Two great Norman buildings, the Castle and the Cathedral, have been dominant features in Norwich for over 900 years.
Herbert de Losinga had been appointed Bishop of Thetford in 1091 (bishop from 1091 to 1119). The seat of the Bishop moved to Norwich in 1094 and in 1096 he commenced the building of Norwich Cathedral.
In 1100 Henry I permitted the Bishop to expand the Cathedral to include a major Benedictine Priory with sixty monks. The Cathedral was dedicated in 1101, and largely completed by 1145.
The spire is the second highest Cathedral spire in England, after Salisbury, and was built in 1480, (two predecessors having been destroyed by a storm in 1373 and struck by lightning in 1463.)
The Cathedral and estates were passed to the Dean and Chapter after the suppression of the monasteries, and the Cathedral Church escaped wholesale destruction.
The magnificent cloister is intact and the extensive Cathedral Close is walled except where it is bounded on the east by the River Wensum.
Sensitive modern building has been undertaken in recent years on the sites of the monastic refectory (being a modern refectory/restaurant) and library, and is in progress, in 2008, on the site of the hostry, on the south side of the Cathedral’s west front, following a detailed archaeological study.