From the Friends Meeting House we walked to the former Bethel Hospital. Opened in 1713 as the first purpose built lunatic asylum in the country and the sole public facility for the mad or insane of Norwich. William Herring, one of our commissioners was a Governor there and also lived nearby. Before we made our way to his former house we went round the Chapelfield North to see the house of Yallop. Before we got to his house we passed a plaque dedicated to Henry Ninham, painter and printer, part of the Norwich School. Both seemed to have owned property in this area at the same time. Yallop’s house is without doubt one of the grandest houses in the row, an impressive residence.
Many sources attribute Yallop living at the Chapelfield address but it seems from Land Tax records he may have rented it out to his brother in law. Round the corner from Yallop’s property we find Herrings home, the former YMCA building which has recently been extended. Again this is a very grand house, large and imposing, taller that those either side of it, a striking red brick. His home was close in proximity to the Bethel Hospital and I wonder how it must have felt to leave his own comfortable home to walk the short distance to the serviceable yet likely basic accommodation of the hospital.
Herring was Mayor in 1797, so would have spent time in the Guildhall just a short walk away. It was during Herrings time as Mayor that Nelson presented his sword to the city. It was for a long time kept at the Guildhall but now resides at City Hall.
After Herrings house we headed off to St Peter Mancroft, again a short walk away.