Norwich, Connecticut has quite a few characteristics that tie it to Britain, from the English place-name to the fact that it’s located in New London County, Connecticut, where three feeder rivers into one, called the Thames River. Norwich is about 13 miles upriver of the Thames. Now the big question is, does Norwich live up to it’s charming and noble namesake? Actually, it does, and more.
During the American Revolution, Norwich acted as a center for the Sons of Liberty’s activities. Some major figures of the war hailed from Norwich, inlcuding Samuel Huntington, Christopher Leffingwell, Daniel Lathrop and the notorious Benedict Arnold.
Norwich has a rich maritime history thanks to its location and harbor; now it is home to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Norwich was also early industrial center as of the mid-1700s. It was the location for paper and iron nail factories. Downtown Norwich is flush with historic buildings, lovingly-preserved from that area.
Picture the tiny snow-covered buildings and churches of one of those town miniatures that people build around Christmas. You would think that those models were built on images of Downtown Norwich in the winter. Norwich’s downtown grew up near the city’s picturesque harbor, because that was once the major trade and commerce hub. Because of that early start, the Downtown Norwich Historic District has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1985. The district is made up of 115 buildings, all of different architectural styles and eras. Overall, the area spans 64-acres. Several of the 18th-century buildings in the Historical District of downtown are also listed on the National Register, including the Norwich Town Hall, the Telephone Exchange Building and the Carroll Building.