Location 4


Queen St, Norwich NR1 4DR

Take the back route into Cathedral Close via Hook’s Walk and pass through Ethelbert Gate into Tombland, the very heart of Norwich.

Tombland means ‘open ground’ or ‘empty space’ and this was the centre of commercial activity for the city until the Norman invasion in England in 1066. They tore down the palace of the Earl of East Anglia and St Michael’s church and built Norwich’s Anglican Cathedral. Stay for a moment by the Obelisk Drinking Fountain.

On Tombland, or Empty Space is written and performed by poet, writer and artist Victoria Adukwei Bulley.

Read ‘On Tombland, or Empty Space’


And since we pre-exist our names,

since land is land before it’s claimed

for use, it isn’t hard to stop amidst these streets

these houses & their timber frames & wonder

who lies here, beneath. Sleeping peacefully

or not. Or restlessly – taken by some older plague

more fatal than the ones we know now.

Whose spirits walk beside us, hungry

for glance or touch; a little laugh, a brief kiss,

a sympathy or a vengeance, unable to let go,

unwanting to step into the light until then.

What are the names of those who lie here?

Or rather, what are the ways that names lie –

tombland not as of graves or grave histories, but

something lighter than that, tombland simply 

as empty space, or market place –  free space to sell 

& pitch a stall, years ago & still now. Time lasts, 

or maybe doesn’t. We come & go about our days; 

we pass through them as flicking through a book: 

each brick a word, street lane a chapter, reading –

without knowing – the remains of centuries, 

finding nothing empty about this place.

Victoria Adukwei Bulley

Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a poet, writer and artist based in London. She is the winner of a 2018 Eric Gregory Award, and has held residencies internationally in the US, Brazil, and the V&A Museum. Her debut poetry collection, Quiet, is forthcoming from Faber & Faber in 2022.


Tap the images to hear and read the poems from each location

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