Norwich the Old City The King of Hearts

11 - 15 Fye Bridge Street, Norwich
Map Ref: City Centre C3/D3

King of Hearts, Fyebridge StreetFor this Photo-Tour we go over the river to Fyebridge Street.
As we cross over Fye Bridge, on the right hand side of the street we see the impressive range of buildings at the junction of Fyebridge Street and Fishergate. Right on the corner is the King of Hearts Coffee house, but we will walk by that for now - we'll pop in for a coffee and something to eat at the end of the tour.

After the Coffee shop are what looks like 3 shop fronts. In fact that is what they have been for a long time, but you will notice the end of a stone wall between the coffee shop and number 11. There is another end wall at the far side of number 15. These two walls mark the frontage of an impressive 15/16th century merchants house that despite all the alterations over the following centuries, parts of which still survive.

We'll make our way to the centre shop front and go inside....

Walking through the 19th century shop front, we go up a couple of steps and turn left into the Art Gallery.
When the restoration was taking place in the 1980's, only the timbered ceiling was visible. Further exploration led to the discovery of the blocked off window. All of 20 feet (over 6 metres) in length, it is an impressive sight, and the longest found in Norwich.

Leaving the Art Gallery and turning left, we go outside into the courtyard where we can better appreciate the window we looked at inside. It also give us a look at the other features of the old building - the first floor window which had to be reconstructed, and the tall windows around the staircase, which again were discovered blocked off.

Before we leave the courtyard, turn around to the wall opposite the main windows. Here is a later discovery - 10 years after the King of Hearts opened, No 9 Fyebridge Street (now the Coffee House) was bought and this doorway was discovered.
The carving on one side for the door has the initials TTS. On the other side a portrait of a lady. The dark coloured trangle to the left of the lady contains a carving of a corn cob, leading one to believe there is an American connection with whoever TTS was....

Back inside, up the stairs to the room above the Art Gallery, the last room we will visit.
The beamed ceiling in this room was hidden under a Georgian plaster ceiling. Today this is the Music Room.

And that concludes our short visit. There is more I could tell you, but I'll leave you to discover that for yourself. There are guided tours of the premises during the summer months, and all year round there are recitals and readings.
For details of these check out the King of Hearts web site at

Now let's go and have that cup of coffee......

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Copyright © Ken Ward 2005
Photographs Copyright © Ken Ward 2005 (unless otherwise stated)
Last Updated: 13 September 2005

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