Once enclosed by 14th-century city walls, this is a place of stories. Priests once prayed here, archers once practised, and yeomen once trained to resist the Spanish Armada.

The garden, an oasis of tranquillity and beauty, comes alive with fairs and events, including the renowned Norfolk & Norwich Festival. The prestigious Norwich Theatre Royal brings the best of the performing arts from around the world to its stage, and the old chocolate factory that rose from WWII bombardment is now the site of our modern shopping centre, Chantry Place.

You might notice the old city walls around Chapelfield, as you drive into the centre of Norwich. The medieval city walls were begun in 1297, encircling 2.5 miles of the city and included 12 defensive gates.

It was the city walls that gave us the name ‘Chapelfield’. When the walls were built here in the 14th century, they enclosed the field of St Mary’s Chapel – part of a monastery which was once on the site where the Theatre Royal now stands.

Since then, the area has seen many uses. In the 15th century, you would have found jousting and archery practice here. Two centuries later, the area was a mass burial site for victims of the Great Plague. It was in 1880 that the ornamental gardens that you can now see, opened.

Now, find a colourful calendar of festivals in Chapelfield Gardens. This is where we start our iconic city centre 10k in the summer, and where you’ll find the heart of our Pride activity in June. The Norfolk and Norfolk Festival in May is the oldest independent arts festival in the UK, and each year brings with it an enormous mirrored travelling tent.


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