Seven of Norwich’s oldest businesses

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Posted:
7:00 a.m. on January 9, 2022



Update:
8:45 am January 9, 2022

In a city steeped in history, a number of different industries and businesses have been established in the area.

While some have died out after their prime, a number are still flourishing and helping to make Norwich a vibrant place to live and work.

From printers to department stores, here are some of the oldest businesses still in operation today.


Maids Head Hotel.
– Credit: Archant

1. Maids Head Hotel

Where: 20 Tombland, Norwich, NR3 1LB

The Maids Head Hotel claims to be one of the oldest hotels in the UK and the site has been used in the hospitality industry since the mid-1090s.

It is located in one of the oldest parts of the city and is right next to Norwich Cathedral, which was built in Norman times.

The hotel is still thriving today, having been taken over by the Chaplin family in 2012, who undertook a number of renovations to bring the business into the 21st century.


Norwich Fashion Week windows are displayed.  Winsor Bishop.  Photo: Bill Smith

Norwich Fashion Week windows are displayed. Winsor Bishop. Photo: Bill Smith
– Credit: Bill Smith – Archant

2. Winsor Bishop

Where: 39-43 London Street, Norwich, NR2 1HU

This jewelry store in the heart of the city is one of the UK’s oldest surviving jewelers.

It has a history of 187 years and continues to sell a wide range of premium products.

He is currently holding a sale of over £ 2million of discounted items to help fund a refurbishment project.


Jarrold The Store, Norwich.  Photo: Steve Adams

Jarrold The Store, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams
– Credit: Steve Adams

3. Jarrold

Where: 1 – 11 London Street, Norwich, NR2 1JF

The Jarrold Company was started in Woodbridge, Suffolk in 1770 by John Jarrold, but moved to Norwich in the next century in 1823.

It is probably the largest and oldest private enterprise and the involvement of the founding family continues to this day.

While other department stores such as Debenhams and House of Frazer have been forced to close in recent years, Jarrold remains popular with locals and visitors alike.


History of Colman group printing.  The old shop in St Andrews Hill, Norwich.Photo by SIMON FINLAY.

History of Colman group printing. The old shop in St Andrews Hill, Norwich.Photo by SIMON FINLAY.
– Credit: Archant Norfolk

4. Colman Group

Where: Avian Way, Norwich NR7 9AJ

The family business has been in existence for over 160 years and is based in Norwich at three locations.

The printing press developed considerably during this period, shifting from letter printing to lithographic printing and has now switched to digital printing in order to meet modern demands.

The company has three departments, ranging from stationery and wholesale printing supplies to greeting cards.


DIY Thorns in Norwich

DIY Thorns in Norwich
– Credit: Archant

5. Thorns DIY store

Where: 22 Exchange Street, Norwich, NR2 1AT

Thorns was established in 1835 by a London merchant named Robert Elliot Thorn.

Mr Thorn, who owned many properties in the city, saw that there was a gap in the market for a hardware store and decided to set up his business.

It was then passed down to the Paston family and has remained their property ever since, continuing to provide the people of Norwich with a wide range of DIY supplies to this day.


Jamie Archer of Archer's Butchers celebrating their success in the Q Guild National Sausage Competition

Jamie Archer of Archer’s Butchers celebrating their success in the Q Guild National Sausage Competition. Photo: ANTONY KELLY
– Credit: Archant

6. Archers Butchers

Where: 177-179 Plumstead Rd, Norwich NR1 4AB

Established for over 90 years, Archers is a third generation family butcher’s shop.

He started life in Norwich Market, but quickly spread his wings to have several stores in the city.

The company stands for high quality, locally raised meat and says it views butchery as “an art form” and has passed techniques down through generations.


Barratt and Cooke Norwich the oldest companies

Barratt and Cooke is a family owned brokerage firm that has been in existence since 1880
– Credit: Google

7. Barratt and Cooke

Where: 5 Opie Street, Norwich NR1 3DW

Founded in 1880 by Leigh Barratt, the brokerage firm is one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the industry in the country.

Barratt and Cooke are located in the heart of the city and manage around £ 1.5 billion in funds.

The fourth generation of the Barratt family continues to work in the company.

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