The city's early years

THE first meeting of 2010 for Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society is in the Northgate Room of the Central Library on Tolhouse Street at 7.

THE first meeting of 2010 for Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society is in the Northgate Room of the Central Library on Tolhouse Street at 7.30pm on Friday, January 15.

Brian Ayers, former Norfolk County Archaeologist, will give an illustrated lecture called An Archaeological History of Norwich to 1540.

The city of Norwich is a fascinating subject as little evidence of habitation exists in Roman times and the “Capital” of the area was Venta Icenoriam to the south west at modern Caister St Edmunds which was possibly the most easterly point where the River Yare could be easily crossed then.

Norwich is first mentioned about 900AD but by 1066 it had become one of the most important towns in the country and when the Cathedral was built in 1094 it became a city.


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Its “wic” name ending suggests it was originally a Viking trading port but that did not stop it from being burned by a Danish Army under Swegen Forkbeard in 1004 following the St Brice's Day Massacre of Danes ordered by Aethelread the Unready in 1002.

The Norman Conquest brought further strife to Norwich and a Castle was built disrupting the normal life of Norwich as did the building of the Cathedral requiring the destruction of houses and churches.

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The medieval history of Norwich is marked by rebellions, disputes between the church and the population and plagues. Hopefully Mr Ayers will be able to interpret the archaeological evidence to shine a light on both the turbulent and peaceful history of the county's capital before 1450.

Brian Ayers has been working in Albania recently but he still has a home in Norwich which continues fascinates him..

Admission is �2 at the door for non members.

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