Streets of Norwich – Opie Street

Part of my Streets of Norwich project….

Norwich in the 1880s, with Opie Street not having change much since then. It connects Castle Meadow to London Street. The name of the street did have to be changed, as the legacy of the medieval period was that it was called Gropekuntelane, for reasons of prostitution, so it was changed in the 1860s to be named after Amelia Opie. Opie was a local woman who was a Quaker, a writer and she also involved herself in politics, particularly in the anti-slavery movement.

The street had also been called Devil’s Alley.

On the wall just to the left of the hairdressers on the right-hand side of the photo is a stone plaque dating from around the 1930s marking where a sedan chair stood for hire in the early nineteenth century.

The street is a little steep (especially for Norfolk) and at one point there were steps along part of its route up to Castle Meadow.

A post-box from the reign of King Edward VII. One thing I didn’t know until today, and it’s one thing that I didn’t really need to know, is that the Post Office don’t need planning permission to put a new post-box up. So they can shove them where they like, which must be an exciting possibility.

What is now Trailfinders was once The Queen public house.

In the 1939 register, Louis Marchesi was living at number 6 Opie Street, a man who founded the Round Table movement in 1927. There’s also a pub named after him opposite the Erpingham Gate, fortunately reverted back recently after it was briefly renamed to Take 5.