11 things you didn’t know about Norfolk: The largest open air market, chocolate factories and find out what a Bishy Barnabee is
11 things you didn’t know about Norfolk: The largest open air market, chocolate factories and find out what a Bishy Barnabee is

11 things you didn’t know about Norfolk: The largest open air market, chocolate factories and find out what a Bishy Barnabee is


| 4 min read

We're sure you know that Norfolk is a beautiful and spectacular part of the world, but there's also some facts and quirky information that you might not know ....

  1. The largest open-air market in the country - Situated in the heart of Norwich on Gentleman's Walk, Norwich Market is the largest open-air market in the country. Its rich heritage and traditional appearance charms visitors, with a fantastic range of goods available; whether you're after clothes, children's toys, jewellery, household goods, flowers, keys cut or shoes mended, the market has it all. Stalls also sell a delicious range of quality local food including freshly baked bread, plus fish & chips, sandwiches, Chinese or a hog roast, plus many more tasty offerings.
  2. Mustard - Colman's have been making fine quality mustards in Norfolk for over 200 years and the Mustard Shop was opened in Norwich in 1973 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Colman's. Today Colman's Mustard Shop and Museum in the Royal Arcade stocks an extensive range of powder and prepared mustards, including a number of specialities made exclusively for the shop. There is also a wide selection of mustard pots and spoons, gift packs, tea towels and more.
  3. Chocolate factories - Norwich may be famous for its mustard, but not long ago it was also well known for its production of chocolate. The Chapelfield shopping site is on a site previously occupied by the Caleys (later Rowntree Mackintosh and Nestlé) chocolate factory. In 1904 the Caley’s company were employing 700 people and their chocolates and crackers were shipped all over the world. By the late 20th Century, the Norwich factory was also responsible for producing over 40 million chocolate eggs on the run up to Easter! Independent chocolatiers have also played a part recently Gnaw chocolate has new and exciting flavours, now available all over the world.
  4. Bishy Barnabee - The Norfolk dialect, also known as Broad Norfolk, is a dialect spoken by those living in Norfolk. It employs distinctively unique pronunciations, especially of vowels, and consistent grammatical forms that differ from standard English. Norfolk dialect for a ladybird is bishy barnabee! Fond (Friends Of Norfolk Dialect) was formed in 1999 to record as many of the county’s traditional words and sayings as possible. There is a particular rich animal vocabulary including jasper (wasp), dodman (snail), pishmire (ant) and hamser (heron).
  5. Even the road signs are different - In certain spots throughout Norfolk, you may be politely reminded to ‘Slow You Down’. Definitely Norfolk dialect!
  6. Norfolk isn’t flat - While West Norfolk is relatively flat, much of the county is actually rolling hills and sharp cliff faces. It’s very easy to get out of puff on a walk, especially in North Norfolk. Just climb to the top of the gazebo in Sheringham Park to look upon the rolling landscape carved by an ancient glacier.
  7. The most medieval churches - Norfolk has 659 medieval churches, the highest concentration in the world. Norfolk also has the most number of churches with round towers in the country - 125. The spire of Norwich Cathedral is 315 feet high – second only to that of Salisbury.
  8. Populated - Before the industrial revolution, Norfolk was the most populated county in England.
  9. The first woman to publish a book in English was from Norwich - Julian of Norwich, who the JSC is named after, wrote Revelations of Divine Love in 1395, and the church where Julian lived is still open for visitors today. Norwich is a UNESCO City of Literature, a prestigious network of twenty cities worldwide.
  10. Norwich could have been the capital of England - In the 11th Century London and Norwich were the two biggest cities in England.
  11. The Broads are the habitat for 25% of the UK’s rarest species – they are the third largest inland navigation area the UK and are protected by law.