Original features

January 15, 2009

The Dominican Blackfriars founded St Andrew's monastery in Norfolk between 1307 and 1310. The friary was purchased by the city in 1540 during the reign of Henry VIII and was made into "a fayre and large halle, well pathed, for the mayor and his bretheren".

St Andrew's Hall has been used for guild meetings, as an assize court and as a corn exchange. It now hosts events such as fashion shows, a celebrated beer festival, weddings and the graduation ceremonies of the Norwich University College of the Arts.

The remains of an anchorite cell, where at least two devotees walled themselves in, can still be seen by the north door.

The other surviving sections of the monastery around the cloister acted as the city's workhouse until 1859, but were subsequently adopted for educational purposes and are now rented by the college.

The East Garth, where the monks were lodged and grain was stored, which proved crucial in feeding the city during the great famine of 1315-17, now welcomes students of visual studies.

The West Garth houses the student union bar. Attached to it is another teaching space in the St George's building, where the monks once brewed beer.

Send suggestions for this architectural series to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

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