Strangers' Hall

Strangers' Hall

One of Norwich’s most historic buildings, this magnificent Tudor house has been home to many of the city’s leading citizens since the 14th century.

There has been a substantial building on this plot since the 13th century or possibly even earlier.
The undercroft at Strangers’ Hall is thought to date from the 1320s when Ralph de Middelton owned a house on this site.

The undercroft was used to securely store, and possibly display, goods for sale.

The house on this site was seen as a prestigious dwelling and many merchants and mayors made their mark on the building - remodelling and extending it to reflect their wealth and status.
It is thought that the Great Hall was built during the 15th century, when William Barley, a mercer (cloth merchant) lived here.

Under Elizabeth I, England was a Protestant country and so welcomed the refugees. The asylum seekers first settled in Sandwich, Kent, in 1565. However Thomas Sotherton was keen to encourage these skilled workers to settle in Norwich because their skills in textile weaving made the immigrants of immense economic value.

In 1748 Strangers’ Hall became the official lodging of the Assize Judges who came to the city regularly to hear court cases. The Georgian dining room was installed for them, designed in the latest style with deep sash windows, painted wall panelling, decorated over-mantel and plaster ceiling.

In 1974 Norwich City Council joined with the other Norfolk local authorities to form the Norfolk Museums Service who now manage Stranger’s Hall.

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