Thursday, 5 May 2016

Hidden Watercourses of Norwich


How many watercourses do you know that run through Norwich?
The river Wensum is the obvious answer.
But did you know its tributories run under modern city streets too?

Before city folk could culvert and cover these streams they shaped city life by dividing parcels of land, draining marshy areas and influencing where local people walked along. As a result some of these now hidden watercourses are reflected in the streets and alleyways that we walk along today. 

The Great Cockey ran from higher ground at All Saints Green and ran downwards towards Back of the Inns and towards the Wensum at the back of what is now Dukes Palace Wharf.  A shorter length of stream was also called the Little Cockey that led along Westwick Street towards the New Mills area. 

The Dalymond ran from Magpie Road towards Blackfriars Street and discharges in the Wensum near Fishergate. 

The Muspole ran unsurprisingly along Muspole Lane, Colegate and discharged near Fye Bridge.

The Dallingfleet was a shorter length of stream that ran from St Faiths Lane towards the river south of Pulls Ferry. 

As part of the current pedestrianisation of Westlegate a commemorate stone plaque will be installed to celebrate the city's secret watercourses, and a flowing shape will be part of the paving design to bring this reference to life again for modern day folk who probably didnt know what flows underneath their feet.

Kieran Yates
5th May 2016
For Magdalen Walks

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