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Norwich 12, A journey through the English city
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The Assembly House

THe Assembly House
THe Assembly House
THe Assembly House
THe Assembly House
THe Assembly House
The Assembly House
A mirror in the Assembly House
The Assembly House
The Assembly House


What

One of the most glorious examples of Georgian assembly rooms architecture in the country

A Georgian grade I listed building, the Assembly House was originally the site of a 13th century hospital and a secular college and church for priests, who lived a communal life in the surrounding hall and cloisters. 

The buildings were surrendered to the crown and destroyed. The Hobart Family built a townhouse on the site. It became known as Chapel of the Field House.

The house as it stands today was designed by the architect Thomas Ivory. It was used as a 'House of Assemblies' for the gentry of Norwich, and hosted a wealth of events and famous people.

The building was later used by Norwich High School for Girls, and, during the Second World War, Oliver Messel, appointed by the War Office used the building as a camouflage school. He went on to become a famous costume and theatrical set designer.

After the war the house underwent considerable restoration programme, encouraged by Messel and funded by leading Norwich shoe manufacturer, H. J. Sexton. The house was reopened once again as a centre for entertainment and the arts.

Today, the Assembly House is a registered arts charity that continues to support a varied visual and performing arts programme. It also hosts weddings, conferences and exhibitions.



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