Category: News

Your Wedding or Civil Partnership

The King of Hearts is a memorable setting for your Civil Wedding or Partnership ceremony. A welcoming and intimate ambience, the beauty and craftsmanship of this heritage building and the genuine warmth and care of our small but professional staff team make this a venue like no other.

Your Reception could be a full Wedding Breakfast, an informal buffet, a cocktail party, afternoon tea or even a Tudor Feast, to create the occasion of your dreams. This is your special day, and we will tailor it just for you.

The Music Room seats up to 70 for your Ceremony; additional rooms are available for the Reception.

Please telephone us on 01603 766129 for our Wedding Folder, or to make an appointment to visit us.

Meeting Rooms

Your delegates or guests will feel special when you choose the King of Hearts as your venue. The unique ambience of this historic building with its contemporary art collection, and our care and attention to detail, have gained us many regular customers.

Four rooms seating from eight to eighty-five are available for hire. Their individual character and varying sizes accommodate a wide range of events, from meetings, conferences and training courses to concerts, corporate entertaining, Christmas lunches, wedding receptions and other social functions. We are licensed for civil weddings.

All the rooms have an airy feel, with plenty of natural light. Audio-visual equipment is available, and your room will be set out to your requirements. Wireless broadband internet access is available in all meeting rooms for a small charge.

Discounts from the prices shown may be offered to registered charities, for arts and music education and to certain non-profit groups, at the discretion of the King of Hearts.

The Music Room

The excellent acoustic and intimate proportions provide an ideal setting for chamber music and solo recitals.  The King of Hearts promotes its own Lunchtime Concerts and two yearly Festivals of music and storytelling in May and October, with an emphasis on Early and Baroque music.  Harpsichord and Lute recitals, storytelling and literary readings are regular events.  Acoustic Jazz and Folk also work well, and the room is available for hire to performers wishing to promote their own event.

The Music Room is also suitable for lectures, meetings and functions and is a beautiful setting for civil wedding ceremonies.

 

A Medieval hall of moderate proportions, with beamed ceiling and oak floor. It houses a Steinway piano and double manual harpsichord by local maker Alan Gotto, decorated by Maggie Bevan (soundboard) and Angie Maddigan (case and lid decoration).

History

The first owner, Edmund Wood, was a wealthy merchant grocer who became Sheriff, then Mayor of Norwich in 1548. His son Robert was also Mayor, and in 1578 he received Queen Elizabeth I when she visited Norwich, entertaining her to “a Loyal Latin Oration”, in return for which she knighted him.

The next known owner, Thomas Toft, was also a grocer and Mayor (1654), of extreme Puritan views, and took an active part in the destruction of statues and “superstitious pictures and reliques of idolatry” in churches and in the Bishop’s palace.

During the 18th century, the dwelling was split into shops, and in 1801, the Bull Inn can be found at No.11; later, we find a grocer, a saddler and a bootmaker.

Finally, in the last quarter of the 20th century, the street frontage was occupied by 3 shops, the upper level by small flats, and the whole in a dilapidated condition.

The restoration of Nos. 11 to 15 was completed in 1990, and the rest of the street corner onto Fishergate (nos. 7-9) was acquired in 2000.

Tudor Building

The King of Hearts occupies a remarkable Tudor merchant’s house dating back to the 15th and early 16th century. A major restoration project took place between 1986 and 1990, undertaken by Norwich Preservation Trust with the support of English Heritage.

The architect, John Sennitt, won a Civic Award for the project.

The building comprises two halls, one above the other, and an inner courtyard, each with many features of interest. The ground floor hall, which serves as the Art Gallery, has a beamed ceiling in a star-shaped pattern and a very long mullioned window; in the upstairs hall, used as a Music Room, a painted ceiling with moulded beams was revealed underneath Georgian plaster. More interesting features were found as the restoration proceeded: two fireplaces, and in the courtyard, a high mullioned window and a carved and painted arch.

Welcome!

The King of Hearts is a superb Tudor building located in the historic centre of Norwich, which hosts a variety of activities.

Two fine medieval halls house a Contemporary Art Gallery and a Music Room; a small craft shop serves as a showcase for East Anglian artists and also sells books: art, poetry and children’s stories. Four meeting rooms are available for training, lectures, working meetings, corporate entertainment or social occasions, and a lively Café and peaceful courtyard provide an informal and relaxed atmosphere. The architectural and historic interest, as well as the artistic feel of the building, make it a unique setting for a great variety of events.
Since its opening in 1990, the King of Hearts has developed into a meeting place for people and the arts, bringing to a piece of heritage the energy and creativity of contemporary life. It has created a welcoming environment where people can enjoy the arts in an unpretentious atmosphere, without any sense of exclusivity or elitism.
It is also a place of hospitality: in an age of anonymity and gigantism, the King of Hearts seeks to provide a small haven of beauty and relaxation, where personal service and quality events are offered without hype to everyone without distinction.