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“First visit to Dragon Hall in its new incarnation”
Review of Dragon Hall

Dragon Hall
Ranked #69 of 154 things to do in Norwich
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Dragon Hall is a magnificent Grade 1 listed medieval trading hall in the heart of Norwich. In April 2015 it became the home of Writers' Centre Norwich. Writers’ Centre Norwich is a literature development agency based in Norwich, England’s only UNESCO City of Literature. Our mission is to explore the artistic and social impact of creative writing through pioneering and collaborative projects regionally, nationally and internationally. We are audience-focused and artform-led, with an agenda of excellence, engagement and experimentation. We are proud custodians of the magnificent Dragon Hall and we are keen to ensure that the public can still access its history. Visit us for one of our guided tours and see the beautiful carved and painted dragon in the stunning timber crown post roof of the Great Hall. Discover more about Robert Toppes, the man that built Dragon Hall, commerce, trade and civic life in the 15th century and how Norwich became England's second city. After Toppes the building was changed and adapted over the centuries and the Great Hall was lost and only rediscovered in the 1970s above the attics of a row of terraced houses and shops. For further information and to find out when the next guided tour takes place, visit the Writers' Centre Norwich website.
Reviewed 2 January 2016

This was our second visit to Dragon Hall and our first since it has been in the hands of Writers' Centre Norwich (WCN). We took advantage of September's Heritage Open Days event to come along for a storytelling session and the launch of a local author's book.

Our earlier visit took place while the building was in the hands of the Norfolk and Norwich Heritage Trust. Then we enjoyed a guided tour from a very knowledgeable volunteer guide that took in the whole building and covered its history in depth. The guide told us then that the future of the building, which is owned by Norwich City Council, was under discussion and our visit highlighted some of the reasons why. We were the only walk-up visitors in the building at that time. However, it was being used that day as a conference venue and this sometimes made it awkward for our tour to continue. It was also questionable whether this magnificent Grade I listed building, that encompasses so much of the city of Norwich, really was being used to its best advantage.

Since then the building has been leased to the regional literature development agency for the East of England. This means that it is now rarely open to the public while this organisation realises its plans to open it in 2017 as a national centre for writing. Public access and the history and heritage aspect now take a back seat and, during our September visit, these were entirely secondary to the writing event that it was hosting.

The event, however, was superb, featuring local storyteller Dave Tonge, who had researched his tales from 16th century court records and other contemporary sources, giving a flavour of some of the material that made up his new book. He was a great performer who judged his audience perfectly and the 90 minutes he had to entertain us flew by.

So Dragon Hall is very much in transition at the moment and it remains to be seen how much of its future will be as a heritage venue or visitor attraction. It is to be hoped, however, that WCN do pay some heed to this aspect of the building and also that they continue to stage public events of the quality of the one we attended.

2  Thank LJHutchins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 11 of 57 reviews

Reviewed 12 December 2015

I attended a wedding party here and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The venue is beautiful with wooden beams and a nice beer garden. The toilets were very clean and the staff friendly.

Thank WorldFoodie32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2015

I am sure that it might be a great place to visit, but despite all current advertising and available fliers - it is now closed to visitors and now rented by some writers circle. There is no information displayed on or near the building. So trying doors, peering in through the windows does you no good. Very badly handled by the owners - whoever they maybe.

4  Thank Richard T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2015

An amazing building with such history attached to it. When you are there you really get a feel for how it was back then. It's lovely to see this building has been restored so beautifully. It can be hired out for functions at a cost. There are toilets.

Thank JaxB123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 May 2015

credit to the local authorities who have managed to preserve this medieval building`s main features (the amazing beamed roof particularly) whilst making it a usable working building. A little bit off the main tourist route it is well worth a visit (to be honest, a short visit) but by doing so you get to see a real slice of history that is becoming harder and harder to find..

1  Thank MattFS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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