A building of major historical and architectural importance on one of the City’s most historic open spaces. Facing on to the old Saxon market place, the house was built for Augustine Steward, three times mayor of Norwich between 1540 and 1556, and was headquarters to the royal forces that crushed Kett’s Rebellion in 1549.
The building is on a long, narrow plot typical of a time when householders were taxed on the length of their frontage. It is timber-framed with two storeys, an attic and undercroft, jettied overhangs and an underpassage through to the churchyard of St George Tombland. Owned by the City Council, it was offered to the Trust as a project for specialist care when ongoing repairs uncovered a major problem.
It was decided to take up the challenge, and the house was stabilised and completely restored after the Council had granted a 125-year lease and paid for repair costs to date. As with 11-15 Fye Bridge Street, the Trust decided the building was too important not to be accessible to the public, and much of it is let to businesses that allow this – at the time of publication these include an antiques centre and a basement art gallery. It is also at present the headquarters of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.