Walking down St Stephen’s Street, you’d never know that Marble Hall existed. Away from the crowds off the busy main road, take a right into Surrey Street to find Surrey House – working home of Aviva.
Surrey House is home to Marble Hall a stunning piece of architecture designed by local architect George Skipper commissioned by The Norwich Union Life Insurance Society’s directors. Today the building is home to Aviva (formally Norwich Union). The Palladian exterior is impressive but the interior is WOW with 15 varieties of marble used to make 40 columns. Originally the marble was destined for Westminster Cathedral however due to logistical difficulties the marble had to be sold
on; hence it came to be in Norwich. See classically inspired frescos and a glass atrium, it also contains an ‘air fountain’- an early form of air conditioning, a 12 pointed floor medallion and a chiming skeleton clock made for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Whilst this is a working building, it is open to members of the public free of charge during office hours Monday to Friday. Free tours of the building can be arranged by calling 01603 681062.
Free entry. Hidden gem. The doors close at 6pm.