Did you know...
Norwich Guildhall was built by the freemen to house the new city government, law courts, a gaol, assemblies and administrators set up in 1404. It was used as the centre of city government until 1937 when it was replaced by City Hall.
The annual freemen’s outing is a popular event which now attracts hundreds, including freemen from overseas. Visits are often to properties which have received substantial grants from the freemen’s charity.
From the early 15th century, the freemen governed Norwich in relative harmony for 250 years – in marked contrast to other large rival towns in England such as Bristol, York and Newcastle.
Ed Balls’ ancestors were Norwich Freemen between 1404 and 1913, but the succession has lapsed and he is no longer eligible.