Royal Arcade, Norwich

Royal Arcade Norwich exterior detail

When we visited Norwich in December, I was enamoured by the stunning Victorian design of the Royal Arcade.  As beautiful as it had been while the sun was shining, that was nothing compared to how it came alive when we passed through in the twilight.

Royal Arcade Norwich entrance

In the photos above, you can see the exquisite stained glass window. From the mosaics and mosaic-making website The Joy of Shards:

…this masterpiece of late Victorian design has "opus sectile" stained glass and splendid Doulton tiles, amongst other features. The window over the western entrance consists of shaped pieces of coloured glass (rather than painted glass) and so is very much like a mosaic.

The Joys of Shards website goes on to note the beautiful motifs in the stone flooring but I did not notice the floor as I was too busy looking up!

Royal Arcade Norwich interior mall

I loved the art nouveau tiling and ceramic letters on the exterior.  I was also really taken with this lighting and the arches and decorative tiles of the first floor windows.  This was such a pretty shopping centre and I felt like I had been transported back in time a hundred years to 1902.

Royal Arcade Norwich lighting detail

The Royal Arcade in Norwich was designed by architect George Skipper in 1899. Based in Norwich, he is also famous for designing the Jarrolds department store and Norwich Union buildings in Norwich.

Royal Arcade Norwich clock and vaulting

We visited at Christmas time, as is evident from the decorations but I imagine that the Royal Arcade manages to look quite spectacular throughout the year without all of the decorations.  I wish there were more buildings like this around.

21 comments on "Royal Arcade, Norwich"
  1. what a splendid architecure! a nice place even just to walk!

    Life and travelling

  2. This is beautiful, and a place I would definitely visit.

    If you come to Serbia, let me know ahead of time. I'll be gone early May to mid-July, but after that I'm here.

  3. Thanks for this. It reminds me of what a lovely city Norwich is generally. I cant believe there was a fashion for pulling down those arcades once. "old fashioned" apparently . I'm so glad this one escaped.

  4. Lovely pictures!! Love the architecture.

    I was just cleaning up my spam folder when I noticed that 3 of your comments had ended up in there... don't know why this happened because usually they appear in the folder for unpublished comments. I'm sorry I didn't notice sooner!

    Have a great day!

  5. Wow...dazzling ...and such brilliant photos Emm..i LOVED the very first shot especially..super gorgeous!

  6. So pretty! We have an old archade here in Cleveland, too. I have to go check it out. It's partially a ritzy hotel and partially shops & restaurants.

  7. Gorgeous!! I love the architecture, and I'm a sucker for pretty buildings!

  8. Wish we had some of these buildings around.., but it gives me a reason to travel:-)
    Great angles and details!

  9. this is a gorgeous place and great reportage
    i do not think christmas changes much..
    the photographs are fabulous
    thank you for your advice on this is belgium! I enjoy getting your comments very much and appreciate your advice.
    I think you are right, my blog has a clear and definite topic and i should stick to it
    I will post once more about my recent trip and conclude it at that
    bonne soirée !

  10. such a gorgeous place with plenty of photo ops. the interior looks equally impressive as the exterior. i've always loved Art Nouvere style of art. thanks for the free tour.

  11. Oh, I love these beautiful Victorian shopping arcades. Sadly, there aren't any here in New Zealand but they do have them 'over in Australia' where I visited the one in Sydney a few years ago.

  12. These arcades are stunning. I love to visit old arcades, the last ones I saw were in Brussels, Belgium. I enjoyed looking at all your photos of London too. Your camera takes good night shots. I am also pleased that you could take photos inside the British Museum – in so many museums photos are not allowed.

  13. They knew how to build in those days, before everything got to functional. I think you have caught the atmosphere of these old arcades very well.

    PS1 Just one window with 12 frames
    PS2 Regarding Blogger and catching of spam - one of your posts was "caught" by Blogger's filter and the other by my seven day moderation setting :-)

  14. What a lovely place! Beautiful photos as always!

  15. Lovely, what a beautiful place, and a beautiful time of day. I love the lights, so ornate and heavy.

    As always, thank for taking us on another beautiful adventure!

  16. Like you said, it looks like a fun place to shop or just to visit especially during the holidays.

  17. This is a beautiful place and the photos are exquisite! Thank you for the "free tour!"

  18. Lovely photos, especially the one of the clock :)

    It looks like a really interesting arcade!

  19. @ Ola: It really was beautiful and definitely fun to walk through.

    @ Bibi: Great! Perhaps we can meet up!

    @ Jenny: Yes, old fashions can look quite tired and we certainly have to avoid the instinct to tear everything down only to build it up again.

    @ Dominic: I love that style of architecture and design too. I am gaining an ever-increasing appreciation of Victorian-era design over time.

    @ Victoria: That was my favourite photo too!

    @ Ivanhoe: you must check it out and post photos for us too!

    @ Ashley: I am a sucker for pretty buildings too!

    @ Spiderdama: oh, but I love the styles of architecture you have in your area of the world too!

    @ This is Belgium: Thank you! I think you are right. I think it will look pretty fancy outside of the festive season too.

    @ Life Ramblings: always a pleasure. It was certainly a lovely place.

    @ Giselle: That is interesting that Victorian arcades didn't make it out to NZ, especially as it was so prevalent in other Pacific island colonies. I am slowly grasping that NZ had a very interesting history indeed.

    @ Vagabonde: Yes, we are very spoiled in London with both free entry and the ability to take photos in many galleries and museums. I must get around to visiting Belgium.

    @ RuneE: Yeah, functional is good, sometimes, but I love these pretty flights of fancy and decorative flairs.

    @ Carol & Freya: thank you both!

    @ Marion: I know, those lights are pretty special!

    @ AVCr8teur: I would certainly visit Norwich again!

    @ Bon bon: thnak you!

    @ Crack you whip: Always a pleasure.

    @ Alan: thought you'd like that! It is lovely, you should visit Norwich!


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