Hostry Visitor & Education Centre
Visitors to the Cathedral enter through a medieval archway which now forms part of the Hostry Visitor & Education Centre, a stunning new development, designed by Hopkins Architects and constructed on the foundations of the Benedictine monastic buildings. Opened by HM The Queen in 2010, it offers conference, choral and education facilities, as well as a rolling programme of art exhibitions where visitors can spend time before entering the Cathedral itself.
The Cathedral’s Japanese karesansui garden links the 21st Hostry Visitor and Education Centre with the original 11th century Cathedral buildings. Designed by Graham Hardman of the Japanese Garden Society, the garden offers all visitors a moment for contemplation and a space for physical, temporal and spiritual transition.
The musicians of Norwich Cathedral uphold a tradition of choral worship that stretches back almost unbroken to 1096. The music team includes the Master of Music, Organist, twenty boy choristers, twenty-four girl choristers, six choral scholars and six lay clerks. The oak choir stalls contain 15th century misericords (leaning-seats to support the monks during long services) showing a range of images, often humorous from daily life. Today the Choristers rehearse in a purpose-built Song School in the Hostry.
Two stories high, the Cloister was designed to house a community of approximately 100 monks. As in this time, the Cathedral, Refectory, Library and Hostry can all be accessed from the Cloister. In the centre is the Labyrinth, its many twists and turns reflecting the path of life. Visitors may sometimes see children dressed as monks wandering through the walkways. Each year the Cathedral welcomes over 6,000 school pupils and students, offering activities which support all key stages of the National Curriculum.
Refectory Restaurant & Coffee Shop
The Refectory, sister building to the Hostry and also designed by Hopkins Architects, has won many design awards. Cleverly accommodated within the footprint and remaining walls of the original monastic Refectory, the Restaurant and Coffee Shop provides light, spacious surroundings in which to enjoy tea and coffee, a freshly cooked hot lunch or a sandwich. All food is prepared on the premises by the Refectory’s talented team of chefs, using local and seasonal produce.
The Weston Room in the Cathedral’s Hostry is bright and spacious and provides a unique venue for conferences, meetings, seminars, music recitals and plays. Its sister building, the Refectory, offers another adaptable space for a range of uses. The Refectory can be booked for breakfast meetings and private evening functions, 6.30 pm to midnight. Both the Weston Room and the Refectory are stunning settings for wedding receptions.
(open daily 10am-5.00pm all year)
Norwich Cathedral Herb Garden is situated in the grounds of Emmaus House, near to where it is thought the herbs originally grew. The first herb gardens were created by monks. They were the only ones who could read classical Latin texts and had some knowledge of both physiology and botany. Today’s garden is a show garden of herbs, old and new, an educational resource for studying the increasingly crucial importance of plants in our lives, and a quiet place of great beauty and recreation ‘ for the whole community’.
Norwich Cathedral Close is the second largest in England with a rich mix of buildings and several fine and ancient gateways. Its 44 tranquil acres nestle as a village in the heart of the city; there are two ‘village greens’ and a lovely walk to Pull’s Ferry on the River Wensum. The Close offers a fine view of the Cathedral spire which is the second highest in the country and is home to a resident pair of Peregrine Falcons. Their nesting ledge can be viewed via a webcam set up by the Hawk and Owl Trust who are also setting up a watch point in the Cathedral Close where visitors can view the birds through telescopes.