The Norwich Society

About us

About us

Caring for this fine city’s beauty and history: The Norwich Society is here to act as a passionate custodian and champion of the built environment and public spaces in Norwich and its surroundings.

As the city’s civic society, The Norwich Society is an independent community-based charity, supporting the preservation, development and improvement of features of historic interest of our city. We also use the expertise of architects, town planners, surveyors and other industry professionals within our committees to comment on significant planning decisions in the area on behalf of the public. And we encourage exploration and enjoyment of Norwich’s history through a range of talks, walks and other events, as well as regular publications.

From saving the historic Elm Hill area from demolition in the 1920s, to recent advocacy for better development of the Anglia Square site, we’ve been championing the built environment and public spaces in Norwich and celebrating the city’s unique character and beauty since 1923.

Our membership is our strength – find out more about joining us here.

Our Charitable Objectives are:

  • To encourage public interest in and care for the beauty, history and character of Norwich and its surrounding
  • To encourage the preservation, development and improvement of features of general public amenity or historic interest in Norwich and its surroundings
  • To encourage high standards of architecture and town planning in Norwich and its surroundings

We further these objectives by means of meetings, exhibitions, lectures, publications, and other publicity, by cooperation with other bodies, and by promotion of schemes of a charitable nature.

We also do this by:

  • Appraising significant planning applications to encourage sympathetic and high-quality developments
  • Highlighting the best modern architecture, through the biennial Design and Craftsmanship Awards
  • Contributing to strategic planning and town planning that will shape Norwich’s character and quality of life going forward
  • Encouraging reductions in the city's climate change emissions
  • Recognising and promoting listed or significant buildings, other monuments and the city’s unique character and heritage, such as via the Local List
  • Proactively monitoring the cleanliness and appearance of the civic environment to help maintain high standards
  • Enhancing appreciation of this city with a range of events, publications and social media content to help people enjoy the best of the city

Find out more about the Society’s committees and their work


The Norwich Society - Five Year Forward Plan 2018 - 2022 document sets out the Norwich Society’s framework for its activity, ethos and objectives for the next five years. The plan includes an Action Plan which will be updated and agreed each year as part of the planning and budget-setting process. Norwich Society members and other key stakeholders have been consulted on this plan which was agreed by the Society’s Executive Committee in December 2017.

Read the Plan here

Over 90 years of valuable service

There are many achievements that we can celebrate since The Norwich Society was first formed in 1923.

Did you know that without our work, the Tudor timber-framed buildings of Elm Hill would have been torn down and replaced by industrial units. Also, medieval Bishop’s Bridge over the River Wensum and Theatre Street’s much-loved Assembly House would have be demolished.

Read more about the Society’s history and achievements

Charitable status

The Norwich Society is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), registration number 1189593.