Norwich is a cathedral city in the county of Norfolk. The city is mentioned a few times in The Running Grave before the story takes us there. Sir Colin Edensor mentions it as a place where his son Will has been seen collecting money for the UHC (chapter 4); Sheila Kennett tells Robin that Alex Graves was out collecting in Norwich when he was ‘grabbed off the street’ by his family (chapter 16) and the inquest into Daiyu’s death was held at Norwich Coroner’s Office (chapter 29).
Robin is driven through Norwich in the minibus on the way to Chapman Farm, and she returns on the first occasion she is allowed to leave the farm, nearly two months later, to spend the day collecting money for the church. It’s about 25 miles from Aylmerton to Norwich, and the journey takes almost an hour (chapter 65). On their arrival in Norwich, Robin notices ‘more flint-covered walls and many church spires on the horizon’ (chapter 65).
The group from the UHC, lead by Taio, carry the components of the stall and boxes of merchandise ‘to the junction of three pedestrianised streets’ (chapter 65). This is the junction of London Street and Castle Street.
Robin helps set up the stall, and she and Vivienne are tasked with selling plush turtles and corn dollies, collecting donations and handing out leaflets about the church. They stand there for many hours, and Robin is feeling exhausted and hungry by mid-afternoon, when Taio runs towards them saying that Emily has gone, and tells them they have to find her (chapter 65).
Robin and Vivienne quickly dismantle the stall and begin to jog up Castle Street. Robin suggests that they split up to cover more ground and directs Vivienne right down Davey Place (chapter 66).
Robin turns left up Davey Place and finds herself ‘emerging onto a wide street which ran past a huge grassy mount on top of which stood Norwich Castle, an enormous and imposing crenellated cube of stone’ (chapter 66).
After pausing to consider whether she should take this opportunity to escape and deciding against it, Robin sees Taio approaching, so she hurries down Arcade Street to avoid him.
At the bottom of Arcade Street, she enters The Royal Arcade.
‘The arcade in which Robin now stood was old and rather beautiful, with a high vaulted glass ceiling, Art Nouveau tiles above the shopfronts… ‘
‘…and pendant lights like giant harebells’ (chapter 66).
‘Through a gap between the colourful puppets displayed in a toy shop’s window’ Robin spots Emily (chapter 66).
Since the novel is set in 2016, Langley’s Toy Shop has moved to a different unit in the Arcade:
Robin talks to the distressed Emily in the shop. She borrows a pair of scissors from the girl at the cash register to open her collecting box to give some of the money to Emily to boost her collection amount. Emily confides some useful information to Robin. They come up with a plan to explain Emily’s absence and then leave the shop to find the other church members.
You can find the Norwich locations mentioned in the book on the map below: