Steve kindly organised a tour for 24 of us to visit the hidden rooms under KindaKafe in Norwich. Twelve members of Hike Norfolk went down at 19:00 and then the other twelve members went down at 20:00. I was in the latter group and was fortunate to have an extended tour which went on for one hour and forty minutes.
In short, the property was once lived and worked in by weavers, with the area to the rear being a courtyard. The building up of Castle Meadow meant that the ground level rose and the old property was extended upwards and a new frontage was constructed onto what was then known as Castle Ditches. So the courtyard disappeared under the new building and the old rooms became used as storage areas for Ponds the shoe shop.
Down one flight of stairs, this is the old first floor of the property, the windows are of the room where the weaving would once have taken place. This is the back of the property, which would have overlooked the courtyard.
Two flights of stairs down from where we started and this is the old ground floor of the house that was built here. The window frame is more recent, but is in the same place as the original window.
Inside the former living area of the house which is where the weavers would have lived. The floor above this is where they would have worked.
The ceiling of the property’s former ground floor, which has seen better days….
Old graffiti on the wall, seemingly dating to 1739. There’s a similar piece of graffiti in Norwich Cathedral which appears to be representative of a religious building, that’s my best guess for this as well.
An old bed, it’s thought that this was used when the basement was an air raid shelter during the Second World War.
And a desk lamp from the same period.
A separate undercroft area under a different section of the building. The strange collection of items are related to the escape rooms which have recently been opened as an attraction.
This door comes out on to Castle Meadow. All this history that I’ve walked straight by for years without even thinking about….
The rear of the building opens out into a courtyard area.
And our tour also came out opposite the Cosy Club and right near to Greggs. Which is very lovely indeed.
The guide was marvellous, she was engaging and knowledgeable and managed to keep talking for over 100 minutes on the topic. During this time she was never boring and didn’t seem to be tempted to move into the realms of making things up for effect, so there was solid history behind her dialogue. This tour is booked up for some months, and rightfully so given just how much heritage there is to see. I had expected the evening to be interesting, but I hadn’t expected to see this much or for the guide to be so engaging.