go to content go to search box go to global site navigation

Norwich

History

Though Norwich’s history stretches back well over a thousand years, the city’s golden age was during the Middle Ages, when it was England’s most important city besides London. Edward III encouraged Flemish weavers to settle here in the 14th century, and their arrival helped establish the wool industry that fattened the city and sustained it right through to the 18th century.

Mass immigration from the Low Countries peaked in the troubled 16th century. In 1579 more than a third of the town’s citizens were foreigners of a staunch Protestant stock, which proved beneficial during the Civil War when the Protestant parliamentarians caused Norwich little strife.