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Norwich Signs History

The Streets of Norwich

The streets of Norwich are steeped in history and not only do we get to enjoy over a thousand historical buildings, Norwich boasts Europe’s biggest, intact, medieval street pattern. From the UK’s oldest hotel, The Maids Head Hotel, to the Norman castle, history lovers will have a field day exploring the cultural streets of Norwich drenched in a very rich heritage easily spotted all over the city.


Colmans Mustard and Jarrolds Norwich (Jarrolds pic courtesy of

Staying on the theme of days gone by, one of the oldest commercial activities still very much alive and kicking today is the advertising sign. This can be traced back to carvings found in ancient cities across the globe from 3000 BC. Slightly more recent, ‘criers’ would be found in markets, on the streets or at the gates to a city shouting about the goods his masters were selling. When it became more common to have a fixed pitch to sell your wares along came the advertising sign, a mixture of symbols and signs to direct and draw in passers by.

So, we’ve took a brief look at the link between the two and looked at the history of Norwich signs. Even the road signs in Norwich have a historical story behind them, streets like London Street were given these new names in the 18th century after the fashion and trend of using London street names. Originally called, Hosyergate, meaning street of stocking makers, London Street was renamed to help bring Norwich into the 19th century.

Adam & Eve Pub

The Adam and Eve pub is thought to be the oldest pub in Norwich and still serves real ale to this day. This jewel in Norwich’s historical crown has not always had a smooth sailing relationship with Norwich signs though! Back in the early 70’s the pub’s traditional sign of Eve tempting Adam with the forbidden apple wrapped in a serpent, was replaced with a rather more risqué image, which after several complaints from the locals had to be amended with some strategically placed fruit to make the sign a bit more PC!

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Adam and Eve Norwich. Known as the City’s oldest pub

Great Yarmouth’s Britannia Pier

It’s not just Norwich that is renowned for its cultural heritage, East Anglia as a whole is thought to be one of the oldest areas in the UK and we’re proud to have manufactured signs in Norwich for some of the most well loved and favourite attractions the county has to offer. The great British tradition of strolling along the pier eating fish and chips is still very much part of our own childhood memories and summer holidays. Great Yarmouth’s Britannia Pier was first opened back in 1858 and survived the wrath of WWII only to be ravaged by fire in 1954. Rebuilt and reopened in 1958 the construction has withstood the test of time since and is still the same pier we see today. At Mercury Phillips we’re so proud to be part of Britannia Pier’s history producing the big and bold ‘Britannia Pier’ sign that overlooks the entrance to the pier.

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Iconic Britannia Pier Sign by Mercury Phillips Signs Norwich

How long we’ve been Producing Signs

We’ve been producing signs in Norwich for the last 50 years and as you can imagine we’ve made signs for some of the most famous local and regional brands around. Whilst our facilities, equipment and processes are state of the art we still very much treasure the city’s history and as such are proud to show our work from days gone by.

Mercury Phillips Signs Norwich


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