Elm Hill, Norwich is an historic cobbled lane in Norwich, Norfolk with many buildings dating back to the Tudor period. It is a famous Norwich landmark and features the Briton’s Arms coffee house, The Stranger’s Club and the famous Dormouse bookshop. It is frequently used as a film set for TV and movie productions – most recently Stardust.
Elm Hill today extends from the Church of St. Peter Hungate where the top of Elm Hill meets Princes Street, to the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude, sited at the bottom of Elm Hill on the corner with Wensum Street. It used to continue in a straight line past Britons Arms and intersect with St Georges Street but was re-aligned in the 15th century in order to permit the construction of St Andrew’s & Blackfriars Halls which were originally the home of the Dominican friars.
Elm Hill acquired its name from the elm trees that have successively stood in the square since the first quarter of the 16th century when the Churchwardens of St Peter Hungate Church planted the first one. (The tree you see today is not an elm because of the presence of Dutch elm disease in the UK). The parish pump, though not the original, is sited near the tree.
There is no record of the date when Elm Hill first came into being, but there is some evidence for its existence around A.D. 1200. Very few buildings standing above ground in Elm Hill are of an earlier date than 1507, when a disastrous fire destroyed over 700 houses in Norwich. Britons Arms may be older.