Norwich Castle Museum – Foundry Bridge and Railway Station in 19th Century (John Newman)


On display in Norwich Castle Museum, this scene isn’t easily recognisable today as the bridge has been replaced and the railway station shifted a little bit. It’s a print by John Newman dating from the middle of the nineteenth century and shows what was then Norwich Thorpe railway station, now just Norwich as they’ve shut all the others.

A wooden bridge was constructed to cross the River Wensum in 1810, with the lattice iron arch bridge which is visible in the above print added in 1844 to serve the new railway station. A more substantial replacement was constructed in the yard of the station and in 1886 it was rolled over to use the same abutments as the previous structure. That 1886 structure is still there today and there are people still merrily canoeing and boating under the bridge.


The railway station was first constructed in 1844 and the adjoining current railway station opened in 1886 when a larger building was needed. Which is when they also needed a bigger bridge…. I think it’s quite an attractive railway station and it must have been exciting as it was the first in the city, as Norwich Victoria didn’t open until 1849 and Norwich City didn’t open until 1882.

The older railway station was initially used as a goods station, but was then faffed about with and a new brick structure added in 1921 which is still standing today.

And there’s the larger building on the left, which is still the city’s main railway station. The building on the right is the 1921 structure which I think is used by train crew now. Vehicles once entered the railway station on this corner, but that was sub-optimal from a safety point of view, so cars now come through on a road between the two buildings.