Radicalism, rebellion and Robert Kett: a walk through Norwich’s history

With views of its castle and Cow Tower, along riverside and through woods, author Jon McGregor’s stroll reveals a rich tale of Norwich’s protesting past

You may think of Norwich as a gentle and uncomplaining sort of a place but the city has a long history of radicalism and protest. On this short afternoon’s walk I’d like to introduce you to a gentleman farmer named Robert Kett, a key figure in the city’s history of rebellion.

Start from the railway station, crossing the river to the Compleat Angler pub, where steps lead from the terrace to a pleasant riverside path. Pass the flint archway of Pull’s Ferry, where the Normandy limestone was unloaded for the construction of Norwich Cathedral, which you can see soaring skywards to your left. Continue along the river to the looming mud-red round structure known as Cow Tower. Glance towards the escarpment behind the houses on the other side of the river, and consider the military significance of placing an artillery tower here, at a bend in the river and facing the high ground to the north-east. Keep this in mind.

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