We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Excellent visit”
Review of Dragon Hall

Dragon Hall
Ranked #51 of 117 things to do in Norwich
More attraction details
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 9 March 2017

Visited with vernacular architecture group, our volunteer guide was very welcoming and informative. A wonderful and interesting building well worth the visit.

Date of experience: March 2017
1  Thank Devontraveller32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (59)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"ancient building"
in 3 reviews
"national centre"
in 2 reviews
"open to the public"
in 3 reviews
in 8 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 16 reviews

3 - 7 of 59 reviews

Reviewed 9 March 2017

A great bit of heritage but is sadly subject to a tour to be seen and unfortunately my tour guide was everso quiet and slow, so it was a bit boring!

Date of experience: February 2017
Thank kathyf734
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2016 via mobile

Fantastic architecture and great history of Norwich can be found in dragon hall. The staff are all incredibly helpful as well

Date of experience: December 2016
Thank Justtrytolikeme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2016

This outstanding Tudor Hall was built by Robert Toppes; the Richard Branson of the 15thC. Books are available locally for more details of the history and about Toppes.
The Hall is located a 10 minute stroll from the city centre in a very pretty historic part of Norwich by the lovely River Wensum. To arrive by boat in the 15th century and see the Hall from the river would have been an impressive experience to customers and visitors.

Though tiled today, the building's roof would have been thatched originally impressing any businessmen arriving to inspect the merchandising contained within.

Inside the Hall Toppes spared no expense. Sadly much of the splendour has faded; only one painted wooden dragon in the main hall survives. Originally, there would have been 8. The dragon is a significant icon in Norwich dating back to an ancient annual event organised by the city elders for the celebration of St George & his slaying of the dragon. There is still a celebration in Norwich every St George's Day.

It was rumoured that some of the other wooden dragons were removed by patrons when it was used as a pub during the 2nd world war. Some serving US men at the time may have taken a few back to the States. Underinvestment in the Hall means that no one has been commissioned to re-create those missing iconic dragons.

Visits are advertised on the Norwich Writers' Centre website and our visit, lasting about an hour, cost just £2.50. It deserves more publicity.

What saddens us so much is that the Hall is not supported by enough ongoing investment and Norwich City Council in its 'wisdom' gave approval for the redevelopment of the surrounding riverside land with new buildings which will not be in sympathy with this Grade 1 listed Hall. Worse again is that once new housing goes up, the lovely view of the river from the Hall will be gone forever.
Soon that vista created by Robert Toppes will be destroyed. Shame on Norwich City Council for crass unsympathetic planning!

So, if you love Tudor architecture and medieval history the time to visit Dragon Hall is now! Enjoy.

Date of experience: October 2016
2  Thank eileendover32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 8 August 2016

This is a wonderful building, beautifully and sensitively restored but please note that it is now only open to the public on one day each month and on the four days of the Heritage Open Days weekend in September. Please go to the Writers' Centre Norwich website for details.

Also on the Writers' Centre website, under 'About' and then 'About Dragon Hall', you can find summaries of its history, some research documents and three short films. You can also see how to contact the Dragon Hall Heritage Volunteers who give talks to local societies on a number of related topics. They also offer the Mummers' play: 'St George and the Dragon'.

Date of experience: August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Dragon Hall also viewed

Norwich, Norfolk
Norwich, Norfolk

Been to Dragon Hall? Share your experiences!

Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing