top of page

St George's Street.

St George of Lydda (died 303 AD) was a Roman legionnaire in the service of Emperor Diocletian (big citation needed). He is the patron saint of England, soldiers & archers, leprosy, and scouting. The eponymous church is at the far end of St George's street, on Colegate. It sports a golden dragon on the side of the tower, over the clock face, to commemorate that whole dragon thing George may or may not have done.

For an art student, St George's street is the centre of Norwich, if not indeed the universe. The original main NUA building, now called simply St George's Building, used to be a technical college. Its redbrick tower, crowned by a green copper dome, pokes out over the River Wensum. According to the late, great Roger Deakin in Waterlog, during the 1920s a market trader named Goodson dived off the turret, over the bridge and into the (very shallow!) waters below. Standing on the bridge now, it's quite hard to imagine. The workrooms on the basement floor have windows on the riverline, and there are signs under the sills, warning tradesmen not to drill through the walls, in case they let any water in. Above the level of the basement windows is an aged plaque commemorating the high point of a Norwich flood which would have utterly swamped the lower storey of the building, sending Victorian technical students' tools spinning on a torrent of green, fast-moving, faecal sludge.

There are three other NUA buildings on St George's. Guntons, Victorian-modernised, is home to the Fashion course, and its plate-glass frontage displays a number of bewildered-looking Autons displaying outfits from some Dali-esque future (dys/u)topia (delete as appropriate).


Nestled between the lee of St George's redbrick cliff-face and the Gothic, flinty St Andrew's Hall is a passageway leading into a ruined cloister, with the West and East Garth buildings, whose Victorian and medieval facades have been patched up with sheets of surreal glass.


The students have colonised the street: every surface is densely textured with flyers, stickers, graffiti and new-wave Dada street art. (As well as bicycles ripe for stealing.)


Not even the humble rubbish bin is safe from the woke postmodernists.

A pediment by the bridge plays occasional host to sculptures by guest artists, including at one time a hideous 20-foot-high anatomical torso by Damien Hirst (or rather, by the anonymous drones in his manufactory).


Look on my works, ye mighty,
and despair!

Further down, the benches on St George's Green have a Zodiac theme, with  light-up constellations engraved on metal plates.


Sea Form (Atlantic)
by Barbara Hepworth, 1964.

bottom of page