of some Norwich’s most unique locations, attractions and idioms that you need to explore this September!

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The mysterious keyboard

Hidden between Elm Hill and Princes Street, across from our very own Boardman House, you may notice a familiar shape in the pavement that shouldn’t be there – an old keyboard. The local legend surrounding this bizarre incident ranges from urban myths around a keyboard falling off a truck in the 60s to proof of an ancient, technologically-advanced civilization.

It was only recently that the mystery was solved: the keyboard imprint was created during the 90s by a then student of Norwich University of the Arts, Molly Sole. Molly had the idea for the installation while walking to university, where she happened upon some wet cement and pushed a keyboard mould she had made into it.

A building covered in words

Another mysterious art installation in Norwich can be found on the old Eastern Electricity building on Westwick Street, which can be seen across the river from Duke Street Riverside. The exterior of the building is inscribed in lime whitewash with over 40,000 words from Sir Thomas More’s entire 100-page long book ‘Utopia’.

The installation is by artist Rory Macbeth, who in 2006 chose the building for his latest art installation for the East International contemporary exhibition.

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The market and seagulls

Our famous city centre market boasts a colourful roof of 189 independent stalls and has over 900 years of history. You can find everything on our great Norwich market, from Churros and mushy peas to house plants and vinyl records. The seagull, a regular to our market, can always be found hovering near by – so remember to hide those chips!

Strange street names

Norwich’s street names carry a lot of history dating back hundreds of years, some of which appear more humorous than historical today. Look out for street names such as Rampant Horse Street and Lower Goat Lane.


A stone’s throw away from campus, Tombland is steeped in history and legend. One legend tells the story of a family of occupants who died from the plague in 1578, with only one, a young girl, who survived. Her ghost is said to haunt the house and alleyway, but if you don’t fancy being brave, you can also explore Tombland’s fantastic escape rooms: Cryptic Escape.

The local lingo

Do you know your Pollywiggles from your Bishy Barnabee’s?

Norfolk is famous for its unique dialect, boosting a strange vocabulary of words such as Pollywiggle (Tadpole) and Bishy Barnabee (Ladybird) to phrases such as ‘On the huh’ (On an angle) to ‘Slow you down’ (Please slow down). Outside of conversation, you can even find these phrases on signposts across Norwich and Norfolk.

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The bunker at Grosvenor Fish bar

Have you ever eaten fish and chips in a bunker? At Grosvenor Fish bar, it just makes sense. Nestled on the corner of Lower Goat Lane, Grosvenor is not your average fish and chips, serving dishes such as “Bass with Sass” and “Waco Taco” in a vintage bunker-style restaurant. Not to mention their iconic pop-art décor!

A bar with no menu

If you are looking for more strange places to grab some food and drink, Norwich is your place. At first glance, a boarded-up house on St Benedict’s Street, this mysterious building is actually home to an antique cocktail bar. Norwich’s little secret, the Aboretum, has no menu; instead, creating unique cocktails based on their guest’s favourite flavours and spirits. The cocktail bar/shop also contains several antiques available to buy and you may well see the owner’s friendly dogs having a sniff around too!

The amount of pubs

One of Norwich’s biggest claims to fame is the legend surrounding its pubs and churches. According to legend, Norwich has the most pubs per square mile, with 365 pubs, one for every day of the year and 52 churches for every Sunday. That’s one pub per 584 residents! We recommend the Rumsey Wells on St Andrews Street for a delicious pie and a drink or The Mischief on Fye Bridge Street for a great student night!

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