Strangers Hall Museum, Norwich

Strangers Hall Museum, Norwich

In the 1320s one Ralph de Middleton owned a house on the site of the current Strangers Hall Museum. Ralph's house is gone but the undercroft is intact under the Museum. How is it now Strangers Hall? How did it become a museum?

The building was considered prestigious. Mayors and merchants made changes and additions to show their social status. The great hall itself was built in the 15th century by William Barley, a cloth merchant. During the 16th century, Thomas Southerton, mayor and greengrocer owned the house when the strangers arrived.

The first "strangers" were religious refugees from the Netherlands; Walloon and Flemish Calvanists fleeing persecution by Spanish Catholic rulers. Protestant asylum seekers were welcome. England was a protestant country under Queen Elizabeth I. The "strangers" brought their skills, energy, and knowledge with them and Norwich prospered.

Subsequent tenants/owners made modifications to the house: a crown post roof, a mullioned bay window, a vaulted porch and steps giving access to the Great Hall. The Great Chamber was a wing of the Great Hall. The Georgian dining room was installed in 1748.

By the 1890s, however, the Strangers Hall had fallen into disrepair. In 1899 Leonard Bolingbroke bought the building. In 1900 he opened it to the public as a folk museum. In 1922 the Hall as museum was presented to the city of Norwich.

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Strangers Hall Museum on Map

Sight Name: Strangers Hall Museum
Sight Location: Norwich, England (See walking tours in Norwich)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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