Friends of Kett’s Heights is a voluntary group formed in November 2015. Our aims are to make Kett’s Heights:
We have worked with Norwich City Council and community payback teams to :
- Restore the view from one of Norwich’s strategic viewpoints and repaint the railings
- Clear all the paths of vegetation and remove ivy that was swamping trees
- Repair walls
- Start restoration of the fruit trees
- Install signs and a noticeboard at the entrance
- Clear litter daily
Kett’s Heights is an open space owned by Norwich City Council. The oldest structure on the site is a wall that was once part of St Michael’s chapel, built by the Normans in compensation for a church in Tombland destroyed to make way for the cathedral. Around that wall now are remains of greenhouses built by the gas works in the 19th century when the site was developed as a garden with the terraces and steps that you follow today. On the south side, overlooking where the gasworks were, the slopes are particularly steep as this area was quarried for chalk and flint. In 1549 this was where Robert Kett and his 10,000 followers gathered to lay siege to the city, hence today’s name. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the chapel ruins, known as “Kett’s Castle”, were a popular destination and the subject of several works of art.
The site underwent much restoration in the 1980s after ownership transferred to the City Council. But subsequent maintenance has been largely reactive, which is why the site became rather overgrown. Work by community payback teams in winter 2015/16 started the clearance, which is now ongoing.
Further improvements that the Friends hope to make in 2017-18 include:
• A replacement information board at the viewpoint (now installed! 2017)
- Repair of the wooden fence by the upper green. (completed in June 2018)
• Planting of spring-flowering bulbs. (3000 snowdrops & 150 croci bulbs planted October 2017)
- Planting another 20 or so fruit trees (planted April 2018)
- Planting more bluebells (2000 more snowdrops & 1000 bluebells planted Autumn 2018))