Frances &

Orford Place

Today, Orford Place is an insignificant space, easily missed. But in 1900, when it was created, it was at the heart of the City’s transport system.
It owed its existence, and importance, to a vehicle at the cutting edge of technology – the tram. Norwich lagged behind other cities in the introduction of this new form of travel, but as housing developed outside the City the need to transport people to their place of work (typically in the centre) gained momentum. As an interim measure, in 1879 the Norwich Omnibus set up horse-powered public transport; it took a further 18 years for a scheme to establish a tram network in Norwich to be given Parliamentary approval. In the same year (1897) the Norwich Electric Tramways company was formed and the following year they began installing tracks. Faced with the challenge of running tramlines through Norwich’s narrow streets a 3ft 6ins (1067mm) gauge was selected, even so street widening and removal of buildings was essential if meaningful routes were to be established.

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Murrell's Yard King St Norwich
Orford Place, c.1910