A Unique Asset
There are 32 medieval churches surviving in Norwich – more than anywhere else in northern Europe.
Few of these churches are still actively used for their original purpose of worship but many are redundant and looked after by the Norwich Historic Churches Trust and others, who aim to find new uses for them. These uses are very varied and include music and arts centres, artists studios, a dance school, a puppet theatre, a school for stone masons and other community uses.
Every church has a churchyard and these small green oases, scattered throughout the city centre, play an important part in the street scene of Norwich.
The churchyards comprise nearly half the open space in the city centre but many are rather neglected or little used.
Compare this picture of a very run-down St Stephens churchyard, taken before the Chapelfield development began, with the present view showing a lively, attractive space with a much more positive role in city life.
Community effort in St Stephen’s churchyard contributed to Norwich winning the Urban Regeneration category in the 2008 Britain in Bloom awards and the 2009 and 2016 international Communities in Bloom awards.