Local History Study Group
Our area: Conesford
As well as covering all aspects of Dragon Hall on this website, we also include selected information and documents about the local area, that is the King Street/Ber Street area. In the Middle Ages this was known as Conesford, one of the four Great Wards into which the City was divided for governing purposes. It was sub- divided into Upper Conesford and Nether Conesford and King Street was known as Conesford Street. The Ward extended as far as Tombland to the north and to Carrow in the south, and from the river to Ber Street in the west. This name was still being used for electoral purposes in 1830.
There are two main aspects of our coverage of this area: our Local History Study Group and our small on – line archive of documents relating to the area. See details below.
Our Local History Study Group
Why is it called ‘Howard House’? Where was Synagogue Street? What was the Argyle Street Alternative Republic? Where did Pink Floyd perform in King Street? Which member of the Boleyn family owned property in King Street? Who was Fag Ash Lil? What was Conesford?
If you’re interested in finding the answers our Study Group might be for you.
What do we do?
Our aim is to provide an informal and friendly forum for discussion of local history from the earliest times to today, largely related to the King Street area. The area is rich in historical material, from Jurnet’s house (aka Wensum Lodge) to Julian of Norwich to Boulton and Paul’s works. It has been researched and written about extensively over many decades so there is a lot of material available but most of us are only aware of small parts of it. So our main aim is to bring some of this material to light and to build up a corpus of knowledge and references all related to our area.
We are also building up a small Local History Archive of material of any type and of any period relating to the King St and Ber St area, i.e. medieval 'Conesford'. We welcome material sent in by anyone which relates to this area, however brief, and we particularly welcome people's memories of growing up in this area. So far our Archive consists of transcripts of some interviews about life in the area which were done for the King Street Community Voices project in 2010 - 2012, and a vivid memoir about growing up in the area in the 1950's: In the Shadow of the Castle by John Stevens.
We meet monthly in Dragon Hall, courtesy of the National Centre for Writing for about 90 minutes. Two or three members of the group give a short presentation about a building, person, event etc. followed by discussion and questions. There is no formal membership or subscription and we are open to anyone interested in the history of this area and Norwich generally. We do not expect any original research as there is so much material in the library or on line. We can offer suggestions for topics and help with sources of information.
Who are we?
The Group originated in the Dragon Hall Heritage Volunteers but we also include some King Street area residents or members of their families and other interested people. The area’s population is soon to be greatly expanded by the development of St Anne’s Wharf and we hope to contribute to building the local community.
Our Local History Archive
King Street Community Voices
The first items to be placed on line here are some transcriptions of interviews with residents of the area which were recorded as part of the King Street Community Voices project 2010 – 2012. They provide a fascinating insight into King Street life from before World War II up to the 1960s or 70s
Links to other local history organisations, sites and resources
- East Anglian Film Archive
- George Plunkett’s photographs of Norwich
- Norfolk Archaeological and Historical Research Group (NAHRG)
- Blomefield’s History of Norwich Vol.3 & Vol.4
- Norfolk Record Office
- Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society
- Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society
- Norwich Heritage Projects
- The Norwich Society
- Norfolk Historic Building Group
- Norwich Historical Churches Trust
- Records of the City of Norwich, ed. Hudson and Tingey: Vol.I Vol.2