Streets of Norwich – Blackfriars Street

Part of my Streets of Norwich project….

Blackfriars Street, which connects Fishergate with St. Saviour’s Lane.

This is a new street, which follows the same route as the southern half of Peacock Street, but it got split up when the Inner Ring Road was constructed. George Plunkett’s web-site has some photos of the amazing properties which were once located down this street. Some of his photos of this street from the 1930s make it look quite magical and I’m sure that it would have been seen today as very on-trend and probably had locations selling craft beer down it.

Council housing on the left, a new building complex of flats and houses behind them at the rear on the left, with Smurfit Kappa (formerly NCB) on the right. Very many years ago I thought that that this was the National Coal Board, but it was Norwich Corrugated Board. Shame it isn’t Norwich Craft Beer, but that’s a different matter.

Before this street was known as Peacock Street, it had the rather more exciting name of Rotten Row, likely because it was once a water course or ditch which had got a bit, er, damp and mouldy.

And, onto the name of this street, Blackfriars Street. This would be a wonderful name for a street where perhaps the Blackfriars once had a monastery, or perhaps a barn or some other connection. But, no, the Blackfriars had their religious house elsewhere in the city, which is today used for the Norwich Beer Festival amongst other things.

So, it seems that someone named the street Blackfriars Street since it is near to, well, Whitefriars. Which it has nothing to do with. The northern half of Peacock Street is still untouched and retains its name, but perhaps the council could have a little look at renaming this street as Rotten Row, because I like that name, it’s atmospheric and historic.