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Subterranean Norwich

Subterranean Norwich



This book is about a city’s past, present and future, viewed from ground level downwards.

The subterranean conditions profoundly influence the shape and texture of Norwich today, thanks to its geology and topography that have been remoulded by more than a thousand years of human activity. This understanding enriches our appreciation of a fine city, and can help us plan for a sustainable future. Matthew Williams develops a rational four-dimensional model which ranges beyond geology and archaeology to urban planning and even psychogeography, but tries to avoid jargon and keeps our feet firmly on the ground. Among other aspects of city living, the model is used to consider whether Norwich really is riddled with tunnels, and to support the book’s provocative claim that geology drives everything.

Subterranean Norwich: The grain of the city is profusely illustrated with diagrams and photographs that will appeal to anyone familiar with Norwich as a place, and to any person wanting to read the fascinating story of a historic city formed out of the ground.

Matthew Williams is a local geologist and historian with a keen interest in the day-to-day physical world we inhabit. He enjoys searching out the continuity from the past into the present, and asking how these linkages can inform our planning for the future. He works as a professional cycle instructor based in Norwich and has a detailed knowledge of the city, not least from having ridden along most of its streets many times.

Some sample pages from the book:


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ISBN 978-0-9933069-4-5
Publication June 2017.
176 pages, 234 x 156 mm, including maps and many illustrations, mostly in colour.
Notes, bibliography and index.