Record Details

NHER Number:606
Type of record:Building
Name:Strangers Hall Museum, 6 Charing Cross


This former house is now shops and a museum. The earliest building here dates to around 1320-32 and the surviving undercroft relates to this house. Over time the site was owned and built upon by a succession of wealthy merchants. The most impressive structure is the great hall built by W. Barley in 1450 with a new wing added by T. Cowse in the later 15th century. Much of the current exterior, including the street range, dates to the 16th century. The ground floor is made from flintwork of this period and the first floor is timber framed and jettied. The building later fell into disrepair and was saved from demolition and restored in 1899. In 1994 the removal of render around window of 1530 revealed an original window frame, with shutter hinge and plaster reveals.


  • An oriel window at Strangers Hall, Norwich.  © Courtesy of Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service.


Grid Reference:TG 22896 08734
Map Sheet:TG20NW

Full description

Undercroft of earliest surviving house dates to around 1320 (kitchens date to approximately 1332). In about 1450 great hall built W. Barley. Late 15th century new wing added by T. Cowse. Roof of great hall dated to about 1545. 1621 street front constructed F. Cock. 1627 staircase and bay window. 1659 oak room, Sir Joseph Paine.
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

Painting on plaster on east wall of Victorian bedroom.
?A. P. Baggs.

Former house and shops now museum.
Street range: early 16th century, flint rubble ground floor, rendered timber frame first floor. Pantile roofs. Two storeys, first floor jettied.
Hall range: 14th, 15th and 16th century alterations. Pantile roofs L-shaped. Two bay open hall and two storey service end with cellars parallel to street.
Block southeast of hall: late 15th century, rebuilt early 16th century. 15th century cellar.
Information from (S1).
For further details on building see bibliography in file.
See file NCM for further details.

1970s or 1980s. Norwich Survey.
See (S2), includes (S3).
T.E. Miller (NLA) 4 January 2006.

Shortly before 1994.
Removal of render around window of 1530 revealed window frame, with shutter hinge and plaster reveals. Said to belong to original structure, and perhaps to light a spiral staircase.
See photocopy of (S4) in file.
D. Gurney (NLA) 17 January 1995.

Descheduled 1997.

Detailed description and drawings by [1] for visit of VAG, in file.
See (S5).

Before February 2002. Found in garden.
Rim sherd of 17th century Anglo-Netherlands tin-glazed earthenware plate, decoration as Jennings 1981 nos. 1388 and 1390 which were dated to 1630-40.
A. Rogerson (NLA) 31 May 2002.

15 May 2003. NAU watching brief.
No archaeological remains were disturbed during excavation of the service trenches.
See (S6).
J. Allen (NLA) 20 September 2006.

See press cuttings (S7) and documentary source (S8) for further information.
T. Sunley (NLA) 7 November 2007.

June 2011. Newspaper Article.
Stranger's Hall, originally a Merchant House, was restored by Leonard Bolingbroke (a Norwich solicitor) in the 1920's and turned into a private folk museum. It was England's first museum of domestic life. In 1921 The Friends of the Norwich Museums was established and a 16th century six panelled oak door, which was once at the priory of Walsingham was acquired for Stranger's Hall for £100.
See (S9) for further details.
D. Lefeuvre (HES), 8 August 2011.

Monument Types

  • HOUSE (Medieval to Modern - 1320 AD to 2050 AD)
  • UNDERCROFT (Medieval to Modern - 1320 AD to 2050 AD)
  • HALL HOUSE (Medieval to Modern - 1450 AD to 2050 AD)
  • TIMBER FRAMED BUILDING (Medieval to Modern - 1450 AD to 2050 AD)
  • MUSEUM (Modern - 1922 AD to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds

  • WALL PAINTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Moths still a threat to historic museum. 18 February.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Things to do in Norfolk this summer. 28 July.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Restored signal box is back in spotlight.. 14 June.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Rose marks anniversary. 14 June.
---Article in serial: Carter, A. 1980. Stranger's Hall. Archaeological Journal. Vol 137 pp 360-361.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Norwich - Post Roman.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2013. Donation means Strangers' Hall will be open more often.. 05/06/2013.
---Photograph: ERD.
<S1>Scheduling record: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Historical and Architectural Interest.
<S2>Unpublished document: Carter, A.. Building Survey.
<S3>Graphic material: Various. Various. Architectural plans..
<S4>Publication: Barker, D.. 1994. Conservation Work at Strangers Hall (Eavesdropper). 2.
<S5>Thesis: Smith, R. 1990. An Architectural History of Norwich Buildings, c. 1200 - 1700. Unpublished Thesis.
<S6>Unpublished document: Phillips, C.. 2004. NAU Report No. 877. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Birkett's Building (Strnagers' Hall), 4 Charing Cross, Norwich..
<S7>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. Newspaper Articles on Stranger's Hall Museum.
<S8>Unpublished document: Kelly, G.I.. 2004. Strangers Hall Norwich A New History.
<S9>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2011. Friendly team of 'Strangers' with crucial role. 11 June.

Related records

Mon 1392Parent of: 16 Charing Cross (Monument)
Site 2119Parent of: Strangers Hall (Monument)
Site 2121Parent of: Strangers Hall (Monument)
Mon 762Parent of: Strangers Hall (Monument)
Site 1282Parent of: Strangers Hall Museum, 6 Charing Cross (Monument)
Site 2486Parent of: Strangers Hall Museum, 6 Charing Cross (Monument)
Site 3493Parent of: Strangers Hall Museum, 6 Charing Cross (Monument)
Mon 1065Part of: Charing Cross (Monument)

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