Welcome to Dragon Hall, home to the National Centre for Writing.

Step into one of Norwich’s most significant medieval buildings and discover the fascinating stories of the people who have lived and worked within its walls for hundreds of years.

Dragon Hall is now open to the public outside of our events and creative writing workshops.

Our drop in visitor hours are 10am to 3pm on Sunday each week. Extended opening hours will be announced shortly. Our public entrance is on King St, opposite the The Butterfly Café.

Learn about the history of the site through self-led tours and take part in family activities during the holidays. You can also ask our staff about upcoming NCW events and creative writing opportunities.

Visit our What’s On page to view our public programme of events, guided tours, workshops and activities for adults, families and communities.

To become a City of Literature Volunteer and support our events and venue please click here.

Visit us

A history of Dragon Hall

The National Centre for Writing is based in the magnificent medieval Dragon Hall on King Street in Norwich.

There have been buildings on the site for more than a thousand years. Dragon Hall is a rare example of a medieval merchant’s trading complex, built in about 1430 by a merchant, Robert Toppes. Its centrepiece, the magnificent first floor trading hall, is 26 metres long, used more than 500 large oak timbers, was decorated with 15 dragons of Baltic oak and has a fine crown post roof. Its survival gives us the opportunity to appreciate the skills of the 15th century timber craftsmen.

Once a site for displaying, storing and selling Norfolk goods and imports from Europe, Dragon Hall is now an international centre for the trade of stories and words.

Dragon Hall’s Story

Donate to Dragon Hall

100% of your donation will support the conservation of this unique part of medieval Norwich.

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Give regularly to support Dragon Hall

The Robert Toppes Collections Company is a special group dedicated to our Grade I Listed home.


Guided heritage tours of Dragon Hall

Heritage tours of Dragon Hall take place on the third Monday of each month at 2pm and are led by the Dragon Hall Heritage Volunteers.

Tours are free, but donations towards the building’s upkeep are greatly appreciated.

Booking in advance is recommended as there is limited capacity for each event. 

Click the button below to view upcoming tours.

View upcoming tours

In building Dragon Hall, Robert Toppes created a masterpiece which is unique as a secular building of 15th-century Norwich, alongside the magnificent churches of which he was a benefactor. It has an enduring beauty in our magnificent city and a very special place in the east of England and the North Sea world.

Heather Pfeiffer, Chair of the Dragon Hall Volunteers

Dragon Hall Heritage Volunteers

The Heritage Volunteers are a group of local historians and tour guides who have been involved in interpreting and presenting the story of the Hall and connected histories for many years.

Their aim is to promote public access and knowledge of the building. They work closely with the National Centre for Writing and help to raise funds for the maintenance of the building through tours and talks to community groups.

To find out more about the history of the building visit their website, which is packed with fascinating information.  

Join the Volunteers

If you are interested in history and heritage, and enjoy working with like-minded people, there may be a volunteering opportunity for you.

The Heritage Volunteers are always keen to recruit new members to act as guides or assistants. They provide a lot of documents and background material, training and support for those keen to help promote and preserve this unique and wonderful building.

Why not come for a trial tour before making any commitment?

Please contact Heather Pfeiffer at [email protected] to find out more.