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Norwich has a wealth of historical architecture. The medieval period is represented by the 11th-century Norwich Cathedral, 12th-century castle (now a museum) and a large number of parish churches. During the Middle Ages, 57 churches stood within the city wall; 31 still exist today.This gave rise to the common (in the city) saying that it had a church for every week of the year, and a pub for every day. Most of the medieval building is in the city centre. From the 18th century the pre-eminent local name is Thomas Ivory, who built the Assembly Rooms (1776), the Octagon Chapel (1756), St Helen's House (1752) in the grounds of the Great Hospital, and innovative speculative housing in Surrey Street (c. 1761). Ivory should not be confused with the Irish architect of the same name and similar period.
The 19th century saw an explosion in Norwich's size and much of its housing stock, as well as commercial building in the city centre, dates from this period. The local architect of the Victorian and Edwardian periods who has continued to command most critical respect was George Skipper (1856-1948). Examples of his work include the headquarters of Norwich Union on Surrey Street; the Art Nouveau Royal Arcade; and the Hotel de Paris in the nearby seaside town of Cromer. The neo-Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to St John the Baptist on Earlham Road, begun in 1882, is by George Gilbert Scott Junior and his brother, John Oldrid Scott.
The city continued to grow through the 20th century and much housing, particularly in areas further out from the city centre, dates from that century. The first notable building post-Skipper was the city hall by CH James and SR Pierce, opened in 1938. Bombing during the Second World War, while resulting in relatively little loss of life, caused significant damage to housing stock in the city centre. Much of the replacement postwar stock was designed by the local authority architect, David Percival. However, the major postwar development in Norwich from an architectural point of view was the opening of the University of East Anglia in 1964. Originally designed by Denys Lasdun (his design was never completely executed), it has been added to over subsequent decades by major names such as Norman Foster and Rick Mather.
As of 2005, Norwich had the biggest Park and Ride operation in the UK. Run by Norfolk County Council it runs from six purpose-built sites into Norwich bus station using colour-coded buses:
Norwich Airport (off the A140) to the north via Aylsham Road; 620 spaces, yellow buses. Sprowston (off the A1151) to the northeast via Wroxham Road; 788 spaces, purple buses. Postwick (off the A47) to the east via Thorpe Road; 525 spaces, red buses. Harford (off the A140) to the south via Ipswich Road; 1088 spaces, blue buses. Thickthorn (of the A11) to the southwest via Newmarket Road; 786 spaces, pink buses. Costessey (off the A47) to the west via Dereham Road; 110 spaces, green buses. Altogether nearly 5000 parking spaces are provided and in 2006 3.4 million passengers used the service. Services begin running into the city at 06:40 Monday to Friday, with the last buses returning from 19:25 (20:30 on Thursday).
All buses used on the services are low-floor and are colour-coded, for easy finding.
First Eastern Counties operates the Sprowston and Harford services, using purple Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urban single deckers and blue Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 double deckers.
Norfolk County Council operates the Norwich Airport and Postwick services, using yellow and red Irisbus Agora Line single deckers.
Konectbus operates the Thickthorn and Costessey services, using pink DAF DB250/Wright Pulsar Gemini double deckers and green Optare Tempo single deckers.